Buyers have different levels of relationships between designers and suppliers throughout their careers. Some are more formal than others and the degree of commitment may differ. Relationships that are built depend on two main concepts.
1. The extent of resources and investments that are committed to the relationship.
2. The formality of the relationships, whether it’s long term and franchises or quick spot contract relationships.
There are three main types of vertical relationships (reasons for relationship building).
1. Long term contracts. These involve series of contracts over a long period of time.
2. Vendor partnerships.
Honesty and integrity are extremely important when creating relationships that involve one’s large amounts of money, time, work ethic and representation.
Negotiating is a skill that all buyers should be exceptional at. Negotiating prices with suppliers is what buyers go through all year. The buyers and the suppliers need to agree to benefit both sides. The buyers want to achieve the most for the company while the suppliers want to make their fair share in creating and distributing the product. Typically, the executives at the manufacturers will be the first to give a ‘cost price’ for a garment, then the buyers will negotiate until both feel satisfied. However, garments may be dropped from the original plan if either side doesn’t come to an agreement.
“Buyers should be able to estimate from past experience how much the consumer will expect to pay for a particular garment, and therefore can calculate the optimum cost price which they would be prepared to pay.”
Knowing and immersing yourself in fashion skills will benefit your interviewing process. I did not know about these sites so I am definitely going to use these as helpful tools. Also, having a broader vision of international fashion trends will make you one step ahead of everyone else who hasn’t done their research.
“You have to really enjoy business management first and product second and understand that in your career, if you really are truly a good merchant, you should be able to buy widgets, gadgets, and designer clothing exactly the same. You should be as good a buyer buying staple guns for the Home Depot as you are buying Couture.”
This quote gives an inside scoop of the profession of a retail fashion buyer. Gaining information by the buyer seems more useful to me since it’s knowledge from the actual place I’d like to be in one day.
It’s very important to know that knowledge in business management is higher in priority than the knowledge in the products. It makes me feel more comfortable knowing my Communications degree will definitely be beneficial when negotiating, advertising, targeting audiences, and building relationships.