Career summary

Details for Wholesale and Retail Buyers, Except Farm Products


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.

Tasks

  • 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.
  • Develop strategies to advertise green products or merchandise to consumers.
  • Identify opportunities to buy green commodities, such as alternative energy, water, or carbon-neutral products for resale to consumers.
  • Monitor consumer preferences or environmental trends to determine the best way to introduce new green products.

Interests

  • 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.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Knowledge

  • 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.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • 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.

Skills

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • 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.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Negotiation - Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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