A buyer for a department store purchases goods that are to be sold in the store. This job may require some travel in order to meet with vendors. Bargaining skills are important to obtain low pricing on goods and to increase sales for the company. The buyer should also be able to make sure that the standards of the goods meet the requirements of the department store.
The buyer may have several different vendors to choose when purchasing a product, so it is important to be able to be objective and to pick a vendor that provides quality items at an affordable price. A buyer will often be given a budget that needs to be adhered to. In some cases, the buyer will be in charge of determining types of products that are to be sold in the department store. Therefore, a strong knowledge of developments in the field and what consumers are buying is important. Knowledge of contracts and the corresponding laws are important to be able to create valid work relationships.
The buyer may have time constraints and may do much of the work independently, so it is important to be self-motivated. Strong people skills are necessary to be able to establish mutually beneficial relationships with vendors of goods. Strong computer skills are often necessary, including the ability to use Microsoft Office and procurement software. A bachelor’s degree in business or a related field is sometimes required.