Frequently Asked Questions
Am I an eligible customer?
If you work for a non-profit 501(c)(3), including faith-based or charter or independent schools, and houses of worship, nursing homes, or affiliated non-profit organizations, you may register for an account under your institution's name and enjoy the benefits of CPS. You will gain access to discounted pricing from our national network of suppliers and brands, as well as extended terms. All customers register under an institution and CPS, in turn, only invoices that institution. More than one member of your organization may register and purchase under your institution's "parent" account.
You may register in two ways:
- Easiest – Click here to Register. Enter your information, use your email as your logon and create a password that is 9 characters in length and uses 1 Upper Case, 1 Lower Case and 1 Number.
- Still Easy – Call us at 800.237.4125 and choose Customer Service and one of our account managers will help you create an account.
Once you are registered and logged in, you are ready to order!
How do I order?
Once your account is created, you may order in a couple of different ways:
- Website – Login, shop for your items, place purchases in your cart and Checkout – easy! You’ll receive a web order confirmation immediately, but your dedicated Account Manager reviews your order and confirms pricing and delivery before sending you a Sales Order Confirmation via email.
- Phone – You may call in your order to 800.237.4125. Choose Customer Service and your dedicated Account Manager will be happy to assist you. Once your order is complete you will receive a Sales Order Confirmation via email.
- Email – We welcome email orders, however, we just need to make sure you have an active account. Once you’re established in our system, email is a convenient way to order. You will have access to a dedicated Account Manager to assist with your order, and whom you may email directly, however, you may also send orders to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will receive a Sales Order Confirmation via email once your order has been processed in our system.
Please be sure to “whitelist”, or identify incoming CPS emails as safe contacts, so that our order information, invoices, statements, and updates will reach your Inbox in a timely manner.
Can I receive a Quote or an Estimate prior to purchasing?
Yes, you may. You can create an Estimate via the website – it’s called a Quote online - but you may also call or email us with your request. Online, there are two ways to request a quote:
- Simply add your desired products for quote to the Shopping Cart. Proceed through the checkout process, confirming your Ship To location for freight, and providing contact information for follow-up. When complete, instead of clicking Place Order, Click Request Quote.
- If you are purchasing items but also requesting a Quote for select items, you may not want to request a Quote through the Shopping Cart process. Instead, when you select your products, you may choose to Add to Quote instead of Add to Cart. When finished selecting and adding items to your Quote Cart, simply complete the contact information and click Send Request.
You will receive a message with a Quote # and this Quote will be captured in your account information under My Account link found in the CPS website footer. Our Sales & Service Team responds to quote requests within 24-48 hours, either via email or phone, to confirm your details. We immediately reach out to suppliers for freight and pricing confirmation and often it may take up to 3 days for suppliers to respond to CPS.
We require signed Estimates for any furniture or large dollar purchases. This is done to protect your organization, as well as ours, and is very helpful with custom orders and made to order furnishings.
CPS Estimates and Quotes may also include alternative purchase options for your consideration. We aim to provide a high value experience and will attempt to offer our customers choices and options among similar products of different price and quality. We provide detailed product information so you can make the best decision to fit your need. We will be transparent with freight costs and options, supplier surcharges and price increases, if that information is available, so there are no hidden costs or surprises.
Why do you need detailed delivery instructions?
Catholic Purchasing collects delivery information on specific products in order to determine freight costs and confirm lead time.
Delivery instructions are required for all furniture deliveries, even those that may go Parcel (UPS or FedEx). When requested, please provide the contact information as follows, including a mobile phone number:
- Delivery Contact Name
- Delivery Contact Mobile Number
- Ideal Delivery Days, noting restricted dates, days, and hours
What is the difference between Tailgate and Liftgate Delivery?
Tailgate Delivery is sometimes referred to as Dock Delivery, where the driver does little to assist with unloading. Usually, Tailgate involves the driver pulling the order to the back of the truck and the customer is required to offload the product from that point. Customers with a loading dock at their facility are better equipped to handle Tailgate, however, customers without loading docks may choose to save money and off-load their order from the truck to the ground on their own. It’s not recommended, but it does save money. Liftgate is very helpful for those customers who do not have a loading dock. In this instance, the truck will carry a “lift” on the back, which will aid in bringing the order, pallet, or loose product, down to the ground or curb level. From that point, the customer will take ownership of moving the product indoors.
Inside Delivery and Installation are other Furniture Delivery Services available to customers on a quote basis. Inside Delivery is an extra fee the freight carrier charges to bring the product just inside the closest entry door. The customer then takes ownership of the product at that point and is responsible for moving product to the final, intended location, assembling product, and disposing of waste.
Installation includes delivery, offloading to the intended room, assembly of product, and disposal of all waste, usually by a third-party installation firm. The charge for Installation can be extensive and sometimes involves shipment directly to the installer first so they can stage and assemble product in their own warehouse, then transport everything for set up at the customer site. Installation is usually requested for large Furniture orders, or by customers who do not have the staff or volunteers to assist with a large order.
What are “LTL”, Less than Truckload, Deliveries?
Most of our customer orders ship LTL vs Truckload (Full Truck). With LTL deliveries, the carrier will attempt to contact the listed Customer Contact at least 24 hours in advance of delivery to arrange an appointment, usually within a delivery window that may span 4 hours. Because the carrier will make limited attempts to contact, it is important to provide a mobile number and to return any voicemails quickly. It is the sole responsibility of the customer to be available during the scheduled appointment to receive and sign for the package. Any redelivery charges incurred will be billed to the customer.
It is highly recommended that the Customer Contact be present at the time of delivery to inspect and sign for the shipment. If no one is available to accept the delivery, the driver may leave the shipment at the first accessible area outside the building.
On the day of delivery, it is the sole responsibility of the customer to fully inspect the shipment for potential damage caused during transit. Please ensure that all pieces are accounted for and inspect all sides of the boxes or crates for anything out of the ordinary.
What happens when my order includes damaged products?
It is critical to document all damaged product, including packaging. If you can see damage on the outside of the box, or if some of the packaging is missing from the shipment, take pictures to document the condition of the box. If customer is present during delivery, please note "BOX DAMAGED" on the delivery receipt or Bill of Lading (BOL) and describe the damages in detail. If possible, please open the box to inspect interior condition before the freight carrier departs. You have the right to refuse delivery if the item, or packaging, is visibly damaged.
Failure to note damages on the delivery receipt will release the trucking company of liability, so it is very important to make the proper notations on the delivery receipt and/or BOL. Please take photos of all damage, including the condition of the exterior packaging, as well as any resulting damage to the actual item. Take a photo of the delivery paperwork and any receipts for your records.
How should I communicate damaged product to CPS?
Please alert CPS of damage immediately, by sending an email, with photos and a description of what is damaged, how many pieces are damaged, and any other details, to your CPS Account Manager. We are here to assist you and to help protect your purchase. Our suppliers are excellent partners and usually very responsive to damage claims. However, failure by the customer to notify CPS in a timely manner may release both the carrier and the manufacturer of any liability to remedy the situation. We want to be proactive in representing your claim and encourage you to communicate promptly.
What if I receive product that is damaged during Parcel delivery?
Some furniture items, depending on size, may ship Parcel, via common carrier like UPS or FedEx. Parcel deliveries do not require an appointment or signature upon receipt. Occasionally, damage may occur and it is important to notify CPS immediately of any issues. It can be very difficult to receive any damage remedy from the parcel carriers, therefore, the supplier absorbs much of the damage costs. It is critical to document any damage with photos of the original packaging and the actual damaged product. Supplier reporting requirements are strict. All damages via Parcel should be reported to CPS within 24-48 hours of receipt.
What is the CPS Marketplace?
The CPS Marketplace is our ordering hub for select retail suppliers – Staples, School Specialty, School Health, US Games - where our customers are able to pass through our website and order directly from the supplier, but with CPS benefits. It’s important that customers access these supplier partners through our CPS website, and through the CPS Marketplace. Going through CPS guarantees that you will receive our discounted, contract pricing and negotiated shipping, and also take advantage of buying on your CPS account with Net 30 terms.
Where is the CPS Marketplace?
The Marketplace can be accessed several ways on our website
- Via our HomePage, you’ll see “CPS Marketplace” listed on the Main Menu Bar, next to All Products. Simply click to access the Marketplace landing page.
- Via the Main Menu Navigation, you’ll see the retail partner logos on the drop-down menu and you can click on a specific logo to access the desired partner website.
- Via scrolling down our CPS HomePage, you will see the CPS Marketplace and our supplier logos listed. Simply click the specific logo to access the desired partner website.
How do I order from the CPS Marketplace?
To order from the CPS Marketplace, you must be logged in. If you are an existing customer, simply login when prompted, then select the specific logo to access the desired partner website.
If you are currently not a customer, you’ll be prompted to register. Again, simply complete the required information regarding your institution affiliation, create a logon (using your email) and a password that is 9 characters in length and uses 1 Upper Case, 1 Lower Case and 1 Number.
Once you are registered and logged in, you are ready to proceed to the desired partner website for shopping. As an example, once logged in, select the logo to access the desired partners website – in this instance, Staples. You’ll travel out to the Staples Advantage site, where you can start ordering. Staples recognizes your customer contact information and your CPS affiliation. Select your items and add to the Staples Cart. When ready to checkout, review your cart and click Submit Order.
A submitted order takes you back to the CPS Marketplace Shopping Cart, where you will check out. You may confirm or edit your quantities and items here. Click Checkout to continue the process. You’ll then confirm your Shipping and Billing Address, and you may add a Requested Delivery Date. You MUST add a PO Number, under the Payment box. The PO Number can be a legitimate PO from your organization, if required, however, it can also be your name, today’s date, or a made-up number. Once your information is complete, you may click Place Order to process an order. You’ll receive an Order Confirmation number. Alternatively, if you have an established Approval Workflow within your organization, you may click Save Requisition, which files your order under Requisitions, for later review and approval.
Why is the only payment option “On Account?
We do not take credit cards on our website or over the phone. All payment is “On Account” via an invoice from Catholic Purchasing Services. One of the benefits of working with Catholic Purchasing is that we do not require any up-front payment and we provide Net 30 Terms. We will email an invoice to you when your order has started to ship. From that ship time, you have 30 days until your invoice is due and payment is due to CPS.
How will I receive an Invoice?
Invoices will be emailed to you upon the date your order starts to ship. Please be sure to “whitelist”, or identify incoming CPS emails as safe contacts, so that our order information, invoices, statements, and updates will reach your Inbox in a timely manner. If you need an invoice to be sent to the accounting department or business manager, we can add that email also to your account.
Statements are mailed for invoices over 60 days old. Statements can also be emailed.
How can I pay my invoices?
Currently, checks are the only form of payment being processed. ACH payments from your bank to ours is available (if you are using ACH). We also accept payments through Bill.com. Usually, the customer creates an account with Bill.com, sends an invitation to email@example.com and then CPS will accept that invitation so payments can be transferred.
Are there any penalties for late payment?
A 1% finance charged is calculated for invoices over 60 days old on the outstanding balance.
How can I pay using EANS and ESSR funds?
Your organization registers and submits an invoice to EANS or ESSR within your state. Catholic Purchasing Services is registered with Sam.gov and multiple individual states as a qualified vendor. If you cannot locate Catholic Purchasing Services in the vendor search, contact CPS at 800.237.4125 x 530 so we may investigate.