Frequently Asked Questions

1. To do business with a vendor, do they have to be in RU Marketplace before I start the requisition process?

Yes. The vendor must be in RU Marketplace in order to start the requisition process. If you need to add a new supplier, please complete the Supplier Maintenance form under the Shared Forms section in RU Marketplace.

2. Do I have to use a contracted preferred supplier?

No, but we strongly encourage you to use contracted preferred suppliers as your first choice. The university’s commitments to these suppliers grant quantity pricing,which benefits all departments.  When you buy through preferred supplier contracts, in most cases, you do not have to obtain additional quotations or use the competitive bid process. 

3. I found a lower price for an item I am looking to purchase. Can I order the item based on it being cheaper?

In general, departments should use the university's contracted vendors for purchases. Contact the appropriate University Procurement Services staff person if you have a question about purchasing a specific product from a non-contracted vendor.

4. How can I find out which Procurement Services buyer handles my commodity?

Check the Business Services, Information Technology, Professional Services, Facilities, and Research and Scientific pages to find lists of the commodities handled by each of our five buying category teams, along with the buying team's contact information.

5. How long will it take to process my requisition?

The time it takes to process your requisition depends on the nature of the items you are purchasing and how long it takes your department to work through the approval process in RU Marketplace. Once your department approves the requisition, you may track its status on the Procurement Inquiry page in RU Marketplace.

6. What types of requisitions require special approval?

Some categories require additional approval due to the nature of the purchase. Refer to the Purchasing Policy 20.1.11 (PDF) to see a list of special approval categories.

7. What do I do if a vendor gives me an agreement to sign?

Do not sign any agreement. You should forward any agreement requiring signature to Procurement for signature and include the requisition number that corresponds to it. Departments do not have authority to sign supplier agreements on behalf of the University. If you have any questions, contact the Contract Management team.

8. What is the dollar threshold for competitive bids?

See Section IV in the Purchasing Policy 20.1.11 (PDF) for details about competitive bidding.

9. What happens if there are no competitive sources available for my purchase or if there is a reason why my purchase cannot be bid?

We refer to this as a "sole source" situation. Where there are no competitive sources available, you must complete a Sole/Single Source Procurement form (DOC). This waiver of competitive bidding is also required when an emergency or economic reason exists.

10. A vendor contacted me saying they have not received my purchase order. Should I resend the purchase order?

Do not attempt to resend a purchase order as it may result in the vendor duplicating the order. Instead, please look at the history of the purchase order in RU Marketplace to make sure we have dispatched the purchase order. If it has been dispatched and the vendor has not received it, contact the appropriate Procurement Services staff member.

11. I ordered items some time ago and I have not received them yet. What should I do?

Contact the vendor via phone or email to inquire about delivery status of the order. If there appears to be a problem with the order, contact the Purchasing buyer that processed the purchase order for guidance.

12. Is it ok if the vendor sends me an invoice and I forward it to the Accounts Payable team for processing?

Departments should not be receiving invoices from vendors and then forwarding them to the Accounts Payable team on the vendors' behalf. This only slows the payment process. Purchase orders clearly state that it is vendors' responsibility to send invoices to the Accounts Payable team.

13. Is Rutgers University tax exempt?

Yes, university purchases are exempt from the payment of New Jersey sales and use tax. Contact the appropriate Buyer if a supplier questions the university’s exemption.