Tech Support

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

How does the PlanetBids vendor portal work?

PlanetBids is a web-enabled procurement and electronic bidding system, implemented in order to provide better service and convenience to vendors. In order for the system to work effectively, you must register online. As a registered and approved vendor in the system, you will be automatically notified of Bid Alerts that match the categories you have entered in your vendor profile. You may, at any time, search for the latest contracting opportunities available, request and download documents, and bid electronically (if applicable) on all open requests up until bid closing. Best of all, this service is offered to vendors for free!

I do not have Adobe Flash installed. How can I use your system?

Adobe Flash is required in order to use any of the PlanetBids vendor portals.

I am not receiving emails.

  1. Please check your spam and junk mail folders to make sure the emails have not gone there.
  2. Log in to your profile and ensure that you typed your email address in correctly.
  3. If you still have not received the emails, please have your IT department "white list" the domain @planetbids.com to ensure that the notifications are not being blocked.

Do you have a list of all of the Agencies that you do business with?

For a partial list of Agencies using the PlanetBids System, please go to http://home.planetbids.com and click the Clients button.

You can view a comprehensive list of our Agencies by signing up for VendorLine. VendorLine is a paid service (only $199/year) that has several useful features.
  1. Streamlines the registration process. You create a single VendorLine profile with all of your information, then simply click "Register Now" next to any Agency you wish to do business with from a complete list of Agencies using the PlanetBids system.
  2. VendorLine also provides you with access to all currently open bids in the PlanetBids system.
  3. You will be sent daily bid notifications from all PlanetBids Agencies based on keywords you type into your profile.
  4. You can also search through VendorLine with keywords, as well, and this will populate a list of currently open bids that match your keywords based on their project title, category descriptions, or the scope of services.
  5. For more information regarding VendorLine, you can visit http://home.planetbids.com/vendors/ or http://www.vendorline.com/.

How do I get notifications of bid opportunities from PlanetBids?

There are two different ways that you can receive bid notifications from PlanetBids.
Free:
Register directly with the Agency that you wish to do business with. Based on the categories that you select during registration, you will automatically receive notifications via email when a bid is issued.
Fee Based:
Register with VendorLine. VendorLine is a service that will notify you of new bids based on the Keywords and Categories that you select when registering. On a nightly basis, the system will cross reference your keywords against the Scope of Services, Category Description, and Project Name of every new bid issued by all Agencies using PlanetBids.. If there is a match, you will receive a notification first thing in the morning. For more information on VendorLine, please go to www.vendorline.com

Do you need VendorLine to access bids?

No, it is an additional service offered by PlanetBids that simplifies the registration process and allows vendors to receive bid notifications from all PlanetBids Agencies, without registering with them directly. However, you can register with an Agency directly in their vendor portal for free.

Bid Opportunities

How do I view an Agency’s bids?

To view an Agency’s bids, please go to the Agency's vendor portal and click “Bid Opportunities”. This will take you to a list of all of the Agency's bids.

How will I know when there is a new bid request that matches the services we provide?

Registered vendors are notified automatically, via email, if the category code(s) used by the Agency in a new, issued bid request matches the category code(s) you've selected in your vendor profile. If a match occurs, you will automatically be notified via an email with the subject "Bid Alert".

You may also check the Agency’s “Bid Opportunities” section at any time to view bids that have been issued. A list of codes used by the Agency for the bid will be listed. If you did not receive a notice, you may wish to update your profile with the appropriate code(s) to ensure future notifications.

How do I search for current or past bid listings?

There are two ways to search for current or past listings from the Bid Opportunities page:
  1. Simply click "Search" and a complete list of all current and past bids available for viewing will be listed.
  2. To do an advanced search, enter your search criteria and click "Search". The results can be organized in ascending or descending order by clicking on a column header.
  3. Double click on the bid title to view the bid information. You can navigate through the tabs at the top of the bid listing to view important bid information.

How do I download documents?

  1. Go to the Documents/Attachments Tab and click “Download Now”. You may be asked to log in, if you have not already done so.
  2. Once you’ve logged in, a Prospective Bidder Detail pop-up will appear.
    1. Double check the information and, if everything is correct, click “Done”. This will add your information to the Prospective Bidders list. You may at any time reassign this bid to another person at your company by changing the information in the Prospective Bidder’s box. All emails for this bid will go to the person listed in the Prospective Bidder’s tab.
  3. Click “Download” next to each file associated with the bid.

How do I order hard copy bid documents?

To order hard copy bid documents, please complete the following steps.
  1. At the bottom of the Documents/Attachments tab click "Order Plans". You will be asked to log in, if you have not already done so.
  2. Review and update the Prospective Bidder Details for this bid request. You can change the contact information for the individual bid here without changing your main profile. Notices regarding the bid will be sent to the updated contact. Once you have reviewed your contact information, click "Done".
  3. Select the document(s) you wish to order and click "Done".
  4. Complete the order form and click "Done". A message will appear in the lower right hand corner if your order was successfully completed.
NOTE: You can check on the status of your order by going to the Prospective Bidders tab and then clicking “My PB Profile” which appears in the upper, right-hand corner of the page. Once your prospective bidder profile is displayed, click on the tab for "Orders".

How do I order electronic bid documents if the Agency is charging a fee for the documents?

To order electronic bid documents please complete the following steps:
  1. At the bottom of the Electronic Documents box, select "Download Now". You will be asked to log in, if you have not already done so.
  2. Review and update the Prospective Bidder Details for this bid request. You can change the contact information for the individual bid here without changing your main profile. Notices regarding the bid will be sent to the updated contact. Once you have reviewed your contact information, click "Done".
  3. Select "Download Now".
  4. Complete the payment form and click "Submit".
  5. Review the payment information and click "Submit" to process, or click "Cancel" to correct the information.
  6. Once your order has been processed, you may print a receipt.
  7. A box will appear with the documents available for download. Click "Download" for each file listed.
Documents can be downloaded or printed at any time after the payment is made.

How can I download electronic bid documents?

To download electronic bid documents, please complete the following steps.
  1. At the bottom of the Electronic Documents box, select "Download Now". You will be asked to log in, if you have not already done so.
  2. Review and update the Prospective Bidder Details for this bid request. You can change the contact information for the individual bid here without changing your main profile. Notices regarding the bid will be sent to the updated contact. Once you have reviewed your contact information, click "Done".
  3. A box will appear with the documents available for download. Click "Download" for each file listed.
  4.  Select "Done" when finished.

How can I download addenda files and acknowledge addenda?

To download addenda files, please complete the following steps on the Addenda/Email Tab.
  1. Log in, if you have not already done so.
  2. Double click on the addendum you wish to download/view and acknowledge.
  3. Double click on the attached file to download.
  4. At the bottom left-hand corner of the addendum box, click Acknowledge. If the Acknowledge button is not available, you have either already acknowledged the addendum or you have not yet logged in.
  5. Select "Done" when finished.

Is there a plan holder’s list for the bid and where can I find it?

You can find the plan holder’s list by opening the bid and then clicking the Prospective Bidders tab.

How do I become a prospective bidder?

Depending upon how the Agency has set up the bid, there are several ways to become a prospective bidder. First open the bid you are interested in and then do one of the following:
  • RSVP for the Pre Bid Meeting (Bid Information Tab)
  • Download documents with an * next to them (Documents/Attachments Tab)
  • Go to the Line Items tab (if there are no documents, this tab will force you to become a Prospective Bidder before you can view the items).
  • Click on “Place eBid”.

I want to remove myself from the Prospective Bidders list.

If you would like to remove yourself from the Prospective Bidders list, click “My PB Profile” on the top, right corner of the page. Then, change your status from Bidder to Non-Bidder. If you choose Non-Bidder, No Communications, you will no longer receive notifications for the bid. Your information will not be fully removed, as the bid must contain a full record of all parties and how they interacted with the bid.

NOTE: If you change your bidding status, only the Agency posting the bid can change your status back to Bidder.

I am a non-bidder but I need to be a bidder. How do I change that?

You must contact the Agency, more specifically the person listed as the contact on the bid, to request that they change your bidder status for you.

How do I ask a question on a bid?

Be sure to log in first and then go to the Q&A tab of the bid you’re interested in. The Q&A submittal deadline will be shown at the top, left corner, under the tabs. If the date and time has not passed, you may click on the “Ask Question” button in the upper right hand corner. You may ask as many questions as necessary. You may edit your question, as well as delete them. Once you have asked all your questions click “Submit”. You will not be able to see your question on that tab until the Agency answers the questions and releases it to all the prospective bidders.

If you do not see this tab, it has not been enabled by the Agency conducting the bid. Refer to the bid documents for further information on how to submit questions.

How do I know if a bid is bidding electronically or by paper?

There are two main areas to find this information:
  1. In the main Bid Opportunities search results, refer to the column labeled Format to determine if the bid is bidding “Electronic Only”, “Paper Only” or “Electronic and Paper”.
  2. Within the bid itself, under the Bid Detail tab, the Response Format will list if the bid is bidding “Electronic Only”, “Paper Only” or “Electronic and Paper”.

What is the difference between bids submitted “Electronic Only”, “Paper Only” or “Electronic and Paper”?

“Electronic Only”- bids must be submitted via the online eBidding system. “Paper Only”- hard copy bids must be submitted directly to the Agency. “Electronic and Paper”- bids may either be submitted via the online eBidding system or hard copy bids sent directly to the Agency.

How does electronic bidding work?

To bid electronically, be sure to have only one instance of the bid open; duplicate windows may result in an incomplete bid. Complete the following steps after opening the bid:
  1. Click "Place eBid", located at the bottom, right-hand corner of the page.
  2. Log in, if you have not already done so.
  3. If applicable, the system will validate that all documents have been downloaded from this site. The system will prompt you to download all documents, if you have not already done so. Refer to the “Download” column to view your download status. Each file must say “Yes”.
  4. If applicable, the system will validate that addenda have been acknowledged. The system will prompt you to acknowledge all addenda if you have not already done so. Refer to the “Addenda & Emails” column to view your acknowledgement status. Each addendum must say “Yes”. Double click on any that say “No” and click the “Acknowledge” button at the bottom left. Click Done. Repeat as necessary. Once complete, click “Place eBid”.
  5. You must accept the Agency's Terms and Conditions in order to continue the eBid processes. For questions regarding the Agency's Terms and Conditions please contact the buyer listed on the bid posting.
  6. You must accept the Welcome message in order to continue with the eBid process. Please be sure to read this message carefully.
  7. Complete the information requested on all the tabs shown in the eBid process. At anytime you may select "Save" to save a Draft of your  eBid. “Save” will lock the page. When returning to a Draft  eBid you must click "Edit" to make changes or updates to your bid.
  8. When your bid is complete, click "Submit". You can then either select "Cancel” to return to the eBid to make changes or select "OK" for submission.
NOTE: Please allow ample time for file upload. Do not close your browser during the submission process.
  1. A confirmation box will appear upon successful completion of your submission. This will include your confirmation number and eBid date/time stamp. You may review and print a copy of your submission by clicking on "Summary". At anytime prior to bid closing you may click "Place eBid" and follow the prompts to edit your submitted  eBid. When returning you must click "Edit" to make changes to your bid. When making an edit to an already submitted  eBid, if the bid closes before you can re-submit, the last fully submitted bid will be presented to the Agency.
For additional questions, you may contact the PlanetBids support team at (818) 992-1771 and press "0".

Why is the “Place eBid” button grayed out?

A restriction has been set on this bid. Only vendors meeting the restrictions are allowed to bid.
  1. Hover your mouse over the Place eBid button to view what restrictions for bidding were placed on this bid.
(Optional) Restrictions related to vendor registration data can be updated by editing your profile.
  1. Go to your Vendor Profile and make any necessary edits required to pass restrictions related to classifications.
  2. Come back to the bid and the classification update will apply.

Where can I update/input our DIR number?

  1. Log in
  2. Click “Vendor Profile”
  3. Go to the “Classifications/Licenses” tab.
  4. Check mark “Registered DIR Public Works Contractor” and then enter your reference number and expiration date.
  5. Click “Save and Exit’.

I need a Pin number for the bid I need to post.

Log in and click ‘Vendor Profile’. In the ‘Company Info’ tab, towards the bottom of the page, check off the box that says "I am authorized to sign bids and offers". Once the box is checked off, click ‘Save & Exit’. Re-enter the profile and click ‘Get Pin’ to have the PIN number sent to the main contact.

What are the respondee and line item fields?

The respondee information is the information of whomever is submitting the bid on behalf of your company. The line item total in the Detail tab calculates based on the unit prices you fill out in the Line Items tab.

What is a response file, cost file, and/or general attachment?

The response file is your main bid proposal.
  • The cost file is the pricing for the items/service(s) requested by the Agency.
  • The general attachments are any other document(s) the Agency is requesting you submit to them.
NOTE: If you need information as to what is included in the proposal (cost file, general attachments, etc.) you must refer to the bid documents or contact the Agency directly.

I can only upload one document/attachment.

The Agency sets the number of documents you may upload in each bid. If you only see one spot for an attachment, you can scan or combine your documents into a zip folder and then upload it, or you can contact the Agency to request an increase in the number of documents that you may upload.

How do I create a zip file?

  1. Hold the CTRL button down and select the files that you wish to place in the zip folder.
  2. After you have selected all the files, release the CTRL button.
  3. Right click with your mouse over one of the files.
  4. A menu will appear, select "Send"
  5. Select "Compressed (zipped) folder".

I am having difficulty uploading attachments.

  1. Click “Place eBid” and accept all messages.
  2. If you are returning to a saved eBid be sure to click “Edit”.
  3. Go to the Attachments tab in the eBid.
  4. Click the “Attach” button and a pop-up will appear.
    1. Click the box labeled File Name to select the file from your computer.
    2. Click the box labeled File Title, to label your file.
    3. Click “Done”.
  5. The file is now “Queued for upload”. Once you save a draft or submit your bid, the file(s) will be uploaded into the system.

I am trying to fill in something in my eBid (line items, attachments, etc.) but it won’t let me click anything.

Please make sure that you have entered the eBid submittal form by clicking on “Place eBid”. If you are in the eBid submittal form be sure to click the “Edit” button in the lower, right-hand corner of the screen.

Can I overwrite my electronic bid?

Yes, at anytime prior to bid closing you may select "Place eBid" and follow the prompts to edit your submitted eBid. When returning, you must click "Edit" to make changes to your bid. When making an edit to an already submitted eBid, if the bid closes before you can re-submit, the last fully submitted bid will be presented to the Agency.

Was my bid submitted successfully?

If you received a confirmation number, then your bid was submitted successfully. You may click on “Summary” within the confirmation box to print a full receipt of your bid submittal. You will also receive a confirmation email. You can also log into the bid at any time and look at your current bid status at the bottom right corner of the bid information tabs. If the bid has not closed, then you can also re-enter the bid to confirm what you have submitted. NOTE: For verbal confirmations please call the Agency directly.

Is there a way to print or export my eBid?

Yes, you may print your eBid by completing the following steps.
  1. Complete your eBid
  2. Click “Submit”
  3. Click the “Summary” button on the Confirmation pop up.
  4. Click “Print”.

My bid has been invalidated, what does this mean?

If an addendum is issued after you have submitted your bid, the bid will be invalidated. Your previous information will be saved as a draft. If necessary, you can adjust your bid based on the information provided in the addendum and then re-submit. Otherwise, if you have no changes/updates to make, simply re-submit your bid information. To re-submit your bid, you must first acknowledge all new addenda, click on “Place eBid” and then either edit your current bid and/or click “Submit”.

Can I withdraw my electronic bid?

Yes, you can withdraw your electronic bid at any time prior to bid closing. Click “Place eBid” to re-enter your submitted bid and then click “Withdraw”.

What about privacy and security of information obtained?

Please refer to the PlanetBids, Inc. privacy and security policies.

I need information on why my bid wasn’t accepted.

All requests for bid submittal information (approvals or failures) must be directed to the Agency conducting the bid.

Are bid results posted to the website, if so, how do I obtain them?

The Agency conducting the bid has full control over the posting of bid results. Electronic bids results may be available immediately upon bid closing, if the Agency so chooses. Paper bid results will be available once the Agency has manually entered them into the system and released them to the public. Some results may be released at a later date or not at all. To check for bid results go to the Bid Results tab for your project. Bid results are listed in order from apparent lowest to highest bidder. The Agency has final determination on awardee(s). Double click on any of the bid results listed for more detail. The Agency has sole discretion on the level of information provided for bid results.

Can we access closed bids and award information?

Yes, if the Agency has released this information you may access closed bids and award information. Open the bid and go to the Bid Results and/or Awards tab.

Can I find bids that have been archived?

No, once an Agency has archived a bid, it is no longer available to the public. You must contact the Agency to ask if they will remove it from their Archives so you may view the information.

How come I cannot access my eBid from months ago?

Once the bid is closed, the Place eBid button in no longer available. If the Agency has made bid results public, you can view the information on the Bid Results tab, however, attachments will not be available. You must request those directly from the Agency.

Vendor Registration and Profile

How do I become a registered vendor?

If you would like to become a registered vendor, please select "New Vendor Registration" from the main vendor portal and complete any mandatory items within each of the tabs. All mandatory fields are denoted by a red asterisk.

Company Info tab: Enter a Username and Password (Tip: write it down to remember). Complete the Company Info. If you do not have an FEI number nor wish to use your SSN, please use the first 9 digits of your company’s phone number. The Main Contact information section will allow you to enter up to two separate email addresses (a main and an alternate) for notifications of projects out to bid.

For those Agencies asking if you’re an authorized signer, only the primary email address will receive a PIN. The PIN may be required when submitting a bid.

Additional Addresses tab: If your company has multiple addresses you may enter them here, if you so choose. Remit Addresses are addresses the Agency should use to mail all payments or invoice inquiries. Order Addresses are addresses the Agency should use for purchase orders.

Classifications/Licenses tab: Please select all that apply. Be sure to enter the registration or certification number where appropriate. To select Contractor Licenses, please click "Add" and select all that apply. License number and expiration date will be mandatory, if a license type is selected.

Other Business Info tab: If you do not know if your company is Exempt from Federal Backup Withholding, please contact the Agency directly. Purchasing Cards are credit cards issued to the buyer at the Agency.

Category/Description tab: Business Description is an optional area for you to describe additional information about your company. Bid notices are not generated based on the information submitted in the description box.

Categories are selected by clicking the "Add" button. You can organize categories by numeric or alphabetical order by clicking on the column header or you can search for them by typing a keyword in the box above to bring up all categories that include the keyword in their title.

Depending upon the Agency, you may have additional tabs to complete. Please read each question on the additional tab(s) and select yes or no. You may select no and come back later to change it to yes. Selecting yes, will generate an additional list of questions you will need to complete.

When you are done completing the vendor registration form, click "Register" at the bottom right corner of the page to submit your profile. Registration is immediate; you do not need to wait for a confirmation email to log in or begin using the system.

I am trying to register and the system states that I need a valid email even though it is valid.

Check to ensure that there are no blank spaces, before or after, the email address. If you are still receiving an error message, try highlighting the entire field, delete it, and then re-entering your email address.

Can I have more than one email address?

Yes, within your vendor profile, in the “Company Info” tab under the “Main Contact” section, you can enter a main email address, as well as an alternate email address for bid notifications.

Can I save my registration and come back to finish it later?

There is no Save function for the main vendor profile until all required information has been completed. You can leave the page open and, as long as your browser or computer is not shut off, your information will not be deleted.

Exceptions: If you are completing the Prequalification Tab on Vendor Registration (not applicable to all Agencies), the Prequalification Tab can be saved incomplete. Be sure all other tabs are complete and click “Register”. You may come back and edit the Prequalification Tab at any time.

How do I know my registration was submitted and do I have to wait for confirmation?

Upon successful registration, the New Registration Confirmation pop-up will appear. You will also receive an email confirmation with your log in information. However, you do not need to wait for the confirmation email to begin using the system.

Can I maintain my own profile on the website?

Yes, once you have completed the registration process, you will be able to make changes to your company profile at any time through our website. From the main portal, simply log in, if you have not already done so, and select "Vendor Profile". Make the necessary changes and click "Save and Exit".

I forgot my username and password.

Click "Log in" if you have not already done so. Click "Forgot", enter your email address, and select "Send Email". An email will be sent to both the primary and alternate email addresses in your profile with your username and password.

Where do I change my username and password or update my profile information?

  1. Log in
  2. Click on “Vendor Profile”
  3. Make all necessary edits and then click “Save and Exit”.

Where can I update/input our DIR number?

  1. Log in
  2. Click on 'Vendor Profile'
  3. Go to the 'Classifications/Licenses' tab.
  4. Check mark “Registered DIR Public Works Contractor”, then enter your reference number and expiration date.
  5. Click “Save and Exit".

How can I confirm that my profile can be found by those looking for prequalified vendors?

The Certified Vendor Search allows the public to search for vendors that have been approved for Prequalification by the Agency.
  1. Log in and click 'Certified Vendors'
  2. Use the search options to find prequalified vendors in the areas you need.

Does PlanetBids use NAICS, NIGP, etc. codes for services?

Each Agency chooses their own category codes. Agencies can use any code system they chose or a combination of different codes.

Prequalification

Can I save my registration and come back to finish it later?

There is no Save function for the main vendor profile until all required information has been completed. You can leave the page open and, as long as your browser or computer is not shut off, your information will not be deleted.

Exceptions: If you are completing the Prequalification Tab on Vendor Registration (not applicable to all Agencies), the Prequalification Tab can be saved incomplete. Be sure all other tabs are complete and click “Register”. You may come back and edit the Prequalification Tab at any time.

How do I re-apply for Prequalification?

  1. Go to the Prequalification tab within your Vendor Profile.
  2. Click the “Re-Apply” button next to the Prequalification status.
  3. Complete your information and then click 'Save & Exit'.

How do I print or retrieve a copy of our certification letter for my records?

  1. Log in and click "Vendor Profile".
  2. Click the tab for your certification.
  3. Click the button labelled "Letter". You can then print this out for your records.

I am having difficulty uploading attachments.

  1. Title: Create a name for your document
  2. File Name: Click on the cell to select a file from your computer.
You may click “Remove” to remove the document selected and upload a new file.

VendorLine

When I register with multiple Agencies, do I need to create a unique username and password for each?

You may use the same username and password for each Agency you register with.

I want a trial.

We do not have a trial period for our system, as there is no fee for registering with a PlanetBids Agency directly.

For VendorLine, which is a paid subscription service PlanetBids offers, while there is no “trial”, you can start your registration and back out once you get to the payment information. This will save a basic profile for you that will allow you to log in and run a keyword search through our Agency bids, to see the types of notifications you will receive and determine if VendorLine is right for you.

I have VendorLine but I can’t log in to view a bid.

Each Agency requires that you are registered directly in their database to do business with them. To add your VendorLine profile information to the Agency’s database, do the following:
  1. Click “Agencies” in the left sidebar of your VendorLine profile. This will take you to a complete list of Agencies using the PlanetBids system.
  2. Click “Register Now” next to any Agency that you would like to do business with. Once that is complete, you can go to the Agency's vendor portal and log in using your VendorLine username/password.

I am on VendorLine and it keeps redirecting me to the log in screen.

Please try one of the following:
  1. Clear your cache/browsing history.
  2. Close out of your browser and then try logging back into VendorLine.
  3. Try using a different browser. If you are using Google Chrome, try going directly to the log in page (http://vendors.planetbids.com/Login.cfm).

I am not receiving Daily Reports.

Daily Reports are based on the keywords that you entered in your profile. On a nightly basis, our system will cross reference your keywords against all the new bids posted that day. If and only if there is a match, will you receive a notification. If there are no new bids that match your criteria, you will not receive a notification that day. If you are not receiving notifications, please add Keywords that would normally be found in the types of projects that you are looking for, in order to start receiving notifications.

Why do I have to register with each Agency separately on VendorLine?

Each Agency requires that you are registered directly within their vendor database to participate in their projects. You can create a profile by clicking on “Register Now” next to each Agency listed on the Agencies page.

You will receive bid notifications from all Agencies using the PlanetBids system, regardless of whether you create a profile or not.

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