Summary Report for:
13-1022.00 - Wholesale and Retail Buyers, Except Farm Products
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. Includes assistant wholesale and retail buyers of nonfarm products.
Sample of reported job titles: Buyer, Category Manager, Grocery Buyer, Merchandise Manager, Procurement Specialist, Product Manager, Purchaser, Purchasing Coordinator, Retail Buyer, Trader
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Use computers to organize and locate inventory, and operate spreadsheet and word processing software.
- Negotiate prices, discount terms and transportation arrangements for merchandise.
- Manage the department for which they buy.
- Confer with sales and purchasing personnel to obtain information about customer needs and preferences.
- Examine, select, order, and purchase at the most favorable price merchandise consistent with quality, quantity, specification requirements and other factors.
- 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.
- Set or recommend mark-up rates, mark-down rates, and selling prices for merchandise.
- Authorize payment of invoices or return of merchandise.
- Interview and work closely with vendors to obtain and develop desired products.
- Conduct staff meetings with sales personnel to introduce new merchandise.
- Inspect merchandise or products to determine value or yield.
- Monitor competitors' sales activities by following their advertisements in newspapers or other media.
- Train or supervise sales or clerical staff.
- 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.
- Determine which products should be featured in advertising, the advertising medium to be used, or when the ads should be run.
- 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.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Desktop calculator — 10-key calculators
- Desktop computers
- Personal computers
- Point of sale POS terminal — Point of sale POS systems
Technology used in this occupation:
- Accounting software — Intuit QuickBooks software
- Calendar and scheduling software — Contact management software; Scheduling software
- Customer relationship management CRM software — Claritas ConsumerPoint
- Data base user interface and query software — Microsoft Access
- Development environment software — Eclipse software *
- Electronic mail software — Email software; Microsoft Outlook
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — Biztrak Business Solutions Biztrak; JDA Software Group Assortment Planning by Arthur; Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne; Sage ERP Accpac (see all 7 examples)
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Graphics software
- Internet browser software — Microsoft Internet Explorer *; Web browser software
- Inventory management software — Inventory control systems
- Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software — Infor Supply Chain Management; Kliger-Weiss Infosystems software; Material requirement planning MRP software; Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise Supply Planning Multi-Site Material Planner
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Point of sale POS software — Millennium Software Atrex; Plexis Software Plexis POS; Specialized Business Solutions Keystroke POS; Windward Software Windward System Five (see all 8 examples)
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Procurement software — Oracle Advanced Procurement; Sourcing Simulator *
- Project management software — Microsoft Project
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Economics and Accounting — Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- 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.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Management of Financial Resources — Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- 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.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Detailed Work Activities
- Supervise employees.
- Authorize financial actions.
- Develop business or market strategies.
- Analyze market conditions or trends.
- Determine the value of goods or services.
- Purchase products or services.
- Train personnel to enhance job skills.
- Maintain data in information systems or databases.
- Confer with personnel to coordinate business operations.
- Research issues related to the environment or sustainable business practices.
- Advise others on business or operational matters.
- Create marketing materials.
- Negotiate contracts with clients or service providers.
- Obtain information about goods or services.
- Disburse funds from clients accounts to creditors.
- Analyze consumer trends.
- Discuss business strategies, practices, or policies with managers.
- Identify strategic business investment opportunities.
- Evaluate logistics methods to reduce environmental impact.
- Telephone — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 89% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 83% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 64% responded “Extremely important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 63% responded “Very important results.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 66% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 66% responded “Extremely important.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 64% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 47% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 46% responded “Extremely important.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 47% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 60% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Electronic Mail — 68% responded “Every day.”
- Level of Competition — 42% responded “Extremely competitive.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 40% responded “Extremely important.”
- Time Pressure — 35% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 52% responded “Extremely important.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 49% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Letters and Memos — 39% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 37% responded “More than half the time.”
- Physical Proximity — 39% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 54% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 33% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 41% responded “No responsibility.”
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.|
|Related Experience||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.|
|Job Training||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.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|Not available||Some college, no degree|
|Not available||Bachelor's degree|
|Not available||High school diploma or equivalent|
Interest code: EC
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- 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.
- 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.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- 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.
- 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.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2014)||$25.13 hourly, $52,270 annual|
|Employment (2012)||125,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Slower than average (3% to 7%)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||39,900|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.
- American Purchasing Society , North Island Center, Suite 203, 8 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora, IL 60506. Phone: (630) 859-0250. Fax: (630) 859-0270.
- APICS - The Association for Operations Management , 5301 Shawnee Rd., Alexandria, VA 22312-2317. Phone: (773) 867-1777. Fax: (773) 409-5576.
- Institute for Supply Management (ISM) , P.O. Box 22160, Tempe, AZ 85285-2160. Phone: (480) 752-6276. Fax: (480) 752-7890.
- National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) , 151 Spring St., Suite 300, Herndon, VA 20170-5223. Phone: (703) 736-8900. Fax: (703) 736-2818.