Career Development

16 Purchaser Skills for Your Career and Resume

Learn about the most important Purchaser skills, how you can utilize them in the workplace, and what to list on your resume.

Shipping & Receiving

Purchasers often work with shipping and receiving departments to ensure that the company receives the correct materials for production. They also use this skill when they order supplies, as they need to know how much of each product is available and what the cost per unit is. This ensures that the company doesn’t overspend on unnecessary items or run out of necessary ones.

Supplier Relationships

Purchasers often work with suppliers to find the best prices and quality for products. They also negotiate contracts, which requires strong communication skills and a friendly attitude. Purchasing professionals can build supplier relationships by being honest about their needs and offering incentives like discounts or faster delivery times.

MS Office

Purchasers use MS Office software to create and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations. This includes using word processing programs like Microsoft Word or Google Docs, spreadsheet applications like Excel and PowerPoint for creating presentations and other types of documents. Purchasing professionals also use these skills when reviewing bids from suppliers and evaluating the accuracy of supplier invoices.

Product Knowledge

Purchasers need to have a strong understanding of the products they’re buying. This allows them to make informed decisions about what their company needs and how much it should spend on each product. It also helps them determine if suppliers are offering fair prices for their goods. Purchasing professionals often use their product knowledge when negotiating contracts with suppliers, so this skill is important for anyone in this role.

Data Entry

Data entry is the ability to input information into a computer system. Purchasers often use data entry when entering product information, such as descriptions and prices, into an inventory management system. Data entry skills are also useful for creating spreadsheets that track orders, shipments and invoices.

Decision Making

Purchasers often need to make decisions about the products they buy for their company. They may have to decide which product is best for their needs, what price is fair and whether or not to negotiate with suppliers. Strong decision-making skills can help purchasers choose the right products at the right prices. It’s also important that they understand how their purchasing decisions affect the company’s bottom line.


Planning is an important skill for purchasers because it allows them to create a strategy that aligns with their company’s goals. For example, if the goal of a purchasing department is to reduce costs by 20%, then a purchaser might plan to negotiate discounts and conduct negotiations over email rather than in person to save time and money. Planning also helps purchasers set realistic expectations for suppliers and customers so they can work together more effectively.

Analytical Skills

Analytical skills are the ability to analyze data and information. This is an important skill for a purchaser because it allows them to make informed decisions about products, suppliers and pricing. Purchasers use analytical skills when they review sales trends, conduct market research and evaluate product quality. They also use these skills when negotiating with suppliers or vendors on price or contract terms.

Demand Planning

Demand planning is the ability to predict future needs for products and services. This skill can help purchasers determine what items they need to order, how much inventory they should have on hand and when they might need to reorder. Demand planning requires attention to detail and an understanding of your company’s sales trends. It also involves collaboration with other supply chain professionals who may be responsible for forecasting demand in their areas of expertise.


Communication is the ability to convey information clearly and concisely. This skill can be useful in a purchasing role because it allows you to relay information about your company’s needs, product specifications and other details to suppliers. It also helps you communicate with colleagues regarding potential purchases or when negotiating prices.


Organization is the ability to keep track of information and files. As a purchaser, you may need to organize large amounts of data for reports or presentations. You also might be responsible for maintaining records of all purchases made by your company. Having strong organizational skills can help you stay on top of your work and ensure that you have access to any information you need.


Negotiation is the process of communicating with suppliers to agree on a price for goods or services. Purchasing professionals often negotiate contracts and agreements, so it’s important that they know how to communicate effectively and reach an agreement that benefits both parties. Negotiation skills can also help purchasers find discounts and other ways to save money when making purchases.

Contract Negotiation

Purchasers often negotiate with suppliers to secure the best price for products and services. Negotiation skills can help you identify your needs, set goals and develop strategies that satisfy both parties. You may also use negotiation skills when negotiating contracts with vendors or contractors.

For example, if a vendor offers a discount on bulk orders, you might ask them to waive certain fees in exchange for agreeing to purchase more materials.

Quality Control

Quality control is the ability to assess a product’s quality and determine if it meets standards. As a purchaser, you may need to review products before accepting them to ensure they meet your company’s requirements. You can also use quality control skills when negotiating with suppliers to evaluate their offers based on factors such as price, delivery time and product quality.

Pricing Analysis

Pricing analysis is the ability to assess a product’s value and determine if it’s worth the price. This skill can help you negotiate with suppliers, as you may be able to convince them to lower their prices by explaining how your company could find a similar product for less money. It also helps you evaluate products that are already priced fairly so you know when to accept an offer or reject it.

Inventory Management

Purchasers often manage inventory for their company, which requires them to have strong inventory management skills. This includes knowing how to track and record the current status of a company’s inventory as well as understanding what items are needed and when they’re needed by. Purchasers also need to know how to forecast demand for products or services so that they can order enough materials to meet customer needs while minimizing excess inventory.

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