What Does a Wholesale Buyer Do?

A wholesale buyer purchases items that can then be resold. Learn how to work with a wholesale buyer at NuORDER.com

A wholesale buyer is an integral part of the retail sales process. Typically, the sales cycle starts with a brand or a manufacturer that makes products in bulk to sell at a discounted rate.

A wholesale buyer is a person who is responsible for researching brands to find out what they are selling and what their prices are. Once the wholesale buyer has completed the initial analysis, they will meet with brands to view products and gather details, and then place a bulk order.

Factors to consider when selecting a product:

  • Will the product delivery date work?
  • Does the cost leave room for a profit?
  • Does the quality meet your standards?

Often large stores will employ their own retail buyers (aka purchasing agents) to select merchandise from brands. And, most large stores employ several retail buyers that are responsible for a specific department (e.g., shoes, women’s clothing, cosmetics, etc.).

To be a successful retail buyer in today’s fast-paced and tech-savvy world, it’s important to understand relevant wholesaling best practices and to invest in tools that speed up the buying process.

Tips for wholesale buying success

It’s easy for a wholesale buyer to get lost in a sea of brands if they don’t engage in wholesale buying best practices. Here are some tips to follow to ensure a smooth wholesale buying process:

  • Analyze. Take the time to analyze your target retailer’s past and current brands, buying trends, sales records, prices, merchandise, and quality.
  • Research. Research brands, new and old, that are a superb fit for the retail store you represent or plan to sell to. Traditionally, attending a trade show is a stellar way to find new brands.
  • Set up meetings. Once you’ve targeted new interesting brands, set up meetings to view their products and collections.
  • Order products in bulk. Select products, place your order and arrange payment for the merchandise you plan to buy and resell. 
  • Fine-tune details. Review the contract agreement, iron out shipping details, and schedule any relevant ongoing brand and buyer meetings.

Now that we’ve covered the best practices for wholesale buying, let’s look at modern tools that simplify and speed up the process.

Modern tools that make wholesale buying a more productive process

Traditionally, the wholesale buying process was done in-person, via trade shows, and with paper line sheets and order forms. 

With the advent of the internet, advances in retail technology, and a pressing need to digitize business, it’s now more efficient to move the retail buying process online. 

NuORDER streamline the wholesale buying process to make it easier than ever. Here are some digital solutions every retail buyer should make use of:

  • Digital trade shows. With the current limitations on in-person meetings, many physically scheduled trade shows have converted to digitally held events. We've partnered with several trade events to make it possible for brands and retailers to connect online at digital trade shows and fashion events. Want to shop a digital trade event? Head here to see our list of upcoming digital trade events with Informa Markets.
  • Online directories and digital catalogs. With NuORDER, it’s possible for buyers to browse new brands with a click of a button. Additionally, brands that partner with NuORDER offer digital catalogs, line sheets, and order forms, making it easy for buyers to place orders.
  • Virtual showrooms. Buyers now have the option to shop from virtual showrooms and view products and collections within an immersive, 360-degree virtual showroom. This feature makes it possible to attend more meetings, more often.

For more information on how to automate your buying processes, schedule a demo of NuORDER today.

Reimagine Wholesale for Your Business



NuORDER is dedicated to providing thoughtful, informative B2B eCommerce industry insights. Brands use NuORDER's platform to deliver a seamless, more collaborative wholesale process, where buyers can browse products, plan assortments and make smarter buys in real-time.