Buy Furniture

Step by Step

  1. Factors to Consider Prior to Purchase

    Delivery Time
    It is very important to plan ahead and place your orders sufficiently in advance of your requirements. Orders may take up to 90 days or longer to ship after the vendor receives your order. There are some products available through “Quick Ship” which do not have as long of a lead time; however, these items have limitations in terms of: style, dimensions, finish/fabric, and pricing.

    Many low priced products have a limited warranty and lifespan. Some higher priced products come with an extended or lifetime warranty. The life cycle cost of the product is another thing to consider in making your purchasing decision. You should consider the use and user of an item when making decisions about the importance of the warranty.

    Factory Assembled Products
    These products generally have a better warranty coverage and the installation process is much faster. It is important to ensure the assembled products can be delivered to your location. Some areas have small stairways that might preclude the purchase of assembled furniture.

    Difference between veneer and laminate
    Veneer is real wood and is susceptible to scratches and damage. Laminate can look like wood, but it is a plastic product which has a longer life and is sometimes less expensive.


    1. Use of chair (i.e. student, visitor, patient, faculty),
    2. How many hours per day will this chair be used?
    3. Does the chair need to stack or fold when not in use?
    4. If put in storage, how will it be stacked or folded and on what type cart?
    5. What size of person will be using the chair?
    6. Does it need to be mobile with casters?
    7. Is it for use in a 24/hour per day/7 days per week area?
    8. What type of upholstery is desired? (i.e. Fabric, vinyl, leather, or no upholstery)
    9. Chair frame options (i.e. Wood, metal, steel, plastic)
    10. Price and warranty
    11. How quickly do I need it?
    12. Is it going into a LEED certified building?
    13. Is it made of recycled material and/or does it need to be recyclable
  2. Decide What to Purchase

    If you need assistance in selecting furniture, please contact the following:

    1. Contact VCE. They offer an extensive product line and can provide suggestions for your consideration. VCE offers interior design services as well.
    2. Contact local furniture dealerships. They also offer extensive product lines and can provide interior design consultation services.
    3. Contact FMD Planning & Design (Caren Girard 828-0770 or Joyce Foster 828-1826) for assistance with interior design consulting and vendor information.

    NOTE: Interior Design services are typically provided for a fee. Fees are hourly and pre-negotiated.

  3. Where to Purchase

    1. Contracts: Many product lines are available through one or more cooperative contracts; ask your sales representative if the products are available through a contract and which contract affords the best pricing. Listed below are some of the frequently used furniture contracts.


      Enter “furniture” in the contract title block and click on search to get a list of contracts.

      Educational & Institutional Cooperative Purchasing 

      Select “Categories” and then “Furniture” to see a list of manufacturers on contract. The contract summary information is accessed by clicking on the folder next to the manufacturer's name.

    2. Non-Contract Products:
      In the event the products are not available through a contract, there is sufficient competition available in the market. For orders within departmental delegation, it is in your best interest to obtain more than one quote. Ensure that the Vendor's quote includes the following information, in addition to the pricing: delivery / installation time after receipt of order (to include the “Quick Ship” option if desired), delivery / installation costs and warranty period. You can always ask the vendor for a better price than the original quote.
  4. Create a Purchase Order in RealSource

    When creating the purchase order, be sure to create a separate line item for each item, for the applicable quantity and unit price. For large orders, you may create a single line item using a declining balances PO.

Edit | Last updated: 12/16/2021