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Material & Disbursement Services (MSD)


Effective Date: 07/01/1996

Last Modified Date:  11/17/2003

Returns to University Storerooms

Return of Products and/or Inferior Materials

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

Credit Policy on Items Returned

Credit will not be issued for obsolete items, materials without a useful shelf life, sealed containers that have been opened (unless the product did not meet specifications), items that have deteriorated due to improper storage, products purchased in a previous fiscal year, and special order items (unless the item can be returned to the vendor for full credit).

Returns to Outside Vendors (if the item was obtained via Purchase Order):

Permission and Shipping

No supplies or equipment should be returned to a vendor for any reason without obtaining the vendor's permission and shipping instructions.  Departments desiring to return materials to a vendor should notify Purchasing Services through use of the Purchasing Change Request (Form P-103), explaining the reason for the desired return.  Purchasing will try to secure permission from the vendor for return of the materials and will obtain shipping instructions.  Purchasing will notify Central Receiving to pick up the materials from the returning department and ship them to the vendor.

Costs of Return

Merchandise may be returned for a number of reasons:  in-warranty or out-of-warranty repairs, incorrect or defective materials, or overshipment.  Financial responsibility for the costs of returns 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 direct costs involved are the responsibility of the vendor; otherwise, the department for which the return is being made must bear the cost involved.

Restocking Charge

Most vendors will charge at least a 20% restocking charge when merchandise is returned as a result of an overpurchase or where the University erred in requesting the materials. The return of an item to a vendor for credit or exchange is not economical if the value of the item is less than $20.

Small-Order Procedure Returns

Returns under the Small Order Procedures are the sole responsibility of the ordering department. Customer service representatives for e-commerce vendors can assist in dealing with those companies.

Additional Information

See also: MSD Procedure 8, Return of Merchandise to Vendors

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