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Details for Wholesale and Retail Buyers, Except Farm Products


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.


  • Examine, select, order, and purchase at the most favorable price merchandise consistent with quality, quantity, specification requirements and other factors.
  • Negotiate prices, discount terms and transportation arrangements for merchandise.
  • Analyze and monitor sales records, trends and economic conditions to anticipate consumer buying patterns and determine what the company will sell and how much inventory is needed.
  • Interview and work closely with vendors to obtain and develop desired products.
  • Authorize payment of invoices or return of merchandise.
  • Inspect merchandise or products to determine value or yield.
  • Set or recommend mark-up rates, mark-down rates, and selling prices for merchandise.
  • Confer with sales and purchasing personnel to obtain information about customer needs and preferences.
  • Consult with store or merchandise managers about budget and goods to be purchased.
  • Conduct staff meetings with sales personnel to introduce new merchandise.
  • Manage the department for which they buy.
  • Use computers to organize and locate inventory, and operate spreadsheet and word processing software.
  • Train and supervise sales and clerical staff.
  • Provide clerks with information to print on price tags, such as price, mark-ups or mark-downs, manufacturer number, season code, and style number.
  • Determine which products should be featured in advertising, the advertising medium to be used, and when the ads should be run.
  • Monitor competitors' sales activities by following their advertisements in newspapers and other media.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

Related Careers

  • Market Research Analysts
  • Public Relations Specialists
  • Sales Agents, Securities and Commodities
  • Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products
  • Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific Products
Wages for this career
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