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Contracts, Purchasing & Surplus Inventory

Material Return to Vendor Procedure

Prior to shipment, Departments must obtain vendor authorization to return any material/equipment. Materials being returned to vendors for repair, credit, refund, replacement or exchange must also be insured for the full value of the goods. Any items damaged, or lost in transit becomes the responsibility of the party retaining ownership during transit. Returns must be documented so that adequate return information is provided to Accounts Payable for processing of payments and credits and so that vendor instructions are followed to prevent rejection of the returned goods by the vendor.

If the incorrect material delivery is due to a department ordering error, the vendor is under no obligation to accept the return and may impose a restocking charge. The buyer will negotiate to reduce this charge whenever possible. This restocking charge will be the responsibility of the requesting department.

When an item is to be shipped from the CWU campus for return, repair or any other reason, the procedures outlined below must be followed:

  • Notify the Purchasing Department first.
  • Purchasing will work with the end user to coordinate the return and replacement of the items in question. The department will be instructed to contact the vendor for a return material authorization (RMA) number and to prepare a Return/Repair to Vendor form, and to notify the Central Receiving Department to return the goods to the vendor.
  • The Central Receiving Department will take the necessary steps to forward the goods according to the instructions on the Return/Repair to Vendor form. When necessary, the Central Receiving Department can arrange for special packaging; however, we recommend that the responsibility for proper packaging remain with the department.

If the return is required due to vendor error, a UPS call tag should be requested, this way the vendor pays for return shipping costs. Please provide a 5-digit project code on the Return/Repair to Vendor form when return shipping costs are the department's responsibility. Returns are to be routed to the Central Receiving Department. Materials and equipment valued up to $100.00 are insured automatically. Additional insurance can be purchased, and paid for by the department on items whose value exceeds $100.00. Items may also be shipped next day or second day air for additional fees. Contact Central Receiving at X1657 for more information regarding insuring items.

Departments must notify Purchasing of any change to a purchase order due to a return, so that Purchasing may issue a change order.

Departments receiving credit memos for the return of merchandise should forward them to Accounts Payable with complete information including the purchase order number. Accounts Payable will use this credit memo on the next payment to the vendor and credit the original account and project. If a credit memo is not used within a reasonable time, Accounts Payable will request a cash refund from the vendor and credit the original purchase order account and project. (Note: Some companies will not give cash refunds.)

Remember to notify Asset Management (x2157) of any changes of capital inventory status due to returns or exchanges.

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