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General Merchandising Buyer


We seek a dynamic General Merchandise Buyer to join our institutionally-owned bookstore. The General Merchandise Buyer is part of the bookstore team and has primary responsibility for purchasing and stocking general merchandise in a timely and cost-effective manner to meet the needs of the Reed community as well as for the maintenance of the bookstore’s ecommerce website. This position reports to the Director of Auxiliary Services.

This is a full-time, non-exempt position. The pay is $22.00/hour. The typical workweek is Monday through Friday, 8:30am – 5:00pm with occasional evening and weekend hours. Reed College offers an exceptional benefits package, including comprehensive medical and dental insurance, 403(b) retirement plan with 10% employer contribution (after one year of service), retiree medical plan, paid holidays, paid vacation (22 days per year) and many other campus amenities, such as membership to the campus fitness center for employee and partner, and discounted Trimet bus passes.

Who You Are

  • You have a good sense of trends in clothing and gift items as well as buying habits and needs of Reed students, staff, faculty, and alumni.
  • You are a planner, you like to plan ahead and purchase merchandise for future needs, maintain appropriate inventory levels at all times, and stay on budget.
  • You are service oriented. You enjoy providing friendly and useful customer service to students, staff and faculty.
  • You have excellent attention to detail in order to keep track of thousands of items in multiple categories.
  • You thrive in an environment where you must work quickly, efficiently, and accurately in order to meet merchandising needs of the bookstore.
  • You are organized to manage inventory and processes efficiently. 
  • You have some knowledge of computerized inventory control software (preferably PrismRBS).
  • You have strong communication skills both verbally and in writing. 
  • You are able to establish and maintain effective working relationships with other bookstore staff, college employees, vendors, suppliers, and the general public.

What You Will Do

  • Purchases office, art and dorm supplies, electronics, health and beauty aids, insignia and generic gifts and clothing, and greeting cards
  • Maintains appropriate inventory levels and provides suitable product mix
  • Receives, prices, stocks or stores away all incoming general merchandise, creates attractive displays, and maintains a neat and clean sales floor.
  • Coordinates & cooperates with other bookstore staff on operational procedures, sales events, and "special" community events
  • Develops promotional, purchasing, and event calendar in anticipation of cyclical needs inherent in Reed’s academic year
  • Provides special-order resources for the community
  • Utilizes reports to keep track of daily and monthly sales figures, inventory maintenance, budget & margin planning
  • Attends trade shows, meets with vendor reps, stays informed on industry trends and networks with peers in college industry
  • Supervises student employees for stocking assistance & special projects
  • Maintains the website by creating, editing, and uploading images and other files, maintaining online catalogs, as well as doing some basic html coding
  • Fills online orders for general merchandise  and works with customers if there are any problems with filling those orders.
  • Works with other bookstore staff to determine additional content for website and to develop a marketing and promotional calendar for both the website and social media.
  • Actively engages in social media on behalf of bookstore including Facebook, blogs, Twitter, Instagram, and email campaigns.
  • Provides assistance in other bookstore departments as needed, including working the registers.


A Bachelor’s degree and 2 years’ work experience as a buyer in a retail environment or 5 years of related experience with (2) of those years working as a buyer in a retail environment, any combination of experience and education, which provides the applicant with the desired skills, knowledge and abilities, required to perform the duties of the position. Knowledge of software applications related to web and graphic design such as Adobe Creative Suite programs. Ability to navigate and skillfully link to on-line databases and social networking sites. Ability to lift and carry materials up to 30 lbs.

Application Instructions

Click below to apply. You will be directed to Interfolio to create a free account and begin your application. A resume and cover letter are required. You can submit these documents in any format, but pdf works best. In your cover letter please address the following:

  • How would this position contribute to the pursuit of your long-term professional goals?
  • Which professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

As you apply online, you will also be expected to provide an answer to the following:  

  • If you were selected for this position, how would you use your skills and experience to contribute to equity, inclusion and community growth at Reed?

Applications will be considered as they are submitted so you are encouraged to apply early. 

Reed College’s goal is to reply to every candidate. We will confirm that your application is received, and if you are not selected, we will let you know as soon as possible.

Apply for this job

Reed College values cultural diversity and intellectual pluralism as critical components of academic excellence. We welcome applications from members of historically underrepresented minority groups, persons with disabilities, persons who have served in the military and others who would bring additional dimensions of experience to our community.