FedBid Inc., a provider of online procurement services to government agencies and educational institutions, received contracts last week from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Labor to provide online “reverse-auction” services.
The contracts allow authorized buyers at the two federal departments to purchase “commodity goods”—ranging from office equipment to headlamps for motor vehicles—used for maintaining and operating federal agencies. FedBid didn’t disclose the value of the contracts.
Under the reverse auction model, buyers post information on FedBid.com about what they want to purchase, then choose among bids posted by multiple suppliers. FedBid says it hosts more than 17,000 buyers from 75 federal, state and local government agencies.
FedBid says 90% of purchases made on its site are for products from small and mid-sized businesses. It earns its revenue by adding a percentage to each transaction completed on FedBid.com; sellers have up to 60 days to pay that fee. Sellers have the option to pay FedBid’s fees via online credit card.
The USDA contract was awarded through the U.S. Forest Service, but is available for use by all USDA agencies, FedBid says. FedBid didn’t released further details about the contract. Under prior contracts with the USDA dating back to 2011, buyers on FedBid.com have entered purchasing contracts with a combined value of more than $25 million, FedBid says.
The contract with the Labor Department is for one base year with four option years. Under prior FedBid contracts with the Labor Department dating back to 2006, buyers at the department have entered purchasing contracts with a combined value of $68 million, FedBid says.
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