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Wholesale & Retail Buyers

Also called: Buyer, Category Manager, Procurement Specialist, Trader

Where in the military? In the military: see titles from the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, or Marine Corps.

What they do:
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.
On the job, you would:
  • 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.


  • sales and marketing
  • customer service
Arts and Humanities
  • English language
Math and Science
  • arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Engineering and Technology
  • computers and electronics


Basic Skills
  • listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
  • talking to others
  • bringing people together to solve differences
  • talking people into changing their minds or their behavior
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it


  • communicate by speaking
  • listen and understand what people say
  • choose the right type of math to solve a problem
  • add, subtract, multiply, or divide
Ideas and Logic
  • use rules to solve problems
  • notice when problems happen


People interested in this work like activities that include leading, making decisions, and business.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Cooperation
  • Adaptability/Flexibility
  • Dependability
  • Attention to Detail
  • Integrity
  • Stress Tolerance


You might use software like this on the job:

Point of sale POS software
  • Millennium Software Atrex
  • Plexis Software Plexis POS
Enterprise resource planning ERP software
  • Biztrak Business Solutions Biztrak
  • JDA Software Group Assortment Planning by Arthur
Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software
  • Infor Supply Chain Management
  • Kliger-Weiss Infosystems software


Education: (rated 3 of 5)
bachelor's degree or
high school diploma/GED
usually needed

Get started on your career:

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Job Outlook

Below Average Outlook
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.
per year, on average
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about wholesale and retail buyers.