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Policies and Procedures

Policy 1212 – Solicitation by Sales Representatives

July 1, 1993
Last Updated
July 13, 2010
Responsible University Officer
Director of Purchasing Services
Responsible Unit
Purchasing Services

Policy Statement

Unsolicited and/or non-approved solicitations of University business by outside sales representatives are unwarranted and not desired. The University follows the State policy that requires goods and services be obtained from either State term contracts, by competitive bidding, or the small order process for procurements less than $5,000. In order to conduct formal business with the University, a sales representative must first register with the State of North Carolina to participate in the formal bid process. Prospective vendors are required to first make contact with Purchasing Services to gain an understanding of the rules for conducting business with the University before meeting with prospective customers at their campus location.

Reason for Policy

This policy is to ensure that vendors and University departments comply with all State and Federal regulations as well as University policies related to solicitations.



Special Situations

    • It is not permissible for a department to receive materials on consignment pending issuance of a confirming purchase order.
    • Receipt of equipment for demonstration purposes is permissible, provided no obligation is made to the vendor to purchase the equipment. A zero dollar purchase order needs to be in place to ensure that any and all costs for such things as transportation, set-up, tear-down, and insurance for the safety of the equipment are the responsibility of the vendor. Any costs for initial supplies or materials to be used for the demonstration shall be borne by the vendor. Any continuing use of supplies or materials for which the department is expected to pay shall be negotiated between the parties in advance and shall be handled under a separate purchasing transaction.


  • None

Additional Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: We just received a flyer from the Widgets Company offering us a great deal on some items we need for our lab. The price of each item is $6,000 which is at least $1,000 below anything we have found on state contract. Is it permissible for us to call and place an order with them over the phone to make sure we don’t miss the deal?
A: No. Any purchase greater than $5,000 must be through competitive bidding. If the Widgets Company has not registered with the State of North Carolina as a vendor, the University would not recommend you do business with them.

Q: A sales representative called to say his company had taken over all the maintenance contracts from XYZ Company with whom we have all our contracts. Do I just take his word for this and create new purchase requisitions to establish contracts with his company?
A: Tell the sales representative to contact the Associate Director of Purchasing Services for instructions. You should take no action until notified by Purchasing Services.

Q: My dean just returned from lunch with a representative from The Big Drug Company. He told the dean we could get huge discounts on all our lab supplies if we would place an initial order for $100,000. The only way to get this past Purchasing Services is to split the order into multiple orders but I have heard this is not legal. How can I comply with the dean’s wishes and keep my job?
A: The splitting of requirements to circumvent competition is unlawful and shall not be tolerated. Explain to the dean that the only way to properly handle this is to contact Purchasing Services for guidance.

Related Data

1231 - Solicitation of Bids and Quotations
- Product and Service Demonstrations by Vendors
- Evaluation of Equipment by Departments


Solicitation by Vendors Purchasing Services 919-962-3774 919-962-0636


July 13, 2010
November 14, 2003