eBuy FAQs

Placing Orders
Rejected Orders
Order Status
Supplier Invoices


Q: What User ID and password should I use to access eBuy?

A: You should use your Penn State Access User ID and password to access the eBuy system. You must be preauthorized by your financial officer to submit preauthorized orders through eBuy.

Q: How do I get preauthorized to shop in eBuy?

A: You must contact your financial officer to get authorization.

Q: Can I browse eBuy without being pre-authorized?

A: Yes. You may browse eBuy without pre-authorization by clicking on "Go Shopping" from the eBuy homepage. Once you have entered your user id and password, you will receive a message that you are not authorized to shop. Underneath that message will be an option to "browse only" OR select the "eBuy Browers" tab and click “okay” button.

Q: How do I find my admin area name/number?

A: Check with your finance office or search for the budget in the budget selection screen, and the admin area name and number will display.

Q: How do I find an account that is not listed in my Preauthorized Accounts list?

A: Use the search tool icon (blue magnifying glass) on the budget selection page.



Purchase Requisition:   

A requisition is the initial step to request the purchase of goods or services.

Purchase Order:              

Once the requisition has gone through the final approver, a purchase order is created and sent to the supplier.

Standing Order:

Standing orders are issued to suppliers for a specific period of time and a stated amount of money.    Purchases are limited to supplies of a repetitive nature.   Please refer to Policy BS10 Blanket or Standing Order for more information.

Punch-out Catalog:

When you click on the supplier’s icon, you are directed to their catalog.  

Hosted Catalog:

Hosted catalogs are set-up based on the University’s previous spend and contain the top purchased items.  Hosted catalogs allow you to search across suppliers to find the item you need at the best price.

Non-Catalog Order:

A non-catalog order is for goods and services not available through a catalog, such as consultants.

Confirming Order:

The goods or services have already been purchased and ordered.   University policy prohibits Purchasing from approving confirming orders.  Your requisition will be rejected.   Please see your finance office for guidance on how to remit payment to the supplier.   



  1. A faculty/staff member identifies a buying need. The faculty/staff member may ask Purchasing Services to identify sources and develop procurement descriptions or specifications.
  2. The requirement is entered into eBuy. Any quotes/pricing or single/sole source justifications should also be attached and submitted at this time.
  3. The purchasing requisition travels electronically through the requesting department’s specified approval path: the financial officer, the Budget Administrator, Accounting, and any other approvals the department establishes.
  4. Purchasing Services processes the requisition in accordance with University guidelines and bidding thresholds:
    • Bids are not required for orders with a total cost of less than $10,000; however, bids may be solicited by the Purchasing Agent, taking into consideration lead time, availability of substitutes, and knowledge of the general marketplace. For purchases between $10,000 and $25,000, evidence of competition is required, and the Purchasing Agent may solicit written bids from at least three responsive and responsible suppliers. Purchases over $25,000 require, whenever possible, written bids or proposals from at least three responsive and responsible suppliers solicited by Purchasing Services.
    • The Purchasing Agent must justify the source and the price.
    • The Purchasing Agent is responsible for determining the validity of any sole source justifications.
  5. The Purchase Order is approved and released.
  6. The product or service is delivered to the requester.
  7. An invoice is sent to Purchasing Services.
  8. Purchasing performs a three-way match.
  9. Accounting issues the payment.

Q:   How do I place an order in eBuy?

A:   We recommend that you register for eBuy Training.   The training schedule and eBuy+ users guide are available on the eBuy shopping home page.

Q: What do I need to remember when I process my first eBuy order?

A:  Make sure to add your “ship to” address

1) Catalog orders in eBuy let users click on the supplier icon and shop from Penn State priced items to place their order for items listed in Penn State’s contract. (This will take you to the supplier’s site, where you will fill your cart, then check out of supplier site to return to ebuy to complete the order.  If the item you wish to purchase is not available in one of the catalogs you may place a non-catalog order.) Please refer to chapters 2 and 3 of the ebuy user guide, pages 10-17.

2) Non-catalog orders    The non-catalog form is used when the item is not available through a catalog supplier.  You can select your supplier and give a detailed description, catalog number, quantity, price, and select a commodity from the drop box of that item. Please refer to Chapter 4 of the ebuy user guides pages 18-20

3) Standing orders  Select the Standing Order Request icon for access to this form to request a Standing (Blanket) Order be set up with a specific vendor for a specified product/service. The form will be routed through departmental review and to Penn State Purchasing. You may set up a standing order for one year or multiple years (up to 5), if the standing order is a multi-year contract. Please refer to Chapter 12 of the ebuy user guide pages 51-54.

Q:  How do I enter supplier discounts on my requisition?

A:  Please contact the Purchasing Assistant assigned to your commodity for assistance.

Q:  May users edit a requisition after it goes through the approvals path?

A: No, a requisition may not be changed after it has gone through the approval workflow.  Please contact the Purchasing Agent or Assistant with any questions.

Q: Who do I contact about my order or attachments under $5,000?

A:  If you have questions, please contact the Purchasing Assistant assigned to your commodity.  Documents may be attached to your requisition during the check-out process through internal notes and attachments section while the requisition is in your possession or through the comments section at any time.

Q:  Who do I contact about my order or attachments over $5,000?

A:  If you have questions, please contact the Purchasing Assistant assigned to your commodity. Documents may be attached to your requisition during the check-out process through internal notes and attachments section while the requisition is in your possession or through the comments section at any time. 

Q: What if I need products shipped to a different Penn State location?

A: When shipping to different Penn State locations, select that location from the drop down-box in the shipping box on the requisition. Under the select from org addresses you will be directed to a search field for other addresses available in eBuy. 

Q: How do I enter line items that have no amount?

A: Price is required on the line item – Zero (0) is considered a price

Q: Can I reference a quote number and make it a lump price?

A: Yes, give a brief description of the product. Reference the quote number and attach a copy of the quote to the internal attachments section.

Q: When I’m shopping in eBuy using a non-preauthorized account, will that requisition get encumbered in IBIS?

A: Yes. It gets encumbered just before the “purchasing review” step in the approval path. Another time your order gets encumbered is when you are using a preauthorized account and you exceed your preauthorized spend amount (for example: your cap is $4,999.00 and your shopping cart contains $10,000.00 worth of Dell computers).

Q: Do I need to do a PO change form to change cost centers?

A: You cannot change the cost center once the PO is complete. All cost center changes will be done in IBIS.

Q: Can I do a prepayment in this system?

A: Yes. In the body of the description, please reference that this is a prepayment order in the first line. Be sure to provide an invoice to purchasing in order to process payment. Your financal officer will be asked by Purchasing to sign off on the risks associated with paying in advance.

Q: Where do I indicate in the requisition that payment should be done via wire transfer?

A: Most foreign orders will have the swift account number and other necessary information to complete the order. Make sure you enter the requisition in U.S. dollars.  (You may need to convert from foreign currency; http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/) can help in the conversion.)  Please indicate in the internal notes that a wire transfer is necessary.  When the invoice comes in from foreign suppliers they are entered as “wire transfers” and require that you confirm it (just like it’s a payment with a confirmation requirement). In addition to confirming the wire, you must notify Purchasing that you have confirmed the payment.  Purchasing will forward the information to accounting to be finalized.  Since wire transfers are done manually; once payment has been finalized you will need to complete a PO Change Form (select wire transfer) to have the order closed and encumbrance released.    Please note that the University’s fee for doing a wire transfer is $26.00 (as of September 2015).    This fee will be charged to the budget/fund/object code on the order.   

Q: Who does the funds availability check?

A: This is an automated step in the system


Forms pertaining to orders (Single Source Justification, PO Change Form, Software Agreement Cover Sheet, Consulting Justification, etc.) may be found on the Purchasing website.


Q: My order was rejected. Can I pull up the old requisition and re-submit?

A: No, you can select the line items from the rejected requisition and add them to a new cart by following these steps:
Click on carts and create cart to establish a new cart. Do a search for your rejected requisition, select the line items to transfer to a new cart. Use the drop-down option – “Add to active cart” and click go. Go to your shopping cart in the upper right-hand corner to edit and review your cart.


Q: How can I follow the process of my order?

A: From the welcome page of eBuy, use the search box in the upper right corner Select -PR No. from drop-down box – enter requisition # - click GO click on PR Approvals tab - will display the step the order is currently in.

Q: Where do I find out who is the next approver in the step?

A: Click the PR Approvals tab on the requisition and click the “view approvers” to show the list of next approver in each role.

Q: Will I receive an email when the PO is issued through Purchasing?

A: Yes, if you have your email permissions set to receive it.    You will receive an email confirmation with the order number which is automatically assigned after final approval.

Q: How can I check the shipping/delivery status of my order (see A2 for General Stores)?

A1: Once you obtain your purchase order number, please contact the supplier directly with your PO number.  The supplier should be able to provide you with a shipping date or tracking number. (If you need assistance contact the assistant in that commodity) 

A2: If you would like to check the status of a General Stores order or if you have not received an item from General Stores, please contact them directly:  814-863-0317 [email protected]   


Q: How do I return an item I ordered in eBuy (see A2 for General Stores)?

A1:  Contact the supplier directly for directions on how to return an item.  If this was a catalog order the original PO must be cancelled with a PO Change Form and with the supplier. A new requisition/PO will need to be submitted for the replacement.  If this was a non-catalog item, a PO Change Form will need to be completed if any changes in pricing/description occur.

A2: If you are returning a/an item(s) ordered through General Stores, please complete an on-line Stores Return Form: General Stores Return Form


Q: I am an approver. Where do I go to review/approve an order?

A: Click on eBuy approvers on the dash board, approvals on the tool bar, assign the order to your PR approvals folder, review the requisition and complete action, click go.

Q: How do I change roles?

A: Clicking on the logout tab from the main page of eBuy will take you to the dashboard where you can easily switch your roles.

Q: Once I change roles how do I approve the requisition?

A: Click on the Approvals tab on the tool bar Click -Assign the requisition from My PR Approvals folder – click on requisition number If order is correct – Complete Action – click GO

Q: How do I search the history of an order I reviewed?

A: Follow these steps: 

Order and documents icon

Search documents

Search drop box = Requisitions

Select advanced search

Type name or User ID in “approved by” field

Select name from list

(option:  set date range)

Click blue “GO” button


Q: Should the end user (department) receive the invoice?

A:  No, all invoices should be sent to the billing address on the order.  However, we encourage suppliers to help reduce paper usage by electronically delivering invoices to [email protected]  To ensure prompt payment, they are to include the current purchase order number and the PA code in the subject line of their email.  

Q:  What should I do if a supplier sends me an invoice?

A:  Please forward to [email protected] or Purchasing Services, 101 Procurement Services Building. 

Q:  How will my invoice be paid?

A:  Accounts Payable will match all invoices in the system.   Invoices for orders over $5,000 must be “confirmed” in eBuy+ before payment will be released.