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Public Purchasing Cooperative Signs Agreement to Buy from Amazon Business

The deal will give members the ability to buy directly from the website as part of a competitive procurement contract.

Members of the public purchasing cooperative U.S. Communities will be able to buy select products through Amazon Business under a new agreement between the two organizations.

The agreement opens up Amazon Business to orders from more than 90,000 education institutions and government entities making up U.S. Communities’ membership. According to a document associated with the contract, the co-op estimates that its members might spend as much as $500 million every year on purchasing through the arrangement.

The contract specifically sets up an avenue for co-op members to buy products in 10 categories: office supplies, audio-visual and electronic equipment, clothing, school supplies, kitchen and grocery items, books, musical instruments, lab supplies, animal supplies, and “miscellaneous.”

For those items, most purchasers will be able to bypass competitive contracting because the agreement is itself a blanket competitive contract. That’s the model U.S. Communities operates on; indeed, it already has an agreement with the company DLT Solutions to help customers buy cloud hosting from Amazon Web Services.

Through the new contract, U.S. Communities members will have access to free two-day shipping on orders of more than $49, tax-exempt purchasing programs and integration with e-procurement systems.

Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.