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Buyer Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Buyer, or Merchandiser, selects items to buy from suppliers for resale in stores. A Buyer’s main responsibilities include identifying and purchasing items for resale that the customer base will want to buy, negotiating pricing and discounts, and maintaining positive relationships with suppliers.

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Buyer duties and responsibilities

The Buyer is responsible for purchasing the store or establishment’s items. They should be selecting items that will increase the store’s profits and sales. Buyers can work in the retail, food, or manufacturing industries. Some common duties and responsibilities of the Buyer in nearly any industry include:

  • Monitor inventory and plan accordingly
  • Create and maintain relationships with suppliers
  • Work with marketing and purchasing teams to better select products for the client base
  • Monitor the company’s sales data closely and analyze the findings
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Buyer Job Description Examples:

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
  • Professionalism
  • 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.

Job description samples for similar positions

If this job description doesn’t quite seem like the right fit for your company, browse these similar job descriptions below for a better fit:

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Buyer job description FAQs

Are there different types of Buyers?

Yes. A Buyer may work in the food industry, the retail industry, or in the field of specialized equipment. While each type of Buyer is purchasing for a very different client base, they are similar because the goal remains the same: to pinpoint products that customers want and acquire them at the best possible price.

What are the day-to-day duties of a Buyer?

A Buyer is responsible for looking out for new trends and assessing the company’s sales. The Buyer should analyze what’s working and what isn’t in an effort to tailor their purchases even more. They should spend a lot of time each week assessing industry trends, analyzing the competition, and getting to know more about the shoppers. Buyers are responsible for managing inventory and reporting. Buyers are also responsible for conducting regular market research to delve deeper and find out more about how they can please their clientele.

What should you look for in a Buyer's resume?

A good Buyer resume should include education in marketing, business, or a related field, experience in the industry, and a developing contact base. You should also look for an internship or previous experience in a related field.

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