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Career and Education Opportunities for Wholesale Buyers in St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for wholesale buyers. Currently, 3,910 people work as wholesale buyers in Missouri. This is expected to shrink by 5% to 3,720 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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.

The income of a wholesale buyer is about $19 per hour or $40,330 yearly on average in Missouri. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $23 hourly or $48,710 annually on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Representation, people working as wholesale buyers in Missouri earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Representation nationally. People working as wholesale buyers can fill a number of jobs, such as: associate merchandise buyer, merchandise manager, and retail buyer.

The St. Louis area is home to seventy-one schools of higher education, including five within twenty-five miles of St. Louis where you can get a degree as a wholesale buyer. The most common level of education 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.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in St. Louis include:

  • Agent. Represent and promote artists, performers, and athletes to prospective employers. May handle contract negotiation and other business matters for clients.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Wholesale Buyer Training

Sanford-Brown College - Hazelwood, MO

Sanford-Brown College, 75 Village Square, Hazelwood, MO 63042. Sanford-Brown College is a small college located in Hazelwood, Missouri. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 722 students. Sanford-Brown College has an associate's degree program in Fashion Merchandising which graduated twenty-three students in 2008.

Lindenwood University - Saint Charles, MO

Lindenwood University, 209 S Kingshighway, Saint Charles, MO 63301-1695. Lindenwood University is a large university located in Saint Charles, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,253 students and an admission rate of 40%. Lindenwood University has a bachelor's degree program in Sales, Distribution, and Marketing Operations.

Patricia Stevens College - Saint Louis, MO

Patricia Stevens College, 330 North Fourth Street, Suite 306, Saint Louis, MO 63102-2008. Patricia Stevens College is a small college located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 182 students and an admission rate of 50%. Patricia Stevens College has a one to two year program in Fashion Merchandising.

Vatterott College - Sunset Hills, MO

Vatterott College, 12970 Maurer Industrial Dr, Sunset Hills, MO 63127-1516. Vatterott College is a small college located in Sunset Hills, Missouri. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 603 students. Vatterott College has an associate's degree program in Fashion Merchandising which graduated one student in 2008.

Southwestern Illinois College - Belleville, IL

Southwestern Illinois College, 2500 Carlyle Ave, Belleville, IL 62221-5899. Southwestern Illinois College is a large college located in Belleville, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,308 students. Southwestern Illinois College has a less than one year program in Sales, Distribution, and Marketing Operations which graduated eight students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri photo by Dschwen

St. Louis is located in St. Louis City County, Missouri. It has a population of over 354,361, which has grown by 1.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in St. Louis, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in St. Louis are priced at $111,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred fifty-seven new homes were built in St. Louis, down from two hundred sixty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in St. Louis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 19.1% of St. Louis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in St. Louis is 10.9%, which is greater than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

Nativity of Our Lord Church, Church of the Good Shepard and Church of the Holy Communion are among the churches located in St. Louis.

St. Louis is home to the Terminal Railroad Association Building and the Memorial Home as well as Washington Park and Willmore Park. Shopping malls in the area include Hampton Village Shopping Center and Loughborough Shopping Center.