Search iBuyNU

Audience: Shoppers and Requesters

This reference describes how to search for products or items from hosted and punchout supplier catalogs. Searching for items is usually the first step in creating a cart in iBuyNU. This reference does not describe history searches for items from previously created carts, favorites, saved searches, or searches for iBuyNU menu pages. See the training materials for information about history searches.

Upon completion of this guide you will be able to:

Search for items, using the following:

  • Simple search
  • Advanced search
  • Quick order
  • Suppliers
  • Categories
  • Single vendor, hosted
  • Punchout search

Also you will learn about additional features related to searching, such as filtering and sorting, and comparison shopping. See the table of contents, next page.

Many of these searches apply only to items from hosted catalogs. To learn more about hosted and punchout catalogs, see the Appendix.


Who has access to iBuyNU?

Access to iBuyNU as a Shopper or a Requester requires security authorization. Security access forms and instructions are located on the FFRA website at

How do you navigate to iBuyNU?

Use the shortcuts on the NUPortal > Financial > Purchasing provided separately for Shoppers and Requesters. For more information on login and navigation, see the FFRA website, Training Materials.

What if you cannot find items in iBuyNU?

  • If you are a Shopper, communicate your purchase request to your school/department Requester.
  • If you are a Requester, create a non-catalog requisition.

Additional Resources

Procurement and Payment Services 847-491-8120 email

Where to get help? For assistance, contact NUIT Support Center at 847-491-HELP (4357) or email

Table of Contents

Searches Overview

The search methods contained in this document are labeled below:

  1. Simple search -Search using a simple word, phrase or part number.
  2. Advanced search - Search using multiple fields and criteria.
  3. Quick order - Enter exact supplier or manufacturer part number or SKU to search for item and automatically add it to cart.
  4. Suppliers - Browse for items first by vendor, then by category. Search for suppliers by type (hosted catalog or punchout)
  5. Category - Browse for items by category
  6. Single vendor, hosted search -Search only for items from a single supplier.
  7. Punchout search - Search an external supplier's website
  8. Shop/Carts menu - Most of the searches shown on this page are accessible from Shop/Carts.

A. Simple Search

This search returns results from all supplier catalogs, but hosted supplier items are listed first in the search results. Search results for punchout suppliers are listed last, and you must click Order from Supplier to go to an externally maintained punchout website to locate the item. (See the section Punchout Search.)

  1. Enter a keyword, phrase, part number or CAS no. in the Search field on the Home/Shop page.
  2. Click Go or press <Enter> on your keyboard.
    • Note: To return to this page, you click Home/Shop on the side banner. Or, click the iBuyNU logo.


Part Number or SKU


CAS No.:

B. Advanced search

Advanced Search gives you many options for searching. See the table on next page for more information about using these fields.

  1. Click advanced search. (Advanced Search appears.)
  1. Enter search criteria in the fields below:
  2. Click Search.
  3. After the search results appear, click simple search in the upper right to close the Advanced Search. (Alternatively, prior to clicking Search, you can check Hide Advanced Search on search results.)

Advanced Search Fields


Advanced Search menu

Click the drop-down arrow to open the menu. Select one of the category options, such as Books. Then, enter your search criteria in the advanced search fields. Note: Selecting the Lab Supplies category opens a few additional fields in Advanced Search. See Advanced Search Menu Lab Supplies, below.

All of These Words

Enter a keyword or keywords you want to search for.

Part Number (SKU)

Enter the manufacturer or distributors part number or SKU. Use commas to separate multiple entries.

Supplier Name

Enter the specific name of the supplier or vendor.

Manufacturer Name

Enter the specific manufacturer name. You can use this field if the name of the manufacturer has been identified in the product information provided by the vendor.

Exact Phrase

Enter the exact words (including spaces and punctuation) to restrict your search.

Exclude Words

Enter keywords you want to exclude from your search results. Use this field to restrict a search using criteria entered in All These Words.

Any of These Words

Enter keywords you want included. Search results include items containing any one of the words entered in this field. Items matching more than one word are listed higher in search results than items matching only one word.

Advanced Search menu Lab Supplies

Lab Supplies contains additional fields that you can use to add criteria and refine your search results.

C. Quick order

Quick order lets you enter multiple part numbers or SKUs in a single search. Quick Order searches all hosted catalogs and categories simultaneously. If your part numbers are found, iBuyNU automatically adds item to cart. You don't have to browse search results and manually add items.

  1. Click quick order.
  1. In the Part Number (SKU) fields, type part numbers in the fields provided. You can enter up to five part numbers/SKUs in this search.
  2. Click Add to Active Cart. (Matched items are automatically added to your active shopping cart in quantities of one for each item. If additional quantities are needed, increase the quantity inside your shopping cart.)

Note: After clicking Add to Active Cart, an Add to Cart Confirmation message appears for any found items. If no results are found for a part number, you will see a message indicating that no results were found for that part number.

D. Suppliers

Suppliers let you browse suppliers (vendors) for supplier information and categories of products offered by that supplier. It also lets you search for a suppliers and then browse their offerings by category.

Browse Suppliers

  1. Click suppliers.
  2. Browse results
    1. Click Sort By menu drop-down arrow to sort.
    2. Click Supplier Name to browse supplier offerings by category.
    3. Click Type icons: Hosted catalog icon or Punchout icon
    4. Hover over Preference icon to see supplier class.

(Browse by Suppliers appears)


Sort By

Click the arrow and then select Alphabetical to sort suppliers in alphabetical or reverse alphabetical order.


Supplier Name

Click supplier name to view supplier information (address, fax, phone, as available) and to browse the categories of products offered by that supplier.



Click the punchout icon to connect to that punchout suppliers externally maintained website. (From the website you must click Cancel Punch-out to close the site.) Note that some punchout suppliers show both punchout and hosted catalog icons, indicating that some suppliers accommodate both types of catalog format.

Click the hosted catalog icon to view supplier information and browse the categories of products offered by that supplier.



If a supplier belongs to any supplier classes, the icons denoting those classes will appear in the Preference column. For instance, is the icon denoting a science category supplier. For other icons, hover over the icon to read a description of the class. These icons are not clickable.

Search for Supplier

  1. Click + next to Click to expand Search for Supplier Filter.
  2. In Supplier, type vendor name.
  3. Click Search.
    • Note: If you use this search, you must delete the fields or open a new page to refresh this screen. Otherwise iBuyNU will retain your search criteria.
  4. Click the Supplier Name in the search results. (Here, Roche is the supplier.
  5. The supplier information, as available, appears. Under Categories, click + to expand its sub-categories.
  6. Click the view link next to a sub-category that you wish to view. (This runs a search in iBuyNU.)

E. Categories

Categories let you browse general categories of products offered in iBuyNU, without regard to supplier.

1.  Click categories. (Categories appear.)

2.  Click + next to a Category to expand its sub-categories. (A minus sign appears next to the Category when expanded.)

3.  Click the view link next to a sub-category that you wish to view. (iBuyNU performs a search using the sub-category. Search results appear in the Home/Shop page)

F. Single vendor, hosted search

Single vendor, hosted lets you search for items within a single vendor, for any hosted supplier. This search is available on the Home/Shop page .

  1. Click the Company Logo of any hosted supplier. You can click the logo or the link under the logo, here, Laboratory Supplies.
  2. In Search, type a keyword.
  3. Click Search. (Search results appear.)

G. Punchout Search

Many suppliers maintain external websites that require you to punch-out or redirect to from iBuyNU. To search for items, change quantities, and add items a cart, you must use the interface and navigation controls specific to each punchout website.

Punchout websites vary. Therefore, detailed step-by-step instructions are not provided for punchout searching.

Note: When punching out to a vendor website, your login is authenticated so the supplier knows you are from NU. Contract-specific products and pricing as negotiated between the vendor and NU are displayed.

Connect to punchout from Home/Shop

  1. Click the company logo or name, here Dell.

(A message about connecting/redirecting to supplier appears).

The punchout website appears.

Connect to punchout from search results

In your search results, the Order from Supplier link indicates the item is offered by a punchout supplier.

  1. Click Order from Supplier.

(A message about connecting/redirecting to supplier appears).

  1. You are redirected to the punchout website. In this case, you are redirected to the page with the item from your search results. However, there may be instances where you need to re-enter your search for the item inside the punchout website.

Additional features: Filter and sort search results

To narrow your search results, you can use filters and sort your search results. Although filters display in search results for punchout catalog items, they are not clickable.

  1. Sort by menu lets you sort by the options shown below. To sort results, you select one of the menu options. Note: You must have 200 or less search results to utilize this feature. (You can filter your results to lower your total number of results.)
  2. Filter Results displays available filters, such those shown below. To narrow your search results by the Supplier filter, for instance, click one of the suppliers.

Filter by multiple criteria:

Note: To learn more about filters, click the ? next to Filter Results.

Additional features: Compare search results

Compare lets you view two or more items from your search results side-by-side. This capability applies to hosted catalogs only. It does not apply to punchouts.

  1. Click compare next to the first item you want to view.
  2. Click compare next to another item you wish to view.
    • Note: You can select multiple items for comparison.
    • Remove appears when you click Compare. If you wish to undo an item, click remove. See the image below.
  3. Click Compare Selected. (You may need to scroll up to view this button.)
    • Note: The Compare Selected button tallies number of items selected for comparison, 2 in this example.

The Product Comparison page then opens. Here you can compare items for the categories shown on the left side of the page.

To add one of your compared items to your active cart:

  1. Change the quantity, if needed.
  2. Click Add to Cart.

If you wish to add an item to your draft cart or to favorites, utilize the Add to Active Carts menu. This menu is located just above the Add to Cart button.


Hosted and punchout catalogs

What is a hosted catalog?

What is a punchout catalog?

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