Buying Groups

National Association of Retail Buyers and Sellers Review


May 15, 2019

The National Association of Retail Buyers & Sellers (NARB) is a non-profit founded in 2009 by two retail industry veterans. Their goal was to create an organization that would help retail professionals share information and best practices with one another so that all members could succeed. One of the benefits of joining NARB is that you’ll get special offers (read: discounts) from vendor sponsors. However, increasing members’ buying power isn’t the sole purpose of this NJ-based organization. It also seeks to develop members’ careers and serve as a resource for many aspects of retail buying and selling, store planning, and product development. Unlike many buying groups or group purchasing organizations, NARB is only open to individuals, not to businesses.

This review is part of our directory of buying groups/group purchasing organizations.

Buying Group Name: National Association of Retail Buyers & Sellers
Number of members:

How does this group work?

NARB bills itself as a community of retail professionals who share insights and ideas. Once you join, you get access to exclusive member benefits, such as a directory of colleagues in the retail and wholesale sectors, a job board, an online discussion forum, education programs, events at trade shows, entrance to members-only lounges at trade shows and industry events, and the aforementioned discounts from vendor sponsors.

What is its focus?

The main focus of NARB is to serve as an exchange for best practices and success-boosting ideas for members so that they can prosper and thrive. Saving its members money through discounts from vendor sponsors is a nice bonus, but most certainly not the only focus or benefit of the organization.

How does it work in terms of the purchasing process?

NARB’s website doesn’t provide any information about the purchasing process, because group purchasing is only one aspect of it’s core goals. Unlike many buying groups where the primary focus is on securing better pricing through discounts available for larger orders and businesses, NARB has a more holistic focus designed to assist members with personal career growth. For more information on the purchasing process specifically, contact NARB.

But if you’re solely looking for a group purchasing organization, there may be other options more specifically aligned with discounting.

How does the buying group choose vendors?

The discounts members receive are from NARB’s sponsors. There’s no information on the site about how NARB attracts sponsors, although presumably they bill the group as being an important forum to reach retail buyers.

How much does it cost to join?

As of autumn 2016, t’s $60 per year to join. As previously mentioned, only individuals can join NARB, meaning membership is for you, not your business or employer. Membership grants you access to members-only sections of the NARB website, including forums, job boards, and other helpful information. You’ll also have access to NARB lounges at tradeshows and other industry functions, as well as invites to members-only networking events, discussions, and educational seminars.

National Association of Retail Buyers & Sellers Reviews

There aren’t any reviews or member testimonials on NARB’s website, nor are there testimonials anywhere else online. Satisfaction with NARB is likely to depend on the individual member’s goals, but we’d love to hear your experience. If you’ve been part of NARB, let us know in the comments!

Ben Dwyer

BY Ben Dwyer

Ben Dwyer began his career in the processing industry in 2003 on the sales floor for a Connecticut‐based processor. As he learned more about the inner‐workings of the industry, rampant unethical practices, and lack of assistance available to businesses, he cut ties with his employer and started a blog where he could post accurate information about credit card processing. As the blog gained in popularity, Ben began directly assisting merchants in their search for a processor. Ben believes in empowering businesses by providing access to fair, competitive pricing, accurate information, and continued support. His dedication to transparency and education has made CardFellow a staunch small business advocate in the credit card processing industry.

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