T-shirt Buyer Job Description for the fashion industry

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T-Shirt Buyer

Find a fashion industry job as a Tops Buyer.

In order to be successful as a t-shirt buyer, the ideal candidate will already have recent experience in purchasing tees or other clothing items.  Ideally, this would include buying a mix of casual items such as woven/knits or jerseys.  If you have at least three years experience with purchasing casual wovens or jerseys, it will greatly increase your chances of being considered for a position as a senior t-shirt buyer.

A junior buyer or a senior buyer (outside of t-shirts) with an eager disposition, who is ready and willing to accept new challenges, could find himself excelling as a t-shirt buyer.  Some companies are willing to consider any background pertaining to clothing for the purchasing position, as long as your skills include strong management acumen.

You must also possess outstanding communication and relationship-building skills.  You will be required to build relationships both internally and externally.  Your internal customers with whom you will form healthy working relationships include other members of your buying team, as well as the principals in other teams, with whom you will work at various stages in the buying process.  All of you will work together to bring your company maximum profits. You will also communicate extensively with suppliers outside of your company (More on that later.)

To be successful as a t-shirt buyer, you have to be comfortable with autonomy, but must also function beautifully within a team environment.  Your self-governing maintains a balance with teamwork and accountability. As the senior buyer, you will probably find yourself managing a team of at least two assistant buyers, plus a buyers administrator.  Their training, needs, and skill levels will vary, and your patience, flexibility, and communication will be tested.

You will also find yourself working consistently with the merchandising team.  The buying team and merchandising teams work together on pre-season orders and in-season repeat orders.  They work together to create pricing and promotional strategies that will, in turn, create the highest profit margins for the company.

Any successful t-shirt buyer (in fact, any senior buyer in the apparel industry) is clothed with negotiation skills of the highest quality.  Your negotiation skills must be well-developed, as you will need to pull out all the communication and relationship-building stops when negotiating with suppliers.  You ensure that orders are made and filled accurately, and that they are delivered on time.  And you arrange all of this by interacting effectively with your suppliers.

You will be called upon daily to make informed decisions quickly.  These should be informed decisions.  Your ability to translate numerical data into practical and profitable decisions will ultimately increase sales margins for clients within their t-shirt departments, and increase the profit margins for your company.

How do you increase profit margins?  By sourcing products that compete in both the fashion and financial realms.  You can do the latter because you are an informed t-shirt buyer who stays on top of market research.  You do the former by consistently going into the market to find new product.   Most companies seeking t-shirt buyers prefer that potential candidates for the position have already gained direct experience in sourcing with companies from the Far East.  You will also find yourself at trade shows and other events.  Your technical eye will help you build solid product and category ranges for your company and your clients.   

Find a fashion industry job as a Tops Buyer

Apparel Links of interest to T-shirt buyers :
T-shirt Factory Directory
Blank T-shirt Wholesaler Directory

Corporate Apparel Wholesalers

As a t-shirt buyer, you should also learn about garment printing and garment embroidery.  You will be surprised with the number of different embroidery techniques.

Welcome to the t-shirt 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 t-shirt 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 of the fashion industry are welcome to contribute to the job descriptions by using the comment area below.

If you have previously or currently work as a t-shirt 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 fashion careers.  More specifically, let's education regarding this particular career path.

Please only post educational information or questions specifically relevant to the job of a t-shirt buyer.
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Don't forget to stop by the shirt buyer section to look for additional resources.  Also, if you would like to learn more about tees, you can look in our clothes guide area.  In that section we have info about tees, tank tops, blouses, etc.

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