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There are two main types of buyers. Wholesale buyers purchase merchandise directly from manufacturers and resell it to retail firms, commercial establishments, and other institutions. Retail buyers purchase goods from wholesalers (and occasionally from manufacturers) for resale to the general public. In either case, buyers must understand their customers' needs and be able to purchase goods at an appropriate price and in sufficient quantity. Sometimes a buyer is referred to by the type of merchandise purchased—for example, jewelry buyer or toy buyer. Government buyers have similar responsibilities but need to be especially sensitive to concerns of fairness and ethics since they use public money to make their purchases. There are approximately 408,060 buyers and purchasing agents currently working in the United States.
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