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Purchasing common questions

Here you'll find frequently asked questions about purchasing processes on campus.

Why was my P card log returned to me?

In some cases, the log was returned due to an unallowable purchase, the tax was charged on one of your purchases, or you are missing supporting documentation. Please follow any instructions in the notes and comments section of your P card log or look for any warnings issued in red at the top of the log. Complete any requests as directed by purchasing before resubmitting your log. Follow the link below to review the P card Log Checklist. If your log was returned for another reason, contact Purchasing for more information.

Log Checklist

Why was my P or PT card declined?

1. Your single purchase or billing cycle limit may have been exceeded. Purchasing can temporarily increase your credit card limits. Please include the following information and send your request in an email to :

  • What are you purchasing (i.e. equipment, art supplies, airline tickets, etc.)?
  • Which vendor do you intend to purchase from?
  • What is the amount of the purchase?
  • What are the last four digits of your credit card (do not include the full credit card number)?
  • Attach any helpful documentation such as a quote or an invoice.

2.  Procurement (supply) and Procurement Travel (PT) cards are set up with default merchant category and commodities codes that correspond to each type of credit card for Accounting purposes. For example; Supply cards have default merchant category and commodities codes which allow purchases for supplies such as art supplies, lab supplies, and athletic equipment, etc. PT cards have default merchant category and commodities codes assigned for purchases involving travel such as airline tickets, transit, taxis, hotels/lodging, etc. Since UWEC requires that PT cardholders use their PT cards to register for conferences that require travel, some merchants hosting the conferences are not categorized within a “travel” expense code. Perhaps you are trying to register for a conference concerning Software. The MCC may not appear as a travel code when you attempt to complete your transaction. It may appear that you are trying to purchase “software.” If you attempt your transaction and your card is declined, please email with the last four digits of your card, the amount of your declined/intended purchase, and the vendor with which you are trying to register. Purchasing will need to contact UW System to have the MCC code unblocked in order for you to complete this purchase. Please note, it can take anywhere from a few hours to up to 24 hours for UW System to respond to Purchasing and open the code.

Alternatively, if the vendor you wish to register with for a conference is able to send you an invoice, you can submit the invoice for your conference as a Direct Pay rather than waiting for the card to be unblocked on your PT card.

Why is an item blocked on ShopUW+?
  • An item may be blocked on Shop@UW because it must be purchased from another contract. For example, office furniture offered by Staples on ShopUW+ will be blocked because the state of Wisconsin has two mandatory furniture contracts that must be used.
  • The vendor on ShopUW+ did not win the bid for the category of item that is blocked.
  • It could be an error. If you believe what you are trying to purchase does not need to be purchased from another contract, please contact Purchasing at to see if it can be unblocked.
What should I do if Staples doesn't carry what I need?
  • If there is a comparable item available at Staples on ShopUW+, you must buy that item.
  • If the comparable item will not suffice, a waiver must be requested through Purchasing, who will work with the contract manager at the Department of Administration. Waivers are not usually granted solely for brand/style/color preferences. There must be a valid reason the comparable item will not work or a significant price difference must be shown. Provide as much supporting detail or documentation with your waiver request as possible. Waivers are not guaranteed. If a waiver is granted, the regulations for the Procurement Process must be followed.
Where can I purchase a sit-to-stand desk?
  1. BSI
  2. Staples on ShopUW+ (Ergotron Brand)

A waiver from BSI is not required if you choose to purchase the Ergotron model from Staples on Shop@UW.

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