Reverse auctions have saved agencies 17 percent on some past purchases.
The General Services Administration launched an online reverse auction tool on Monday that it said will help agencies pay lower prices for common office supplies such as laptops, computer monitors and tablets.
In a reverse auction, an agency seeks a product or service and vendors compete to offer the lowest price. Bids usually fall the longer the auction goes on. The procedure is typically used for simple purchases where cost is the most important factor in an agency’s buying decision.
Agencies have saved up to 17 percent by using reverse auctions, GSA said. The new Web tool can be used with many vendors GSA has pre-established contracts with through its Multiple Awards Schedule or blanket purchase agreements, the agency said.
“Reverse auctions also provide greater transparency into prices paid, which improves the government’s ability to negotiate with vendors to receive best pricing possible,” GSA said in a statement. “The reverse auction platform also captures line-item data by agency bureau, which will aid agencies in performing prices paid analysis and provide insights into purchasing behavior for strategic sourcing opportunities.”