711 – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Policy on Return of Merchandise to Vendors



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


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.


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

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 BuyCarolina 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 Requirements

External Regulations and Consequences


University Policies, Standards, and Procedures

  • Finance Procedure 711.1 - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Procedure on Returning Merchandise to Vendors

Contact Information

Policy Contact
Subject Contact Telephone Fax E-Mail
Purchasing ePro & Materials Management 919-962-0739 919-962-6271 eprovendors@unc.edu


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


Article ID: 131548
Thu 4/8/21 9:11 PM
Tue 3/5/24 9:17 AM
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.
02/28/2018 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, eProcurement & Materials Mgmt
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
03/04/2024 12:00 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
02/28/2018 12:00 AM
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
02/28/2019 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