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Policies and Procedures

Policy 711 – Return of Merchandise to Vendors

July 1, 1996
Last Updated
October 6, 2014
Last Reviewed
October 6, 2014
Responsible University Officer
Director of Logistics
Responsible Unit

Policy Statement

Returns of materials or equipment acquired with a purchase order require authorization from the vendor and documentation in the purchase order system in order for the University department to receive credit for the return.

Reason for Policy

Complete purchase order records need to be retained, including changes resulting in returns to vendors or credits.


Returns of items purchased with a P-Card, Campus Voucher or through the eProcurement system are completed by the individual department, which contacts the vendor directly to make arrangements. Returns of items purchased through eProcurement may be accomplished through the vendor section of the Procurement Services website.

Special Situations



  • 711.1 - Returning Merchandise to Vendors

Additional Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: The equipment my department purchased is defective. It was purchased through a purchase order. How do we get a new machine?
A: See Procedure 711.1 for instructions. Your purchasing agent can also provide guidance.

Q: After returning an item to a vendor, my department's credit has not been received. It was purchased through a purchase order. What are my remedies?
A: Contact your purchasing agent. If your purchasing agent is contacted at the beginning of the return process, credit documentation will be more complete, resulting in a more efficient credit/refund process.

Q: My department bought an item from Staples and wishes to return it. Where do we start?
A: The Staples eProcurement website has an order management section. Select order management and follow the returns prompts. You will be able to select the item from your order that you wish to return. A Staples courier will pick up your return item. Other Procurement vendors have similar procedures, although pickup policies will vary.

Q: My department needs to return a huge item requiring special handling. Can Central Receiving provide help?
A: Upon request, Central Receiving is available to pick up bulky items and facilitate returns if necessary.

Related Data



Purchasing Purchasing Services - Goods 919-962-2251 919-962-0636


October 1, 2014: Updated references to Campus Vouchers and eProcurement.
May 25, 2010
November 17, 2003