In the tender system, each list of books selected is sent to a number of booksellers who are requested to quote their lowest price for each book. The orders are placed with the bookseller offering the lowest quotation for each book. This is a rather cumbersome process and involves a lot of paper work and is time-consuming. As a consequence, the library would be unable to spend the funds within a given time resulting sometimes in the lapse of unutilized funds. Further, it is seen that booksellers offering the lowest quotation are unable to supply in time as the concerned books may not be in ready stock with the bookseller.
In the quotation method, various booksellers are requested to give their lowest quotations for various categories of documents, trade discounts on Indian and foreign books, if any, and the conversion rates for foreign currencies. This procedure is repeated at the start of every financial year. The quotations received are tabulated and approval sought from the concerned sanctioning authority. Generally, firms giving the lowest quotations are selected. Efficiency, organisational and administrative capacity and capability of the booksellers (based on past experience) are considered along with the quotations offered by them. This method is different from the tender system where the lowest quotation for each book is the basis for the selection of the bookseller.