Purchasing Cooperative: a type of cooperative arrangement to get lower prices from selected suppliers. Purchasing Cooperatives are required to follow laws requiring competitive bidding above certain thresholds. Counties, municipalities, schools, colleges and universities in the majority of states can sign an agreement or contract that allows them to legally use a contract that was procured by another governmental entity.
A purchasing cooperative has already completed the competitive bidding process and offers an excellent alternative to standard bidding procedures. This process takes advantage of the prominence and volume associated with a national contract and provides schools and municipalities with extremely competitive pricing.
The advantage of a purchasing cooperative is that it eliminates the concern of bid protests, while avoiding the delay and costs associated with the standard bidding procedure.