Virginia Tech™home

How to Purchase

How to Purchase: Overview

HokieMart is the electronic marketplace used within the university to efficiently process all purchasing transactions.  HokieMart has the capability to accept all transactions that are directed to commercial suppliers.

The purchasing process begins with the entry of a requisition into HokieMart at the department level.  Please be sure to attach supporting documentation such as the vendor’s quote, license agreement for software requests, sole source form (if applicable), etc.  HokieMart’s automated workflow carries the requisition to designated individuals for departmental approval.  Following approval, the workflow will encumber funds and will carry the requisition through one of several channels that are appropriate to the dollar value and type of transaction being enacted.

At the conclusion of the process, the requisition will be converted into a purchase order that will be conveyed to the supplier, and the information related to the purchase will be transmitted from HokieMart into Banner financial records.

Procurement-Related University Policies

Delegation of Authority:  University Policy 3015, Contract Signature Policy and Procedures, delegates to department heads the authority to enact purchases of goods and services valued up to $2,000 per transaction.  Department heads may select faculty and staff within their department to exercise this authority.  However, the department head remains responsible for the correct exercise of delegated purchasing authority and must ensure that personnel are properly trained and supervised; that all rules and procedures are followed; and that prices being paid are fair and reasonable.

At dollar amounts up to $2,000, price competition among vendors is not required, but is certainly encouraged.  Once the vendor is selected, a firm fixed price, inclusive of all charges for handling, shipping, tax (if any), etc., should be determined, and a HokieMart requisition prepared.

Generally, requisitions that are valued at $2,000 or less will be converted by HokieMart into purchase orders and will flow directly to the supplier.  Requisitions for IT goods/services valued above $2,000 will flow to Procurement and are then assigned to Information Technology Procurement for their action following intermediate electronic approval steps depending upon the nature of the request and funding cited.  The central procurement office or IT procurement, depending on the commodity, will convert high-value requisitions into purchase orders following completion of competitive action.

There are several exceptions to the $2,000 purchase delegation:

HokieMart Catalog Suppliers:  Orders in an unlimited amount may be placed with designated contract suppliers who have placed catalogs in HokieMart, except for computers that are capped at $100,000.  Following departmental approval, HokieMart workflow will carry such orders directly to the contract supplier and they will not flow to the central purchasing office.

Direct Pay Transactions:  University Policy 3220, Direct Payment Procedures designates specific transactions that do not require competition and may be enacted by the department at dollar levels that may be above $2,000.  Hokiemart contains a special form for enacting direct pay transactions.  In accordance with Policy 3220 3.E.5., subscriptions include books, pre-printed materials, reprints, publishers page changes, book subscriptions, book subventions, subscription mailing lists (printed or electronic), pre-recorded audio and video cassettes, conference proceedings, slide presentations, tapes, CDs, and diskettes, when available only from the publisher or producer.  This policy does not apply to software license subscriptions, and such purchases should not be processed via direct pay.

Contract Purchases:  Procurement and IT Procurement have established a group of term contracts that support ongoing university needs for goods and services.  Hokiemart contains a special form for enacting contract payment transactions.  To properly use this form, the correct university or state contract number must be cited.  IT Procurement has also provided a list of cooperative contract opportunities that are available and may be used for university purchases.  Please contact IT Procurement for further assistance when reviewing available contract options. Please see IT Procurement Contract Information to view available contracts.


The intent of these policies is to provide flexibility to departments to take care of their basic and continuing support requirements in an efficient and timely manner. When making a purchase, first consideration should be given to university and cooperative contract vendors.  Consideration should also be given to using either a small, minority-owned, or women-owned business.  Finally, it is everyone’s obligation to ensure that we are obtaining goods and services at what we believe to be a fair and reasonable price.