There are numerous misguided “facts” about GSA Contracts, and there are numerous things that GSA Contract Holders workers simply don’t have the foggiest idea (however should). With an end goal to set the record straight, here are 5 Things You Didn’t Know About GSA Contracts (as I would like to think).
So, I could never substantiate these statistics, but I didn’t pull them out of thin air. One GSA Contracting Specialist I talked 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 increasing the requirements on quality. This is why using a GSA Specialist (like GSA Focus!) is a great idea to navigate the complicated process of acquiring your GSA Contract.
Through the Cooperative Purchasing Program, State & Local (and other) government agencies can buy off of the GSA Schedule Program. This limited, however, to IT Schedule 70 & Security Schedule 84 categories. Also, through the GSA’s Disaster/Recovery Program State & Local buyers can buy from all GSA Schedules for disaster recovery or emergency preparedness. There are also several State-run programs that “piggyback” on GSA Contracts to mirror a Contractor’s offerings and prices (TXMAS, CMAS, etc.)
When getting GSA Certified you DON’T have to give the GSA the highest discount you have ever offered any customer. You must disclose all types of customers and the discounts/concessions they get. However, it is common to offer the GSA only a 1% discount from your Commercial Rates. This will almost never be the final GSA discount after negotiations, but it is almost never anywhere near the highest customer discount.
Most people know that federal buyers must get 3 bids to make an award, right? On GSA Advantage they can pay by credit card on orders up to $3000 with only pricing justification from GSA Advantage research.
Orders up to $25,000 can go through the GSA eBuy or GSAAdvantage! online systems and not ever post their Opportunity publicly. This means that if your offerings are on a GSA Schedule, then there are opportunities (AKA RFQs) posted within GSA systems that only GSA Contractors can see and pursue.