Understanding Our Buying Process

As outlined in Rutgers' purchasing policy, we employ a competitive bidding process that helps provide the university with the best value, ensures fair and ethical relationships with suppliers, and helps us comply with state and federal regulations.

About 85% of the 180,000 orders we process each year are simple enough or small enough for you and your department to handle in RU Marketplace without the aid of our staff. Requisition orders that involve more complex or more expensive purchases require a bit more work before they can be fulfilled.

Contracted Suppliers

Keep your shopping streamlined and simple. We continually negotiate contracts with suppliers to gain the best prices for commonly used goods and services. In RU Marketplace, you will see prominent "tiles" that take you to the "punch-out" catalogs of these suppliers. By buying from them, you save the university and your department money and save yourself time and work.

Our Competitive Bidding Process

When the costs for requested goods or services hit certain dollar thresholds, it triggers the competitive bidding process:

  • Below $5,000

For goods and services below $5,000, departments may generally purchase directly from a supplier through the use of a quick order. There are some restricted items, such as animals and biological agents, that, regardless of cost, require Procurement Services approval. 

  • Between $5,001 and $49,999

If your potential purchase will cost more than $5,000 but less than $50,000, we will work with you to obtain three competitive quotations for the service or supply of goods. If you know your request will come in between these monetary thresholds, you can also assemble the quotations yourself and submit them when you make your initial requisition order.  If you do not select the low bidder, you must supply a written justification with the requisition to explain the reason(s) the low bidder was bypassed and the higher bidder selected.

  • Above $50,000

If your potential purchase price for goods and services will be above $50,000, contact the appropriate category team at the start. We'll work on getting formal bids from multiple suppliers.

To initiate a Request for Proposal (RFP) with University Procurement Services, please complete the Rfx form which is available in the Rutgers Marketplace in the Shared Forms Folder under Supplemental Forms. When completing the Rfx form, departments should provide a detailed scope of work, suggested suppliers, evaluation committee members and identify a single point of contact to work with Procurement. Upon submittal, the Rfx form will be routed to the appropriate Category Manager who will assign a member of the buying staff to work directly with the departmental contact through the RFP process. See more details on the RFP process.

Sole Source Suppliers

Is my purchase a sole source?

While most goods or services purchased at the University with a value of $5,000 or more are competitively bid, there are times when the good or service being purchased cannot be quoted from multiple vendors, and can only be purchased from one supplier.

Some reasons for sole source:

  • Goods or services can be purchased from only one supplier
  • Highly technical services in connection with assembly, installation or servicing of equipment, or an original equipment manufacturer
  • Patented equipment

If you need assistance determining whether your item is a sole source, please the University Procurement Services category team.

If your good is sole-sourced, please review the sole source process.

Check Requests

We issue purchase orders to handle the majority of requisitions that come to us, but in a few select instances, we handle requests by issuing checks.

University departments generate check requests through RU Marketplace. You must supply supporting documentation and an explanation of all charges when you make a check request. They system routes the request to University Accounting to process and issue payment to a supplier. See more details on the check request process.