Retail and wholesale buyers


Retail and wholesale buyers buy merchandise for resale by retail or wholesale establishments and are usually responsible for the merchandising operations of retail or wholesale establishments. Retail and wholesale buyers who are supervisors and those who are assistants are included in this unit group.

This group performs some or all of the following duties:

  • Purchase merchandise for resale by retail or wholesale establishments

  • Review requirements of establishment and determine quantity and type of merchandise to purchase

  • Study market reports, trade periodicals and sales promotion materials and visit trade shows, showrooms, factories and product design events

  • Select the merchandise which best fits the establishment's requirements

  • Interview suppliers and negotiate prices, discounts, credit terms and transportation arrangements

  • Oversee distribution of merchandise to outlets and maintain adequate stock levels

  • Establish and maintain contact with suppliers

  • May supervise the work of other retail buyers.

  • Retail and wholesale buyers may specialize in a particular merchandise line.

Job titles

  • appliance buyer
  • assistant buyer
  • beverage taster and buyer
  • buyer - retail
  • buyer - wholesale
  • buyers supervisor

Employment prospects

Source: BC Labour Market Outlook 2023 edition

Annual salary







Job openings

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expected job openings (5-year forecast)

Education and training

Employment requirements

  • A university degree or college diploma in business, marketing or a related program is usually required.
  • Completion of secondary school is required.
  • Previous work experience in retail or wholesale establishments is usually required.
  • Supervisors and senior buyers require experience in the occupation supervised or in a particular merchandise line.

Additional information

  • Progression to management positions in retail trade, sales, marketing or advertising is possible with additional training or experience.
  • Retail and wholesale buyers may specialize through experience or product-related training courses.

Certification requirements

  • No certification requirements

Work Experience

  • Work experience recommended

Post-secondary programs in B.C.

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