Contract FAQ’s

Answers to common questions.

Q. Why do companies get on contract with the GSA?
A. Companies like federal business because it is steady and profitable. A GSA contract helps you get those sales by taking the red tape out of purchasing.

Q. How do you get a GSA contract?
1. Download and review the GSA Solicitation (RFP) for your product category at http://www.gsaelibrary.gsa.gov/ElibMain/scheduleList.do;jsessionid=A95974184AB50CD6E3881D4A057E2B00.prd1pweb
2. Prepare your GSA Proposal and submit it for review.
3. Respond to the GSA specialist’s questions and requests for information during the review, which takes several months.
4. Negotiate final terms with a GSA contract negotiator.
5. Prepare and upload your online catalog to the government online sales portal www.GSAAdvantage.gov

Q. Looks easy enough. Why aren’t more companies “on contract”?
A. First, GSA proposals are not easy. Most companies take 6 months to prepare one and many give up halfway through. Over 50% of proposals prepared in-house are rejected due to formatting errors, misinterpreted requirements or incompleteness. Is it worth taking that risk?
Secondly, employees will waste considerable time grappling with the requirements. Couldn’t they use that time more profitably?

Q. Is it true you have to practically give your products away?
A. Absolutely not. The GSA does not expect better pricing than your best commercial customers. We examine every opportunity to hold attractive margins.

Q. Are my imported products eligible for a GSA contract?
A. Products from any country recognized by the Trade Agreement Act qualify for GSA contracts. Several countries have been added recently, including Taiwan. There is a list of eligible countries at https://vsc.gsa.gov/lookup/ppcc.cfm.

Q. Is it true that we will pay a fee to the GSA on all contract sales?
A. No. Once you set contract pricing, you will add a small service fee to your prices that government buyers pay. You act as a conduit by rebating the surcharge to the GSA quarterly, but it does not come out of your pocket.

Q. Can we include our distributors or dealers on our GSA contract?
A. Including your dealers or distributors on your contract can increase loyalty and sales, but it can also create legal and tactical issues. We have developed a Dealer Package to protect you and simplify the process of including them as partners.

Q. We keep hearing about the Prime Vendor Program. How can we become a Prime Vendor?
A. The Prime Vendors are actually distributors. Each group of Medical Centers selects one of five distributors to serve as its Prime Vendor to deliver high volume products so the VA Medical Centers don’t have to inventory them. Contractors can opt to participate or not.