Wholesale and Retail Buyers, Except Farm Products Job Description video

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If you feel you were "born to shop" -- you might enjoy doing it for a living. Wholesale and retail buyers purchase products and commodities for resale to consumers. They have two goals: to buy goods their company can sell at a profit, and to increase their company’s customer base. Buyers do their job well if they consistently choose merchandise customers like and consider a good value. Buyers fail when warehouses and store racks are left with unwanted inventory that has to be sold off at clearance prices. The most challenging part of the job is predicting what items will be popular. To do this, buyers must do research. They visit trade shows and showrooms for ideas. They analyze economic conditions and study past sales records to try to identify consumer patterns. Computer skills are needed to access and process this information. Buyers carefully weigh cost and quality before placing an order, and may negotiate hard with a supplier to lower a price. The buyer arranges for delivery, and makes sure everything arrives in good order, before authorizing payment. There's a lot of pressure in this position. Errors in judgment show up quickly in sales figures. Staying ahead of trends takes long hours of work. Buyers usually have a bachelor's degree and years of experience in retail. This is a career that draws upon good planning skills, decisiveness and a willingness to go with your gut and take a risk. The reward is often proportionate to the risk. A good track record brings greater responsibility – with more pay -- and cash bonuses.

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