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Wholesale and Retail Buyer

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Life As a Wholesale and Retail Buyer

Wholesale & 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.

What Do Wholesale and Retail Buyers Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Inspect merchandise or products to determine quality, value, or yield.
  • Buy merchandise or commodities for resale to wholesale or retail consumers.
  • Examine, select, order, or purchase merchandise consistent with quality, quantity, specification requirements, or other factors, such as environmental soundness.
  • Consult with store or merchandise managers about budgets or goods to be purchased.
  • Determine which products should be featured in advertising, the advertising medium to be used, or when the ads should be run.
  • Provide clerks with information to print on price tags, such as price, mark-ups or mark-downs, manufacturer number, season code, or style number.

Things a Wholesale & Retail Buyer Should Know How to Do

Below is a list of the skills most Wholesale and Retail Buyers say are important on the job.

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
  • Buyer Assistant
  • Purchasing Agent
  • Merchandise Planner
  • Procurement Buyer

Wholesale & Retail Buyer Employment Estimates

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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 13,300 job openings in this field each year.

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.

What Tools & Technology do Wholesale and Retail Buyers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Wholesale and Retail Buyers:

  • 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

Are there Wholesale and Retail Buyers education requirements?

Wholesale & Retail Buyer Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

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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