Buyers


Overview

Buyers

Introduction

There are two main types of buyers. Wholesale buyers purchase merchandise directly from manufacturers and resell it to retail firms, commercial establishments, and other institutions. Retail buyers purchase goods from wholesalers (and occasionally from manufacturers) for resale to the general public. In either case, buyers must understand their customers' needs and be able to purchase goods at an appropriate price and in sufficient quantity. Sometimes a buyer is referred to by the type of merchandise purchased—for example, ...

Quick Facts


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Median Salary

$62,750

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Employment Prospects

Fair

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Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma


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Experience

One to three years of retail sales and/or purchasing


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Skills

Business Management


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Personality Traits

Conventional

Earnings

How much a buyer earns depends on various factors, including the employer's sales volume. Mass merchandisers, such as discount or chain department stores, pay among the highest salaries.

The U.S. Department of Labor reports the median annual income for nonagricultural wholesale and retail buyers in May 2018 was $62,750. The lowest paid 10 percent of these buyers made less than $37,080 ye...

Work Environment

Buyers work in a dynamic and sometimes stressful atmosphere. They must make important decisions on an hourly basis. The results of their work, both successes and failures, show up quickly on the profit and loss statement.

Buyers frequently work long or irregular hours. Evening and weekend hours are common, especially during the holiday season, when the retail field is at its busiest. Ext...

Outlook

According to recently revised estimates of the U.S. Department of Labor, overall employment of wholesale and retail buyers is projected to decline 6 percent through 2028. The employment of buyers is, to some extent, tied to the health and growth of the national and international economy. Regardless, even during periods of slow economic growth, workers will continue to be needed to buy goods and...

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