However, sometimes one of the parties prepares a document believing it to be a valid and enforceable agreement only to find, after expensive litigation, that it was not a binding agreement at all but merely a non_binding, non_enforceable agreement to agree, letter of intent."
So let's sum things up: The LOI and similar documentary terms, are non standard, confusing, and lead to ambiguity. Documentary ambiguity is referred to in trade law as a condition "The Battle of the Forms" in which confusion from contradictory and ambiguous forms and documents damages the transaction. This should be avoided. To seasoned corporate traders and bankers, using terms like "Letter of Intent" is the mark of amateurs. What you properly want is an RFQ, request for quotation, from a seller or supplier. The seller may then reply to your RFQ with a quote OR full offer if they wish.