Demonstrators show and explain goods and services to potential customers, and promote new lines of products and services.
Demonstrators usually earn
$16-$24 per hour
Source: Direct Selling Association of New Zealand
Pay for demonstrators varies.
- Demonstrators usually earn between minimum wage and $24 an hour.
- Some experienced demonstrators may work up to 40 hours a week and can earn $40,000 or more a year. However, most demonstrators work on a casual or part-time basis.
Source: Direct Selling Association of New Zealand.
- PAYE.net.nz website – use this calculator to convert pay and salary information
- Employment New Zealand website - information about minimum wage rates
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the figures and diagrams in our job information)
What you will do
Demonstrators may do some or all of the following:
- set up and display products at shops, supermarkets, trade fairs or in homes
- invite people to try out or taste the products
- explain the uses of the products and answer questions
- invite customers to purchase the products
- keep a record of sales.
Skills and knowledge
Demonstrators need to have knowledge of:
- the products or services they are demonstrating
- display, sales, and demonstration techniques
- food safety and hygiene
- health and safety protocol in the venues where they are demonstrating.
- usually work part time and may work on call
- usually work in places such as shops, clubs and homes, and at events such as trade fairs.
What's the job really like?
Carl Hamblyn - Demonstrator
Being a people person is what it takes
“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always had a real empathy for people, and it’s pretty much been the main drive throughout my life," says Carl Hamblyn.
Carl now works on call at a variety of supermarkets where he demonstrates all sorts of products, from simple slices of fruit to mini roasts. His main tasks involve explaining the product and handing out samples to the public. “You can think of it as quite a mundane job but that’s just the surface. I find it really interesting getting to know all these different faces that come up to me, and it's a lot of fun watching and mixing with such a variety of people."
The challenge is always appearing super confident
“It can be hard to always come across as this super-duper salesperson who loves life. Some days the shyness comes out and you really don't feel like getting out there and promoting a product, but you soon get over it. You learn to focus on the smiley faces that are out there and ignore the ones that might not be having a good day, and not to take anything personally.”
There are no specific requirements to become a demonstrator. However, three years of secondary education is useful.
Useful subjects include English, food and nutrition, and maths.
Demonstrators need to be:
- good at presenting and answering questions
- confident about engaging with the public, and approaching people
- friendly and polite
- understanding and aware of other cultures
- patient, as they often have to deal with repetitive questions.
It's useful for demonstrators to have worked with the product they are demonstrating, or in the industry that produces it. A background in sales and retail is also useful.
Demonstrators need to:
- have a neat and tidy appearance
- be able to speak clearly
- be reasonably fit and healthy, because they spend long periods on their feet, and may have to do some lifting.
What are the chances of getting a job?
High turnover contributes to opportunities for demonstrators
Vacancies for demonstrators arise frequently as people tend to stay in the role for a short time only. This is because:
- demonstration work is generally part time and seasonal, as new products are usually launched in spring and around Christmas time
- the job is commonly seen as an entry-level position, and once people gain experience they move on to other retail positions.
Types of employers varied
Most demonstrators are employed by cosmetics, food, wine, and cookware companies.
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2003-2012 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2014.
- Wyllie, G, executive director, Direct Selling Association of New Zealand, Careers New Zealand interview, January 2014.
Progression and specialisations
Demonstrators may progress to manage a group of demonstrators.
They may also move into merchandising and promotions, or sales representative work.
Last updated 29 May 2017