Wholesale and retail buyers (except farm products) buy merchandise or commodities, other than farm products, for resale to consumers at the wholesale or retail level, including both durable and nondurable goods. They analyze past buying trends, sales records, price, and quality of merchandise to determine value and yield, and select, order, and authorize payment for merchandise according to contractual agreements. Thye may conduct meetings with sales personnel and introduce new products and may negotiate contracts. This includes assistant wholesale and retail buyers of nonfarm products.
After negotiating the price, discount terms, and transportation arrangements with suppliers, wholesale and retail buyers buy merchandise or commodities for resale to wholesale or retail consumers. Merchandise buyers and retail buyers select and purchase merchandise consistent with quality. They analyze trends to anticipate consumer buying patterns and needed inventory, obtain information about customer preferences, and determine merchandise selling prices. Assistant buyers inspect the merchandise, authorize payments or merchandise returns, and monitor the competitors' sales activities. An associate’s degree or training in vocational school is required for this job with some previous work-related skills, knowledge or experience. The work is learnt on the job from experienced employees. Skills required include negotiation, critical thinking, persuasion, communication, social perceptiveness, judgement and decision making, mathematics, service orientation, and time management. In addition, merchandise buyers know sales and marketing, customer service, mathematics, economics and accounting, computers and electronics, and administration and management. They work for large or small buyers, and the pay is commensurate to the nature of the job. Successful retail buyers think analytically and pay attention to detail.
Every career requires an element of study and academic qualification, and there can be several study routes and pathways you can take. In following any academic pathway you will study subjects that contribute to the specialised knowledge required to achieve your career goals. These qualifications provide a future employer with the evidence that you have the desired knowledge, understanding and experience of their industry, so it’s important to consider the various types of qualifications available to you and to understand how they can boost your career and create opportunities for you.
Subscribe to our Premium package and you'll unlock a wealth of extra information about your favourite careers and gain access our library of immersive 360° VR careers experience.
As a Premium user you'll find out more about the day-to-day demands of any career, what you could earn and, importantly, receive expert advice on study routes, preparation expenses, and where & what to study to fulfil your potential.