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Career and Education Opportunities for Wholesale Buyers in Gulfport, Mississippi

There are many career and education opportunities for wholesale buyers in the Gulfport, Mississippi area. There are currently 550 working wholesale buyers in Mississippi; this should grow 11% to about 610 working wholesale buyers in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for wholesale buyers are expected to shrink by about 2.2%. In general, wholesale buyers buy merchandise or commodities, other than farm products, for resale to consumers at the wholesale or retail level, including both durable and nondurable goods.

A person working as a wholesale buyer can expect to earn about $20 hourly or $43,270 annually on average in Mississippi and about $23 per hour or $48,710 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for wholesale buyers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Representation in Mississippi and not quite as good as general Representation category earnings nationally. Wholesale buyers work in a variety of jobs, including: category manager, merchandiser, and department manager.

The Gulfport area is home to six schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Gulfport where you can get a degree as a wholesale buyer. Given that the most common education level for wholesale buyers is some college courses, you can expect to spend a short time studying to be a wholesale buyer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Wholesale Buyer

Wholesale Buyer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, wholesale buyers buy merchandise or commodities, other than farm products, for resale to consumers at the wholesale or retail level, including both durable and nondurable goods. They also analyze past buying trends, sales records, and quality of merchandise to determine value and yield.

Wholesale buyers examine orders, and purchase products consistent with quality, quantity, specification requirements, and other factors. They also set or recommend mark-up rates, mark-down rates, and selling prices for products. Equally important, wholesale buyers have to interview and work closely with vendors to obtain and design desired products. They are often called upon to negotiate prices, discount terms, and transportation arrangements for products. Finally, wholesale buyers talk with sales and purchasing personnel to obtain data related to customer needs and preferences.

Every day, wholesale buyers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to think through problems and come up with general rules. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for wholesale buyers to analyze and monitor sales records, trends and economic conditions to anticipate consumer buying patterns and decide on what the company will sell and how much inventory is needed. They are often called upon to use computers to organize and locate inventory, and operate spreadsheet and word processing software. They also conduct staff meetings with sales personnel to introduce new products. They are sometimes expected to inspect products or products to establish value or yield. Somewhat less frequently, wholesale buyers are also expected to authorize payment of invoices or return of products.

Wholesale buyers sometimes are asked to train and supervise sales and clerical staff. and furnish clerks with data to print on price tags, such as price, mark-ups or mark-downs and style number. And finally, they sometimes have to examine orders, and purchase products consistent with quality, quantity, specification requirements, and other factors.

Like many other jobs, wholesale buyers must have exceptional integrity and be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Wholesale Buyer Training

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College - Perkinston, MS

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, 51 Main Street, Perkinston, MS 39573. Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College is a medium sized college located in Perkinston, Mississippi. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,215 students. Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College has an associate's degree program in Fashion Merchandising which graduated two students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Gulfport, Mississippi

Gulfport, Mississippi
Gulfport, Mississippi photo by Charlie Brenner

Gulfport is located in Harrison County, Mississippi. It has a population of over 70,055, which has shrunk by 1.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Gulfport, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Gulfport are valued at $108,600 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, two hundred forty-two new homes were constructed in Gulfport, down from three hundred twenty-nine the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Gulfport are health care, arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, arts, entertainment, and recreation, and public administration. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 19.1% of Gulfport residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Gulfport is 9.3%, which is less than Mississippi's average of 9.5%.

The percentage of Gulfport residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.8%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Saint Johns Catholic Church, Saint James Baptist Church and Broadmoor Baptist Church are all churches located in Gulfport. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Gulfport is home to the Harrison County Courthouse and the West Side Community Center as well as Cowan Road Field and Harbor Square Park. Shopping centers in the area include Great Southern Shopping Center, Gulf Mart Shopping Center and Hardy Court Shopping Center. Visitors to Gulfport can choose from Best Western Seaway Inn, Crystal Inn and Best Western Seaway for temporary stays in the area.