It would appear (some) people in procurement are very sensitive about their job title! As we’ve heard CIPS has decided to change its name (but handily not its acronym) to The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply.
So, what's the difference between job titles? Not a lot by the looks of it; call yourself what you want when you want! No doubt, with many, it is an image issue. With others it is trying to capture the essence of the job. The fascination is the likely impact on non-procurement people who must be confused about the nature of the procurement role. Some see it as an administrative role, not engaged in any policy or strategic decisions. Others see it doing what procurement is told to do by others who can select suppliers, negotiate and deal with contracts far better than procurement.
If you are looking for a definitive answer as to what to call a Buyer you will be seriously disappointed. There isn’t one. We’ve been doing research into job titles for a project we’re involved with - and checked our client database and a quick google - came up with these 99 different titles. Proliferation is the word, or perhaps obfuscation (an increase in the muddying of the waters – did you see what I did there?).