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Wholesale and Retail Buyer

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What Does it Take to Be a Wholesale and Retail Buyer?

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.

Life As a Wholesale & Retail Buyer

  • Monitor competitors’ sales activities by following their advertisements in newspapers or other media.
  • Train or supervise sales or clerical staff.
  • Provide clerks with information to print on price tags, such as price, mark-ups or mark-downs, manufacturer number, season code, or style number.
  • Monitor consumer preferences or environmental trends to determine the best way to introduce new green products.
  • Negotiate prices, discount terms, or transportation arrangements with suppliers.
  • Consult with store or merchandise managers about budgets or goods to be purchased.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Wholesale & Retail Buyer?

When polled, Wholesale and Retail Buyers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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.

Types of Wholesale & Retail Buyer Jobs

  • Sustainability Purchasing Agent
  • Category Manager
  • Purchasing Agent
  • Procurement Buyer
  • Tradesman

Job Outlook for Wholesale and Retail Buyers

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. The BLS estimates 13,300 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Wholesale and Retail Buyers in U.S.

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.

Tools & Technologies Used by Wholesale and Retail Buyers

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 do I Become a Wholesale & Retail Buyer?

Education needed to be a Wholesale and Retail Buyer:

Wholesale & Retail Buyer Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Wholesale & Retail Buyer?

Wholesale & Retail Buyer Work Experience

You May Also 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

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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