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The field of quotations and estimated prices in Switzerland is vast and can raise many questions for readers. In this article, we will address a number of questions of interest to the reader, providing detailed and relevant answers. We will explore how quotations work, their importance, the different types of quotation, the factors that influence estimated prices, and finally give some advice on how to obtain accurate and reliable quotations. 

What is a quotation and why is it important? 

A quotation is a document issued by a professional or company estimating the cost of a service or product requested by a customer. It generally includes a detailed description of the service or product and the corresponding price. An estimate enables the customer to know in advance the budget required to complete the project and to compare offers from different service providers. 

Estimates are also important from a legal point of view, as they can be used as evidence in the event of a dispute. In Switzerland, estimates are often used for certain types of work and services, particularly those carried out by building professionals, tradesmen, architects, plumbers, etc. An estimate can also be provided for IT services, removals, medical services, etc. 

What are the different types of quotation? 

There are different types of quotation, depending on the sector of activity and the project envisaged. Here are the main types of quotation: 

1. The standard quotation: this is used in many sectors and generally includes a detailed estimate of the work, products or services required. 

2. Fixed-price quotation: this sets an overall price for the entire project. This type of quotation is appropriate when the service provider can accurately assess the total cost of the work to be carried out. 

3. Estimate: this provides an approximate price range based on the information available. This type of estimate is often used when the project is complex and requires an in-depth study. 

Is a quotation compulsory? 

In Switzerland, there is no obligation to draw up an estimate. If the two parties do not agree on a fixed price or a lump sum, the price of the work is calculated on the basis of the work carried out. 

However, the question arises as to whether the customer is obliged to pay the full price according to the final statement when it differs from the estimate amount initially discussed. It all depends. 

– It is generally accepted that the difference between a quotation and an invoice should not exceed 10%, subject to special circumstances. 

– In return, the customer is obliged to tolerate this margin of increase. 

– Even if the overrun is admitted, the service provider must prove the amount of the costs and the hours actually worked, and must in any event ensure that the customer is duly informed if the overrun proves foreseeable. 

– It still has to be a genuine quotation and not a firm price that cannot be exceeded. 

– Nor may the service provider exceed the upper limit of the range if the quotation is drawn up with this in mind. 

– Lastly, the quotation must be accepted by the customer. Although it is possible to accept the quotation verbally, it is better to countersign the printed quotation as proof. 

What factors influence estimated prices? 

Estimated prices may vary depending on a number of factors, the most important of which are listed below: 

1. The nature and scale of the project: complex work or work requiring specific skills may result in higher costs. 

2. The materials and equipment used: some materials or equipment may be more expensive than others, which may influence the estimated price. 

3. Labour: the cost of labour may vary from one contractor to another, depending on their experience and reputation. 

4. Deadlines: some companies may charge extra if the project has to be completed to a tight deadline. 

How can I get accurate, reliable quotes? 

To get accurate, reliable quotes, follow these tips: 

1. Make a detailed request for a quote: provide all the necessary information about your project so that the service provider can assess the work accurately. 

2. Get several quotes: request quotes from different suppliers to compare prices and services. 

3. Check the service provider’s references: consult the opinions of previous customers and visit projects carried out by the service provider to check the quality of his work. 

4. Ask additional questions: don’t hesitate to ask questions about the estimate, materials used, timescales, guarantees or any other relevant information. 

In conclusion, quotations and estimated prices in Switzerland play a crucial role in many customers’ projects. It’s important to understand how estimates work, the different types available, the factors that influence prices and how to obtain accurate, reliable estimates. By following these tips, you’ll be able to make informed decisions when it comes to quotations. 

In just 3 minutes and for just €10 per template, you can have your own personalised fee quote, drafted in real time and ready to sign. 

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Whether you are a professional or private supplier, it is important to be aware of the rules governing advertising, offers and sales in Switzerland, which are as follows: 

  1. Every sale is preceded by considerable marketing and advertising efforts. 
  2. The law protects buyers, especially consumers, against unfair commercial practices. 
  3. Breach of trade rules results not only in loss of reputation or customers, but also in damages and fines. 
  4. When it comes to e-commerce, Swiss law is more restrictive than we are used to in some countries, and the sales and advertising practices of the e-commerce giants are often illegal, so we must not blindly follow their “success model”. 
  5. Some unfair clauses in the general terms and conditions are totally null and void, and do you more damage and confusion than protection. 
  6. The law against unfair competition also protects the free and fair market, and gives injured competitors the right to compensation. 
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            Main legal rules 

            In what follows, we will outline the main legal rules to be aware of in terms of unfair commercial practices to be avoided in Switzerland. Here are the most important points to remember: 

            Unfair competition 

            To talk about unfair competition, the following three cumulative conditions must be met: 

            Common unfair practices that harm competitors 

            The most common unfair practices that harm competitors are as follows: 

            Common unfair practices that harm consumers 

            The most common unfair practices that harm consumers are as follows: 

            Recent reform on unwanted calls: From 2021, operators must filter unwanted calls. Legislation has also been strengthened to penalise advertising calls on mobile phones, spoofing and brokers working with call-centres that do not comply with the law. 

            Recommendations 

            To avoid the risks associated with unfair commercial and advertising practices, here are a few recommendations: 

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            In Switzerland, the subject of liability for defects, fault or negligence mainly concerns service and works providers, taking into account all of the following points: 

            1. Service contracts may sometimes involve a transfer or modification of ownership, giving rise to strict liability for defects without fault being required. 
            2. The performance of services often involves a number of subcontractors, whose misconduct may make you personally liable. 
            3. Case law on the limitation or reduction of liability by contractual clauses is fairly restrictive. 
            4. In addition to the responsibilities of the service provider, the customer or his agents may also make a mistake that affects the outcome of your work. 
            5. Clarity in a contract is the key to success in order to avoid any complaints about the quality of services. 

            In addition, any website owner offering online services in Switzerland should be aware that system malfunctions, loss of data by the site host or cyber-attacks can cause significant damage to your customers and engage your liability. 

            Main legal rules 

            With regard to the legal rules governing the provider’s liability for defects, fault or negligence, here are the main points to note: 

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            It should be noted that where the subcontractor does not perform only part of the service or only a subordinate task, but fully replaces the service provider, the latter is only liable for the care with which it chose and instructed the subcontractor. On the other hand, the substitute may be acted upon directly by the customer, subject to certain limits – the only exception in Swiss law in this area being that the substitute is not itself bound by the contract to the customer. 

            Recommendations 

            To limit liability in contracts of enterprise, we recommend that you consider the following tips: 

            1. In contracts for work and services, remember to clearly delimit the moment of transfer of risk using our contract templates, and the service provider will no longer be liable for damage or defects after this moment. 
            2. As a subcontractor, be careful if you accept payment or instructions directly from your principal’s customer, as this may imply a tacit contract with him, whereas all the limitations of liability that you have agreed with your direct principal will no longer be enforceable against this customer who has not signed up to them.
            3. Always remember to limit your liability to the amount of fees paid during a certain period prior to the dispute. 
            4. Even if you are contractually authorised to do so, always ask your customer for firm acceptance if you hire external subcontractors. 
            5. Include a clause in the contract specifying the time limit after completion for reporting any defects in the service. If the customer accepts unreservedly that there is no defect, you can no longer be held liable. 

            Sellers of professional or private goods who sell to consumers in Switzerland are affected by these rights, taking into account all of the following rules: 

            1. Consumers are protected not only by the justice system, but also by consumer protection associations. 
            2. Non-professional consumers have difficulty interpreting ambiguous restrictive clauses, and so often do not consent to them validly, rendering them null and void. 
            3. Consumers have more rights than professional buyers, and your duty to inform them is more extensive. 
            4. Consumers are in principle protected by more favourable rules in their country of domicile, unless they travel abroad to buy, and international sales may therefore involve more extensive rights than are available in Switzerland. This is particularly true of the European Union, which gives consumers more rights. 

            In what follows, we’ll outline the main legal rules you need to be aware of in terms of consumer rights in Switzerland. Here are the key points to remember: 

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            Recommendations

            To better manage the rules governing consumers’ main rights, here are a few golden recommendations to bear in mind: 

            1. Please clearly state whether you intend to sell only to professionals or also to consumers. Different rules must be followed and applied. Our templates allow you to deal separately with the rights of consumers and those of professional buyers. 
            2. Clearly assess whether or not you wish to offer online products to consumers in other countries. In this case, we recommend that you create another web domain with terms and conditions adapted to these countries. 
            3. Don’t forget to include the necessary information about the merchant and the products on the website. Pay particular attention to prices and charges or taxes. 
            4. Make sure that the buttons on the website are clear and unambiguous, and that you clearly state the order summary before confirming it. 

            To protect yourself against consumer complaints, you can use our model sales contracts. 

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            Create your standard sale of goods agreement in a couple of clicks

            Sellers of professional or private goods, whether they sell to consumers or businesses in Switzerland, are affected by the rules on delivery and liability. 

            Here are the main points to be aware of under Swiss law: 

            Any private individual who sells goods privately is also affected, since the seller’s liability is not reduced if you are not a professional. 

            Now that we have an overview of the context, let’s look at the main legal rules governing delivery times. Here are a few key points to bear in mind: 

            The deadline therefore relates to the handover of the goods to the carrier and not to the buyer. 

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            To avoid disputes linked to late delivery, here are our recommendations: 

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            In Switzerland, the seller’s liability for defects in goods applies to all sellers of goods, whether they are selling to consumers or businesses, and whether they are professionals or private individuals. 

            Here are the different rules governing this responsibility: 

            1. The seller is liable for defects even if he is not at fault or was unaware of them. 
            2. Although the seller’s liability is often limited, there are limits. 
            3. The contract of sale must not only regulate how the transaction will proceed if all goes well, but above all must provide for and resolve in advance all issues relating to defects, their discovery, repair and the buyer’s rights, as well as limiting these rights as far as possible. 
            4. The absence of a written sales contract does not mean that you, as the seller, do not undertake to guarantee the quality of the goods sold. 

            Any private individual who sells second-hand goods privately is also affected, since the seller’s liability is not reduced in the case of used goods, but specific safeguards can and must be stipulated in the contract. 

            Main rules governing the seller’s liability for defects 

            The following is a list of the main legal rules on the seller’s liability for defects in Switzerland. Here are the main points to bear in mind: 

            In the event of cancellation of the sale, if the defective item has perished as a result of its defects or an act of God, the buyer is only obliged to return what remains of the item. For the rest, the buyer is obliged to keep the item and examine it regularly, and cannot simply return it to the seller without further formality. 

            Liability for defects passes to the buyer at the time of transfer of risk. The time specified in the contract – for example, handover to the carrier or delivery – is decisive. After this point, the seller is not liable for the loss, damage, theft or destruction of the goods. 

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            Recommendations

            In this final section, we’ll give you some recommendations on how best to manage your liability for defects as a seller in Switzerland. Here is our advice: 

            All these options are available in our various sales contract models.

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