Buying Goods

Using UCIBuy catalogs is the preferred method for purchasing most goods

As you approach any purchase, the fund source and total amount of your purchase will determine competitive bid thresholds and policies that apply.

For non-federal fund purchases:

For federal fund purchases:

If your purchase involves a combination of federal and non-federal funds, the more restrictive Federal Fund Purchase Requirements shall apply.

For purchases greater than $50,000, contact a Procurement Services Team Member for assistance with benefits and savings negotiations. For purchases using federal funds and/or purchases greater than $100,000, see Competitive Bidding (RFX) for policies that may apply.

How to Purchase Furniture

Procurement Services seeks to unify the furniture procedures at University of California, Irvine to help drive discounts while improving the customer service experience. Furniture can be procured from our contracted partners that can assist with the planning and acquiring furniture to fit your needs. Contact Shauna Niswonger, Strategic Sourcing Buyer at before purchasing furniture (exception: pre-approved ergonomic furniture through UCIBuy).

Some furniture items are available in UCIBuy. If you don't find what you need in the UCIBuy catalogs, consider buying surplus property from Peter's Exchange or contact a supplier from the Contracted Suppliers List for other types of furniture.

Discuss the following services with the supplier:

  • Design consultation
  • Space planning
  • Product selection
  • Moving
  • Installation
  • Check the timetable and lead times overview to estimate how long a project will take

Once you have selected your furniture, get a price quote from the supplier, which should include all charges (design, delivery, assembly, installation, prevailing wage, etc.).

See Furniture Quotes for detailed information on the various types of quotes available from supplier.

Create a Requisition in KFS, attach and reference the quote number provided by the supplier you select.

Note: Furniture is a restricted commodity and will need additional approval from Procurement Services. Allow additional time for processing. Most furniture is custom and takes an average of 4-6 weeks, so please plan accordingly. Also, furniture purchases over $100,000 must be competitively bid unless using an approved contracted supplier. See the Contracted Suppliers List.

Set a delivery date with the supplier. As the delivery date nears, prepare your workspace by clearing old desktops, bookshelves, drawers of files and other paperwork, desktop accessories and personal effects.

Other considerations prior to having new furniture installed:

  • Is new flooring or paint needed to the area?
  • What about new power outlets, data or telephone ports?

Authorized Suppliers

The University of California's contract with Steelcase, Inc., a manufacturer of office furniture distributed and installed by Tangram Interiors, requires that purchases of the following types of furniture be Steelcase products:

  • Filing cabinets
  • Free-standing steel and laminate desks
  • Steel bookcases
  • Paneled office systems
  • Task chairs and side chairs

You can use suppliers other than Steelcase when buying furniture such as lounge pieces and bookcases. UCI does have an agreement with Blue Space Interiors for additional furniture options. See the Contracted Suppliers List for information on suppliers that have negotiated agreements with UCI.

Preferred suppliers for laboratory furniture include Fisher Scientific and VWR. Shop using the UCIBuy catalogs for these suppliers to streamline the purchasing process. See the Contracted Suppliers List for information on additional suppliers that have negotiated agreements with UCI.

Buying Tips

Asking key questions can help you order furniture that's best for your workspace. Will the furniture you want fit into the space you have? What type of furniture is best for your type of work? Will you need to move your furniture in the future? You can answer these questions during the ordering process.

Matching your furniture choices with your budget can be a challenge. You'll often get the most for your money by working with a designer during the ordering process through Steelcase or another supplier. If you are not sure of your budget, ask for a budgetary quote before obtaining an order-ready quote. Never assume that design fees will be included; be sure to ask the designer about charges for all services.

Office furniture is something you'll use every workday for a very long time. It has a substantial effect on employee comfort and safety. That's why it's so important to consider ergonomics when purchasing furniture. Explore this topic on the UCI Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) Pre-Approved Ergonomic Equipment website for great tips and suggestions on choosing ergonomically correct furniture. Purchase pre-approved ergonomic furniture and accessories through the UCIBuy Shared Favorites folder located under the Everyday Essentials catalog.


The quality of furniture varies among manufacturers, and cost is directly related to quality. When you buy furniture for UCI, it should be a commercial or institutional grade so it can withstand the daily use in your workplace. (Suppliers who have contracts with UCI provide commercial-grade furniture.) Products designed for home office use are generally not acceptable.

Please ensure furniture purchases meet UCI Section 6.20 Furniture Fire Resistance guidelines .

Furniture Quotes: 3 Types

Provide an estimate of the cost for furniture. You can use a budgetary quote to request funds, allocate existing funds or make decisions relating to the furniture purchase. These quotes don't usually include detailed workspace planning, drawings or furniture choices. Furniture designers generally provide budgetary quotes at no charge, but you must ask specifically for this type of quote.

When you've established your budget guidelines and have chosen the types of furniture, finishes and fabrics you want, a designer will create an order-ready quote. This type of quote usually includes drawings and an itemized list of products to be purchased, including details on fabrics and finishes.

Include major and minor revisions of an order-ready quote. Major revisions usually require the designer to produce new drawings. With contract suppliers, you may request up to two major revisions at no charge. Most furniture vendors charge additional design fees for more than two major revisions.

For additional information regarding furniture purchases, visit Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Reduced Sales Tax for Research Equipment

The California State Board of Equalization (BOE) offers a reduced sales/use tax rate on qualifying equipment.

Controlled Substances

Federal and state laws and campus regulations govern the purchase of controlled substances and precursor chemicals by UCI researchers.

All acquisitions provided by a private drug company or any other institution of controlled substances (Schedules II-V) for research must be pre-approved by Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) and requisitioned through the UCI Procurement Services. Controlled substance requisitions for research are submitted as KFS high value purchase order. Controlled substance orders are delivered to EHS before releasing to approved researchers.

To obtain the required Authorized User status refer to the Controlled Substances Program , contact EHS at 949-824-6200 or email

  1. Contact vendor for a quote or get a screenshot of the catalog number and current price. (Do not place the order. UCI Procurement Services places the order after the Controlled Substance (CS) Program Coordinator approves order request).
    • If using Patterson Veterinary, please contact CS Program Coordinator for the assigned account number for your department. This only applies to controlled substance orders only.
  2. Submit a KFS high value PO and attach the quote ot screenshot and internal PO requisition. Each internal PO requisition must include the principal investigator name and signature, the assigned Controlled Substance Use Authorization (CSUA) number and the KFS Commodity Code 51211900.
  3. Controlled Substance orders must be on a separate PO requisition than non-controlled items.
  4. Controlled Substances DEA Schedule II must be separated from other controlled substance orders as required per DEA regulations.
  1. The order is physically delivered to EHS. The CS program coordinator verifies order with the packing slip and begins the inventory process for each vial/bottle received.
  2. The CS program coordinator will schedule a pick up appointment by email or phone with the principal investigator and/or the authorized user.
  3. When picking up the controlled substances, the authorized user must bring a UCI ID or government issued ID to sign for the release of the controlled substance order and will be issued a Controlled Substance usage log .

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