Wholesale and Retail Buyers of Non-Farm Products

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ABOUT WHOLESALE AND RETAIL BUYER OF NON-FARM PRODUCTS CAREERS
Video transcript

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 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.

SNAPSHOT
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. May negotiate contracts. Includes assistant wholesale and retail buyers of nonfarm products.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Inspect merchandise or products to determine quality, value, or yield.

Negotiate prices, discount terms, or transportation arrangements with suppliers.

Collaborate with vendors to obtain or develop desired products.

Monitor and analyze sales records, trends, or economic conditions to anticipate consumer buying patterns and determine what the company will sell and how much inventory is needed.

Obtain information about customer needs or preferences by conferring with sales or purchasing personnel.

Buy merchandise or commodities for resale to wholesale or retail consumers.

Examine, select, order, or purchase merchandise consistent with quality, quantity, specification requirements, or other factors, such as environmental soundness.

Authorize payment of invoices or return of merchandise.

Recommend mark-up rates, markdown rates, or merchandise selling prices.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
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.
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.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Economics and Accounting Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
Communications and Media Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
TOP SKILLS
Negotiation Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
Persuasion Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
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.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.