Procurement Services maintains a purchasing program between VCU and Amazon Business that allows RealSource users to shop Amazon’s wide selection of products through a dedicated e-catalog. Shoppers may take advantage of Amazon’s competitive prices for non-contracted goods on orders up to $10,000. Shopping for goods on Amazon Business through the RealSource punch-out e-catalog is as user-friendly as shopping on Amazon.com.
Additional benefits include:
- Free 2 Day shipping on Amazon Prime-eligible items
- Automatic tax-exempt purchasing
- Access to millions of products only available through Amazon Business
- Business-specific pricing, including quantity discounts on eligible items
- Access to the Amazon Business Customer Service Team
- Amazon Business membership charges are centrally funded through Procurement Services
Department users who wish to shop with Amazon can access the e-catalog by navigating to RealSource and selecting the Amazon Business logo from the home page. Follow the prompts to set up an account. After establishing their account, users may shop with Amazon through RealSource the same as they would any catalog vendor.
Because access to RealSource is determined by employees' email and credentials, pre-existing Amazon accounts made using VCU emails must be converted under the university's account. This process is quick and easy. Users should follow one of two registration methods depending on how they used their pre-existing Amazon account:
- Registered with an “@vcu.edu” address, but made NO personal purchases on the account
Refer to “Scenario 2” in the the Registration Guide for registration instructions
- Registered with an “@vcu.edu” address, AND made personal purchases on the account
Refer to “Scenario 3” in the the Registration Guide for registration instructions
Q: Does the VCU Amazon Business punch-out catalog have the same functionality as Amazon.com?
A: Yes, the RealSource interface is virtually identical to Amazon.com. However, VCU's Amazon Business Prime account as well as the punch-out catalog are accessed exclusively through RealSource.
Q: Can I buy gift cards in the Amazon Business punch-out catalog?
A: No. Because Amazon does not accept purchase orders as a method of payment for gift cards, Amazon disallows gift card purchases through the punch-out catalog. VCU’s Amazon Business punch-out catalog addresses several areas of need for the university, including improved access to goods and increased visibility of purchasing trends. The catalog also allows VCU to manage critical financial compliance requirements, provides discounts to departments using Amazon, and allows Procurement Services to centrally fund Amazon Prime membership fees. The catalog also allows for significantly enhanced spend with diverse suppliers with an Amazon presence.
There are, however, several methods departments may use to purchase gift cards depending on the business case they serve. Procurement Services has developed a Gift Card Payment Method Tree to help departments determine which process is the most appropriate for their unique use case. Each method of procurement is linked to step-by-step instructions on our website. Please note that some methods require additional compliance processes. If you are compensating a survey or research participant using gift cards, we encourage you to review our updated instructions on Procurement Service
Q: Due to hybrid work hours, our office isn’t always open and able to accept packages. How can we work with Amazon to properly schedule deliveries?
A: Amazon recommends that RealSource users add delivery instructions to the purchase order under the user's address in line 2.
Q: What is the best practice for canceling a RealSource Amazon Order?
A: Amazon orders ship extremely quickly, making canceling orders challenging. Make sure you quickly cancel the order within the VCU Amazon Business account. After that, make sure to submit the “Cancel PO Request” form in RealSource.
Q: What is the best practice for editing my RealSource Amazon cart after I have already punched out?
A: Users should cancel the order within the VCU Amazon Business account, and then submit a “Cancel PO Request” in RealSource. Users can then submit a new order with the correct items.
Q: Can users return or cancel line items without canceling the purchase order. How does this work exactly?
Additionally, it sounds like Amazon will issue a credit for the return that will flow into RealSource as a credit memo. How will this work exactly?
A: If you return or cancel an item, do not complete receiving on that returned/canceled line item in RealSource. Users should reach out to Amazon for assistance with canceled/returned items. Amazon will issue a credit for the return/cancellation that will process in RealSource as a credit memo. Lastly, users would need to remove the encumbrance in Banner.
Q: How do I order e-books through Amazon?
A: Users may purchase e-books as they would any other product on Amazon Business. Users will receive an email message with a link where they can manage their e-book purchases. If prompted for log-in credentials, users should use their VCU email and the password they registered with when they established their Amazon account in RealSource. Users can distribute e-books to end customers from their management portal.
Q: Some individuals in my office don’t use RealSource, but make purchases through Amazon. How should this be addressed?
A: Shoppers can sign into RealSource and assign carts to colleagues with RealSource purchasing access. All Amazon purchases should be placed through RealSource.
Q: I recently signed up for Prime and paid for my account. Can I get my money back?
A: Depending on when you signed up for Prime, Amazon should issue a prorated refund. Users will need to join VCU's central account first, and then contact Amazon Business Customer Service at 1-888-281-3847. A prorated refund will be credited back to the original payment method.
Q: Can I order items for personal use on my Amazon Business account?
A: No. Only items for business purposes can be purchased through your VCU Amazon Business log-in.
Q: Can I order office supplies or other items that are currently ordered from a mandatory source?
A: No. Office supplies should be purchased through The Supply Room Company. For individual exceptions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Am I allowed to save my P-Card information to my Amazon Business account or make purchases using my P-Card?
A: No. The only form of payment accepted on VCU's Amazon Business account is purchase order placed via RealSource.
Q: Will I still be able to seek reimbursement for items purchased through my personal Amazon account?
A: Users should not purchase from Amazon using personal account or personal funds. Please contact the Travel Team via email@example.com with questions.
Q: will purchases made through VCU's central account be tax-exempt?
A: Purchases made through VCU's central account will have tax-exemptions automatically applied where they are applicable. Registered users who shop Amazon through VCU's Amazon Business Prime account through the RealSource punch-out catalog need to take no additional steps to request tax-exempt status.
Q: Does Amazon offer early payment discounts?
Q: Can I ship to a non-VCU address?
A: Yes, however requisitions delivered to residential addresses will be reviewed by the Purchasing Team prior to release. Approvers should establish appropriate business processes and controls that verify items delivered to residential addresses are necessary and appropriate. Approvers should also ensure that employees are fully cognizant of their responsibilities and provide full documentation.
Approvers should carefully evaluate the need for at-home deliveries and minimize use where possible. Approvers may add new residential addresses in RealSource by submitting the “Home Ship to Address Request” form at the bottom of the homepage.
Q: Can RealSource shoppers create and assign carts for their fiscal technician’s/fiscal administrator’s approval?
A: Yes, this functionality hasn’t changed. If an employee is designated as a shopper in RealSource, they can assign shopping carts just as they do with any other vendor. Employees designated as a requester who are processing a cart already assigned to them will need to change the "Prepared For" field of the purchase order to their own name before placing the order.
Q: Can I track orders placed by someone else?
A: Users will only have shipping and delivery status for orders they placed under their own account.
Q: I was charged shipping on my order. I thought Amazon Business Prime offered free shipping. What's going on?
A: Items in the Amazon Business punch-out catalog which are Prime-eligible ship free. However, not all sellers and not all items available in the Amazon catalog are Prime-eligible. Users should review the eligibility of items they wish to purchase prior to placing an order.
Q: I received my invoice from Amazon before delivery. Can Amazon wait to send their invoices?
A: Amazon submits their invoices once orders ship. Unfortunately, VCU nor Procurement Services can influence when Amazon submits their invoices/. However, RealSource users control when payment is released through receiving in RealSource. Users should wait until their items are fully delivered prior to completing receiving in RealSource.
Q: May users purchase digital/electronic goods and services through Amazon?
A: The only digital/electronic items allowed for purchase under VCU's central account are ebooks. Other digital purchases are not allowable.
Q: Why can’t I send someone a link to an item to purchase?
A: VCU's Amazon Business Prime e-catalog exists on a separate webpage from publicly available Amazon websites. Because of this, the web address or URL of products on Amazon is not shared between private, public, and university accounts.
Shoppers may log into the central account to review and select items in the e-catalog, create carts with the items they wish to request, and submit those carts to RealSource requesters for purchase. Employees who are not RealSource users may alternatively provide parts numbers, SKUs or other identifying information for the products they request for purchase.
Q: The shipping address show in Amazon is wrong, how can I update that?
A: While shopping VCU’s Amazon Business Prime account, the displayed shipping address displayed in the RealSource eCatalog is a place holder. While shopping in the Amazon eCatalog, users can ignore this address. Once users have selected their items and returned to the Purchase Order screen in RealSource, the ship-to address can be selected from the user’s list of available addresses as they would with regular orders.
Q: How do I add shipping charges to my order?
A: All eCatalog vendors, including Amazon, apply shipping charges automatically to their invoices. Users do not need to add additional line items to their Amazon orders to account for shipping charges.
If you have Amazon-specific questions, please contact Amazon Business Customer Support at firstname.lastname@example.org