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Don't Quote Open-Market Items in eBuy

GSA’s eBuy is a Request for Quote (RFQ)/Request for Information (RFI) system designed to allow government buyers to request information, find sources, and request and receive quotes from GSA contractors who have been awarded a Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contract. 

It is important for GSA contractors responding to RFQs/RFIs through eBuy to quote only Schedule contract items through the system.  Contractors should not quote prices for any products or services that have not been awarded on their MAS contract; such items are commonly referred to as “open-market items.”  The purpose of the eBuy system is for quoting Schedule contract items only. 

Why Does It Matter?

The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 8.404(a) states that ordering activities “shall not” seek competition outside of the Schedules Program.  This means that when placing orders against Multiple Award Schedule contracts ordering-activities may not consider or compare open-market items with Schedule items. GSA advises ordering-activities to exclude any open-market quotes they receive through eBuy and consider them nonresponsive.

It is in everyone’s best interest to ensure that all quotes submitted through the eBuy system are for contract items only.  Open-market quotes clog-up the system, waste the contractor’s time in preparing them, and waste the ordering activity’s time in having to sift through them and try to verify if the items are on Schedule or not. 

Quote Only Your Own Offerings

Another eBuy issue that crops up occasionally is where one contractor quotes items from another contractor’s Schedule contract without any formal agreement.  It is not permissible for contractors to sell other contractor’s products or services without an authorized dealer agreement; the dealer’s name and address should be listed on the approved Schedule price list.  If quoting in this situation it is recommended that you provide a copy of such agreement and evidence that it is has been submitted to GSA via the price list so that buyers will be able to understand the relationship.

Contractors may also work together through a Contractor Teaming Arrangement (CTA).  When quoting as a team, the Teaming Agreement document (signed by all parties) should be included as part of the quote.  Under a CTA each contractor is selling its own product or service from its own Schedule contract, though usually one contractor has been named “team leader.”  For more information on CTAs see www.gsa.gov/cta.

Update Your Contact Information

eBuy is a great resource for contractors to receive and respond to RFQs. However, the RFQ can’t be delivered to non-working email addresses.  You should ensure that your contact information is up to date in your eBuy profile so that RFQs may be successfully delivered.

The information in eBuy is populated from GSA Advantage.  You should make sure that your SIP file is current and up-to-date in GSA Advantage so that your company will be visible in eBuy.

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