Do you want to know what RFQ is?

Do you want to make your purchase budget-friendly?

Well, first of all, let me tell you that you’re at the right place to get to know about the RFQ. RFQ is a document that companies use for gathering information about the concerned product.

This makes it easier for the purchasing company to negotiate and make their purchase fruitful.

RFQ is one of the most important parameters in business. If you’re buying in bulk, you cannot neglect the importance of RFQ.

You may get your product but you’ll lose the advantage of using RFQ before finalizing the purchase.

In this blog, we will help you understand RFQ meaning and how to make one for your business. We also prepare the comparison of RFQ with RFI and RFP, which are easily confused. Let’s start!

Table of Content

Chapter 1: What does RFQ mean?

Chapter 2: How to Create an RFQ Request?

Chapter 3: How to Process an RFQ to the Supplier?

Chapter 4: How Alibaba.com RFQ works?

Chapter 5: How Made-in-China.com RFQ works?

Chapter 6: Advantages and Disadvantages of RFQ

Chapter 7: Comparison of RFQ with RFI and RFP

Chapter 8: FAQs About RFQ

Chapter 1: What does RFQ means?

RFQ stands for ‘Request for Quotation’, it is also known as IFB (invitation to bid). The term “RFQ” refers to a process in which a company or individual requests a quotation, then one or more suppliers respond with a price quote.

1. The basic concept of RFQ with examples

Before making an RFQ request, it is necessary to have a clear understanding of which type of products or services you need.

Once the company or individual knows all the attributes and specifications of the product that they want, they can make the RFQ request. After requesting the RFQ, you may receive price quotes from one or more suppliers.

What does RFQ means

After receiving the price quotes, requesting company or individual that made the RFQ request can proceed with whatever quote they choose to accept.

Then even without having to contact them individually, you can easily compare the price ranges of various suppliers with the help of RFQ.

RFQ makes the whole procurement process very simple and convenient. The procurement process entails purchasing items from an external party and negotiating contract terms and conditions.

You can also get high-quality services or goods at a reasonable price because of the competitive bidding.

For example, if you want to buy a certain product from China for your online e-commerce business, you can make an RFQ request for that particular product. After making the RFQ request multiple suppliers will send you the price quotes.

Out of all the options that you have been offered, you can accept a price quote that is the best in terms of quality and price.

Later in this article, we’ll discuss the details of making an RFQ request. Keep reading to learn more about it.

2. How does Request for Quote works?

RFQ makes the process of buying and acquiring goods from chinese suppliers very easy and convenient. Requesting company or individual simply fill the RFQ form with all the required data and then submit it to Alibaba.com or any other such platform.

How Request for Quote works

Once the RFQ is made, requesting individual will receive the price quotes from various suppliers within one or two days.

This saves the requesting company from the hassle of contacting suppliers on their own. After receiving the quotes, you can choose the most reliable and trustworthy option to proceed further.

3. How to write an RFQ?

RFQ has a simple pre-defined format, you need to follow all the instructions to make an RFQ request.

Product specifications should be properly stated and all-important details should be included, as you will receive the quotes from vendors or suppliers based on the product specifications.

How to write an RFQ

Following are the major components of the RFQ requests:

  • Firstly, you have to provide a detailed list of the product specification or details of the service that you need.
  • You need to describe the type, quantity, or the number of products that you require, as well as the time duration in which you require the product.
  • You also need to state the expected delivery time in the RFQ.
  • Payment range and budget should also be part of

Chapter 2: How to Create an RFQ Request?

In this chapter, we will describe how you can create an RFQ request. Importers can place the RFQ request by following these simple steps:

1. First, create a template of the request

First of all, you need to create a template that has all the needed product specifications and information requests. That information need to be listed in the template regarding the product.

create rfq request

Make sure you don’t forget any critical product details, as Chinese vendors typically simply provide the information required in the template.

Before quoting the price, the template should include brief description about the quality and the specification of the products.

It is mandatory to mention the product specification in detail because the price quotes will depend on the quality and final products.

2. Include technical specifications like OEM and ODM

There are two ways that you can use to describe the product details: OEM and ODM. The type of method that you select depends entirely on the type of products that you are writing an RFQ template for.

The method you use is entirely dependent on the products for which you are creating an RFQ template.

OEM is used for custom-designed items. If you intend to buy a custom-designed product, then you need to provide most of the specifications and product details.

Include technical specifications like OEM and ODM

However, it’s possible that the vendor might not be able to meet all of the requirements exactly as specified in the template.

That’s why if you want a custom-designed product then as a buyer, you should be open to using a little flexible approach to cater to these kinds of problems.

ODM is usually referred to as private label products. The process of writing product specifications for private label products is quite different from OEM.

As a buyer, you can also provide the vendors a reference product to specify the specification of the product that you want. Make sure to clearly describe all the specifications and don’t leave any loose ends.

  • Important Specifications that You Need to Mention for OEM & ODM Requests:
printed files; drawings of the designs; designs in the form of CAD files;

details regarding dimensions and size (preferably in tabular form);

prototypes, and photocopies of products; other specifications regarding material;

and other technical aspects.

a detailed list of product specifications and guidelines; reference products;

details regarding the product material; print files; and other technical details.

3. Check the applicable standards and regulations

It is important to consider the compliance of the product with international standards and rules and regulations.

If you are looking for a product that is compliant with the international standard, then you need to clearly state that in the RFQ request.

A product that is compliant with the standards like REACH, CPSIA, or RoHS can be more costly as compared to the other products.

It is a good approach to clearly state all the compliance requirements in the RFQ, then you will get accurate quotes with accurate data from the Chinese manufacturers.

4. Check the certifications required for customs clearance and selling

RFQ helps you to get a general idea about the pricing and the requirement of the product. It helps you to make an informed decision regarding which supplier you want to choose for your product.

The supplier needs to provide some information in response to the RFQ request. Following are some company certifications that are required for customs clearance and selling:

  • Quality Management System
  • Audit Reports
  • Social Compliance

5. Include what information needs to be asked about the supplier’s background

While writing an RFQ template, it is important to mention all the necessary information, you require from the supplier.

This way you will not need to ask for that information from each supplier. Asking about supplier background gives you an idea about their previous project and experience.

You also need to be very specific and clear while mentioning product information and specification as any miscommunication can highly affect the quality of the product.

6. Payment terms that you would prefer to have

It is important to mention all payment terms and methods you would prefer. You need to specify which payment method is suitable for you, details of bank account, and other payment terms like T/T Payment Plan and L/C Minimum Order Value.

Chapter 3: How to Process an RFQ to the Supplier?

How to Process an RFQ to the Supplier

In this chapter, we will mention all the important tasks that you need to perform to process your RFQ request.

1. Write down all the details and specifications of the products

Firstly, you need to have a clear idea about all the product’s details and specifications. List down all the details and mention them in your RFQ request. Suppliers will send you quotes based on the specifications that you have mentioned in your RFQ request.

If you have specified your requirement concisely and clearly in the RFQ template. Then it would help the suppliers to get a clearer idea about the product, and they will be able to offer more accurate price quotes.

You should request the vendors to provide the cost of the products. So you can compare the prices offered by different vendors.

2. Defining supplier’s list if you have or using Alibaba RFQ option to send request

There are multiple platforms that you can use to send RFQ requests. If you are using the Alibaba RFQ option, then you need to define the supplier list to whom you want to send your RFQ request.

Finding suppliers from Alibaba by searching the product name, and choose from those hot-selling product’s supplier list. However, do not send the RFQ request to more than 8 vendors at a time.

3. Sending the RFQ request

After selecting the supplier list, you can send the RFQ requests to the shortlisted vendors.

Sending the RFQ request

Once you have sent the request, give suppliers reasonable time to process the request. You can give them a couple of weeks for the response. Then they will send back the quotes with all the information that you have asked for.

4. Analyzing the response and filtering the most matched suppliers

Once you have received all the price quotes from the vendors, you can compare the prices and other specifications of all the vendors. And you can also select vendors that fulfill your entire requirement and offering the best price.

If it is not an open bid then make sure to keep the data and information provided by the vendors confidential.

5. Order samples from those suppliers to further confirm the quality of the products

After shortlisting the most matched suppliers, you can request a product sample to analyse the quality of the product. A sample helps you to get a clearer idea of how the final product will look.

Compare the samples of different suppliers and make an informed decision based on the gathered information. Finally, select the supplier that is offering the best quality and price.

6. Once the sample is approved, place the bulk order and arrange for shipment

After selecting the vendor, the next step is to make a formal agreement with your supplier. RFQ and quotes from the vendors can’t be used as a formal document.

You need to make a formal agreement with the supplier to proceed further.

Once all the legal aspects are done you can place your order. Then you can arrange the shipment of your product from China to your warehouse.

Chapter 4: How Alibaba.com RFQ works?

How Alibaba.com RFQ works

Alibaba is considered one of the largest directories of the supplier in the world. You can easily find thousands of suppliers of any category on Alibaba.

It is hard to select a suitable vendor from all the available vendors in Alibaba.com. With the help of RFQ, you can make the whole process easy and time-saving.

1. How to apply for RFQ on Alibaba

You can go to the Alibaba.com and place an RFQ request. Go to the ‘Request for Quotation’ page and open the RFQ form to submit the RFQ request. Add all the necessary details and submit the form after selecting the relevant suppliers.

You need to specify all the requirements and details regarding the product to get useful quotes from the supplier. There shouldn’t be any ambiguities and all the requirements should be stated clearly.

Here are some important details that you need to mention in the RFQ form:

  • Name of the product
  • Clear mention of all the product specifications in detail
  • Product quantity
  • Attach the product design files
  • Specify the payment terms

Alibaba has also provided RFQ template, which you can use to have a better understanding of what information should be included in the RFQ.

2. How does Alibaba RFQ service help you?

With the help of Alibaba’s RFQ feature, you can make the whole process of finding suppliers a lot easier. As a buyer, you can fill and submit an RFQ request, and then suppliers can bid on that.

Alibaba’s experts verify the buyer’s request before making it available for the suppliers. It helps a lot in choosing the best suppliers from several thousand Alibaba suppliers.

3. Step by Step process of Alibaba RFQ

Following is the step-by-step guide of how you can place an RFQ request on Alibaba.com.

  • Step 1: Go to the rfq.alibaba.com. You will be landed on the following page.

Alibaba RFQ

  • Step 2: Click the ‘Submit RFQ’ button that is available at the start of the page.

Alibaba RFQ2

  • Step 3: Then RFQ form will open. Enter all the necessary product information in the form.

RFQ form

  • Step 4: Add all the required supplier information in the relevant data fields.

required supplier information

  • Step 5: After that, add all the required shipping details in the form.

RFQ form

  • Step 6: Finally, agree to the terms and conditions and submit the RFQ form. Before submitting the form, double-check all of the details to ensure you haven’t overlooked anything important details.

terms and conditions and submit the RFQ form

4. Will all suppliers listed on Alibaba respond to RFQ requests?

It entirely depends on the supplier if they want to respond to the RFQ requests or not. All of the suppliers listed on Alibaba won’t respond to your RFQ request.

For the reason that they also need to judge whether they have time or do they need to competing for this order.

But it’s OK that only some of them reply to you. You can choose from those replied suppliers, and there will be some suppliers suit your requirement. So it’s not a problem that a few of them leave.

Chapter 5: How Made-in-China.com RFQ works?

How Made-in-China.com RFQ works

Made-in-China.com is a well-known B2B sourcing platform. It has millions of suppliers and finding a supplier on your own can be a tedious task. This Chinese platform also provides the buyer facility to place an RFQ request.

Here we have provided a step-by-step guide that you can follow to place an RFQ request on made-in-china.com.

1. Where to find the request form?

Made-in-China.com has provided a form on their website to submit an RFQ request. You can visit made in China first, and you will see the button — “Post Sourcing Request Now”.

Then you will enter the specific website page for adding your RFQ request.

2. Tell suppliers what you need

Mention all the product specifications and details in the description. It will help the supplier to get a clear idea of the product that you need.

  • Product name

Product name

First of all, mention the name of the product for which you want to submit the RFQ request.

Also, select the category of the product from the dropdown menu.

category of the product

  • Product description

Add all the necessary product descriptions and details. Don’t miss any important details as you will get quotes from the supplier based on the provided information.

Product description

You can also add images or files for the product designs.

product designs

  • Purchase Quantity

Add the quantity of the product that is required. You can select the quantity and unit from the drop-down menu.

Purchase Quantity

  • Validity of the Request

This field specifies what is the time limit for the supplier to submit the price quotes. RFQ request expires once the validation date has passed.

Validity of the Request

  • Submit the Form

submit the Form

Lastly, you can select the supplier from the ‘Filter suppliers and set trading terms to get better quotes’ option. Once you have filled in all the information, you can submit the RFQ form. Click submit button that is available at the bottom of the page.

Chapter 6: Advantages and Disadvantages of RFQ

Advantages Disadvantages
Byer can easily compare different price quotes submitted by different suppliers. RFQ lacks flexibility;

If there is any change in the requirement or product specifications, then RFQ will become obsolete.

It’s a competitive approach and can favor buyers, because the buyer can select the suppliers that are offering the best price and product quality. There is a possibility that some suppliers may not respond to the RFQ request of the buyers.
It saves time as the buyer doesn’t need to search and contact the supplier on his own and one by one. Instead the supplier contacts the buyer and provides all the necessary details in the form of a quote. Buyers may also receive quotes from suppliers that do not meet the buyer’s criteria.

Chapter 7: Comparison of RFQ with RFI and RFP

RFI stands for Request for information. RFQ stands for Request for Quotation. RFP stands for Request for proposal.
RFI is used to gather information about vendors to make an informed decision. RFQ helps to identify the price to fulfill a specific requirement or need. RFP helps to compare all the vendors and helps to choose the best one based on merit.
RFI is a fast way to get help in taking information for your business needs RFQ helps the user to explore all the available financial options RFP helps the buyer to make a final decision about the purchase

Chapter 8: FAQs About RFQ

1. Is an RFQ a contract?

RFQ is not a contract, it is a process to select the supplier. Once buyers have selected the supplier then they may sign a formal contract to proceed.

2. Why is an RFQ needed?

When a buyer submits an RFQ request then multiple vendors respond to that request with their offers in form of quotes.

This way buyers can easily compare and select the vendor based on the price and product quality that they are offering. RFQ makes the selection of the supplier easier.

3. What are RFQ and RFP?

RFP stands for request for proposal, it is a document in which a project is announced and qualified contractors are requested to submit proposals. RFQ stands for request for quote. Buyer submit RFQ request and suppliers bid in response of RFQ request.

4. What is the difference between RFQ and RFT?

RFT stands for Request for Tender. When an RFT request is placed, the tenderer will submit a series of schedules and all the important details.

In RFQ, buyers submit an RFQ request and multiple suppliers submit price quotes. After that buyer can select the preferred supplier based on the information provided by the suppliers in form of quotes.

5. How are RFIs, RFQs, and RFPs related?

RFI has a casual format and it is usually used to ask for help when buyer don’t know for sure that which solution will work and solve the problem. RFQ is used to explore multiple financial options.

Therefore, the buyer can select an option that is best in terms of price and product quality. RFP includes detailed questions about the services or products.


In this blog, we have provided a step-by-step guide for understanding RFQ meaning and its importance. For most buyers, RFQ request needs you to have a clear idea about what you want in advance. Then finding a good supplier won’t be a problem for you.

We hope that this blog would be helpful for you. And you would be able to completely understand how you can use the RFQ request to easily select suitable suppliers for your business.