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
- 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.
Common Career Paths for Assistant Buyer
Assistant Buyers may experience a large salary bump if they progress into a role such as Product Development Manager. The latter position pays an average of $80K annually. 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
Zulily, Neiman Marcus Group Inc., Ross Stores, Inc, Macy's, Inc., and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc are top-notch employers for Assistant Buyers in this area. Nordstrom, Inc. attracts talent by shelling out the biggest paychecks in the area — the median in that office is $77K. Also paying near the top of the field are Ross Stores, Inc at $67K, Macy's, Inc. at $56K, and Sears Holdings Corporation, where Assistant Buyers annually earn $51K.
With a median salary of $43K, Zulily provides Assistant Buyers with the lowest pay in their field; moreover, earnings are capped at only $49K, limiting employee salary growth. Also sliding in at the lower end of the scale are Neiman Marcus Group Inc. ($43K), Belk, Inc. ($44K), and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc ($50K).
Popular Skills for Assistant Buyer
Assistant Buyers report using a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Merchandising, Negotiation, Data Analysis, and Vendor Relations are correlated to pay that is above average. 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.
In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. The median compensation for relatively untried workers is $41K; in the five-to-10 year group, it's higher at around $45K. Assistant Buyers with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $45K. Assistant Buyers who have acquired more than 20 years of relevant experience earn significantly more than folks with fewer years on their resumes; the average income in this veteran group is $63K.
Pay Difference by Location
With a pay rate for Assistant Buyers that is 41 percent greater than the national average, San Francisco offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Assistant Buyers will also find cushy salaries in New York (+24 percent), Milwaukee (+18 percent), Union (+13 percent), and Dallas (+8 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 15 percent south of the national average, can be found in Portland. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Philadelphia and Houston (2 percent lower and 1 percent lower, respectively).
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