Day In The Life Of A Merchandise Buyer

The Kentucky Gent at the Cobb Apparel Trade Show in Atlanta, Georgia

As most of my readers back home may or may not know besides being a blogger I’m also the men’s buyer for an online store, Street Moda, and I’m sure just like most of them you’re wondering what exactly a buyer does. Well, today’s post is all about that.

Being a buyer is more than just getting to travel, see the new designs before anyone else, and getting to play with clothes all day. Trust me.. that’s exactly what I thought when I started this adventure almost a year ago, but it is all that and then a lot more that I had expected. I’ve learned a lot about how to convey what you need by telling versus asking, bargaining, and learning to walk way. It’s a constant tug and pull in this industry. The vendors are out to make money off of you, and you’re out to make money off of them. So just like a personal relationship it’s all in how you approach the situation. If you walk into that booth like you’re unsure of what you’re doing, the vendor is going to jump all over it and give you the price of goods, but on the other hand if you walk in there with some confidence you’re going to tell the vendor what price you need the goods at. You’ll haggle a bit, eventually you’ll meet somewhere in the middle, or you walk away. That’s the basics of it all, so let’s jump into the fun part of this post with some photos from the show.

The Kentucky Gent at the Cobb Apparel Trade Show in Atlanta, Georgia The Kentucky Gent at the Cobb Apparel Trade Show in Atlanta, Georgia The Kentucky Gent at the Cobb Apparel Trade Show in Atlanta, Georgia The Kentucky Gent at the Cobb Apparel Trade Show in Atlanta, Georgia The Kentucky Gent at the Cobb Apparel Trade Show in Atlanta, GeorgiaThe Kentucky Gent at the Cobb Apparel Trade Show in Atlanta, Georgia The Kentucky Gent at the Cobb Apparel Trade Show in Atlanta, Georgia

Well.. I was up at 4 AM to catch my 58 minute flight to Atlanta, so to say I started my day with coffee would be the understatement of the year. Coffee is one of the main reasons I make it through any trade show.. or any day for that matter if we’re being 100% honest.  Most of the day was spent running from booth to booth, following up on appointments with vendors I already knew, and introducing myself to some new vendors.

Trade shows are the perfect place to source product, discover some new brands, make great connections, and to ensure you have your finger on the right pulse as far as trends go. As a buyer more so than a blogger it is important to make sure you’re ahead of the curve, or at least right there with it. Where as a blogger your prerogative is to see trends past, present, and future and tweak them into something that is your own, building your aesthetic into a recognized “brand”. I also get a ton of inspiration from attending trade shows, you’re guaranteed to see some of the best street style around at any given trade show. Especially Magic during Market Week in Vegas or at Agenda in Long Beach. You’ll see posts from both of those shows early next year when I attend!

-The Kentucky Gent