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16-04-2010
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windowshopping
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
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Hi guys
I was wondering if anyone could help me. I am really interested in getting in to fashion buying or merchandising. I graduated last year with a business degree and have been really interested in this industry. I have been invited to an assessment day for an assistant merchandiser position at mothercare, however am not sure now whether i want to go into buying as i understand merchandising is more number and excel. I am gonna go for the interview for the experience, has anyone got some tips and advice on what sort of questions theyre likely to ask, as i am really nervous as i have not experience of this.
Thanks guys

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17-04-2010
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clarex's Avatar
 
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I actually think that in different countries, the definition of buyer & merchandiser and their job function varies quite widely. Its definitely different in the UK, in my experience, from the definitions posted earlier.

Hi natasha87 one thing that employers look out for, and are really against, is people interviewing for merchandising positions with a view to move into buying! I know it sounds obvious but you need to make it sound like you have researched the merch. role and definitely want it, and don't get it confused with the buying role.

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17-04-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue monday View Post

Fashion buyers - do you get freebies? I work for a company that contracts with the government so we are under a microscope about gratuities. I get taken out to coffee/lunch a lot and get tchotchkes in the mail but anything "meaningful" has to be refused or reported to our managers. But I know people who worked for Nordstrom and apparently their buyers were swimming in swag.
YES! One of the major perks of the job I would say.

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17-04-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clarex View Post
YES! One of the major perks of the job I would say.
Thanks Clarex for your advice. I was wondering also if anyone could share the interview experiences, to give me an idea want i should expect.

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19-04-2010
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I always continue to be amazed by the number of people who want to be buyers. I am slowly but surely realizing (not just from this board, but in life) how many people don't understand what the job entails. If the title was something else and not "buyer" I can guarantee hardly as many people would have hopes and dreams of becoming one.

It is nothing like shopping, nor consumer buying, and most buyers don't get to go to runway shows. An even smaller percent actually get to go to the coveted Paris fashion shows.

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20-04-2010
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Thanks Clarex for your advice. I was wondering also if anyone could share the interview experiences, to give me an idea want i should expect.

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29-04-2010
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Hi, I'm new and I'm a buyer and would be happy to help answer any of the questions you have in regards to what the job is like. I went to Fashion School with the intention of becoming a buyer and it was a real eye opening situation for me when I got out and realized, wow, you can't just do this as soon as you get out of school. Becoming a buyer means starting your way at the very bottom and working your way up. Even when I am reviewing resumes for my assistant buyers and merchandise assistants, the first thing I look for is what their retail store experience is and how far did they get there? Were they an assistant manager or maybe they have management experience? The next thing I ask them is how they feel about the Retail industry as a whole because it's one thing to love fashion or whatever category it is you buy but it's something completely different to actually love retail. If you enjoy numbers and forecasts and watching the retail industry swim (or sink... there's a lot of sinking, trust me), then you would enjoy it but if you're only into buying for the shopping aspect of the job, it's the wrong business for you.

I love what I do. This is what I was born to do and I love watching the industry change on a daily basis but you have really gof to love retail to be able to do this. It has to be your passion because there are long hours and a lot of tedious work that goes into a buying position. I also want to point out that although this sounds ominous, all companies work with all the same retailers in a category and if you're a good buyer, then people will know it and vice versa. I have been contacted by head hunters in the past year for extremely large companies who have flat out told me that they aren't looking for people who are unemployed but for buyers who are still employed at their current place of business because those are the people who are good at what they do and survived the recession which hit retail very hard. And if you survived the recession, then you must be someone pretty fantastic to still have a job.

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03-05-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natasha87 View Post
Thanks Clarex for your advice. I was wondering also if anyone could share the interview experiences, to give me an idea want i should expect.
Hi Natasha, sorry I missed this. If you read back in this thread I posted a few interview questions I think.

But I would say definitely be prepared to answer questions on competitors, challenges for the company, and for the whole retail industry, questions about the target customer, and your understanding of the job and what will be expected of you.

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09-05-2010
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This thread has been such a help guys, cheers

one question though... I've just finishing a design degree, but interested in getting into buying, so I'm thinking of doing a short course/summer school in London. Does anyone know any good courses/schools? The major university rankings have City, Imperial, LSE in the top 10/20 for business, and I've looked them up.. but I'm also confused about what specific course I should take. Business Management? Economics? Thee's such a choice! :S

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09-05-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pomegranates View Post
This thread has been such a help guys, cheers

one question though... I've just finishing a design degree, but interested in getting into buying, so I'm thinking of doing a short course/summer school in London. Does anyone know any good courses/schools? The major university rankings have City, Imperial, LSE in the top 10/20 for business, and I've looked them up.. but I'm also confused about what specific course I should take. Business Management? Economics? Thee's such a choice! :S
If you are looking to do a short course, LCF do Buying & Merchandising courses. I did levels 1 & 2 in a week and really loved it.

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12-05-2010
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clarex, is that the intensive course? I was considering doing it.. but not sure whether to go for the separate two or the intensive. Did you feel like you missed out on anything because everything was crammed into a week?

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12-05-2010
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Yep - the intensive course for a week. To be honest I don't know if bits were missed from the two seperate courses, but this was definitely the better option for me. I didn't live in London then so evening classes weren't an option, and I just wanted something I could go away and do and immediately put on my C.V. I didn't feel like it was crammed too full of information, they pace it really well. I had a good teacher anyway, I don't know if he still takes the course.

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12-05-2010
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I'm really thinking of applying to Marangoni for the buying course, does anyone knows if it's good/bad? I could really use some info here. Thanks!

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28-06-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clarex View Post
Hi Natasha, sorry I missed this. If you read back in this thread I posted a few interview questions I think.

But I would say definitely be prepared to answer questions on competitors, challenges for the company, and for the whole retail industry, questions about the target customer, and your understanding of the job and what will be expected of you.
Hi Clarex
Thanks for the feedback!. Unfortunately i was not successful with that interview, may be if i would have saw ur message in time ha,
Although i do have another interview coming up on thursday, for an allocator position and I was wondering if you or others had anything else extra to add about what i should expect in the interview. As i extreely nervous as i do not have any experience within this field only 7 months shop experience. I am really worried that i will not have anything to say about how i am suitable for this position!. Any help would be fab!!

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22-02-2011
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I hope someone can help me with my question!
I have a MSc in Marketing Management but I really want to get into buying, i know a marketing degree is good but i wanted to do a short course/certificate in buying, online.
it's just something that i need to put on the cv and which will hopefully give me a better understanding of the buying process.

Both FIT and LCF offers online short courses, and at this point i was wondering if anyone could help me understand which would be the best option.
Which school is better?

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