Hey, School District in California (you know who you are)... Sorry, but we are not interested in paying to retrieve an RFP that you bulk blasted us with. Please see this post to learn more.

Just a reminder to purchasing folks out there; it is generally not good business practice to make your suppliers pay to participate in a sourcing event. And if you do choose to use this tactic, you should have a more open dialog with the prospective suppliers before you send them a fax telling them to pay for an RFP before they even know the contents of that RFP.

/end rant

In case you missed them, here are some posts with tips for conducting RFP events:
Stop RFP Spamming
Rant: Pay for an RFP, No Thanks
Don't Let Your Suppliers Write the RFP
NJ Transit, an RFP in Futility
Bypassing the RFP
E-RFX, Are you Getting Results?
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William Dorn

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3 comments so far,Add yours

  1. When I read "Paying for an RFP", I thought about the client paying for the response to the RFP rather than the other way round.

    The client paying a (nominal) fee for the RFP response is not uncommon in the markting industry, at least in Europe.

    What's your view on that?

  2. Many times a client will pay a supplier for an evaluation and creative ideas. Some service companies will charge for an analysis or an assessment.

    For purchasing professionals to request that a supplier pay to participate in an RFP is ridiculous. Many times, the cost of resources to a supplier is already high due to preparation time, travel and presentation time.

  3. Apples,
    As the Anonymous poster said, I think it is not unreasonable for a supplier to charge a fee when the RFP involves creative materials or even consulting work as a response. Suppliers know that a prospective customer may be using pieces from multiple responses in order to better develop their own ideas or a path of action, and therefore want to protect themselves in any way possible.
    However, as a general rule, if the RFP is asking general questions, then it is definitely not a good practice for the supplier to charge to respond to it.