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General Books Buyer

Department: Retail Services - Bookstore Effective Date: May 2006
Grade: USG 05 Reports to: Bookstore Manager

General Accountability

The General Books Buyer is accountable to the Bookstore managers for procurement of general trade books, securing authors for special events, liaison with other internal and external relations as required to support  the academic mission of the University of Waterloo

Nature and Scope

The Bookstore’s Mission Statement

- To provide goods and services to students, faculty, staff and alumni at the best price, quality, and customer service excellence that will enhance the academic experience at the University of Waterloo. 

Reporting to the Bookstore manager are:  Operations Co-ordinator,  Course book buyers, and data centre co-ordinator.   The Bookstore is one of five business units under the Retail Services ancillary department.  The Bookstore is an institutionally owned, ancillary service selling textbooks, courseware, academic content, reference books and general books to over 22,000 students.

The General Books Buyer is an effective team staff member who maintains positive working relationships with co-workers in Retail Services. 

Challenges include dealing with  publishers,  meeting demands of our campus customers, and competing with external competition. 

Statistical Data

Total General Book Titles


Annual General Books Sales


Total Bookstore Retail Space

10,000 sq ft

Specific Accountabilities

- provides support to the Bookstore manager and Operations Co-ordinator

- selects general book titles for resale through meetings with publishing representatives,   daily worksheets,  wholesaler websites  or trade book fairs.

- negotiates for discounts, marketing incentives while assessing the sell through potential.

- develops each academic term’s schedule of events, sales and promotions with followup meetings with Marketing, Operations Co-ordinator and other associated internal or external department staff.

- assesses the general book category/location sales to replace or implement new categories for improving sales potential.

- provides customer service at the Information Desk and at satellite book sale events by answering all book inquiries.

- inputs purchases orders as required using the Visual Ratex inventory management system

Working Conditions

Over 60% of the time is spent sitting in meetings with sales representatives or researching wholesaler websites for remainder books availability.    Located in an open office space shared with four bookstore staff.  Frequent opportunity to move about and giving verbal information to co-workers.   The work varies with off-site satellite events.

Required to work scheduled Saturday hours, extended Rush evening hours, Labour Day Weekend or any special events hours as required.