1212 - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Policy on Solicitation by Sales Representatives



This policy is to ensure that vendors and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ("UNC-Chapel Hill" or "University") departments comply with all State and Federal regulations as well as University policies related to solicitations.

Scope of Applicability

All University Faculty and Staff.


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, University term contracts, by competitive bidding, or the small order process for procurements less than the Small Purchase Benchmark as defined in University Finance Policy 1251: Small Order Policy. 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 the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Purchasing Services to gain an understanding of the rules for conducting business with the University before meeting with prospective customers at their campus location.



Additional Information

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 must be borne by the vendor. Any continuing use of supplies or materials for which the department is expected to pay must be negotiated between the parties in advance and must be handled under a separate purchasing transaction.

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 $11,000 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 the Small Purchase Benchmark must be through competitive bidding or available on an existing State, University, or consortium contract. 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 their company had taken over all the maintenance contracts from XYZ Company with whom we have all our contracts. Do I just take their 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. The representative 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 must not be tolerated. Explain to the dean that the only way to properly handle this is to contact Purchasing Services for guidance.

Related Requirements

External Regulations and Consequences

University Policies, Standards, and Procedures

Contact Information

Policy Contact
Subject Contact Telephone Fax E-Mail
Solicitation by Vendors Purchasing Services 919-962-3774 919-962-0636 Purchasing_team@unc.edu



  • May 10, 2022
  • December 9, 2020
  • May 13, 2019
  • February 28, 2018
  • July 13, 2010
  • November 14, 2003
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Article ID: 131409
Thu 4/8/21 9:08 PM
Sun 8/28/22 12:28 PM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Finance and Budget
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Director of Purchasing Services
Policy Contact
Person who handles document management. Best person to contact for information about this policy. In many cases this is not the Issuing Officer. It may be the Policy Liaison, or another staff member.
Next Review
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07/01/2025 12:00 AM
Last Review
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05/10/2022 3:10 PM
Last Revised
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05/10/2022 3:10 PM
Effective Date
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07/01/2022 3:10 PM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
07/01/1993 12:00 AM