5 Things You Didn’t Know About GSA Contracts

There are many misconceptions about GSA Contracts, and there are many things that Contractors just don’t know (but should). In an effort to set the record straight, here are the top 5 Things You Didn’t Know About GSA Contracts (in my opinion). Add to the list in the comments if I missed something.

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[1] State And Local Governments Can Buy Off GSA

Through the Cooperative Purchasing Program, State & Local (and other) government entities can buy off of the GSA Multiple Award Schedule Program. This program is limited, however to IT Schedule 70 & Security Schedule 84 categories. Also, through the GSA’s Disaster/Recovery Program State & Local buyers can purchase goods and services from all GSA Schedules for emergency preparedness or disaster recovery. There are also several State-run programs that “piggyback” on GSA Contracts to mirror a Contractor’s offerings and prices (TXMAS, CMAS, etc.)

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[2] Many GSA Opportunity Are Not Publicly Posted

Orders up to $25,000 can go through the GSA eBuy or GSAAdvantage! online systems without ever being posted publicly. This means that if your products or services are within a GSA Category, then there are opportunities out there that only GSA Contractors can bid on (see citation).

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[3] Fed Buyers Can Bypass The 3 Bid System With GSA (In Some Cases)

Everyone knows that federal buyer (usually) must get 3 bids to make an award. However, on GSA Advantage they can pay by credit card on orders up to $3000 with only pricing justification from GSA Advantage research.

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[4] You Don’t Have To Give GSA Your Best Prices

When getting GSA Certified you DO NOT have to give the GSA the best discount you have ever offered any customer. You must disclose all customer types and the discounts/concessions they receive. However, it is common to offer the GSA only a 1% discount from your COmmercial List Price. This will almost never be the final GSA discount after negotiations, but it is rarely anywhere near the highest customer discount.

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[5] Around 75 – 90% Of GSA Offers Are Rejected

So, I could never substantiate these figures, but I didn’t pull them out of thin air. One GSA Contracting specialist I spoke to a while back told me that 75% of offers are rejected. And more recently another told me 90%. This is definitely consistent with what I have seen at the GSA. There has been an increase in submissions, and they have responded by raising the bar on quality. This is why using a GSA Specialist (like GSA Focus!) is a good idea these days to navigate the complicated and sometimes political process of getting your GSA Contract.

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