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Overview: Buying and Paying for Goods

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Methods for Buying and Paying for Goods at Stanford

There are multiple methods for purchasing goods at Stanford.

Use this method: When / if:
Amazon Business
via iProcurement system

You want to use the Amazon open-market user experience with an ever-expanding product selection.

via iProcurement system

You are buying any of the 4 million+ products available at Stanford-negotiated prices.

  ° Electronic payment happens automatically.
  ° See list of SmartMart suppliers and their product categories, or access SmartMart catalog via iProcurement on your Oracle home page.

Purchasing Card
via PCard module of Oracle Financials system

Items are not available in SmartMart, supplier accepts credit cards and purchase is under $ 5,000.

Zip Purchasing
(Non-Catalog Requisition) via iProcurement system

Items are not available in SmartMart, purchase is $5,000 or more, or when Stanford funds are used to rent, borrow, or use a product or services for a specific period of time of greater than one month. Supplier invoices Stanford Accounts Payable.

Non-PO Payment Request
via Expense Requests system

You need Stanford to cut a check to pay a supplier directly for certain types of expenses that do not require a formal purchase order, or for which negotiation by the Purchasing department adds no value, e.g., government fees, permits, etc.

May be used for food / catering when a signed agreement is not required by either party.

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Use of Strategic Suppliers

Stanford partners with key suppliers to ensure best pricing and service for commonly ordered goods. Use these strategic suppliers when buying:

  • Lab Coats: Cintas via Zip Purchasing (Non-Catalog Requisition)
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Purchases Requiring Review by Contracts Group

Stanford's Terms and Conditions as stated on Purchase Orders sufficiently constitute the contractual agreement between Stanford and the supplier in most cases. In some cases, however, special terms and conditions and/or a bilaterally signed agreement may be required to protect Stanford. Cases related to the purchase of goods may include:

  • loan of equipment or other tangible items
  • commissioned work when the results for the work may be copyrighted
  • blanket purchase orders, where goods are delivered repeatedly over time

See Overview: Purchases Requiring a Bilateral Contract.

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Purchases Requiring Special Consideration / Treatment

Purchase of certain goods requires understanding of specific policy. Examples include:

Goods Special Considerations / Treatment
Alcoholic Beverages / Alcohol with Business Meal
  • must be charged to unallowable expenditure type and unrestricted PTA
Alcohol for Research Use
  • must use Animal Requisition Form (Restricted personnel only)
  • may not be paid for with Petty Cash or Purchasing Card
Capital Equipment
Hazardous Materials

TIP:  Use the Buy Pay Guide and look for the caution symbol Caution - See also: Payments to Scholars, Residents, Fellows for need–to–know policy when buying certain services.

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Related Information

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