Wholesale and Retail Buyers, Except Farm Products

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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.

Experience Requirements Overview

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
  • 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.
  • Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • 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.

Education, Training and Experience

Required Level of Education: Bachelor's Degree

Related Work Experience: Over 2 years, up to and including 4 years

On-Site or In-Plant Training: N.A.

On-the-Job Training: Over 3 months, up to and including 6 months

Detailed Work Activities

  • Research issues related to the environment or sustainable business practices.
  • Evaluate logistics methods to reduce environmental impact.
  • Develop business or market strategies.
  • Identify strategic business investment opportunities.
  • Analyze consumer trends.
  • Purchase stocks of merchandise or supplies.
  • Negotiate contracts with clients or service providers.
  • Purchase products or services.
  • Determine the value of goods or services.
  • Advise others on business or operational matters.
  • Confer with personnel to coordinate business operations.
  • Obtain information about goods or services.
  • Analyze market conditions or trends.
  • Authorize financial actions.
  • Disburse funds from clients accounts to creditors.
  • Discuss business strategies, practices, or policies with managers.
  • Train personnel to enhance job skills.
  • Supervise employees.
  • Provide information to coworkers.
  • Create marketing materials.

Work Values

Achievement

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Working Conditions

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Recognition

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Relationships

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Support

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Independence

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Tasks

  • Buy merchandise or commodities for resale to wholesale or retail consumers.
  • Negotiate prices, discount terms, or transportation arrangements with suppliers.
  • Examine, select, order, or purchase merchandise consistent with quality, quantity, specification requirements, or other factors, such as environmental soundness.
  • Recommend mark-up rates, mark-down rates, or merchandise selling prices.
  • Obtain information about customer needs or preferences by conferring with sales or purchasing personnel.
  • Authorize payment of invoices or return of merchandise.
  • Monitor and analyze sales records, trends, or economic conditions to anticipate consumer buying patterns, company sales, and needed inventory.
  • Collaborate with vendors to obtain or develop desired products.
  • Inspect merchandise or products to determine quality, value, or yield.
  • Conduct sales meetings to introduce new merchandise.
  • Consult with store or merchandise managers about budgets or goods to be purchased.
  • Provide clerks with information to print on price tags, such as price, mark-ups or mark-downs, manufacturer number, season code, or style number.
  • Train or supervise sales or clerical staff.
  • Determine which products should be featured in advertising, the advertising medium to be used, or when the ads should be run.
  • Monitor competitors' sales activities by following their advertisements in newspapers or other media.
  • Analyze environmental aspects of competing merchandise when making buying decisions.
  • Compare transportation options to determine the most energy-efficient options.
  • Develop strategies to advertise green products or merchandise to consumers.
  • Identify opportunities to buy green commodities, such as alternative energy, water, or carbon-neutral products for resale to consumers.
  • Monitor consumer preferences or environmental trends to determine the best way to introduce new green products.

Work Styles

Achievement/Effort

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Persistence

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Initiative

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Leadership

Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Cooperation

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Concern for Others

Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Social Orientation

Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Self-Control

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Stress Tolerance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

Adaptability/Flexibility

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Dependability

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Attention to Detail

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Integrity

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Independence

Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Innovation

Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Analytical Thinking

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Data Source: This page includes information from the O*NET 28.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. This page includes Employment Projections program, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.