Materials Management

Effective Date: 03/01/2000

Policy Statement 56: Returns of Merchandise


For Credit

Supplies purchased in excess of requirements, supplies which do not meet the specific needs of a department, or materials which are found to be inferior may be returned to any University storeroom for full credit.

No Credit

Credit will only be issued for current purchases. Credit cannot be issued for obsolete materials or materials which have been on a department's shelves for a long period of time, even though the items may be unused.


Vendor's Permission

No supplies or equipment should be returned to a vendor for whatever cause without first obtaining the vendor's permission and shipping instructions. Departments desiring to return materials should contact the vendor directly for return authorization and shipping instructions. Departments should supply the item(s) information, the reason for return and the purchase order number. Once the return authorization is secured, departments should prepare the package for shipping. Depending on the reason for return, the vendor may issue a call tag for the materials and send a courier for pickup; otherwise, the department will be responsible for return shipping according to the vendor's instructions.

Departments may notify Central Receiving for pick up of packages and ship to vendor. Central Receiving will require a campus requisition from the department with the shipping address and return authorization (BA, RGA or RMA) number.

Costs of Return

Since the return of merchandise can be for a number of reasons, such as in-warranty or out-of-warranty repairs, incorrect or defective materials, and overshipment, the financial responsibility will depend on the reason for the return. Generally, when materials are returned as a result of an error by the vendor or because materials are defective, freight charges and other costs involved are the responsibility of the vendor; otherwise, the department for which the return is being made must bear the costs involved. Most vendors will charge at least 10% restocking charge when merchandise is returned as a result of an over- purchase or where the University erred in requesting the merchandise.

Inform Materials Management

Departments should notify Materials Management in writing when items are being returned against a purchase order. The information supplied should provide purchase order number, item being returned reason for return, if the return is for credit or exchange, date of return, restocking fee and return authorization number. This information is needed in case a change order is required.