Contact us

Chat with us

Phone: 13 64 64 or (08)9224 6500
TTY: 08 9225 7831
(Hearing impaired only)
Site search



Occupation search

Occupation Search

Retail buyer

Back to top

Summary of occupation

​Retail buyers are responsible for sourcing, selecting and purchasing goods to be sold by retail businesses. They research market trends and also watch what stock their competitors purchase. They plan sales targets and must predict future buying patterns. They source and develop relationships with suppliers, negotiate prices for goods, and plan, monitor and evaluate stock levels.

Retail buyers must have a good understanding of their customers to determine product ranges that best achieve commercial outcomes. They may also be involved in deciding how products are displayed and managing the image of the brand.

ANZSCO description: Selects and buys goods for resale in a retail establishment.
Alternative names:
Job prospects: Average
Back to top

Knowledge, skills and attributes

A retail buyer needs:

  • comprehensive up to date knowledge of consumer trends, both locally and overseas
  • the ability to plan budgets and set pricing targets
  • good communication and negotiation skills
  • administrative and management skills
  • strong organisational skills and the ability to plan and meet deadlines
  • to be willing to travel.
Back to top

Working conditions

Retail buyers often travel interstate and overseas to research and source goods, attend trade fairs and to meet with suppliers. They usually work in an office environment, but may also spend time examining potential merchandise in warehouses, markets or at wholesalers. They also spend time in retail stores working with store managers and visual merchandisers to review stock levels and to decide how the products should be displayed.

Retail buyers generally work business hours, however, when travelling their hours may vary and they may work longer hours.

Back to top

Salary details

​On average, retail buyers can expect to earn between $1 000 and $1 249 per week ($52 000 and $64 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a retail buyer develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

Back to top

Tools and technologies

​Retail buyers use computers and word processing and software programs to manage and analyse stock levels, study sales data and manage finances. They may research trends and buying patterns, and source suppliers online. They also need to be familiar with retail store operating equipment, and pricing and stock measuring systems.

Back to top

Education and training/entrance requirements

​You can work as a retail buyer without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in retail management.

The Diploma of Retail Management is offered at registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.

Related courses

Back to top

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

Back to top

Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

Back to top


Related links

Need advice?

Profile and social options