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Chapter 9 - Determining Fair and Reasonable Pricing

Appendix A - Researching historical pricing data

Research of historical market information can provide analysis of the acquisition situation for the product at some point(s) in the past. The following table presents research elements that should be considered when conducting historical pricing research and examining historical acquisition information.

Research element

You should be able to answer questions such as...

Trends in supply and demand

When did past acquisitions take place?
Is there any indication of prevailing market conditions at that time?

Pattern of demand

What quantities were solicited for each acquisition?
What quantities were acquired?

Trends in prices

What was the contract price?
How did the unsuccessful offers compare with the successful offer?

Start-up costs and pricing strategy

Did the contract price include one-time engineering, tooling, or other start-up costs?
Should future contracts include similar or related costs?
Were necessary start-up costs paid for in a manner separate from the price for the item or service?

Sources of supplies or services

How many sources were solicited for the prior acquisition?
What specific sources were solicited?
How many sources offered bids or proposals?
What specific sources offered bids or proposals?


Are there any significant differences between the requirements documents for the prior contract and the current requirements?

performance terms

What was the delivery or performance period in days, weeks, months, or years?
In what month(s) were the supplies to be delivered, the service to be performed or the milestones/deliverables completed?
Did the supplier meet the delivery or major deliverable or milestone targets?
What was the FOB point?
Were premium transportation costs or additional resources required for timely delivery or project completion?

Ownership costs

What costs of ownership were associated with the acquisition?

Acquisition Method

What acquisition method was employed for past acquisitions?

Contract terms and

What were the general terms of past contracts? 
Are there any significant differences between terms of the last contract (e.g., packing requirements, type of contract, service/performance requirements) and those recommended for this acquisition?


What problems (if any) were encountered during contract performance?