Buyers and Purchasers

  1. Description


Everyone has a favorite store. Maybe yours is the sports store at the mall. Whichever it is, you shop there for a reason, maybe because it sells the best products for the lowest prices. If so, they have top-notch buyers. These pros stalk the wholesale marketplace -- scouring catalogs, visiting manufacturers, going to fashion shows and trade shows -- looking for products that fly off the shelves. That's why loyal customers like you keep coming back for more.

Buyers look for products to resell to the public or to retailers. Purchasers, on the other hand, buy supplies and services for use by the organizations they work for. Working for organizations as different as private corporations and the U.S. military, purchasers order everything from paper clips to tanks.

Buyers and purchasers look for the highest-quality products at the lowest cost.

Did You Know?

You can’t become a buyer with only a college degree. You’ll also need related work experience.

Are You Ready To...?

  • Study sales records and inventory
  • Research products and prices
  • Find suppliers in and out of the country
  • Conduct Internet research
  • Review catalogs and journals
  • Award contracts to suppliers
  • Negotiate prices

It Helps To Be...

A competitive risk taker with good problem-solving and research skills. It also helps to be a clear communicator who is able to work both as a leader and as part of a team.

Make High School Count

  • Participate in DECA or Junior Achievement.
  • Take advantage of math classes and sign up for accounting. As a buyer or purchaser, you’ll need to crunch numbers all the time to figure out profit margins and make sure you’re getting the best deals you can.
  • Master the computer. You’ll need to research information on the Internet and use spreadsheets and other software.
  • Sign up for psychology to gain insight into the complexities of human nature -- and why some products are hot while others are not.
  • Get a head start in business electives.
  • Find a summer job in retail.

Did You Know?

Buyers advance by taking on departments that make more sales or by taking on new responsibilities as merchandise managers.