Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Wholesale Buyers in Columbia, Missouri

Wholesale buyers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Columbia, Missouri area. There are currently 3,910 working wholesale buyers in Missouri; this should shrink by 5% to about 3,720 working wholesale buyers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for wholesale buyers, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 2.2% over the next eight years. Wholesale buyers generally 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 $19 per hour or $40,330 yearly on average in Missouri and about $23 per hour or $48,710 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for wholesale buyers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Representation in Missouri, and not quite as good as the overall Representation category nationally. Jobs in this field include: merchant, print buyer, and head of merchandise buying.

There are thirteen schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including one within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career as a wholesale buyer. Wholesale buyers usually hold some college courses, so 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

Stephens College - Columbia, MO

Stephens College, 1200 E Broadway, Columbia, MO 65215. Stephens College is a small college located in Columbia, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,147 students and an admission rate of 71%. Stephens College has a bachelor's degree program in Fashion Merchandising.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Missouri

Columbia, Missouri
Columbia, Missouri photo by Grey_Wanderer

Columbia is situated in Boone County, Missouri. It has a population of over 100,733, which has grown by 19.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia are valued at $171,800 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-five new homes were constructed in Columbia, down from six hundred fifty-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 15 minutes. More than 50.5% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 24.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 6.8%, which is less than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.9%, is less than both the national and state average. Sugar Grove Church, Fairview Church and Emmanuel Church are among the churches located in Columbia. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Columbia is home to the Columbia Country Club and the Columbia Plaza as well as Nickell Park and Stephens Park. Shopping centers in the area include Whitegate Shopping Center, North County Shopping Center and Biscayne Mall. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Churchill's, Columbia Super 8 Motel and Arrow Head Motel LLC for temporary stays in the area.