When an issue of bonds is offered for sale and for which the intending buyers must submit "sealed bids," such buyers must state clearly in writing what they will pay for the bonds, in accordance with the conditions imposed by the seller. The buyer, usually, adds such conditions regarding the legality of the issue, etc., as may seem to him wise. Most issues of municipal bonds are sold in this way. The "sealed bids" must all be in by a fixed date and should properly be opened in the presence of those authorized to make the sale, and, so far as may be, at the same time. This ensures all bidders being treated alike. After opening the bids the bonds are "awarded," or sold, to the highest responsible bidder who is given a reasonable time to satisfy himself as to their being as advertised, and valid. Sometimes a deposit is required of a certain amount in cash, or its equivalent, with each bid, which is called a "forfeit." It is customary to use for this purpose a "certified check" for the amount required, and made payable, for instance, as follows: "Pay to the city of New Orleans, when accompanied by one hundred thousand dollars, par value, of legally issued bonds of the said city" -describing the bonds. This prevents the use of the check by the city in case it cannot, or does not, comply with the conditions as to legality imposed by the bidder.

The question of the proper wording of a "sealed bid" has been much discussed and different forms are in use, but after describing the issue, for which the bid is being submitted, the following wording may be used as a protection to the bidder.

"The usual papers evidencing the legality of the issue satisfactorily to our attorneys to be furnished us prior to our taking up and paying for the bonds."

It is not unusual for municipalities, in advertising for sale an issue of bonds upon which sealed bids will be received, to reserve the right to reject any or all bids. This safeguards them against the necessity of making a sale, provided no satisfactory bid is received,