Purchasing

Costco FAQs

There should be very few times when a department needs to use Costco to perform the mission functions of the University. In almost all cases, items can be purchased in other ways than taking a trip to Costco. Please use the information below on Costco Card reservations and utilization.

If questions remain, please feel free to contact University Purchasing - purchasing@willamette.edu

  1. Are student groups able to use the card?
  2. How much advance time is needed to reserve the Costco Card?
  3. What does the process of reserving and using the card look like?
  4. How do I use the cards?
  5. Do I keep the receipts or turn them into my Department's Budget Officer?
  6. My budget officer wants the original receipt.
  7. How long can I keep the card?
  8. Does this mean University Offices can buy furniture from Costco?
  9. Is it considered "University business?" If so, can I go to Costco during clocked hours without taking time off?
  10. Are there better alternatives to using my own car?
  11. If I use my own car, do I get reimbursed for mileage? At what rate?
  12. If I choose to use my own car, does WU insurance pay if there is an accident?

1. Are student groups able to use the card?

Yes, registered clubs and organizations are eligible to check out the Costco card. The University Staff/Faculty member who supervises the group is responsible for making the reservation and letting the Coordinator of Purchasing know who will be signing out the card, completing the paperwork and returning the card and receipt.

[back to top]

2. How much advance time is needed to reserve the Costco Card?

We generally ask for 24 hours advance notice. The reservation may be done via e-mail to purchasing@willamette.edu or via phone 503-370-6055. Same day use requests may be accommodated if the card is available, but this cannot be guaranteed.

[back to top]

3. What does the process of reserving and using the card look like?

  1. Pick up the card at University Purchasing (Doney 108)
  2. Fill out a ½ page form, providing your name, date/ time out, your department/student group or organization, phone number, account number, and budget officer. 
  3. Take the card and make purchases.
  4. Return the card and receipts.

[back to top]

4. How do I use the cards?

There are two cards. The black one is used to enter the store and the white one is used at check-out to pay for the items purchased. DO NOT USE YOUR OWN CASH OR PERSONAL CARDS as this defeats the purpose of the University having an account with Costco.

[back to top]

5. Do I keep the receipts or turn them into my Department's Budget Officer?

The original receipt must be returned to University Purchasing with the cards.

[back to top]

6. My budget officer wants the original receipt.

When the Costco Card monthly bill is reconciled, your budget officer will receive a copy of the receipt from University Purchasing.

[back to top]

7. How long can I keep the card?

Because this is the sole card for the entire University, it is requested that you use the card within 3 hours of checking it out. If that amount of time needs to be adjusted, communicate immediately with Purchasing to see if more use time is available. Generally, no more than 3 reservations are scheduled for the same day.

[back to top]

8. Does this mean University Offices can buy furniture from Costco?

All furniture for staff and faculty have to be purchased through the proper channels - through University Surplus or through a vendor that takes Willamette University Purchase Orders (POs). Costco is not a viable option for office furniture at this time.

[back to top]

9. Is it considered "University business?" If so, can I go to Costco during clocked hours without taking time off?

This is determined at the department level. It should be your practice that a trip to Costco is formally authorized by your supervisor to be official University business.

[back to top]

10. Are there better alternatives to using my own car?

We generally ask for 24 hours advance notice. The reservation may be done via e-mail to purchasing@willamette.edu or via phone 503-370-6055. Same day use requests may be accommodated if the card is available, but this cannot be guaranteed.

[back to top]

11. If I use my own car, do I get reimbursed for mileage? At what rate?

If you are directed to go to Costco by your supervisor as part of your duties you will be reimbursed for mileage, this should happen if a Zipcar is unavailable and you choose to drive your own vehicle. By receiving permission to seek reimbursement for mileage, you are agreeing to take on all of the responsibility for using our own vehicle.

[back to top]

12. If I choose to use my own car, does WU insurance pay if there is an accident?

Insurance follows the car, not the driver, this means that the claim would fall on the employee who chooses to use their personal vehicle and has been authorized to receive reimbursement for mileage.

[back to top]