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There are two main types of buyers. Wholesale buyers purchase merchandise directly from manufacturers and resell it to retail firms, commercial establishments, and other institutions. Retail buyers purchase goods from wholesalers (and occasionally from manufacturers) for resale to the general public. In either case, buyers must understand their customers' needs and be able to purchase goods at an appropriate price and in sufficient quantity. Sometimes a buyer is referred to by the type of merchandise purchased—for example, jewelry buyer or toy buyer. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, as of May 2015 there were approximately 112,200 wholesale and retail buyers employed in the private sector across the United States.

Salary Range

$25,000 to $100,000+

Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma




About as Fast as the Average
Personality Traits




Career Ladder
Purchasing Manager

Assistant Purchasing Manager


Assistant Buyer

Retail Sales Worker

Related Professions