Import Buyer Jobs - Fashion & Clothing Industry Import Buyer Job Description

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Import Buyer

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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 Import Buyer.

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 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 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 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 import buyer.
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