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Career and Education Opportunities for Wholesale Buyers in Seattle, Washington

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for wholesale buyers in the Seattle, Washington area. There are currently 2,960 working wholesale buyers in Washington; this should grow 11% to about 3,280 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.

Income for wholesale buyers is about $20 hourly or $42,060 per year on average in Washington. Nationally, their income is about $23 per hour or $48,710 per year. Earnings for wholesale buyers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Representation in Washington and not quite as good as general Representation category earnings nationally. People working as wholesale buyers can fill a number of jobs, such as: internal wholesaler, buyer assistant, and sustainability purchasing agent.

The Seattle area is home to sixty-five schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can get a degree as a wholesale buyer. Wholesale buyers usually hold some college courses, so it will take a short time to learn 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

Shoreline Community College - Shoreline, WA

Shoreline Community College, 16101 Greenwood Ave N, Shoreline, WA 98133-5696. Shoreline Community College is a medium sized college located in Shoreline, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,823 students. Shoreline Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Fashion Merchandising which graduated two and two students respectively in 2008.

The Art Institute of Seattle - Seattle, WA

The Art Institute of Seattle, 2323 Elliott Ave, Seattle, WA 98121-1622. The Art Institute of Seattle is a small school located in Seattle, Washington. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,250 students and an admission rate of 77%. The Art Institute of Seattle has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Fashion Merchandising which graduated twenty-six and two students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.