Frequent Asked Questions

Q: What is Student Buyers' Association?
A: SBA was formed in 1955 by Sororities and Fraternities on the University of Michigan campus to gamer better pricing with vendors and to oversee the purchasing on behalf of our members. Student Buyers' Association is a purchasing cooperative of 65 plus members.

Q: Who is SBA?
A: Student Buyers' Association has expanded from its early years to include Cooperative houses and non-profit groups. In 1999 we welcomed student groups on the campus of Michigan State University and we continue to look for not for profit organizations that can benefit from Student Buyers' Association.

Q: Why become a member of SBA?
A: SBA as a whole has much more purchasing power than an individual group would, and is thus able to get considerable discounts that would not be available to the lone group. SBA also compiles all the purchases made through SBA into one bill while still providing the backup paperwork. This allows the treasurer or bill payer to write just one check and still verify purchases at a glance. There are many more reasons, with price comparison ordering, budgeting, member billing and menu planning among them.

Q: My sales rep says he can give me the same pricing. Can he?
A: SBA's pricing with the major food purveyor's is set at corporate levels. This sizeable discount lessens the commission many reps receive, and may entice them into making promises they are unable to keep to steer you away from l SBA. They may promise great pricing, but does it cover everything? Great prices on the center of your plate do you no good if you're paying twice as much for can liners. Will the pricing last or is it just to get you in? How much dickering do you have to do to get it and how much energy do you have to expend to be sure it is kept low? SBA has multiple vendors so you don't have to rely solely on one vendor. We can divide your necessities between vendors to assure the lowest price, cherry picking among them to your satisfaction.

Q: What is the, "5%?"
A: SBA charges a 5% handling charge to cover overhead. However, SBA is a non- profit cooperative, which means that any profit not deemed as overhead for the next year is returned to the members! Rebate checks are sent out annually to the Members with the amount based on their purchases through SBA in the previous year.

Q: What is the member deposit 1%?
A: Every member has refundable equity in SBA, called the membership deposit. The amount maintained is set at half of the members' highest month of purchases of the preceding year.