Last Updated: November 4, 2020

As businesses stock up on goods and products to sell, there are a number of questions to answer. Which products do you stock? How many products should you stock? How do you predict which products will be most popular?

Retail buyers seek to ease the fears and worries of business owners, planning out pricing strategies, vetting suppliers, and choosing which products to stock on store shelves. Read on to discover how these individuals monitor market conditions and oversee purchasing duties at retail stores.

What do they do?

Retail buyers spend much of their contacting and communicating with suppliers to negotiate business deals. When a store needs to stock more of a product, they create lists of potential suppliers based on the service, price, and previous business partnerships.

By paying attention to current market trends, retail buyers determine budgeting and pricing scenarios to examine how the stocking of certain products will affect retail sales. For example, when the weather gets cold in the winter, a clothing retail buyer would order more jackets and warm clothes.

They also keep track of other buying aspects, such as shipping dates, transportation, or payment deals. Their goal is to keep purchasing costs as low as possible, while also providing their customers with high-quality products.

Typically, retail buyers work with other business and marketing professionals such as:


Retail buyers must have excellent interpersonal communication skills coupled with a strong sense of negotiation. They must keep their businesses afloat by comparing the costs of a product with potential returns, meaning strong math skills are also necessary.

Most retail buyers earn bachelor’s degrees in marketing before entering the field. This gives them enough background in business to enter higher-level retail positions.

Become a Retail Buyer

Businesses typically pay retail buyers between $50,000 and $60,000 each year, but that salary largely depends on the size of the business and the level of responsibility assigned to the buyer. Some retail buyers are paid less if they work in larger teams.

If you’re interested in learning more about purchasing goods for retail outlets, contact schools offering degrees in marketing.