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Ways to Buy Goods and Services

Basket with boxed packages

Choose the best way to purchase goods and services for your department.

FinancialLink Department Orders and High Value Requisitions were discontinued as of June 30, 2012. Marketplace is the single tool for creating Purchase Orders. Find out more by:

UCSD offers a variety of ways to purchase goods and services. Use the guidelines below to help you select the right method.


Marketplace, UCSD's one-stop shopping site, is the preferred method of managing your buy-to-pay needs. Marketplace brings your department:

  • A key tool for cost savings based on more efficient processes and strategically sourced contracts (Supplier Search Tool) that include environmentally preferable purchasing practices, small business and designated California suppliers
  • Availability of more than 10 million items from hundreds of suppliers, including STORE and CORE (Core Bio Services), and expanding daily. See a list of suppliers (PDF).
  • A supplier list that includes UC and UCSD contracted suppliers with pricing determined by total cost of ownership (PDF).

Advantages over other purchasing methods include:

  • Shopping is a simple way to find items offered by all suppliers available in Marketplace and place them in your cart.
  • Approving incorporates automatic routing, tracking, full control and accountability.
  • Ordering supports automatic transmission of purchase orders to suppliers, and access to order status.
  • Payment allows index assignment, split-funding, and automatic invoice settlement.
  • Invoice review provides a view of invoices and electronic processing of out-of-tolerance invoices and those exceeding $10,000.

Other methods

If Marketplace doesn't offer the product or service you're looking for, use one of the following methods:

Express Card

Express Card, UCSD's procurement card, is the partner tool to Marketplace. It provides departments a way to purchase and pay for routine, low-cost products and services from suppliers that are not part of Marketplace. Advantages of using the Express Card are:
  • Transaction limit of $4,999, making it more flexible than a Department Order
  • Electronic billing and payment, saving processing time and money

On-campus retailers

Use the recharge process to buy items from on-campus retailers. Because of the low cost per transaction, recharge is the preferred method for purchasing from UCSD departments. Recharge allows for:

  • Simple purchasing using an index number
  • Automatic posting charges to the ledger
  • Quick delivery and easy returns

See a complete list of departments that offer goods and services through recharge.

Surplus Sales

UCSD departments, staff, and the general public can purchase surplus items at Surplus Sales. UCSD Surplus Sales also serves as an outlet to dispose of used, excess UCSD property.


Online or live auctions offer a way of buying equipment and supplies for the University. Each auction vendor has specific requirements for participation that do not always correspond with University regulations. For this reason, requests to participate in auctions are handled on a case-by-case basis.