When it comes to purchasing and payments, there are a few different methods on campus and we are here to help you navigate the best way to do it.

  • BearBuy: Place an order with a campus preferred vendor on BearBuy
  • BluCard: Use a campus or the department's bluCard (credit card)
  • Purchase an item using personal funds and submit for reimbursement (pre-approval should be received from owner of fund source being used)
  • Partner with your Research Administrator  for large purchases, service contracts, honorariums and other payments to outside vendors


Our "Procure-to-Pay" system, BearBuy, provides staff, faculty, graduate students with active appointments, and other employees with an intuitive, easy to use interface, catalog shopping and electronically-enabled workflows. When off campus, you must connect to the campus VPN first.

Login to BearBuy

The New Users Quick Reference Guide acts as a starting point for all BearBuy users by answering questions and inquiries regarding high level roles and responsibilities. It also aims to provide clear information with regards to system processes and training within the BearBuy system.

The SCF has some complementary instructions and tips for buying computing items.

  • All new hires are automatically given the role of "shopper."
  • All orders for campus preferred vendors (OfficeMax, Give Something Back, Apple, Dell, and Lenova) should be placed through BearBuy.

Amazon Business in BearBuy

Beginning June 2020 users are now able to shop with Amazon using BearBuy! This new program, Amazon Business simplifies your purchasing process for non-contracted items and allows you to take advantage of Amazon's wide product selection and competitive prices. Shopping on Amazon Business is as user-friendly as Amazon.com. Additional benefits include:

  • Free 2-Day shipping on Prime-eligible items (learn more)
  • Access to millions of additional products, available only to Business customers
  • Business-specific pricing, including quantity discounts on eligible items
  • Access to a specialized Amazon Business Customer Service team

BearBuy FAQ

Please visit the BearBuy FAQ page for a complete list.

Ship-To Address Quick Reference Guide

While working remotely, please make sure to change the ship-to from a campus Evans Hall address to your home address. The guide to change your address in BearBuy can be found here.

Chart of Account Codes (COAs) in BearBuy Guide

Please visit the BearBuy COA guide for more information about entering COAs in BearBuy.


The campus or department bluCard can be used to make credit card payments on behalf of the shopper. In fact, for some expenses it is the preferred method of payment:
  • Conference registration
  • Copying or printing
  • Membership dues
  • Journal subscriptions
  • Advertisement for recruitment, event, or promotions
  • Allowable gift cards and flower arrangements

Personal Funds/Reimbursement

If the item you need or the vendor is not available on BearBuy, you may purchase allowable, non-contract items yourself and be reimbursed.
  • If using faculty funds (other than your own) or department funds, please receive prior written approval from the appropriate fund administrator (PI, RA. Financial Analyst, or Department Manager). You will need to submit the approval with the reimbursement request.
  • Please note that purchases made using a gift card are not eligible for reimbursement
  • If you have any questions about items that can be purchased in this way, please contact the department Financial Analyst before the purchase is made.

Please see the Reimbursement Page for information about how to get reimbursed.



Procurement of Goods or Services with Research Funds

If you need assistance with purchasing goods or equipment related to research activities, please contact your Research Administrator to put you in contact with the appropriate contracting office. Research Activities include:

  • Research Activities for federal, state, and non-profit sponsored projects (subawards)
  • Research activities with industry and material transfers
  • Construction-related activities
  • Real estate leasing or acquisition activities

The contracting offices that have authority to enter into research related agreements on behalf of the university are listed below:

  • Sponsored Projects Office (SPO)
  • Intellectual Property & Industry Research Alliances Office (IPIRA)
  • Business Contracts and Brand Protection (BCBP)
  • Capital Strategies

Procurement of Goods and Services Not Related to Research Activities

The campus Supply Chain Management (SCM) Buyers help facilitate the purchase of high-quality goods and services over $10,000.

If you need assistance with purchases not related to research, please contact the Department Financial Analyst for further assistance.


Purchasing and Payment Matrix

If you have ever wondered what the best method of payment is for what you want to purchase here at UC Berkeley, you’ll be pleased to hear that the Controller’s Office and Supply Chain Management have teamed up to create the purchasing and payment matrix which outlines the recommended methods of payment for goods and services purchased.

Purchasing & Payment Matrix

How do I use this resource?

If you have a need to purchase a specific good or service, search for that item on the main tab of the matrix to find information about which purchasing methods are preferred, allowed, or restricted. For some purchases, there is a required process and this is indicated within the columns; follow the links for more information on those items. On the far right column, you will find links to the UC policy that applies to purchases of that good or service.