A Retail Purchaser (Buyer) is responsible for buying durable or nondurable goods for companies. They strive to negotiate the best deal for their company; the highest quality of goods at the lowest possible cost. To accomplish this, they study sales records and inventory levels of current stock, identify foreign and domestic suppliers, and assess any changes that may affect supply and demand. Purchasers consider the following when choosing merchandise and suppliers:
- market demand and trends
- competitors’ sales activities
- guarantees or warranties
A Retail Purchaser (Buyer) may work in:
- fashion and accessories
- toys and games
- books, magazines and music
Technology allows Purchasers and Buyers to access supplier catalogues, trade journals and industry directories online. They will also attend meetings, trade shows and conferences to learn about trends and to make contacts. They will usually visit supplier distribution centres or plants to assess the quality and reliability of their production processes.
Smaller organisations may have a single Purchaser or Buyer for their entire inventory, however it is more common for Purchaser and Buyers to work within a team, taking individual responsibility for particular lines.
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