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Do you really like to travel? As in up and go every
week kind of travel? If you are ready and willing to travel the world
mainly the Far East and Europe then a career as an import buyer might be
for you. You really could be called upon to travel virtually anywhere in
the world. Buyers in every department of a company in the fashion and
textile industries may need the import buyer to assist them with purchasing
and sourcing trips all over the globe. There is no purchasing job listed in
the Apparel Search directory that might not need the assistance of the
import buyer at some point.
You must have a background in imports in either retail
or manufacturing to successfully fill this position. Experience in one of
those environments is a non-negotiable requirement for this job. A minimum
of three years, and closer to five years, of experience in a senior import
purchasing or merchandising role, (i.e. a decision-making role) is not an
uncommon requirement for stepping into a position such as this one.
Experience handling the accounts of major retailers is also pretty much
mandatory. You simply can not become an import buyer without a high level
of experience in working with global sources/manufacturers.
Because you will be communicating and negotiating
across boundaries of physical distance and cultural differences, your
communication skills must be razor sharp. You will support other buyers in
their negotiations with overseas contacts for each department's direct
sourcing needs. In your role as liaison between buying teams and factories,
you will ensure the proper ordering and timely delivery of all products.
You will help to ensure that all orders are delivered in full.
Senior buyers will be able to direct source new
products that are never-before-seen in your target market with your
guidance. By directing senior buyers to global suppliers, you will enable
your company to make exciting additions to its product range within each
product category. As innovative new products are added, your selections
will lead to an expanded customer base if they are in line with the trends
you have spent hours working with marketing and sales teams and comparison
shopping your little importing heart out to predict. Your suggestions are
made with an eye to both the internal customers (stores) and the external
customers (consumers) needs, and to internal sales team goals.
Senior import purchasing agents usually have quite a
hand in in-house production as well. You will present ideas and concepts
gathered in your travels to buyers at concept meetings. Your ideas may need
to be followed from concept through to production. In which case, you will
not only be offering your assistance to other senior buyers in sourcing and
selection, but also acting as a liaison with foreign manufacturers.
You will communicate with factories, buyers, sales
representatives, and customers on a daily basis, to make sure that the
process is flowing smoothly from beginning to end not least of all that
orders are completed in full, up to standards, and on schedule.
In short, only your organizational skills and trendy
clairvoyance will outshine your communication abilities in an import buyer
position. For those who are interested in a position in the
fashion and textile industry that have the freedom to commit to frequent
travel, it will be difficult to find a job that fits the bill more than
that of an import buyer.
Find Jobs as an
Learn more about
Fashion Industry Buyers.
Welcome to the import buyer job
description section of the Apparel Search employment
directory. In this section of our guide we present
information relevant to a career as a import buyer.
Although for many of our
career descriptions we provide
information that we have developed internally, a large
portion of this
section relies heavily on user input. No one knows a
career path better than someone that has actually worked
in the particular position. Therefore, we welcome
members of the fashion community to submit their
personal experience to this page. Active members
fashion industry are welcome to contribute to the
job descriptions by using the comment area below.
have previously or currently work as a import buyer please add your insight
to the community discussion. Educators such as
fashion school teachers and
knowledgeable garment industry veterans are also welcome to
comment. Let's all work together to help educate
the world about various
More specifically, let's education regarding this
particular career path.
Please only post educational
information or questions specifically relevant to the job of a
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import buyer, you are welcome to use the