What is a Buyer?
Buyers are responsible for purchasing goods for a company to use or sell in their own business. This position requires extensive research and the ability to negotiate contracts with suppliers, manage an inventory, evaluate quality goods, and stick within a budget. Since these individuals work in a range of sectors, from fashion and technology to food and industry, Buyers must understand the unique needs of their particular employer.
Buyers must also source quality items at competitive prices that are useful to their company’s bottom line. This may require them to predict what consumers will want by forecasting next season’s trends. Buyers also need to find trustworthy wholesalers and manufacturers and ensure their deliveries are on time, complete, free of damage, and within budget. This position often leads to becoming a Purchasing Manager, Purchasing Director, Assistant to the Chief Procurement Officer (CPO).
- High school diploma or equivalent
- Associate or bachelor’s degree
- 0-2 years of related experience
- Trade-specific certification like CPP, CPPB, or CPPO (optional)
Buyer Essential Skills
- Analytical and math skills
- Negotiation skills
- Ability to perform under stress
- Purchasing and inventory management skills
- Knowledge of a specific sector’s needs
Buyer Roles & Responsibilities
- Search for and negotiate contracts with suppliers and manufacturers
- Craft purchase order and inventory reports for management
- Solve supply chain problems
- Work within the management team to ensure that all deliveries satisfy the assigned orders
- Develop an effective and accurate system for monitoring purchase orders
- Order products and authorize payments
- Manage inventory, including current stock and new deliveries
- Ensure the accuracy of purchase orders
- Research possible item selections