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Toy Buyer

What They Do

Wholesale and Retail Buyers Career Video

Insider Info

Toy buyers assess and purchase toys for retail sale. They decide which toys make it or do not make it on to the shelves of stores. This gives them enormous financial responsibility, especially around the winter holiday shopping season.

Toy buyer David Baruk says toy buyers must consistently show that they can spot toys that sell. "If you buy a toy...for a toy chain or any market, and it doesn't sell, it doesn't look good," he says.

"So you better know your product very well. And you gotta know the market well."

Tanyth Gadon helps purchase toys for a store. She says instinct and personal taste play important roles in purchasing decisions. She says if you like the product, chances are somebody else will, too.

Toy buyers work for large, general toy stores, specialty toy stores or large general retail stores that sell toys. They earn a salary. But some may get a commission based on how well a toy they bought sells, says Baruk.

Working hours for toy buyers vary a lot. Weekend work is common. Baruk says he will start at 7 in the morning and work well into the evening when he attends toy trade fairs.

Toy buyers also travel a lot. The Internet has made it easier for toy buyers and suppliers to interact, Baruk says. But toy buyers cannot simply base purchasing decisions on Internet catalogs. That means they spend a lot of time on the road.

The three major toy shows are spread across three continents. And there are a number of regional shows across North America throughout the year. "Every time there is a fair in North America, we try to be there," says Baruk.

The constant travel may make it difficult, although not impossible, for people with physical disabilities to find work as toy buyers, says Baruk. Those with sensory disabilities may also find it difficult to find work as toy buyers because they may find it difficult to evaluate toys from all perspectives.

At a Glance

Decide which toys will be sold in stores

  • Weekend work is common
  • Be prepared to spend a lot of time on the road
  • A background in purchasing or marketing may help