What does a Buyer do?
A Buyer is responsible for purchasing the items a company’s clientele will want to buy. They must understand the client and the needs of the business well. They are responsible for negotiating discounts or getting wholesale prices lowered based on the quantities ordered. The Buyer may also attend trade shows and other industry events to stay up-to-date with changes in the industry and evolving customer needs. They complete market research and conduct market surveys to refine their understanding of their client base and gain more insight into what products they will most likely purchase on behalf of the company they work for.
Buyer skills and qualifications
Great interpersonal skills are essential for a Buyer. They are in a position to meet and greet many different people while negotiating and working within a team. Regardless of the industry, these are some of the common Buyer skills and qualifications that make for an excellent candidate:
- Strong communication skills
- Excellent public relations skills
- Attention to detail
- Ability to understand the client base
- Analytical skills with a knack for dissecting market reports
- Excellent public speaking skills
Buyer experience requirements
A Buyer may have experience working on the retail side of the industry or as a Junior Buyer. Any experience, even as an intern, is valuable and considered an asset for an entry-level position. If the Buyer position involves leading a team, they should have experience in a previous Buyer position.
A successful Buyer candidate will likely also have anywhere from three to five years of experience on the retail side of the industry. For example, a Fashion Buyer should have several years of experience in working with customers throughout the purchasing process. This ensures the candidate will have a better understanding of both the market and the challenges consumers face.
Buyer education and training requirements
While much of the work is learned on the job, a Buyer usually should have a degree in marketing, business, or a related field. A master’s degree in business or marketing is considered an asset. Internship experience is also a valuable asset for a Buyer to have.
Buyer salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, the average Buyer earns $25.03 per hour in Canada. The average will vary based on geographical location, level of experience as a Buyer, and the specific industry the Buyer will be working in.
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