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Wholesale and Retail Buyer

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What You Need to Know About Wholesale and Retail Buyer

Job 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.

Life As a Wholesale & Retail Buyer

  • Conduct sales meetings to introduce new merchandise.
  • Analyze environmental aspects of competing merchandise when making buying decisions.
  • Obtain information about customer needs or preferences by conferring with sales or purchasing personnel.
  • 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.
  • Monitor competitors’ sales activities by following their advertisements in newspapers or other media.
  • Negotiate prices, discount terms, or transportation arrangements with suppliers.

What Every Wholesale & Retail Buyer Should Know

These are the skills Wholesale and Retail Buyers say are the most useful in their careers:

Negotiation: Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.

Persuasion: Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Other Wholesale & Retail Buyer Job Titles

  • Procurement Manager
  • Purchaser
  • Purchasing Agent
  • Jobber
  • Tradesman

What Kind of Wholesale & Retail Buyer Job Opportunities Are There?

There were about 123,300 jobs for Wholesale and Retail Buyer in 2016 (in the United States). There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Wholesale and Retail Buyer. There will be an estimated 13,300 positions for Wholesale & Retail Buyer per year.


The states with the most job growth for Wholesale & Retail Buyer are Washington, Colorado, and Utah. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Vermont, or Delaware. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What Tools & Technology do Wholesale and Retail Buyers Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Wholesale and Retail Buyers may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Email software
  • Word processing software
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Microsoft Project
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Facebook
  • Intuit QuickBooks
  • Oracle PeopleSoft
  • Scheduling software
  • Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software

How to Become a Wholesale & Retail Buyer

Learn what Wholesale and Retail Buyer education requirements there are.


What work experience do I need to become a Wholesale & Retail Buyer?


Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those thinking about becoming a Wholesale and Retail Buyer might also be interested in the following careers:


Image Credit: Qfamily via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

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