1279 - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Policy on Purchasing Used Equipment



This policy conveys the requirements for the purchase of used equipment to ensure compliance with State of North Carolina procurement rules.

Scope of Applicability

Applies to all University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ("UNC-Chapel Hill" or "University") personnel.


Policy Statement

Although it is generally considered to be in the best interest of the University to purchase only new equipment, used equipment may be purchased if it is determined to be most advantageous for the intended purpose. Before proposing an acquisition of used equipment, departments should research new equipment prices, seek out multiple sources and quotes for the used equipment, and compare warranty provisions with that of new equipment.

When a department has a special need for a particular used item, discuss the proposed rationale for the acquisition with the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Purchasing Services. If it is agreed upon that a used equipment purchase is appropriate, the department must submit a requisition including all details of the item involved, such as:

  • Model number
  • Serial number
  • Condition
  • Age
  • Current new acquisition cost
  • Proposed used cost
  • Warranty information

A justification memorandum detailing the rationale for the purchase as discussed with Purchasing Services must accompany the requisition. Purchasing Services will determine whether the purchase can be approved as a sole-source purchase or if it must be competitively bid.

When demonstration equipment is offered at reduced prices under new-warranty conditions, other known vendors must be offered an opportunity to quote on similar equipment.



Additional Information

Special Situations


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Dr. Smith has located a used microscope that Dr. Smith wishes to purchase to save the department money. Is it possible to purchase a used microscope?
A: You must submit your request on a Purchase Requisition to Purchasing Services. Used equipment is subject to the competitive bidding process. If applicable, also send a Finance Form 1232.1.1f - Waiver of Competition form ("sole source") and a price quotation for a comparable new piece of equipment with the requisition to show it is in the best interest of the State to purchase the used equipment.

Q: How long will it take to get a purchase order for a piece of used equipment?
A: Once the requisition is approved and received in Purchasing Services and all the necessary paperwork is attached, the length of time is the same as that of any other order.

Q: Why does Purchasing Services require another quote if one was provided by the department?
A: Any request of more than the Small Purchase Benchmark, as defined in Finance Policy 1251: Small Order Policy, requires solicitation of bids with the University's terms and conditions including freight and Freight on Board (FOB) shipment terms.

Related Requirements

External Regulations and Consequences

University Policies, Standards, and Procedures

Contact Information

Policy Contact
Subject Contact Telephone Fax E-Mail
Purchasing Used Equipment Purchasing Services - Goods 919-962-3774 919-962-0636 purchasing_team@unc.edu



  • May 10, 2022
  • March 4, 2020
  • March 5, 2018
  • February 28, 2018
  • January 3, 2018: Updated FAQ on purchase of used microscope, adding Waiver of Competition Information
  • October 6, 2014
  • October 1, 2014: Updated references to requisitions.
  • June 9, 2005


Article ID: 131459
Thu 4/8/21 9:09 PM
Sun 8/28/22 2:35 PM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
07/01/2022 12:00 AM
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
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
05/10/2022 12:00 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
05/10/2022 12:00 AM
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
07/01/2025 12:00 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
07/01/1996 12:00 AM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Finance and Budget