GSA Advantage! is a prime GSA online shopping platform for government agencies. This article explains how GSA Advantage! works, how to find GSA contracts there, and also lists government agencies that are eligible to buy from GSA Advantage!
What is GSA Advantage
GSA Advantage! is an online service where federal buyers can search for and purchase products and services offered by GSA contractors. Every GSA Schedule holder is required to publish its products and services on GSA Advantage! upon getting on a Schedule.
Benefits of GSA Advantage
GSA Advantage is beneficial to vendors in two major ways. First of all, it opens up access to the huge government market. Currently, GSA Advantage has over 400,000 government users involved in the GSA procurement process that constantly need services and goods. The other plus side is that sales on GSA Advantage are faster since most orders on GSA Advantage are direct, often even before the need is published anywhere else.
How does GSA Advantage! work?
GSA Advantage is a huge online catalog filled with thousands of contractors and millions of products. To navigate this wealth, there is a search system and product categories.
After you upload your product catalogue at GSA Advantage, you can start receiving orders. Whenever a government buyer places an order, GSA Advantage issues a purchase order and sends it to the vendor using one of a few available ways, typically via the GSA Purchase Order Portal. How to see a GSA purchase order? On the same portal. Also, use the GSA Purchase Order Portal to update the status of orders so that government buyers knew that you began processing the order, started packaging or initiated delivery.
Note that orders below the micro-purchase threshold (currently $5000) can only be paid by government issued credit cards. Ordering from GSA Advantage above the limit is also possible.
How to get on GSA Advantage
Getting your products listed at GSA Advantage! requires your business to get on a GSA Schedule first. The process is not trivial and may take 12-16 months. Here is a superficial description of the GSA certification step-by-step process:
- Register your business at SAM, get the required DUNS and NAICS code.
- Select SINs that match your business.
- Complete the obligatory GSA training courses.
- Prepare documentation for your GSA application submission
- Register at eOffer and submit youк documents
- Wait for approval
Upon winning a GSA schedule, you are eligible to publish your product catalog at GSA Advantage!
Who can order from GSA Advantage
Now, what government agencies are eligible to order GSA approved products and services? Also, are they obliged to do that?
First of all, GSA Advantage is not the only way to purchase for federal and state governments. In fact, they may also use Amazon Business or other government-friendly purchase platforms. However, for contracts above the micro-transaction threshold, GSA Schedules and GSA Advantage! are the primary way to purchase for the government buyers.
The GSA government buyer guide states the following agencies that can use GSA sources of supplies:
- Federal agencies. This means any executive agency or an establishment in the legislative or judicial branch of the government.
- Executive departments. Examples: Department of Defence, Department of Commerce, Central Intelligence Agency, or U.S. Forest Service.
- 100% government owned corporations. Examples: Federal Financing Bank, Federal Prison Industries (UNICOR), Commodity Credit Corporation.
- Independent establishments in the executive branch of the government. Examples: Smithsonian Institute, United States Postal Service.
- Other federal agencies, not included above. Other entities that can get access to GSA sources of supply, sometimes limited.
- Other federal agencies that are not in the executive branch of the government. Examples: American National Red Cross, Civil Air Patrol, Library of Congress.
- Mixed ownership government corporations. Examples: (National Railroad Passenger Corporation) Amtrak, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).
- District of Columbia.
- The Senate
- The House of Representatives
- Architect of the Capitol
- Cost-reimbursement contractors. GSA often seeks ways to optimizes spending, so it may authorize certain contractors performing cost-reimbursement types of contracts to use GSA sources of supply. In each case the authorization is written and is not transferrable.
- Non–federal firefighting organizations cooperating with the Department of Agriculture.
- Tribes and tribal organizations.
- Other statutes. Specific organizations can be authorized to use GSA Advantage! to purchase goods and services.
- Howard University, Gallaudet College, National Institute for the Deaf, American Printing House for the Blind
- Certain Governments. Examples: Government of Guam, Government of the United States Virgin Islands.
- FAA authorized entities. Certain foreign or international organization can be named eligible to access GSA sources of supply according to Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. No military purchases are allowed. Examples: International Atomic Energy Agency, NATO, World Health Organization.
- Non-appropriated fund activities.
GSA Advantage is also a source for GSA purchasing contracts under the following programs:
- Cooperative Purchasing
- Disaster Purchasing Program
- 1122 Program
- Public Health Emergencies