Frequently Asked Questions

Registering My Account

  1. Who is eligible to use this online service?
  2. How do I register as a bidder with the City of Columbia?

Logging into My Account

  1. Why do I receive the message: "User/Password combination is invalid"?
  2. Why do I receive the message: "Unable to locate user"?
  3. What if I forget my user name or password; how do I reset it?
  4. What do I do if I'm having trouble accessing my account(s)?

Using Bid Online

  1. Why does my company's Bidder Profile display when I am trying to access information on a bid?
  2. Who should I contact to answer additional questions about my Bid Online account?

Online Security

  1. What precautions does the City of Columbia have in place to protect customer information online?
  2. What can I do to further protect my information in the online system?

Computer Settings

  1. Which browsers are supported for the Bid Online System?
  2. Why did I receive the message: "Your computer must allow pop-ups"?
  3. What is a "Cookie"?
  4. What is "JavaScript"?

 


 

 
Registering My Account
  1. Who is eligible to use this online service?
  2. All vendors who would like to do business with the City of Columbia are eligible to use this online service. Vendors will be able to review open and cancelled solicitations, see awarded bids as well as search the vendor/bidder database. All vendors wishing to use this service to submit a bid will need to complete the online registration to be placed on the City’s Bidder List.

  3. How do I register as a bidder with the City of Columbia?
  4. Vendors wishing to register as a bidder will need to complete the online registration.

    1. From the welcome screen, click the REGISTRATION/LOGIN tab.
    2. Click on CREATE NEW ACCOUNT.
      1. Complete the registration screen.
        1. Enter your company name.
        2. Enter your Tax ID or Social Security Number.
        3. Enter a contact name for your company.
        4. Enter a valid email address for your company.
          This email address will be used to inform you of solicitations as well as your username to enter the Bid Online system.
        5. Enter a password of your choice (passwords should be no longer than 8 characters).
          NOTE: PASSWORDS ARE CASE SENSITIVE.
      2. Upon submitting the registration screen, you will be directed to the PROFILE page.
        1. Enter additional information about your company.
        2. Supply your company’s physical location address.
        3. Provide your company’s mailing address. If different from your physical location address.
          This address will be where correspondence from the City of Columbia will be sent.
        4. Provide your company’s remittance address. If different from your physical location address.
          This address will be where AP checks are sent.
      3. After completing the Profile page, click the COMMODITIES tab to select the products your company supplies.
        The City of Columbia utilizes the 5-digit NIGP codes to classify vendors according to specific products and services. When completing the registration process to be placed on the bid list, vendors must list all applicable NIGP codes on the Commodities tab.
      4. Your registration is complete.

    View additional instructions for registering as a bidder with the City of Columbia.

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Logging into My Account
  1. Why do I receive the message: "User/Password combination is invalid"?
  2. Please make sure your username/email address and password are typed correctly. If you have forgotten your username or password, please complete the FORGOT LOGIN screen. Your temporary password will be sent to the email address you registered.

  3. Why do I receive the message: "Unable to locate user"?
  4. The email address entered has not been registered by a vendor. Please make sure your username/email address and password are typed correctly. If you have forgotten your username or password, please complete the FORGOT LOGIN screen. Your temporary password will be sent to the email address you registered.

  5. What if I forgot my user name or password; how do I reset it?
  6. If you have forgotten your username or password, please complete the FORGOT LOGIN form. Your temporary password will be sent to the email address you registered.

    1. From the Bidder Login screen, click the FORGOT LOGIN link located in the middle of the screen.
    2. Enter the email address you registered for this account.
    3. Your temporary password will be sent to the registered email address.

  7. What do I do if I'm having trouble accessing my account(s)?
  8. If you are having trouble logging into your account, please check that your username and password are typed correctly. Ensure that your web browser has JavaScript and "cookies" enabled. Please see Computer Settings in the FAQ's to get further information on JavaScript and "cookies".

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Using Bid Online
  1. Why does my company’s Bidder Profile display when I am trying to access information on a bid?
  2. The Bid Online system is supported on Internet Explorer (IE) 7 or higher; however, bidders using IE 9 or higher may need COMPATIBILITY MODE enabled to navigate the Bid Online tabs.

    To enable compatibility mode for your IE browser:

    1. Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.x and higher
      • Click on TOOLS
      • Click on COMPATIBILITY VIEW

  3. Who should I contact to answer additional questions about my Bid Online account?
  4. If you have forgotten your username or password, please complete the FORGOT LOGIN form. Your temporary password will be sent to the email address you registered.

    1. From the Bidder Login screen, click the FORGOT LOGIN link located in the middle of the screen.
    2. Enter the email address you registered for this account.
    3. Your temporary password will be sent to the registered email address.

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Online Security
  1. What precautions does the City of Columbia have in place to protect customer information online?
  2. The City of Columbia's Department of Information Technology (DoIT), as developer and manager of columbia.sc.gov, has taken several steps to safeguard the integrity of its telecommunications and computing infrastructure, including but not limited to authentication, monitoring, auditing, and encryption. Security measures have been integrated into the design, implementation and day-to-day practices of the entire DoIT operating environment as part of its continuing commitment to risk management.

    This information should not be construed in any way as giving business, legal, or other advice. This information should not be construed as warranting as fail-proof the security of information provided through DoIT supported web sites.

  3. What can I do to further protect my information in the online system?
  4. To ensure security of your online account,

    • Do not share your username or password with anyone.
    • Remember to LOG OFF after each Bid Online logon session.
    • Do not share your Social Security number or Tax ID number with unauthorized users.

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Computer Settings
  1. Which browsers are supported for the Bid Online system?
  2. The Bid Online system requires use of Internet Explorer (IE) 7 or higher for optimum functionality and appearance of the site. All other browsers are not supported and their use may result in loss of functionality and formatting. Bidders using IE 9 or higher may need COMPATIBILITY MODE enabled to navigate the Bid Online tabs. Please note that Microsoft XP is no longer supported.

    To enable compatibility mode for your IE browser:

    1. Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.x and higher
      • Click on TOOLS
      • Click on COMPATIBILITY VIEW

  3. Why did I receive the message: "Your computer must allow pop-ups"?
  4. Some screens within the City of Columbia's Bid Online system may require a pop-up window. In order for this new window to display on your computer, pop-ups must be enabled. You can configure your browser to allow pop-ups always or temporarily. (Each browser is different, so check the "Help" menu of your browser to learn how to change your blocking preferences.)

    You may enable pop-up blockers again at any time by going back into the menu to turn on the pop-up blocker.

  5. What is a "Cookie"?
  6. A cookie is a small amount of data, which may include an anonymous unique identifier, that is sent to your browser from a web site's computers and may either be used only during your session (a "session" cookie) or may be stored on your computer's hard drive (a "persistent" cookie). Cookies can contain data about user movement during the visit to the website. If your browser software is set to allow cookies, a web site can send its own cookie to you. A web site that has set a cookie can only access those cookies it has sent to you, it cannot access cookies sent to you by other sites.

    Cookies are one mechanism for maintaining continuity during a user's visit to a web site. They allow data to be maintained for users' benefit as they navigate a site. This is referred to as "session" or "state management" cookie. These cookies go away when you terminate your visit to the website as they are maintained only in your browser's active memory during your session. Cookies may also be stored on your computer to so that you can be recognized by a website on subsequent visits. They can be read by the website that set them whenever you enter the website. They are often used on websites that require you to log in to save you entering all of your log-in information. They may store information on your unique identifier and the areas of the website you have visited before. These cookies are stored on your computer's hard drive after you have left your website visit and consequently are often referred to as "persistent" cookies.

    To better provide our customers with online services, the City of Columbia uses "cookies" to assist in performing various online transactions. Cookies created while using the City's websites do not contain personal information nor comprise privacy and security. These cookies store randomly generated identifiers to distinguish your computer as you complete an online transaction. Visitors do have the option of turning off cookies while visiting the City's website; however, this may impact our ability to provide certain online services to you.

  7. What is "JavaScript"?
  8. JavaScript is a dynamic programming language for web pages.  HTML (a static code) provides code for the webpage itself, and JavaScript can make dynamic changes so you can see your account information without reloading the page.  A page created in HTML is static, meaning it won't change ‘on-the-fly'.  JavaScript, however, is dynamic and therefore makes it easier and more convenient for you to retrieve your account information and use the features of our site.  Today, JavaScript is used on most web sites.

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