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Wholesale and Retail Buyers Career

Career Description

Buy merchandise or commodities, other than farm products, for resale to consumers at the wholesale or retail level, including both durable and nondurable goods. Analyze past buying trends, sales records, price, and quality of merchandise to determine value and yield. Select, order, and authorize payment for merchandise according to contractual agreements. May conduct meetings with sales personnel and introduce new products. Includes assistant wholesale and retail buyers of nonfarm products.

What Job Titles Wholesale and Retail Buyers Might Have

  • Buyer
  • Category Manager
  • Procurement Specialist
  • Trader

What Wholesale and Retail Buyers Do

  • Buy merchandise or commodities for resale to wholesale or retail consumers.
  • Negotiate prices, discount terms, or transportation arrangements with suppliers.
  • Examine, select, order, or purchase merchandise consistent with quality, quantity, specification requirements, or other factors, such as environmental soundness.
  • Recommend mark-up rates, markdown rates, or merchandise selling prices.
  • Obtain information about customer needs or preferences by conferring with sales or purchasing personnel.
  • Authorize payment of invoices or return of merchandise.
  • Monitor and analyze sales records, trends, or economic conditions to anticipate consumer buying patterns and determine what the company will sell and how much inventory is needed.
  • Collaborate with vendors to obtain or develop desired products.
  • Inspect merchandise or products to determine quality, value, or yield.
  • Conduct sales meetings to introduce new merchandise.
  • Consult with store or merchandise managers about budgets or goods to be purchased.
  • Provide clerks with information to print on price tags, such as price, mark-ups or mark-downs, manufacturer number, season code, or style number.
  • Train or supervise sales or clerical staff.
  • Determine which products should be featured in advertising, the advertising medium to be used, or when the ads should be run.
  • Monitor competitors' sales activities by following their advertisements in newspapers or other media.
  • Analyze environmental aspects of competing merchandise when making buying decisions.
  • Compare transportation options to determine the most energy efficient options.

What Wholesale and Retail Buyers Should Be Good At

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

What Wholesale and Retail Buyers Should Be Interested In

  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

What Wholesale and Retail Buyers Need to Learn

  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Economics and Accounting - Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
Leaf iconThis career is a green occupation.
Median Salary: $53,340

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.