The road to becoming a Buyer definitely wasn’t smooth and sometimes it helps to have a bit of inside knowledge to get you through.
First of all what is a Buyer?
A person employed to select and purchase stock or materials for a retailer or manufacturer.
Or, in simple terms it’s someone who buys things, and that’s the beauty of buying. There are all different types of buyers from food to wine, stationary to of course clothes. Anything that is sold in a store, online, anywhere has been bought and picked by someone so it means whatever your passion is you could be that person who makes sure your selection of products are sold in stores!
So here are my top 5 tips for someone who wants to become a Buyer:
1. What type of Buyer do you want to be?
Do you want to Buy food, wine, clothes, stationary, cars, whatever it is become an expert in that field and be passionate about the area. Read books, magazines, anything that gives you knowledge about your chosen area and then pick which area you want to focus on.
2. Go to class.
This may seem obvious, but Buying is a Business role as well as needing to be creative you need to be business minded. Unfortunately we don’t just buy whatever we feel like, there’s a lot of analysis done and maths involved to come to the decisions that are made in a Buying office.
This means studying is important, you need to be a good communicator to win people over to your ideas so pay attention in those English classes.You need to have a good grasp of maths to be able to understand retail maths and apply it correctly, and you need to be able to use programs like Excel for maths formulas and PowerPoint for presentations so definitely don’t fall asleep in your IT class.
3. Do I need to do anything specific to become a fashion Buyer?
I could write for hours about this. The most exciting thing about being a Fashion Buyer is that there are so many different routes that you can take.
That job in a high street store that you might not be enthused about could be your path to being the person who decides what gets stocked in that store. I would definitely say get the most experience you can out of every situation.
If you don’t have a weekend job in retail, get one. Work closely with customers and get an understanding of what they want.
Find out where the head office of the company is and who the Buyers are and contact them directly for some work experience, your first hand knowledge of what customers in the stores want will be priceless.
4.Do you know your Maje from you Iro. Or your Balmain from Dior?
Decide what type of company or brands you want to work for. Do you want to be a high street Buyer because you love fast fashion, premium Buyer (you can’t get enough of Reiss) or the creme de la creme of Luxury working for Louis Vuitton.
Whichever one you want, decide early on and get to know the designers for the brands, (I was asked by one Luxury brand about who my favourite designers were and on specific details about a recent fashion show) so make sure you know exactly who you like and why, and watch as many fashions shows as you can.
5. And what’s the most important of all?
Definitely to love what you do, if you’re working for a brand have something about them that you feel resonates with you as then it’s easier in an interview to show your passion. When you do get that interview that you’ve been dying for, make sure you represent the brand or store.
Wear a piece from their collection, if it’s luxury and you can’t afford to buy something from them yet then call everyone you know someone will have something you can borrow, even if it’s just a belt the little things are what will get you noticed.
I hope those tips are helpful to anyone interested in becoming a Buyer there’s so so much more that I could share so if you want to read more and another ‘inside scoop’ on Buying them please comment and let me know. If you have any questions about getting Into it then make sure you comment and ask away!!