Buyer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Buyer, or Senior Buyer, is responsible for sourcing and choosing products for sale in retail businesses. Their duties include researching their target market, analysing sales data and building relationships with suppliers. Buyers often have significant industry experience that enable them to identify gaps in the market and predict buying trends.


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Buyer duties and responsibilities

Depending on the size of their employer, buyers can be responsible for the whole process of researching and purchasing products, or they may specialise in just one area of the process. Their main responsibilities include:

  • Collecting and analysing data to help predict trends and forecast sales figures
  • Researching new markets, products and manufacturing processes 
  • Identifying quality standards and ensuring that all products meet those standards
  • Collating customer feedback 
  • Negotiating with suppliers to agree prices, quantities, delivery schedules and exclusivity deals
  • Working with inventory management team to ensure that all deliveries satisfy the assigned purchase orders and report any back-ordered or missing products 
  • Delivering reports on sales data, marketing activity and other metrics to the senior management team and other stakeholders
  • Conducting competitor research
  • Adapting product offering based on customer feedback and behaviour


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Buyer Job Description Examples:


Example 1

General information Reference Buyer-54 Publication start date 28/05/2021 Job description Buyer Post description Buyer Vacancy details Division Head Office - Procurement Title Buyer - Glasgow Contract type Permanent Full Time Vacancy location Location Scotland, Scotland, Glasgow Location Carrick House, 40 Carrick St G2 8DA Glasgow About the role The Role Our team is the best in the industry – is it time for you to join us? The Role: We have an exciting opportunity for a Buyer to join our Procurement team in Head Office. We are looking for a confident and assertive individual, with excellent interpersonal and negotiation skills as the Buyer will be responsible for building strong relationships with both external suppliers and internal customers. You should be a proactive, professional and self-motivated individual and have a proven track record in supplier management as your role is to negotiate with suppliers to provide best value for money services for the group. In addition, the Buyer will actively seek out new products and services for commercial and technical appraisal. About You Successful applicants should demonstrate the following:
  • Previous purchasing experience with a proven track record in supplier management and delivering cost/efficiency savings.
  • A background in and tool hire sectors is preferred. Candidates from an FMCG background will also be considered.
  • A CIPS qualification or be studying towards one; however we will also accept applications from candidates who can demonstrate the appropriate level of knowledge gained through experience.
  • Strong Microsoft office skills
  • Commercial awareness and excellent organisational skills About Us GAP Hire Solutions now has 10 divisions offering the hire of equipment throughout the UK. We're looking to recruit the best talent the industry has to offer to help us grow even further. As a GAP employee, you'll enjoy loads of benefits such as profit share, loyalty holidays and a staff social fund. Our in-house Learning & Development Team are dedicated to giving you the skills you need to be your best and as a company we are always keen to promote internally. Benefits include:
  • Competitive salary and bonus scheme
  • Contributory pension
  • 22 days annual leave plus bank holidays
  • Option to buy/sell holidays
  • Staff social fund (money for team building exercises etc.)
  • Health & Wellness (annual flu jab, free eyesight tests etc.)
  • Cycle to work scheme So what next? If you think you fit the profile we would love to hear from you! GAP GROUP IS AN EQUAL Opportunities Employer
  • Example 2

    *Clive Mark Schoolwear* has been supplying school uniform for over 50 years, with a reputation for premium quality branded school clothes that are made to withstand the rigours of school life. As well as a fantastic range of school uniform and sportswear, we also stock a variety of bags and accessories and other useful “must haves". As *Junior Buyer* your role will primarily consist of supporting the Merchandise department with all data entry to ensure orders across multiple suppliers are captured and correct for the coming season. This includes ensuring that all uniforms, PE kits and accessories associated with Clive Mark are purchased on time, to specification (school specifics), and that the correct cost prices are associated to every Purchase Order. Liaising with Merchandise team for forecasting purposes, whilst managing to strict deadlines to get orders completed. * Merchandising * Update Reports: weekly sales overview, best and worst sellers, sell through, returns analysis, recommendations for moving slower stock * Help prepare seasonal product analysis – from attributing product [website] shape, colour, sizes etc) to analysing the sales figures, sizing analysis and lessons learnt for future buys. * Assist the team by providing information in relation to delivery schedules, Stock availability, sales & selling events. * Ad hoc web assistance to keep the website updated; changing items, pricing, pictures and layouts as needed. * Pricing - Updating the systems with price corrections, any silent markdowns or discounts whilst checking within the team that margin erosion is in line with Budget. * Help to Update the system in place to manage OTB, markdown and terminal stock under the guidance of the Operations and Merchandise manager. * Wholesale Shipping – Potentially help in managing the wholesale customer shipments end to end and growing the business in line with the operation and merchandising managers vision. * Working alongside the merchandise team to grow the e-commerce business. Buying * Help to maintain all product information on cyber-till * Help the maintenance of each seasons range, plan spreadsheets, ensuring no missing information. * Help to Raise purchase orders (including all supporting documents) and ensure they are signed and emailed /couriered to suppliers in a timely manner. * Complete market research as directed alongside competitive shopping following the direction given by the operations and merchandise manager * Admin support to help with the general running of the buying department as necessary * Updating purchase orders with changes as necessary. * Chasing proforma invoices and liaising with accounts department to ensure they are paid. *Essential Skills & Requirements: * * Comfortable with a first-time appointment. (Preferable Graduate) * Ambitious, desire to succeed, quick thinker. * Excellent PC skills, including MS office and Excel (intermediate to advanced). * High level of numeracy and analytical skills * Excellent written and verbal communication skills * Capable of managing own workload and confident in liaising at all levels within the business * Capable of working within a stressful environment Job Types: Full-time, Permanent Salary: Up to £25,000.00 per year Schedule: * Monday to Friday COVID-19 considerations: Social distancing measures, hand hygiene, covid secure workplace Experience: * buyer: 1 year (preferred) Work remotely: * No

    Example 3

    *Main Purpose of Job: * WFEL has a century of engineering excellence and innovation of rapidly-deployable, modern bridging systems for use in military and disaster relief scenarios and are now a key partner in the MoD's Boxer Mechanised Infantry Vehicle programme. The business is undergoing a period of significant growth due to the Boxer project, and we therefore have an exciting opportunity for a Senior Buyer to join our Procurement team and support the delivery of the UK Boxer Manufacturing Programme. *Main Duties: * * Working as part of Joint Procurement Team with parent company and other strategic companies, determine joint purchasing strategy as appropriate protecting WFEL interests * Within structured governance be responsible for portfolio of materials and suppliers (in UK and Europe), for on time delivery of technically compliant materials and services * Create comprehensive RFQ, issue and expedite supplier responses * Facilitate evaluation of supplier responses with other internal stakeholders and formalise selection and outcome ensuring actions closed prior to order placement * Negotiation with suppliers re pricing / lead-time and commercial terms, ensuring budget and programme compliance and commercial robustness * Timely placement of PO and expediting in accordance with MRP (own orderbook) * Facilitation of problem resolution including but not limited to invoice, technical, quality issues. May require joint approach with parent company. * Sourcing of potential new suppliers and facilitating formal review to enable verification of robustness and ability to meet WFEL needs (in strict liaison with WFEL supplier quality) * Ensuring new suppliers adhere to the WFEL requirements and continue to do so for the life of the programme * Manage supplier relationships and facilitate supplier meetings ensuring all reports and actions formalised and followed through: * - Validating supplier metrics and verifying reasons for non-compliance and driving supplier improvement activity where metrics are not consistent/acceptable * - Identifying supplier chain risks and proactively supporting mitigation activity * - Representing procurement at project meetings * - Supporting other parts of the procurement function where necessary *Essential Qualifications and Education: * * Minimum Grade C in English and Maths at GCSE or equivalent * Business or Engineering qualification _(desirable)_ * Working towards CIPS membership Level 4 or higher _(desirable)_ * Willingness to travel within Europe * Full UK driving license *Relevant Experience: * * Supply Chain/Procurement experience gained in an Engineering and/or defence environment _(desirable)_ * Experience of using SAP or other MRP system * Microsoft Excel Intermediate level and ability to manipulate spreadsheets * Ability to evaluate and negotiate standard commercial terms * Experience of understanding Bills of Materials structures * Evaluating supplier capabilities * Ability to present data/information in a group setting * Confident negotiating purchasing strategy with strategic external stakeholders *The Person: * * Excellent negotiation and communication skills * Strong commercial awareness * Flexible attitude and a team player * Proactive, self-motivated with a desire to get things done * Good interpersonal skills and the ability to build strong supplier and internal relationships You can also apply directly using the following link - [website]?v=bd56442c-e15a-40fb-aef2-51aed4831ceb Job Types: Full-time, Permanent Benefits: * Bike to work scheme * Company pension * On-site parking * Referral programme * Sick pay * Work from home Schedule: * 8 hour shift * Monday to Friday COVID-19 considerations: Strong Covid protocols in place including mask wearing, sanitizer stations, social distancing, site visitor restrictions and working from home * Driving Licence (preferred) Work remotely: * Temporarily due to COVID-19

    What does a Buyer do?

    Buyers are responsible for selecting the types of products to be sold on the shelves of shops, online and in other retail environments. They seek out suitable products, plan seasonal changes between lines and identify gaps in the market that can be filled with the items they choose. They also conduct in-depth research to ascertain what their customers will want to buy and negotiate with suppliers to purchase bulk quantities for resale. Some buyers are responsible for sourcing parts or materials which are then used to fabricate items or combined to sell on to customers. 


    Buyer skills and qualifications

    Industry knowledge can be advantageous for buyers in some sectors, but a successful Buyer candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that include:

    • Excellent communication skills to help negotiations and ensure that expectations are clear
    • Relationship building and networking skills
    • Financial and accounting knowledge for calculating margins, gross profit and discounts
    • Knowledge of fabrication and manufacturing techniques
    • An understanding of supply chain management and logistics
    • Excellent computer skills and knowledge of spreadsheets, presentation software and other stock management software and systems
    • Excellent attention to detail and high standards for quality control


    Buyer experience requirements

    Assistant, or Junior Buyers may not have buying experience, but can get trained on the job to learn about the market, trends and typical customer behaviour. Senior Buyers will usually be expected to have some experience working in retail purchasing and have a more detailed understanding of the industry, in order to select products that are going to be popular with customers. Experience of working in a retail position, or with customer service, or any role that requires negotiation, is an advantage.



    Buyer education and training requirements

    Assistant Buyers may be able to secure entry-levels jobs with minimal education or training requirements, but will need GCSEs or A-levels to demonstrate an acceptable level of numeracy and literacy. For higher-level positions, such as Senior Buyer roles, candidates typically need a degree in business, accounting or marketing. Specific qualifications that relate to the buying process are helpful, such as certification in Understanding Retail Operations or a Diploma in Fashion Retail or Retail Skills that cover a number of important aspects of the purchasing process. 


    Buyer Salary Expectations

    According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Buyer is £31,766 per year. This will depend on their level of seniority, the sector in which they work and the area of the country in which the job is based.


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    Buyer job description FAQs


    What are the different types of Buyer?

    Buyers can have different roles depending on the industry that they work in. Some Buyers work on a wholesale basis, whereas others work in the retail sector selecting products to sell through a number of different outlets. Other industries have specialist buyers such as Agricultural Machinery Buyers, Office Supply, Stationery Buyers and Industrial Goods Buyers who need more specialist knowledge and experience to succeed.


    Who does a Buyer report to?

    Depending on the nature of the business, Buyers may report to a Senior Buyer, a Purchasing Manager or a Procurement Manager. Some work directly with the teams they buy for and therefore report to the specific manager for their department such as the Women’s Apparel Manager or Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) Manager. Senior Buyers may report to the Operations Director or Managing Director.


    What qualities make a good Buyer?

    Buyers need to be patient and able to remain calm under pressure as they negotiate contracts. They need to be personable and able to build and maintain strong relationships with their network of suppliers. Buyers typically spend some time visiting manufacturing plants and inspecting suppliers’ working environments, so they need to be willing to travel. 

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