| Actually I learned from the company that I worked for, to always get three
| quotes, as I did quite a bit of purchasing. Unless one company looks like
| cheater or somehow shady, the procedure is not to buy from the lowest
| nor from the highest bidder, usually the middle price is the most
| If one gives you doubts, try a forth quote, but it should be unnecessary.
That's standard advice. To some extent it makes
sense. On the other hand, I won't bid at all in such a
situation. I have a lot of regular customers and prefer
to work by reference. If someone's getting 3 bids that's
often a sign that they already have a preferred
contractor but just want to make sure his price is OK.
At best, I'm going to spend my time for a 1 in 3 chance
of getting a job for someone with whom it's not a
personal relationship. That's not worth it to me. As long
as I have enough work to get by I won't even consider
Another problem with that approach is that with most
jobs it's not easy to know exactly what each contractor
will do, because it's often not easy to know exactly what
a job well done will entail.
I wouldn't say that one shouldn't ever get 3 bids. In some
cases that might be necessary in order to get a sense
of the landscape. But having a rule of getting 3 bids
really means that you have no relationships with
contractors who you trust, and that you don't expect any
of them to be trustworthy. You have no hesitation about
wasting their time in order to "get yours". That's really not
a very good way to operate. Much better to ask friends
and find someone who they've worked with and trust. Then
you won't have to make uninformed decisions about whether
the price is fair.