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23-06-2006
  196
scenester
 
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Also, one more question related to that (^). How far in advance do you apply? And for jobs in general, if I am graduating in June 2007 and want to start working the following fall, when would I start to apply for positions?

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25-06-2006
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Just curious. What is a rough estimate of how much an assitant buyer makes a year Lena?

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25-06-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by style_savy
Just curious. What is a rough estimate of how much an assitant buyer makes a year Lena?

Eight years ago, at a regional high-end dept/specialty chain called Jacobson's in the midwest, it was $24,500. Yes, that was considered pretty bad but they knew so many people wanted 'in' so they could get away with it.

It's my understanding this was not unusual, assistant buyer positions kind weed out 'who really wants it' in terms of buying positions. The buyers notoriously treat their assistants pretty badly, mostly because of tradition--that's what they had to put up with to get where they are, etc. I knew many assistants who were humiliated, embarassed and over-worked for no reason other than their buyers simply felt like inflicting it.

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26-06-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annabel_lee
everything is always about connection BUT...my friends got into w/o that. they just applied to all the stores and got it the old fashion way.

slightly off-topic but i think everyone interested in buying, merchandising, etc should read "why we buy" by paco underhill
I just ordered that book online. Hope it will be an interesting read. Had some great reviews so I'm sure I'll enjoy it. I love reading about human nature and behaviors. I already know quite a few things about manipulating shoppers since I worked in retail but I'm sure this book will help me with my own shopping addictions. And thank-you couturecate for your reply.

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27-06-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by couturecate
Eight years ago, at a regional high-end dept/specialty chain called Jacobson's in the midwest, it was $24,500. Yes, that was considered pretty bad but they knew so many people wanted 'in' so they could get away with it.

It's my understanding this was not unusual, assistant buyer positions kind weed out 'who really wants it' in terms of buying positions. The buyers notoriously treat their assistants pretty badly, mostly because of tradition--that's what they had to put up with to get where they are, etc. I knew many assistants who were humiliated, embarassed and over-worked for no reason other than their buyers simply felt like inflicting it.
what about buyers? i've read online that they can make up to 100,000/year. is that pretty rare? or normal if you're a buyer for a big company?

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27-06-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHADiLer
what about buyers? i've read online that they can make up to 100,000/year. is that pretty rare? or normal if you're a buyer for a big company?
Sure, buyers can make that and more; but it's typically in NYC, San Fran or LA where the cost of living is so high that $100,000 translates into much, much less. It's still a great career and worth pursuing, everyone who's motivated to go for it should--outcomes are different for every individual.
... and when negotiating salary in the aforementioned cities, keep that cost of living in mind and up your price accordingly ...

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27-06-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by style_savy
I just ordered that book online. Hope it will be an interesting read. Had some great reviews so I'm sure I'll enjoy it. I love reading about human nature and behaviors. I already know quite a few things about manipulating shoppers since I worked in retail but I'm sure this book will help me with my own shopping addictions. And thank-you couturecate for your reply.
oops I meant annabel not couturecate

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30-06-2006
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a few people have asked this in the last few pages, and i haven't seen it answered yet, and i'm really interested because i'm at the stage where i'm researching colleges.

if you want to be a buyer, is it better to get a degree in fashion merchandising from a fashion school or a business degree from a normal college?

also, do you think that one of those two degrees would up my chances more than say a pyschology degree? i'm assuming yes, but do you think it'd be a significant advantage?

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30-06-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justxanotherxday
a few people have asked this in the last few pages, and i haven't seen it answered yet, and i'm really interested because i'm at the stage where i'm researching colleges.

if you want to be a buyer, is it better to get a degree in fashion merchandising from a fashion school or a business degree from a normal college?

also, do you think that one of those two degrees would up my chances more than say a pyschology degree? i'm assuming yes, but do you think it'd be a significant advantage?

IMO a business degree is the way to go. Higher ups care more about the #s than anything else and the fashion end is largely instinct and what you're able to glean on your own time anyhow.

I had an english degree, so the psychology degree isn't a major impediment, but I think a business major might make it easier. I don't know enough about fashion merchandising degrees nor the perception of degrees from fashion colleges, but on the off chance you wind up working outside of fashion--you're much safer going for the bus. degree from the well-known university.

Just mho ...

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03-07-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by couturecate
IMO a business degree is the way to go. Higher ups care more about the #s than anything else and the fashion end is largely instinct and what you're able to glean on your own time anyhow.

I had an english degree, so the psychology degree isn't a major impediment, but I think a business major might make it easier. I don't know enough about fashion merchandising degrees nor the perception of degrees from fashion colleges, but on the off chance you wind up working outside of fashion--you're much safer going for the bus. degree from the well-known university.

Just mho ...
yea im going to a good school and getting a business degree, but i think i might better off doing business....many buyers work A LOT! well couturecate where are u located?

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03-07-2006
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this is something i'm seriously considering, but my perception of it might not be reality.

so i was wondering if any buyers out there could give me an idea of what kinds of things you do on an average day.

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03-07-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJohnson
wow everyone wants to be a buyer.....i heard from my boss (a buyer) was that every1 thinks its about shopping etc.....its soooooo many numbers and starring at an excel worksheet a day and worrying more so about what is already in the stores and how to predict what is going to happen with that inventory than just going to shows....
This is very true. I worked as an assistant to a buyer at a major NYC department store and part of my job was checking the financials every hour. You can have the most impeccable taste but your customers might not! If you do not get the sales, you will lose your job. If you get the sales, there were nice bonuses.

I noticed that the most successful buyers usually had sales experience and a degree. I think that working directly with the customers is crucial to knowing what to buy and what sells.

As far as what buyers do every day, there is a lot of planning orders and working with budgets. You never have enough money to stock all that you want and often things you want get back-ordered and you have to decide what you must have and what orders to cancel. Of course, on the fun side, you travel a lot, visit designer showrooms, attend fashion shows and read trend reports.

I'll admit that I used to want to be a buyer, but after working in a buying office, it lost a lot of it's allure. Maybe if I owned a little boutique?

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04-07-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJohnson
yea im going to a good school and getting a business degree, but i think i might better off doing business....many buyers work A LOT! well couturecate where are u located?
I was a fashion buyer in Michigan, then a party goods buyer in Indianapolis and then I opened my own boutique in Indy. Unfortunately I had to close the boutique; had 2 babies and the shop was undercapitalized. I also found that it takes a long time for advertising to kick in, have people find you, as well as get sophisticated enough clientele to understand 'boutique vs. dept store.' It was a very challenging and enlightening experience, an enormous amount of work & heartbreaking to have to close it.

As a buyer for the regional specialty chain, the big thing was buying for your regional clientele--which often has little to do with your taste. Transferring merch. around to different stores to get it to sell, as well as getting vendors to take returns on styles that didn't fit correctly, etc. were key to upping sell-through. You must know vendors, groups, style & fit inside and out. If a pricey group from X designer was simply cut wrong and you don't know it, it won't sell and you're stuck with thousands of dollars in dead merchandise. If you try as much on as possible and talk daily with various sales people about fit, style perceptions, etc., then you will catch the costly errors in time and be able to return them for either credit or styles that will sell.

Yes, you check #s multiple times daily--chainwide as well as the individual stores. This info is what drives transfers, etc. You must do everything humanly possible to up your sell-through.

It's not nearly as glamorous as everyone thinks, but I still found it to be very rewarding and would recommend it. It's a nice balance of numbers, creativity and people skills.

While I had my own boutique, I did my buying out of the NY showrooms--didn't have time to go to shows & didn't have the patience to go to the big trade shows, etc. I enjoyed the showrooms and adore NY.

Hope this helps whoever is interested

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04-07-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cygnenoir
This is very true. I worked as an assistant to a buyer at a major NYC department store and part of my job was checking the financials every hour. You can have the most impeccable taste but your customers might not! If you do not get the sales, you will lose your job. If you get the sales, there were nice bonuses.

I noticed that the most successful buyers usually had sales experience and a degree. I think that working directly with the customers is crucial to knowing what to buy and what sells.

As far as what buyers do every day, there is a lot of planning orders and working with budgets. You never have enough money to stock all that you want and often things you want get back-ordered and you have to decide what you must have and what orders to cancel. Of course, on the fun side, you travel a lot, visit designer showrooms, attend fashion shows and read trend reports.

I'll admit that I used to want to be a buyer, but after working in a buying office, it lost a lot of it's allure. Maybe if I owned a little boutique?
lol that sounds reasonable haha

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04-07-2006
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wow couturecate im sorry u had to close ur store but im still not sure if i wanna be a buyer....i dunno i wish i could like intern somewhere in a buying office...oh well

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