This blog covers mostly ways to earn money at home, but there are also a few different types of jobs you can get outside the home that are very flexible and allow you to work as an Independent Contractor and mostly on your own time. Jobs like this are definitely worthy of mention here — mystery shopping is one that I have already covered a little, but I also want to talk to you about merchandising.
What do merchandisers do?
Have you ever been to Sam’s Club, Target, or Wal-Mart and been asked to sample a product? Have you ever seen someone stocking shelves, setting up magazines, or arranging signs for display that you thought were employees but it turns out they weren’t? These are merchandisers. They are usually hired by the manufacturers of products (not usually the stores themselves) to go around to different retailers and set up displays, signs, offer product samples to customers, demonstrate how products work, and also to do merchandise resets, which involves taking down large displays of products and replacing them with new ones.
Why should merchandising jobs be of interest to people who want to work from home?
Because people who want to work from home often need to because they desire flexible schedules. While you do actually have to leave your house for merchandising, for the most part you can pick which days you visit certain stores, and this is great if you need to set your work schedule around other things going on in your life, such as your kid’s school hours, your spouse’s work hours, or classes you might be taking or something like that. Or maybe you already have a job but need to pick up some extra cash doing something like merchandising in your down time here and there. Keep in mind that the flexibility does depend a whole lot on the company or companies you’re with … most are very flexible regarding when you do the work while others might require it be done on certain days.
How much does merchandising pay?
The pay will vary depending on who you are doing merchandising for, but it’s generally anywhere from $8 to $20 per hour. You are also usually hired as an Independent Contractor, which means taxes are your responsibility. Some merchandising companies will additionally reimburse you for your mileage. This is especially important if you are having to travel a good distance away from your home to do the work.
Is it OK to do merchandising for more than one company?
Yes, you can certainly work for more than one company. However, you need to be mindful of things like the location of the stores you are servicing, and you also don’t want to take on more work than you can reasonably do. If you take on two merchandising jobs and they both need to be done the same day but the stores are 30 to 40 miles apart from each other, that may not really work out for you because of all the driving. So even though you might be tempted to take on a job just because it is offered, look at your schedule and work out whether or not it really makes sense. If you’re going to take on multiple merchandising jobs, try to make sure they are fairly close to one another if you will be servicing multiple stores on the same days.
Do you have to have experience to be a merchandiser?
Some companies would prefer that you have a background in retail, but many will hire you regardless. Once you land the first merchandising job, you can use that experience to get more work. You might find it easier to get more jobs after you’ve got a few under your belt.
How do you get started merchandising?
To get started, you need some good sources for finding the merchandising opportunities. Manufacturers will post the opportunities and how to contact them. You can apply, and if they are interested, they will contact you. I highly recommend visiting Volition.com’s merchandising forum for current job postings. You can also sign up for free at the National Association for Retail Marketing Services and keep your eyes peeled for merchandising jobs because they frequently get posted there, too.
Here is a list of a few companies that hire for product merchandising to get you started:
- Market Force (also has mystery shopping jobs)
- Acosta (open to Canadians)
- Action Link
- Consumer Impact
- Franklin Retail Solutions
- Levy Merchandising Services
- Merchandising Consultants Associates (Canada)
- Mosaic Sales
- News America Marketing (open to several different countries worldwide)
- The Pat Henry Group
- Premium Retail Services
- SPAR Inc.
- Retail Merchandising Services (Target only)