Shopping Like It’s Your Job: Finding The RIght Wholesale Buyer

wholesale buyer imageLast week, we talked about what it takes to get your first fashion business off of the ground. But what happens next?

One of the most important employees at any fashion business, especially at retail outlets, is their wholesale buyer. Their job is critical: Figure out what products you need, and how much to order.

Sounds simple enough, but how well your buyer performs will make all the difference in the success of your business.

So what does a buyer do?

Buyers are doing their job well if they can consistently find and purchase products that your customer base likes and considers to be a good value.

And they’re doing badly when your store racks and warehouses are filled with unwanted products that will have to be sold off at low clearance prices.

The most difficult part of their job is trying to predict what products will be popular. To do this, buyers must do a lot of research.

They frequently visit showrooms and trade shows looking for good products and constantly analyze economic conditions and study past sales to identify customer patterns. They also carefully consider the product’s quality and cost before placing an order, and frequently negotiate with sellers to try and lower a product’s price.

Then the wholesale buyer arranges for a delivery and makes certain everything arrives in good order before authorizing payment.

Finding the perfect buyer

Try to learn as much as you can about what sort of fashion experience your potential employee has. See what types of products they’ve worked with before and whether or not that experience will carry over to your business.

It’s very important to find a wholesale buyer that will represent your business well. A buyer that isn’t familiar with your line of work could make some costly mistakes when dealing with expensive products.

As the buyer, they need to make a lot of decisions when products are being presented to them. In other words, if the seller’s requested payment methods, shipping methods, and other details aren’t satisfactory, or if the product wouldn’t sell very well in your store or make much money for your business. The buyer needs to be able to recognize and refuse bad product offers.

A good wholesale buyer will be able to make the decisions that benefit your business the most, and get you the most profit.

Persistence is key when looking for the right buyer; you’ll need to find a buyer that will be consistent, and professional. An inconsistent or forgetful buyer could cost the business a lot of money and time, and could even ruin your business reputation.

A few other things to consider:

  • Do they have the ability to make a decision quickly? Good buyers usually know instantly whether or not the product being offered is right for the business.
  • Can they stay focused during presentations and notice bad offers that could hurt your business?
  • Can they find products that will fit your business and make you profits?
  • Are they friendly and professional?
  • Do they perform well under pressure?
  • Following these pointers will help you find the right wholesale buyer.