Assistant Buyer

Last Updated:
July 20, 2023

Job Description Overview

As an Assistant Buyer in the retail industry, your main responsibility is to help the senior buyer find the best products for the company. You'll work alongside the buyer to research and analyze market trends, track sales data, and manage relationships with suppliers.

Your day-to-day tasks may vary depending on the company's needs, but you can expect to be involved in vendor negotiations, purchasing decisions, and inventory management. You'll also help with the creation of marketing materials and promotional campaigns to help boost sales.

To succeed in this role, you'll need excellent communication and organizational skills, as well as a keen eye for detail. You should be able to work well under pressure and be comfortable with multitasking. A Bachelor's degree in business or a related field is typically required for this role.

Overall, this Assistant Buyer job description highlights the important role this position plays in the success of a retail company.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assist the buyer with daily tasks such as data entry, organizing purchase orders, and maintaining vendor relationships
  • Conduct research on market trends, competition, and customer demand to help inform buying decisions
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams such as merchandising, marketing, and inventory management to ensure successful product launches
  • Attend trade shows and conferences to identify new products and vendors that align with company goals and customer preferences
  • Monitor inventory levels and sales performance to recommend adjustments to buying strategy
  • Negotiate pricing, delivery schedules, and other terms with vendors to ensure favorable terms for the company
  • Communicate regularly with vendors to resolve any issues with product quality, delivery delays, or other concerns
  • Utilize analytical tools and software to track buying patterns and optimize purchasing decisions for profitability 
  • Maintain accurate records of purchasing activities and expenses in accordance with company policies and procedures.

Experience and Education Requirements

To be an assistant buyer in the retail industry, you'll typically need to have a high school diploma or a GED. But, most employers will want you to have some experience in retail, such as working as a sales associate. Also, some companies may require you to have a college degree in a related field, such as business or fashion merchandising. 

Having good communication and analytical skills is essential as you'll work with vendors and analyze sales data. It is advantageous to have experience in data analysis and proficiency in Excel. Moreover, you should also have a good understanding of market trends and knowledge of the products you'll be buying.

Overall, employers will look for someone who is organized, detail-oriented, and a good team player.

Salary Range

As an Assistant Buyer in the retail industry, you can expect to earn an average salary range of $33,000 to $56,000 per year in the United States. However, this can vary depending on experience, location, and the size of the company you work for. Some larger companies may offer more competitive salaries and benefits packages.

In other countries, such as the United Kingdom and Canada, the average salary range for an Assistant Buyer is slightly higher, averaging around £22,000 to £28,000 and C$40,000 to C$50,000 respectively.

It's important to note that salary ranges may also depend on the specific retail sector you work in, such as fashion, electronics or grocery.


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Career Outlook

The career outlook for an Assistant Buyer in the retail industry over the next 5 years shows a positive growth trend. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of purchasing managers, including assistant buyers, is projected to grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. The increase in online shopping and globalization has resulted in more opportunities for those with expertise in product procurement and supply chain management. As retailers continue to expand their product lines to meet the demands of diverse consumers, the need for assistant buyers to ensure the right products are on the shelves is expected to remain steady. 

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics - Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does an Assistant Buyer do in the retail industry?

A: An Assistant Buyer assists the Buyer in the buying process by analyzing sales data, tracking inventory levels, and communicating with vendors to make sure products are delivered on time.

Q: What skills are needed to become an Assistant Buyer?

A: Strong analytical, negotiation, and communication skills are essential for this job. Good organizational and time-management skills are also important, as well as proficiency in Microsoft Excel.

Q: What are the typical duties of an Assistant Buyer?

A: Some typical duties of an Assistant Buyer include researching new products or trends, creating purchase orders, tracking orders and delivery, updating product catalog and pricing, and helping to maintain inventory levels.

Q: What type of education is required for an Assistant Buyer position?

A: A bachelor's degree in business, marketing, or a related field is typically required to become an Assistant Buyer. Experience in retail or buying is also preferred, along with relevant software or technical skills.

Q: What career opportunities can an Assistant Buyer expect to pursue?

A: With experience, an Assistant Buyer can expect to advance into a Buyer role or other positions in the retail industry, such as Merchandising Manager, Retail Store Manager, or Sales Manager.

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