Should I Consider Becoming a Buyer?Higher Education Articles May 15, 2014
Buyers, also known as purchasers, look for products to sell back to the public or retailers. This article expands on the general programs that allow those interested to enter the retail and wholesale buying field.
A buyer’s role involves searching for products to resell to the public or to retailers. Buyers are depended on by stores to help choose the products they should carry. Buyers’ responsibilities also include keeping track of inventories and sales records, researching prices, locating suppliers, negotiating prices, and reading publications to keep abreast with the latest trends. Their role could also include conducting Internet research, checking the sales activities of competitors, monitoring economic conditions, and predicting the products and services that are likely to appeal to consumers.
Manufacturing or wholesale trade facilities are common employers of buyers. Buyers employed by large or medium-sized businesses could seek specialization in the procurement of a few lines of merchandise. Those employed with small stores may have to procure the entire inventory for the store. These professionals could begin with entry-level careers as trainees, purchasing clerks, and assistant buyers. Some employers of buyers may expect them to have familiarity with retail and wholesale practices, in addition to the products sold by them.
Suitable Education Choices
Prospective buyers should earn at least a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, economics, or merchandising. Students enrolled in these kinds of degree programs are provided with adequate training whereby they learn how to procure, evaluate, sell, and negotiate the merchandise at the retail and wholesale levels. They can also choose from other important college courses such as supply management, microeconomics, finance, data analysis, mathematics, and marketing. Those aspiring for management-level positions may need to earn a master’s degree.
Respective employers of buyers could demand different educational requirements. For instance, large distributors who hire buyers may expect these professionals to have completed a bachelor’s degree program with a concentration area in business. Manufacturing firms may require buyers employed by them to have earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree in applied science, economics, or engineering. More than a college degree would be needed by prospective buyers aiming to embark on a career. They would also need to have related work experience. They would usually have to pursue continued education to ensure career advancement.
Apart from obtaining a college degree, buyers must also seek hands-on training that could last between one and five years. Buyers are typically likely to check inventory and invoices, sell merchandise, and learn about commodities, pricing, suppliers, and markets, to begin with. Once they are trained, buyers can assume greater responsibilities in the field.