Assistant Buyer Salary
Job Description for Assistant Buyer
An assistant buyer works closely with vendors, maintaining positive relationships while negotiating specs, pricing, and deadlines. They must be able to work independently and prioritize job duties, as well as prepare cost analyses and competitive retail strategies. They must be able to develop sales and profit margin plans, as well as maintain margin and determine turnover objectives.Read More...
Communication skills are a vital part of being an assistant buyer. They must communicate with merchandise departments, logistics, finance, operations, clubs, and vendors to provide information and problem solve. Assistant buyers, who work in a variety of industries, are expected to communicate with all people involved in the buying process and deal with any problems that may arise. Many assistant buyers are required to travel to different areas to attend vendor meetings and check competitors' pricing. It is important to have transportation and be familiar with the area(s) relevant to their work and purchasing.
Most companies expect assistant buyers to have a bachelor's degree in business or equivalent experience; many require a bachelor's or one to three years of experience in retail buying, allocation, or replenishment. Many companies also prefer retail operations experience. Assistant buyers must have organizational skills, as well as the ability to multitask. They must possess a strong knowledge of the Microsoft Office software suite and be able to create specialized spreadsheets through Excel.
Assistant Buyer Tasks
- Advise retail outlets how to price products based on purchase price and market trends.
- Research suppliers to determine which ones fit company pricing and quality objectives.
- Assist buyers and managers with writing purchase orders, buying merchandise, and managing inventory.
Common Career Paths for Assistant Buyer
Assistant Buyers' salaries may rise greatly for those who assume a higher-end position such as a Product Development Manager. The average Product Development Manager brings home $80K per year. Assistant Buyers moving up in their careers tend to step into positions as Buyers or Associate Buyers. The median paychecks in those roles are $5K higher and $7K higher, respectively.
Assistant Buyer Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Assistant Buyer
Many Assistant Buyers can be found at Zulily, Neiman Marcus Group Inc., Macy's, Inc., Ross Stores, Inc, and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc, firms that are at the top of the field. Assistant Buyers seeking a sizable paycheck can earn the most at Nordstrom, Inc., where the average salary comes to $77K. Soaring salaries can also be found at Ross Stores, Inc, Macy's, Inc., and Sears Holdings Corporation, where earnings of $65K, $56K, or $51K are standard for Assistant Buyers.
The consistently lowest paying firm on the list is Zulily, where the median salary is just $43K — 79 percent lower than the top payer. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Neiman Marcus Group Inc. at $43K, Belk, Inc. at $44K, and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc, where $50K is the norm.
Popular Skills for Assistant Buyer
Assistant Buyers seem to exploit a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Merchandising, Negotiation, Data Analysis, and Vendor Relations are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 6 percent. Those listing Oral / Verbal Communication as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Data Entry and Purchasing also typically command lower compensation. It is often found that people who know Data Analysis are also skilled in Merchandising.
Pay by Experience Level for Assistant Buyer
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Assistant Buyers — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Workers with less than five years' experience earn around $42K on average, and those who have five to 10 years under their belts see a higher median salary of $44K. Assistant Buyers see a median salary of $45K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Ultimately, more time spent in the workforce does seem to translate to bigger paychecks; seasoned veterans with more than 20 years of experience report a median income of $59K.
Pay Difference by Location
For those looking to make money, Assistant Buyers in San Francisco enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 40 percent above the national average. Assistant Buyers will also find cushy salaries in New York (+24 percent), Milwaukee (+20 percent), San Diego (+16 percent), and Union (+12 percent). Portland ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 15 percent below the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Philadelphia (5 percent less) and Houston (2 percent less).