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How to become a Buyer

avg. starting salary

Want to shop all day and get paid for it? You should be a Buyer… Buyers choose which products their stores should sell, understanding customer needs and buying habits to maximise profits. They can work for retailers of all sectors and sizes, and their skills are vital in ensuring that a store’s stock resonates with its customers. Without a Buyer selecting the right stock, there will be no sales. Typical duties for a Buyer may include:
  • Analysing customer buying patterns
  • Sourcing new items
  • Forecasting an items success and projecting sales
  • Using KPIs such as customer demand to determine success
  • Meeting with suppliers
  • Keeping tabs on market trends and competitor activity
  • Presenting new product ranges to senior staff and suggesting promotional activity to help items sell

Commercial awareness is probably the most vital skill for anyone thinking of becoming a Buyer. Having a good understanding of what your customers want and the latest market trends will help you keep up with demand, as well as keeping you ahead of the game when it comes to your competitors. A good level of creativity is similarly essential, keeping your store fresh and relevant, rather than simply following the crowd. Other key skills for a Buyer include:
  • Excellent decision making skills
  • Enthusiasm
  • Flexibility
  • Business acumen
  • Communication and team-working skills
  • Excellent analytical skills


Junior Buyer

Up to £15,000


Up to £40,000

Purchasing Manager

Up to £60,000

"I've worked in retail for about the last 10 years, in a variety of different roles. Although I started out on the shop floor, I always loved learning about the products I sold, and that’s really how I got into buying as a career. I started out in a junior position, and absolutely loved it. Now I get to help choose what our latest product ranges will be made up of, and research all the latest trends to make sure we’re ahead of the game. Although I'm based out of our head office, my favourite part of the job is definitely still that buzz you get from the industry. I'm in and out of stores every week, talking to customers and finding out what they think about our brand. It’s great."

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