Have you ever bid a boundary recovery using only the available information .... Like, metes and bounds deed, recorded survey map, GIS data, and aerial photography? If so, how'd that work out for ya?
Every time someone asks me to "BID" a boundary survey, I tell them "one million dollars!"
So far so good, they haven't called back yet!
Our estimates are based on experience in a specific neighborhood, so many times we have even less than what you listed. But, I would never shoot from the hip in a location where I have zero previous knowledge. NEVER.
I too give a lot of ESTIMATES based on experience and what is of record in the area. If someone is shopping prices, I tend to spend 5 minutes educating them on what they should be looking for, and why I won't be the cheapest price. If someone is looking for a formal proposal for a large scale survey, I'll give them a written quote, and if they want a fixed fee I'll provide one, but I always lay out what the price includes so they can evaluate the final product against other proposals. I often do those based on record info and Google Street view, and local knowledge of course. If there is any question in my mind I go look at it, or pass on it, or both.
I tell my employees all the time that we're here to be the best in town, not the cheapest, and I stand by that.
I use the term "a number to put into your budget" when callers want me to bid or give them a price or any mention about how much any survey will cost.
Never have understood why anyone gives so much attention by getting into a bidding war over gaining work to lose money.