Assistant buyers of non-technical products must hold substantial knowledge of items and prices within a specific industry. Their main job is to help a retail company decide which items to sell and keep in stock. They maintain communications between supplier and retailer; this means an assistant buyer must have excellent interpersonal skills. They must be able to negotiate and have insight into what items would sell well in a particular store. This work is mainly mental, and assistant buyers usually work in an indoor office setting. However, assistant buyers may spend a substantial amount of time on the road, meeting with potential suppliers and visiting stores. Assistant buyers must be able to discuss and sell their idea to these supervisors. An assistant buyer may be promoted to a senior buyer after significant experience with a company. Assistant buyers usually work regular 40-hour weeks, though they may have regular business trips. Hours may vary depending on the season, as many products and certain industries are seasonal.
Though higher education is not crucial to this position, it may be beneficial. Many assistant buyers have bachelor’s degrees in fields such as marketing or communications. Some may even have graduate-level degrees, such as a master’s degree in marketing.
Assistant Buyer, Non-Technical Products Tasks
- Assist buyers and managers with writing purchase orders, buying merchandise, and managing inventory.
- Research suppliers to determine which ones fit company pricing and quality objectives.
- Advise retail outlets how to price products based on purchase price and market trends.