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Demonstrator

Kaiwhakaatu

Alternative titles for this job

Demonstrators show and explain goods and services to potential customers, and promote new lines of products and services.

Pay

Demonstrators with up to three years' experience usually earn

$18-$23 per hour

Demonstrators with three or more years' experience usually earn

$23-$26 per hour

Source: DSA New Zealand and careers.govt.nz research, 2018.

Job opportunities

Chances of getting a job as a demonstrator are good due high turnover among workers.

Pay

Pay for demonstrators varies depending on skills, experience and responsibilities.

  • Demonstrators with up to three years' experience usually earn between minimum wage and $23 an hour.
  • Demonstrators with three or more years' experience, or who work as team leaders, usually earn between $23 and $26.

Demonstrators are often self-employed and work on a casual or part-time basis.

Source: Direct Selling Association of New Zealand, 2018; and careers.govt.nz research, 2018.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay 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
  • cook and serve products
  • invite people to try out or taste products
  • explain the uses of products and answer questions
  • invite customers to purchase 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 regulations in the venues where they are demonstrating.

Working conditions

Demonstrators:

  • often work part time, in evenings or weekends, and may work on call
  • usually work in places such as shops, clubs and homes, and at events such as trade fairs
  • may travel for work or training.

What's the job really like?

Jelena Zivanovic

Jelena Zivanovic

Demonstrator

Confidence and a bright smile help to sell products

In-store demonstrator Jelena Zivanovic says she aims to make people smile when she's trying to sell products. "You need to have a bit of humour. You just put on a bright smile.

"I've also had to learn how to speak up and be out there and really grab people’s attention."

From perfume to washing liquid – Jelena promotes a variety of products

Jelena visits shops and supermarkets, promoting everything from perfume and pancakes to toilet flush and washing liquid.

Before each job, in-store demonstrators receive a kit and learn about the product. "We arrive at the location, bring the kit into the store, and find the appropriate manager to see where they would like us to set up. We do a stocktake of shelves or see what’s in the back, then we can start setting up and start selling."

Jelena lets clients know if customers are satisfied with a product or have any suggestions about it. "We promote products for different clients, gathering feedback from customers."

Jelena says she sets herself a challenge with every new job. "I try to see if I can sell a bit more the next day." 

Entry requirements

There are no specific requirements to become a demonstrator. However, a driver's licence may be useful.

A Safe In-Store Pass that covers food-handling skills may be useful for demonstrators who want to work in supermarkets.

Secondary education

No specific secondary education is required for this job, but English, maths and home economics (food and nutrition) to NCEA Level 2 are useful.

Personal requirements

Demonstrators need to be:

  • good at answering questions and presenting
  • confident about approaching and engaging with people
  • friendly and polite
  • able to relate to people from a range of cultures and backgrounds
  • patient, as they often have to deal with repetitive questions.

The main thing is personality – whether you’re outgoing or capable of being outgoing. You need to be able to excite people about different products.

Photo: Jelena Zivanovic

Jelena Zivanovic

Demonstrator

Useful experience

Useful experience for demonstrators includes:

  • customer service, retail or sales experience
  • experience working with the product they are demonstrating.

Physical requirements

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.
Check out related courses

What are the chances of getting a job?

High turnover means demonstrator vacancies common

Demonstrator vacancies are common because people tend to leave the job after a short time. This is because:

  • demonstration work is often part time and seasonal, as new products are usually launched in spring and around Christmastime
  • the job is commonly seen as an entry-level position, and once people gain experience they move into other retail positions.

About 3,000 people work as demonstrators in New Zealand, according to the Direct Selling Association of New Zealand.

Types of employers varied

Most demonstrators work for cosmetics, food, wine and cookware companies, or for advertising agencies.

Demonstrators are often self-employed and work on a casual or part-time basis.

Sources

  • Coffey, C, managing director, The In Group, careers.govt.nz interview, 2018.
  • Wyllie, G, executive director, Direct Selling Association of New Zealand, careers.govt.nz interview, March 2018. 

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)

Progression and specialisations

Demonstrators may progress to manage a group of demonstrators, or move into merchandising and promotions, or sales representative work.

Kimberly Romeril putting make-up on a woman

Demonstrators show and explain products, such as make-up, to customers

Last updated 30 March 2019