Federal Marketing Exposure do you go “White” or “Yellow”?

By: Admin | Date: 2019-08-28

Years ago I remember getting asked by one of my children,“why do we have two phone books a yellow one and a white one?” I explained that businesses advertise in the yellow one and both businesses and people with phones were listed in the white one. To which my child asked why if you are listed in the white one would you need to be listed in the yellow one? I responded by explaining that “the yellow one is for when a person doesn’t know who they want to call but they know what they need. The white one is used when you know the person or business you would like to call.”Then I showed my child how the two books worked. This same basic concept is true for the two most highly used federal vendor databases, sam.gov and gsaadvantage.gov

Sam.gov vs GSA Advantage

Sam.gov or the System for Award Management (federal white pages) lists all vendors that have signed up to do business with the federal government. The GSA Schedule System throughF GSA Advantage (federal yellow pages) also is a repository of potential federal contractors. Here is a comparison that shows why being listed in the “Federal Yellow Pages” might be in your business’s best interest.

Key Categories:


Sam.gov (Federal White Pages)

GSA Advantage (Federal Yellow Pages)

Best Choice

Number of Vendors



GSA Advantage reduces the number of vendors to the most serious one. Those that have taken the extra step to obtain a GSA Schedule.

To find a product or service

Step 1: Perform a search for firms in a given industry by NAICS code.

Step 2: Cross reference the resulting firm’s capabilities statements to determine if that firm provides the product or service required.

Step 3: Contact firm to obtain pricing on their product or service.

Step 4: Determine if the firm can take aFederal SmartPay Credit Card.

Step 5: Place the order

Step 1: Type the product or service keyword into the search bar and press enter.

Step 2: Review Pricing for applicable items.

Step 3: Order Online.

GSA Advantage has a much easiersearch process.


Obtaining a price quote

Call or email sam.gov Registrant and ask for a quote.

Pricing is provided for the listed item.

GSA Advantage has listed preset pricing which is listed.


Quality of product or service

Firm has not been vetted by anyone within the Federal government.

DnB Open Ratings has been performed providing a reference check from past clients which confirms the legitimacy of the firm

GSA Advantage as scrutiny has already been performed by the GSA in terms of product or service quality.


Timeframe to Obtain this Listing (approximated)

1 week

4-6 months

Sam.govis aless time consuming process for vendors to setup.


Size of Purchases

Generally is limited to the Micro-Purchase Threshold of $10,000

Generally follows the Simplified Acquisition Threshold of $250,000.

GSA Advantage has higher purchase value thresholds.

Federal Vendor Small Business Sales


(sam.gov listing only no other certification or contracting vehicle


GSA Advantage holders have 10x the sales of a small business with only a listing on sam.gov


None Provided

Only 51% of items in a given order must be purchased directly off the small businesses GSA Schedule, the other 49% can be purchased at the same time through Open Market Items.

GSA Advantage provides a level of flexibility sam.gov sellers do not possess.


From this analysis we see that GSA Advantage wins in all categories except for speed of setup.

GSA Advantage: 7

Sam.gov: 1

For this reason GSA Advantage like the former “Yellow Pages” is the federal buyers first choice to quickly find a reputable vendor to fulfill their needs.

Book Free Consultation WEBINAR
Text Us Icon