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Assistant buyers work with head buyers and help them in the process of procuring products for resale. Assistant buyers help in all facets of the buying process and focus on the tasks that keeps the department running smoothly. Typically, at least a bachelor's degree, perhaps in fine arts or fashion, is preferred for an assistant position. Several qualifications help land a position as an assistant buyer.
Help Maintain Order
The activity of buying departments include working with several other areas in their company to make sure the product is ordered and arrives in a timely matter. Assistant buyers communicate with accounting, receiving and quality control to track and monitor products they have ordered. While buyers may be occupied traveling the world looking for the next product to sell, assistant buyers are tying up the details so they frequently have the qualifications of being detailed and organized.
Communicate with Various Contacts
Assistant buyers regularly interact with vendors to ensure that they are following up on their contracts so having the ability to clearly communicate is important. In most industries, vendors present products that their companies make to buyers that will be sold in their stores. For example, a clothing store could have different vendors for accessories, shoes and intimate apparel, as well as other departments. An assistant buyer checks in with these vendors to learn about their new items and makes suggestions on what to buy for the next season.
If a product was not purchased on time, or it gets caught up in shipping, it doesn't make it to stores for shoppers to buy. Therefore, the ability to watch and meet deadlines is an important part of an assistant buyer's role. They check in with account representatives and manufacturers to check that everything is on schedule. They maintain the upcoming calendar and are counted on to closely watch timing. Assistant buyers also follow up regularly with why there are late shipments.
The buying department has various items to keep track of from season to season. It's the assistant buyer's role to manage these items as they regularly change. For example, a retail store may obtain many different samples of items that could be represented by their stores. An assistant buyer would work with companies to obtain their samples and maintain a library of the collection for the department. Therefore, being responsible for the physical maintenance of various collections is one duty of an assistant buyer.
Based in the Midwest, Gina Scott has been writing professionally since 2008. She has worked in real estate since 2004 and has expertise in pop culture and health-related topics. She has also self-published a book on how to overcome chronic health conditions. Scott holds a Master of Arts in higher-education administration from Ball State University.