Frequently Asked Questions

Online Orders

Special Orders

Order Status



Online Orders:

How can I find an item?
Find a specific product by:

  • Using a part number
  • Browsing the catalog
  • Searching with the product's attributes.

When searching, use product keywords and criteria, such as beaker, 4000ml or glass. This will refine the search from a larger return of items to a more manageable number.

Chemicals can be searched using the CAS (Chemical Abstracts Service Registry) Number. Select the Chemical tab and enter CAS Number into the appropriate field.

How do I cross-reference a Fisher number with a VWR number?
Click the "More Options" button and then click on the "Competitor Cross Reference" tab. Scroll to find Fisher (or Sigma, etc) and then enter their part number. If the cross-reference is loaded, we will display the item. If not, contact your sales representative. You can also type that part number in any search field and it will yield the matching results.

What are the icons: the DFS arrow and the Black Truck?

  • DFS arrow icon: The item ships directly from the manufacturer.
  • Black Truck: These suppliers provide yesterday"s inventory captures and ship items directly from the manufacturer.

Since the item is not housed in a VWR distribution center, it will take 3-5 days for delivery if the product is in stock. If you need the item immediately, contact customer service who will try to expedite the order.

How do I get notified of a backorder?
The web site provides product availability before you place the order. If you are setup with Alternative Warehouse Sourcing (AWS), you will see the availability in three warehouses: Chicago, Philadelphia, and Atlanta. If the item is not available in the warehouses, the item will display as Not in Stock. If it's not available, an estimated shipping date will be shown. It's likely that the item is on backorder from the manufacturer, and customer service will have to call to get a ship date. If an item is on backorder, consider copying the Sales Representative's e-mail address onto the Purchase Order Acknowledgement (POA) and the Advance Ship Notice (ASN). The sales representative can then expedite the backorder. The ASN will let the customer know when the order has been shipped.

Special Orders:

Who do I contact for special orders or furniture?
Typically, furniture is quoted and then can be ordered online. Contact your Sales Team at 312-503-0263 for a quote.

Departments can visit the Furniture section of the VWR catalog in iBuyNU. The furniture department can also be contacted directly at 888-624-2432 (or fax 972-257-3293) with inquiries.

For other special orders, contact Amy VanArsdale or Jeremy Hansen at 312-503-0263.

Why am I unable to order chemicals, syringes or needles online?
These are considered restricted products. To lift the restriction, supply the CS&C group with the customer business licenses and the D&B numbers and they will remove the restriction.

However, if you would like to purchase syringes and needles and you live in one of the following states, you will seed to submit additional materials:
CA, CT, DE, IL, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA , RI and Puerto Rico.

To lift the restriction in these states, VWR also needs a medical license such as a Doctors, Dentists, Veterinarian, Pharmacy or Needle license (A DEA license is not sufficient). Fill out the request form and fax both licenses to 610-431-3813.

If no medical license is available: Send the request form to Sandy Miller with the business license and Sandy will determine if you can use a waiver form for the product.

Order Status:

How do I find the status of my order?
Contact the VWR University Service Team (312-503-8479) regarding the status of the order. Be prepared with the Purchase Order number and the VWR reference number (also called the sales order number). Both numbers are located in the upper right corner of the order acknowledgement.


What is the average delivery time?
VWR makes daily deliveries to both campuses. Once your order is received by VWR, you should have your order within 24 to 48 hours. Most orders received by 11:00 am will be delivered the next business day. VWR ships a majority of NU orders from its local warehouse in Batavia, IL.


How do I return merchandise?
Contact the VWR University Team (312-493-8479), and they will arrange for pick-up of the product. For more information, see the Return Policy web page.

How will I receive a credit?
Credits for returned goods are issued upon receipt of the returned merchandise at VWR. Credit for returned goods will be issued no later than the following month in the form of a Credit Invoice to be used against the Original Invoice. If this does not occur, call the VWR University Team (312-493-8479) for assistance.