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Become A Retail Representative

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Working As A Retail Representative

  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Getting Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • $49,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Retail Representative Do

Retail sales workers include both those who sell retail merchandise, such as clothing, furniture, and cars, (called retail salespersons) and those who sell spare and replacement parts and equipment, especially car parts (called parts salespersons). Both types of workers help customers find the products they want and process customers’ payments.

Duties

Retail sales workers typically do the following:

  • Greet customers and offer them assistance
  • Recommend merchandise based on customers’ wants and needs
  • Explain the use and benefit of merchandise to customers
  • Answer customers’ questions
  • Show how merchandise works, if applicable
  • Add up customers’ total purchases and accept payment
  • Inform customers about current sales, promotions, and policies about payments and exchanges

The following are examples of types of retail sales workers:

Retail salespersons work in stores where they sell goods, such as books, cars, clothing, cosmetics, electronics, furniture, lumber, plants, shoes, and many other types of merchandise.

In addition to helping customers find and select items to buy, many retail salespersons process the payment for the sale, which typically involves operating cash registers.

After taking payment for the purchases, retail salespersons may bag or package the purchases.

Depending on the hours they work, retail salespersons may have to open or close cash registers. This includes counting the money in the register and separating charge slips, coupons, and exchange vouchers. They may also make deposits at a cash office.

For information about other workers who receive and disburse money, see the profile on cashiers.

In addition, retail salespersons may help stock shelves or racks, arrange for mailing or delivery of purchases, mark price tags, take inventory, and prepare displays.

For some retail sales jobs, particularly those involving expensive and complex items, retail sales workers need special knowledge or skills. For example, those who sell cars must be able to explain the features of various models, manufacturers’ specifications, different types of options on the car, financing available, and the details of associated warranties.

In addition, retail sales workers must recognize security risks and thefts and understand their organization’s procedures for handling thefts—procedures that may include notifying security guards or calling police.

Parts salespersons sell spare and replacement parts and equipment, especially car parts. Most work in either automotive parts stores or automobile dealerships. They take customers’ orders, inform customers of part availability and price, and take inventory.

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How To Become A Retail Representative

Typically, there are no formal education requirements for retail sales workers. Most receive on-the-job training, which usually lasts a few days to a few months.

Education

Although retail or parts sales positions usually have no formal education requirements, some employers prefer applicants who have a high school diploma or equivalent, especially employers who sell technical products or “big-ticket” items, such as electronics or cars.

Training

Most retail sales workers receive on-the-job training, which usually lasts a few days to a few months. In small stores, an experienced employee often trains newly hired workers. In large stores, training programs are more formal and usually conducted over several days.

During training sessions, topics often include customer service, security, the store’s policies and procedures, and how to operate the cash register.

Depending on the type of product they are selling, employees may be given additional specialized training. For example, salespersons working in cosmetics get instruction on the types of products the store offers and for whom the cosmetics would be most beneficial. Likewise, those who sell computers may be instructed on the technical differences between computer products.

Because providing exceptional service to customers is a priority for many employers, employees often get periodic training to update and refine their skills.

Advancement

Retail sales workers typically have opportunities to advance to supervisory or managerial positions. Some employers want candidates for managerial positions to have a college degree.

As sales workers gain experience and seniority, they often move into positions that have greater responsibility and may be given their choice of departments in which to work. This opportunity often means moving to positions with higher potential earnings and commissions. The highest earnings potential usually involves selling “big-ticket” items—such as cars, jewelry, furniture, and electronics. These positions often require workers with extensive knowledge of the product and an excellent talent for persuasion.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Retail sales workers must be responsive to the wants and needs of customers. They should explain the product options available to customers and make appropriate recommendations.

Interpersonal skills. A friendly and outgoing personality is important for these workers because the job requires almost constant interaction with people. 

Math skills. Retail sales workers must have the ability to calculate price totals, discounts, and change owed to customers.

Persistence. A large number of attempted sales may not be successful, so sales workers should not be discouraged easily. They must start each new sales attempt with a positive attitude.

Selling skills. Retail sales workers must be persuasive when interacting with customers. They must clearly and effectively explain the benefits of the merchandise.

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Retail Representative Career Paths

Retail Representative
Retail Merchandiser Store Manager
General Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Retail Merchandiser Store Manager General Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Retail Merchandiser Store Manager Office Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Retail Sales Representative Account Executive
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Retail Sales Representative Account Executive Account Manager
Senior Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Retail Sales Representative Account Executive Sales Manager
Regional Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Specialist Consultant
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Officer Manager
Branch Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Officer Supervisor
Area Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Specialist Team Leader Assistant Manager
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Specialist Team Leader Office Manager
Business Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant Consultant Account Manager
District Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Assistant Consultant Sales Manager
Director Of Sales And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Assistant Executive Assistant Account Manager
Sales Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Waitress Sales Consultant Sales Specialist
Territory Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Waitress Sales Consultant Internet Sales Consultant
Internet Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Waitress Sales Consultant Territory Sales Representative
Territory Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Foreman General Manager
Business Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Foreman Operations Manager
Sales And Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Processor Underwriter
Relationship Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Retail Representative?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Representative 2.2 years
Retail Clerk 2.2 years
Retail Specialist 2.1 years
Top Careers Before Retail Representative
Cashier 14.2%
Manager 4.2%
Internship 2.8%
Server 2.5%
Owner 2.1%
Supervisor 2.0%
Top Careers After Retail Representative
Cashier 11.2%
Server 3.1%
Internship 2.3%
Supervisor 2.2%

Do you work as a Retail Representative?

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Retail Representative?

Have you worked as a Retail Representative? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Retail Representative.

Top Skills for A Retail Representative

  1. New Merchandise
  2. Customer Service
  3. Retail Store
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Implemented new merchandise displays and maintained existing displays.
  • Implemented new processes and systems for improving customer service satisfaction.
  • Obtained and received merchandise, totaled bills, accepted payments and made change for customers in retail store
  • Communicate effectively with store personnel regarding merchandising, retail activities, promotions and client objectives.
  • Communicated effectively with store personnel regarding the scheduled tasks and client/ sales plan objectives.

Retail Representative Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 3,498 Retail Representative resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Retail Representative Resume

View Resume Examples

Retail Representative Demographics

Gender

Female

51.1%

Male

38.2%

Unknown

10.7%
Ethnicity

White

63.2%

Hispanic or Latino

15.7%

Black or African American

11.7%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

3.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

68.1%

French

6.6%

Chinese

3.3%

Arabic

3.3%

Portuguese

2.2%

German

2.2%

Tagalog

2.2%

Cantonese

2.2%

Mandarin

2.2%

Vietnamese

1.1%

Braille

1.1%

Japanese

1.1%

Greek

1.1%

Hindi

1.1%

Korean

1.1%

Italian

1.1%
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Retail Representative Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

22.1%

Western Michigan University

6.5%

Michigan State University

6.1%

Liberty University

6.1%

University of Central Florida

5.6%

Strayer University

4.8%

Ashford University

4.3%

Arizona State University

3.9%

University of Missouri - Saint Louis

3.9%

Baker College

3.9%

University of South Florida

3.5%

Temple University

3.5%

Grand Valley State University

3.5%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.5%

Kaplan University

3.5%

Grand Canyon University

3.5%

American River College

3.0%

Pennsylvania State University

3.0%

Ohio State University

3.0%

The Academy

3.0%
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Majors

Business

32.5%

Marketing

7.5%

Criminal Justice

5.9%

General Studies

5.1%

Psychology

4.8%

Health Care Administration

4.7%

Accounting

4.4%

Computer Science

3.7%

Management

3.6%

Medical Assisting Services

3.5%

Communication

3.3%

Nursing

3.0%

Liberal Arts

2.7%

Education

2.7%

Sociology

2.6%

Computer Information Systems

2.2%

Finance

2.2%

Graphic Design

1.9%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.9%

English

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

36.5%

Other

32.5%

Associate

16.7%

Masters

6.4%

Certificate

4.7%

Diploma

2.3%

License

0.7%

Doctorate

0.3%
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How Would You Rate Working As a Retail Representative?

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Top Retail Representative Employers

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Jobs From Top Retail Representative Employers

Retail Representative Videos

A Look Inside: Retail Careers | AT&T

A Day in the Life of a Sales Rep

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