Career Development

What Does a Buyer Do?

Find out what a buyer does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a buyer.

Buyers are responsible for purchasing the raw materials, components and finished goods that go into producing a product. They may also be responsible for ensuring that these products meet quality standards.

Buyers commonly work with suppliers to negotiate prices, terms, and other details related to a purchase order. They may also be responsible for evaluating supplier performance over time to ensure they meet the needs of the company in the future.

Buyer Job Duties

A buyer typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Negotiating prices with sellers, including pricing items for resale based on current market conditions
  • Reviewing bids from contractors and subcontractors to determine which bids are most competitive
  • Communicating with vendors to ensure that orders are being filled in a timely manner and that any issues are being resolved
  • Reviewing financial statements to ensure that accounting practices are consistent with industry standards
  • Preparing budgets, bids, or proposals to sell products or services to prospective clients
  • Creating marketing strategies to promote products or services to targeted audiences
  • Reviewing product samples or prototypes to ensure quality
  • Reviewing payments to suppliers or contractors to ensure that the amounts are correct
  • Negotiating with suppliers to obtain the best possible rates on materials or services

Buyer Salary & Outlook

-Education: A buyer typically needs a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field.

-Experience: A buyer typically needs several years of experience in purchasing, supply chain management, or a related field.

-Location: The salary of a buyer may vary depending on the geographic location of their job.

-Company Size: The salary of a buyer may also vary depending on the size of the company they work for. Larger companies may be able to pay their buyers more than smaller companies.

  • Median Annual Salary: $66,500 ($31.97/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $112,000 ($53.85/hour)

The employment of buyers is expected to decline over the next decade.

Employment growth will be limited by automation, which allows companies to process more orders with fewer workers. In addition, e-commerce has made it easier for customers to comparison shop and buy products online, reducing the need for buyers in some industries.

Related: 25 Buyer Interview Questions and Answers

Buyer Job Requirements

A buyer typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Though there are no specific education requirements to become a buyer, many employers prefer to hire candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in business, economics or another related field. These disciplines provide students with the analytical skills required to make effective purchasing decisions.

Training & Experience: Buyers typically receive on-the-job training from their new employer. This training may include learning the company’s purchasing process, software and policies. It may also include shadowing a current buyer or other employee until the new hire is comfortable enough to complete tasks on their own.

Certifications & Licenses: Buyers typically don’t require any certifications or licenses. However, some lenders may require a buyer to have a certified buyer representative or licensed buyer representative to sign paperwork or make decisions on a buyer’s behalf.

Buyer Skills

Buyers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Buyers use communication skills to interact with sellers, lenders and other parties involved in the home-buying process. They also use these skills to communicate their needs and expectations to real estate agents and other professionals involved in the process.

Product knowledge: Buyers need product knowledge to understand the features and benefits of the products they’re considering. This can help them make informed decisions about which products to purchase and how to use them. For example, a buyer who knows about the features of a new computer can make an informed decision about whether to purchase it or wait for a new model to come out.

Listening: Buyers should be able to listen to their real estate agents and other professionals they work with. They should be able to listen to their agent’s advice on what properties to consider and what offers to make. They should also be able to listen to feedback from their inspectors and appraisers to ensure they’re making informed decisions.

Courtesy: Courtesy is the ability to be respectful and polite to others. Buyers use courtesy when communicating with sellers, real estate agents and other buyers. Courtesy can help buyers build trust with others and make connections in the real estate industry.

Accountability: When you take accountability for your actions, you accept responsibility for them and take action to correct them. Buyers who have accountability in their skill set are more likely to make sound financial decisions and complete tasks on time. This can help you build trust with your colleagues and clients.

Buyer Work Environment

Buyers usually work in an office setting, although they may travel to visit suppliers or attend trade shows. They typically work regular business hours, although they may occasionally work overtime to meet deadlines. Buyers may experience some stress due to the need to make quick decisions, but they generally have a good working relationship with suppliers and other members of the purchasing team.

Buyer Trends

Here are three trends influencing how buyers work. Buyers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Importance of the Buyer in Today’s World

The buyer has always been an important part of the business world, but their role has become even more critical in today’s economy.

As the global economy becomes more complex, businesses are looking for ways to reduce costs and increase efficiency. This is where the buyer comes in, as they are responsible for finding and negotiating the best deals for their company.

In order to be successful in today’s economy, buyers need to be able to navigate the complex world of global trade and understand the latest trends in the marketplace. They also need to be able to build relationships with suppliers and negotiate the best deals possible.

Rise of the Global Buyer

The global buyer is a professional who is responsible for acquiring goods and services for their organization from around the world. This position has become increasingly important in recent years as businesses have begun to expand their operations into new markets.

As the global buyer becomes more important, they will need to develop skills in areas such as cultural awareness, negotiation, and supply chain management. Additionally, they will need to be able to navigate the complex web of global trade regulations.

A Focus on Buying Power and Influence

As the economy continues to grow, businesses are placing a greater emphasis on buying power and influence. This is because buyers are in a unique position to help companies achieve their goals by leveraging their purchasing power.

In order to take advantage of this trend, buyers need to be able to identify and understand the needs of their company. They also need to be able to build relationships with suppliers and other stakeholders. By doing so, they can create a powerful network that can help them get the best deals for their company.

Increasing Impact of Collaborative Buying

The trend of collaborative buying is becoming increasingly popular as buyers are looking for ways to get the best deals on products. By working together, buyers can pool their resources to get better prices on items that they are interested in.

This trend is beneficial to buyers because it allows them to get the best prices on products while also building relationships with other professionals in their field. It also helps to create a more competitive market, which can lead to even better deals for buyers in the future.

Personalization Drives Efficiency

The trend of personalization is driving efficiency in the buying process. By understanding the individual needs of each customer, buyers can streamline the buying process and make it more efficient.

This trend is also having a significant impact on the way that buyers interact with suppliers. By building strong relationships with suppliers, buyers can create a more efficient buying process that meets the needs of both parties.

Expanding Influence of Big Data and Analytics

The increasing influence of big data and analytics is having a major impact on the buying process.

As buyers are inundated with more data than ever before, they are turning to analytics to help them make more informed decisions. This means that buyers need to be able to not only understand data, but also be able to analyze it and draw conclusions from it.

How to Become a Buyer

A buyer’s career can go in many different directions, but the most important thing is to be open to new opportunities. When you start your career as a buyer, it’s important to build a strong foundation by developing your skills and knowledge. Take the time to learn about the products you’ll be buying and the industry you’ll be working in.

Networking is also key for buyers. It’s important to build relationships with suppliers, other buyers, and anyone else who can help you grow your career. Stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends so you can make informed decisions when buying products.

Advancement Prospects

Buyers and purchasing agents usually start out in entry-level positions and advance to senior buyer or purchasing agent positions with more responsibility. Some may eventually become purchasing managers.

Education and training requirements vary for buyers and purchasing agents. Many have a bachelor’s degree, but some jobs may require only a high school diploma and experience. Buyers and purchasing agents typically receive on-the-job training that lasts several months to a year. Some firms may require their employees to take courses offered by trade associations or attend seminars.

Buyer Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we are looking for an experienced buyer to join our team. The buyer will be responsible for the purchasing of goods and materials necessary for the production of our products. He or she will work closely with the production team to ensure that the correct items are purchased in the correct quantities and at the correct time. The buyer will also be responsible for negotiating prices with suppliers and for maintaining relationships with key suppliers. The ideal candidate will have a degree in business or a related field, and will have at least 3 years of experience in purchasing.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Understand the company’s purchasing policies and procedures, and adhere to them when making decisions
  • Review requisitions and identify potential suppliers based on price, quality, and delivery speed
  • Research potential suppliers and compare them based on their ability to meet the company’s needs
  • Negotiate prices and terms of contracts with suppliers
  • Select suppliers and award contracts based on their ability to provide the best value for the company
  • Monitor supplier performance and resolve any issues that arise
  • Maintain relationships with existing suppliers and develop relationships with new suppliers
  • Stay up-to-date on industry trends and developments
  • Attend trade shows and conferences to find new suppliers and products
  • Identify opportunities for cost savings and process improvements
  • Prepare reports for upper management detailing supplier performance and cost savings
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or related field
  • 3-5 years of experience working in purchasing, supply chain management, or a similar role
  • Strong negotiation skills
  • Excellent communication, problem-solving, and time-management skills
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office and SAP
  • Ability to multitask and work well under pressure

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in business or related field
  • 7-10 years of experience working in purchasing, supply chain management, or a similar role
  • CPP or APICS certification
  • Working knowledge of Oracle


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