The Life of a Fashion Buyer


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February 24, 2005

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If you have a good eye for fashion, and a talent for making good business decisions, you might consider a career as a fashion buyer for a retail company.

As a fashion buyer, you would work for a retailer. You would be responsible for buying fashion products from wholesale vendors, which the retailer would then sell to customers. Generally, you would want to buy products that represent the latest styles and that customers will demand. You might provide input to fashion designers regarding designs. You would probably negotiate costs with vendors, and you would have to make sure that the vendors deliver the products on time.

How you would determine what products to buy would depend on what kind of retailing company you worked for. If you work for a smaller company, such as a local shoe store, you might rely on trends in the fashion world and the recommendations of vendors. If you work for a larger company, such as a department store chain, you would analyze the company's profit history and relevant inventory statistics before making a purchase. As a buyer for a nationwide chain, you would probably also have to travel extensively, to observe how each store displays the wares you are selling. You would also probably work with other buyers within your company, while at a small company, you might be the only buyer.

No matter what kind of company you worked for, you would want to keep up with the fashion industry, by reading fashion magazines, going to fashion and trade shows, keeping tabs on competitors, and observing which product lines are successful, and which aren't.

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