Personal incentives are deliberate enticements offered by a supplier to encourage a purchase. Incentives are non-financial benefits, and include any extra goods and services offered at no charge to either the recipient or UCLA. Examples include:
- Additional goods or services
- Tickets to an event
- Free merchandise
Rebates are offers from the supplier either to return part of the cost of the order to the buyer or to provide additional consideration or compensation to encourage the purchase of goods and/or services. Examples include:
- Cash or credit based on total purchases
- Value-added goods or services offered at a substantially reduced price
- Checks to either the buyer or the University
Rebates offered as credits against future purchases or for goods or services at a substantially reduced cost are generally not accepted because of the administrative difficulty of tracking and utilizing these credits, and determining the sales and use tax associated with the resulting transactions.
UCLA typically negotiates quantity or trade discounts instead of accepting incentives or entering into rebate agreements with suppliers. An exception is the Strategic Sourcing rebate program within Campus Purchasing. The Strategic Sourcing group gets operational funds from supplier rebates (or patronage incentives). The group negotiates contracts that offer significant discounts and added value for goods and services the University may buy. Strategic Sourcing is not supported by state funds (see related link).
It is UC policy to separate employees’ University and private interests, and to safeguard UCLA and its employees against charges of favoritism in purchasing goods and services. It is illegal to accept offers of personal incentives because they may influence the purchasing decision or create the appearance of favoritism.
Departmental buyers and others are not to accept incentives or offers for rebates from a supplier without advance approval from Campus Purchasing.
If a supplier proposes incentives or rebate agreements, refer the supplier to Campus Purchasing. Purchasing staff will review the conditions of the offer to determine if:
- it is reasonable;
- more favorable prices are available from other suppliers;
- the rebate or incentive value can be applied toward the purchase price.