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How to Become a Marketplace Shopper

Learn how to become authorized to purchase items for your department in Marketplace.


When purchasing goods and services, two key roles come into play:

  • Professional Buyer's role: The Chief Procurement Officer has the ultimate authority to purchase goods and services for UC San Diego. The Chief Procurement Officer can delegate to departments the authority to buy certain goods and services. In departments, this responsibility falls on department buyers.

  • Department buyer's role: A department buyer has the delegated authority to purchase materials, supplies, services, and repairs when these goods and services:
    • Don't exceed their delegated threshold ($500, $2,500, or $5,000), including tax, freight, and handling charges
    • Don't qualify as equipment
    • Aren't for restricted items
    • Don't require a signed contract

Department buyers receive purchasing authority by delegation from their department's BUMT Administrator, who receives authority from the Chief Procurement Officer, who receives authority from the Regents and President of the University of California. With this authority, department buyers must comply with all applicable federal, state, and university policies and procedures.

Policy violations

Department buyers who violate policy may be subject to disciplinary action including written warnings, mandatory training, loss of purchasing authority, probation, termination, and criminal prosecution.

Examples of activities that violate policy include purchases that:

  • Are fraudulent transactions
  • Are made by non-authorized employees
  • Use unauthorized buying methods i.e. a valid Purchase Order or Express Card is not provided to the supplier at the time of purchase
  • Exceed the buyer's authorization
  • Consist of restricted goods or services
  • Are for personal use or benefit
  • Violate policy on employee-vendor relationships
  • Involve signing a contract that commits funds for purchase


Department buyers' responsibilities include placing orders by using the following processes:


Purchasing Authorizations and Training

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  • Department Administrators:
    • Department Administrators must take the Marketplace Dept Administrator eCourse through the UC Learning Center. To find these courses, type "business unit management" in the search box.
  • Approvers:
    • Approvers can take the Marketplace Approvers eCourse through the UC Learning Center. To find these courses, type "marketplace approvers" in the search box.
  • Shoppers & Buyers
    • Buying Goods & Services 101 and 102 in-person courses are available. To find these courses through the UC Learning Center, type "buying goods & services" in the search box. 


Obtaining Access

Express Card Holder


  • Express Card Cardholder Training Tutorial
    If your department has approved you to receive an Express Card, you must take this tutorial to receive your card. Visit the UC Learning Center and use the course catalog or search box to find Express Card Cardholer Orientation.


For more information, see How to Become an Express Card Cardholder.

Express Card Department Administrator (ECDA)


  • Express Card Administrator Training
    You must take this course to be a delegated Express Card Department Administrator (EDCA) who is responsible for managing the use of the Express Card program in your department. Visit the UC Learning Center and use the course catalog or search box to find Express Card Department Administrator course.


Resource Links


  • Express Card: Contact the Express Card team through ASK (login required). You can also visit Express Card.
  • Marketplace: Contact the Procurement Help Desk through ASK (login required) or (858) 534-9494.

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