What does the seller mean

The job description:
Vendor saleswoman

A hardware store customer needs a certain type of screw, an elderly lady is looking for an evening dress in a fashion store, the greengrocer is running out of eggplants and an external hard drive is required in a computer store: all of these are tasks for sales staff. Not only can retail service experts sell the goods they need, they also have a wealth of product knowledge. This enables them to provide their customers with adequate advice - regardless of which item from the range is involved.

Seller ...

  • work mainly in retail, food (food) and non-food (non-food) sectors.
  • know the products on offer, advise customers and demonstrate goods.
  • are responsible for the labeling and presentation of goods and decorating sales rooms, shop windows and shelves.
  • accept pre-orders and complaints.
  • cash in with the customers and deal with the daily, monthly and annual billing.
  • are also partly involved in the procurement of goods.

The tasks as a salesperson

Salespeople work mainly in the various branches of retail: from supermarkets to sports retailers to medical supplies. As a salesperson is in direct contact with customers, friendliness on the job is the top priority, ideally combined with in-depth product knowledge: a customer will only return to a store if he is satisfied with the support and advice.

However, salespeople not only work in the sales area: some tasks “behind the scenes” - with goods replenishment, with storage - also fall within their area of ​​responsibility. Sellers monitor the range of goods and reorder missing items. When the delivery arrives, they unload the goods, label them and store them - or put them directly on the shelves: ideally in such a way that customers are encouraged to buy.

Training and requirements

If you like to be in contact with people and can think in a service-oriented way, the job of a salesman is an option. However, the most important skill of a seller is that he can sell - and for that he needs certain skills: namely a weakness for the product range, communication skills in customer service and mathematical security in awards and payment processes.

Salesperson is a recognized apprenticeship. The training lasts two years and takes place in trade or at school. If you perform particularly well, you can take the final exam earlier, thereby shortening your training. After graduation, ambitious and talented candidates can take part in a one-year training course to become a retail clerk.

The training allowance

An overview of the average monthly remuneration of prospective salespeople (AJ = training year):

West German federal states

East German federal states

1st AJ

2nd AJ


1st AJ

2nd AJ


900 €

993 €

947 €

838 €

923 €

881 €

Source: Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (as of 2021)