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Wholesale and Retail Buyer

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Life As a Wholesale and Retail Buyer

Occupation 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: What Do They Do?

  • Provide clerks with information to print on price tags, such as price, mark-ups or mark-downs, manufacturer number, season code, or style number.
  • Analyze environmental aspects of competing merchandise when making buying decisions.
  • Train or supervise sales or clerical staff.
  • Conduct sales meetings to introduce new merchandise.
  • Monitor competitors’ sales activities by following their advertisements in newspapers or other media.
  • 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.

Things a Wholesale & Retail Buyer Should Know How to Do

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.

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.

Persuasion: Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Other Wholesale & Retail Buyer Job Titles

  • Jobber
  • Wholesale Buyer
  • Retail Buyer
  • Purchasing Agent
  • Purchasing Coordinator

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

In the United States, there were 123,300 jobs for Wholesale and Retail Buyer in 2016. 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.


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 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
  • Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne
  • Scheduling software
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software

Becoming a Wholesale & Retail Buyer

What education is needed to be a Wholesale and Retail Buyer?


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


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

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