Once awarded a COSTARS contract, COSTARS suppliers have access to a list of nearly 9,000 COSTARS members and contact information. COSTARS members may choose COSTARS suppliers based upon whatever criteria they consider important (e.g. price, geography, quality, etc.), allowing suppliers to “sell quality, not just price.”
COSTARS-authorized suppliers may use the trademarked COSTARS name and logo in their marketing materials to create the COSTARS partnership connection to the member’s buying process. Because of state mandates and limited budgets, it is important to many COSTARS members to purchase from COSTARS suppliers, so this connection is key for suppliers to secure the business of our members! The COSTARS brand must be used in accordance with contract terms and conditions.
COSTARS-exclusive contracts do not dictate any specific list of items. Rather, a bidder may offer any type or number of items within the scope of the contract. Resellers may bid as many product lines as their manufacturers authorize them to sell. A supplier may supplement its original bid to provide pricing for additional items within the scope of the contract or to remove items or services it no longer wishes to offer at any time. A supplier may adjust its pricing under certain circumstances in accordance with the contract terms and conditions. Suppliers may offer their products statewide or limit their market area to certain counties.
Certain COSTARS-exclusive contracts enable a supplier to offer ancillary services in conjunction with the products it provides to a purchaser. Sample ancillary services include, but are not limited to: training; post-warranty support and maintenance; and assembly, installation, and construction activities. All ancillary services must be purchased at the same time as the product to qualify as a COSTARS purchase.
All COSTARS-exclusive contracts enable a supplier to offer contract items through its designated local dealer network.
Suppliers are permitted, and encouraged, to negotiate with members for lower pricing than a bid reflects to help obtain the sale.
COSTARS members and suppliers save the cost and time associated with the formal bidding process, since suppliers have been awarded COSTARS contracts through a qualified bidding process. Most COSTARS members are required by law to pay their invoices within 30 days of receipt of their goods and services, so less time is invested by suppliers finalizing payments.
Free workshops, online training, toll-free telephone assistance, and a quarterly newsletter are provided by COSTARS staff to assist prospective suppliers on how to submit a COSTARS bid, research contracts, market COSTARS contracts, and other topics of interest and trends in government purchasing.