Purchasing Capital Equipment

A Capital Equipment purchase is equal to or greater than $5,000 and has a useful life span of one or more years. For additional information regarding capital equipment purchases, call the Capital Asset Administrator at 617-627-2008

Lease or Buy

Equipment purchases usually involve a substantial financial commitment - the purchase price of the equipment and the cost to service and repair it. The primary reason to lease rather than buy an item is because the needed item is so expensive that its direct purchase is not possible and other financing mechanisms are unavailable or more expensive than leasing. In order to be considered for leasing, the item must have a value of at least $50,000 and must have CEA approval.

If the buyer decides to lease the equipment, provisions should be made for upgrading the equipment, if needed. For additional information see Leasing Policies and Procedures.

Making the Buy

Once the decision has been made to purchase the equipment, the specification is prepared, the suppliers selected and the RFQ/RFP is developed.


The F.O.B. point should be Destination, and then the supplier is legally responsible for the equipment until it is delivered to the specified location. If the equipment is damaged in transit, the supplier is responsible for filing the freight claim. International shipments should be labeled “FOB Boston (Incoterms).”

If the terms are F.O.B. Origin, Tufts is legally responsible for the equipment in transit from the supplier's warehouse or dock and the University is required to file the freight claim. If equipment is damaged in route Tufts is insured for replacement cost under the University’s blanket insurance policy. However, the policy carries a deductible of $25,000. Individuals may wish to purchase additional insurance to cover damage of up to $25,000 either through the supplier/shipper or at http://www.shipsurance.com/services.asp.

If the package is visibly damaged upon arrival, then the receiver may refuse delivery. Alternatively, the receiver may note any physical damage to the package on the shipping papers. When possible, it is best to open and inspect the equipment before it is received at a university building. For additional information or to file a claim, contact the Tufts University Office of Risk Management at (617-627-3981).

Contact the Purchasing Office
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