What about Auctions?
While there is no policy prohibiting the use of an Auction for purchasing, the department should keep records documenting the purchase. Because auctions typically "bid up", your department will need to ensure rationale for price reasonableness is established. Prior research can be done to compare prices and agree on a price cap.
Additionally, some Auction houses may have terms and conditions for the purchase. These are often non-negotiable, and pop up after the award has been made.
When you look at the price of auction items, the savings may seem substantial. Be aware, however, that reasons for the low price may include:
- limited or no warranties
- no return policy
- uncertain history and condition
- additional, non-negotiable shipping and handling fees