Place your Product Photos onto GSA Advantage!

Product Photos onto GSA Advantage

Recently most of GSA contractors received an email titled “Place your Product Photos onto GSA Advantage!”, which meant to bring light to the issue GSA is having with vendors that are not listing products photos, in particular.

Check if you Qualify to be a GSA Contractor

According to GSA, “Publishing visually accurate photos of products on GSA Advantage! increases sales, avoids buyer confusion, reduces returns and minimizes customer service cases.

Most GSA schedule contractors don’t spend enough effort to publish photos of their products during their GSA catalog upload, making the resulting appearance less modern, thereby decreasing the buyers’ confidence in listing accuracy, which creates unnecessary delays, cancellations and returns.

In order to improve product presentation, the GSA is working on implementing the Verified Products Portal (VPP) started on October 15, 2021, which is designed to supplement contractors’ listings with authoritative product content from the (VPP). The VPP content will include data such as product descriptions, images, and PDF attachments, and will be displayed in the Additional Description field on GSA Advantage! This content will be in addition to contractor-provided information.

According to GSA, “The Verified Products Portal (VPP) enables authorized original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and their wholesalers to fulfill the Letter of Supply requirement by providing supplier authorization information and detailed product content, such as:

  • “Standardized manufacturer names and part numbers, Product specifications (images, product videos, PDFs, etc.) “

– “Its product and supplier data will identify prohibited products and standardize contractor catalogs, ensuring products that are accurately represented on GSA ecommerce platforms, such as GSA Advantage!”

  • “The VPP is a manufacturer-facing portal for product details and supplier authorization content. The VPP is not intended for Multiple Awards Schedule (MAS) contractors to use for managing their catalog data. GSA is developing the Common Catalog Platform to offer a modern replacement for SIP, that integrates with contracting processes.”

Also, the GSA has recently performed a detailed analysis of current status of all the listings, and has already notified most contractors who should work on improving their photos listings.

Upload Photos to GSA Advantage!

Price Reporter has helped and continues to help hundreds of clients with mapping and publishing of images on GSA Advantage, by performing a GSA SIP upload of catalogs and images, using the GSA SIP program on client’s behalf, utilizing the Photo Upload Tool as part of our portfolio of services. In the past, contractors published on GSA using the Photo Upload Tool, found on the VSC website (Vendor Support Center); the GSA SIP (Special Input Program), provided by the VSC and available for download on, with usage instructions provided (GSA SIP Instructions).

While SIP is a capable program, it has its limitations, such as GSA products catalog size and speed of upload, so the GSA also provides an EDI option for those who are able to use the EDI technology.

 Price Reporter has been implementing EDI (ANSI x12) with GSA and other US Government agencies, to facilitate order and data transmission for our customers, and Price Reporter is included in the GSA advantage EDI providers list. Recently Price Reporter made significant improvements to our Online EDI Catalog Upload Service, to enable more contractors to stay in compliance with the ongoing changes that the GSA is implementing; Price Reporter is one of GSA’s approved EDI vendors.

For example, when adding products to our clients’ GSA schedule, we use EDI, and not SIP, mainly because it takes the same time to upload 10 products as it does 100 thousand or 1 million items. Another benefit of using EDI is the ability to link products to image URLs and upload on GSA Advantage! without the need to download the image files first, making our process of image upload as simple as it should be!

       Not every item will have an image available to upload but if such is available, it will benefit the vendors who make the effort to publish, and we so join GSA’s efforts to encourage our clients to pay more attention to images and contract presentation, in general.

Before publishing GSA images, your Contracting Officer (CO) will need to approve the upload, so we recommend to let your CO know that there is an upload for images only, otherwise it may be incorporated as a part of any next upload already in the works.

According to the GSA contract clause, I -FSS-600 CONTRACTS PRICE LIST (OCT 2020): “Contractors selling products under their MAS Contract on Advantage! are required to submit photos (with limited exceptions) linked to each product when uploading their catalog.”.

GSA is using the following criteria to evaluate the Opportunity for Improvement (“SIP photo guidelines for Advantage”)

  1. Item appears to have no image associated with it
  2. Item is associated with a Logo image in lieu of an actual product image
  3. Item is associated with an image that is used on a large number of items and may be a logo or other nonspecific image (noted as Repeat).

We strongly recommend reviewing your contract for images and other potential improvements, and we urge you to contact us, to discuss how Price Reporter can help your company improve your GSA listings.

To learn more, visit the GSA published  MAS Workforce Q&A.

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