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Most of these opportunities are at a mall near you.

3. Product demonstrator

The nitty-gritty: Don't be shy. This is "meet and greet" show time. Talk to people with snappy banter and product know-how. You boldly step right up to a shopper and say with a friendly, earnest smile, "Would you like to try our apple cider?" You're not actually selling the elixir, but you're getting folks in the buying mood. Demonstrators are typically standing or walking, and it can be fairly fast-paced. This is not a job for the couch potato. Think energizer bunny. Prepare to pass out food samples or product coupons or brochures. Performances might be on tap if you're assigned to demo a blender, new software program, or you could be asked to try your hand at in-store cooking. You might face some grunt work — set-up and clean-up, as well as bringing the goods to and from the stores. Extra bonus: Tantalizing tidbits at your fingertips.

The hours: Vary by store. During holiday crunch times, evenings and weekends are the norm.

Median pay range: $8.28 to $21.19 per hour

Qualifications: On-the-job training to glean sales techniques is standard fare. Smooth public speaking and communication skills and an outgoing personality will serve you well. This is a performance in many ways, so you'll want to channel your inner entertainer. Humor and friendly chit-chat attracts customers. Past jobs in retail, sales or customer service make it easier, but any volunteering or public speaking experience is noteworthy on your résumé. If you know a shop, even a "big-box" store that uses demonstrators near you, stop by and ask if the store does the hiring directly. If so, put in your application. You might also ask an in-store demonstrator during a break how he or she got the job. Some companies pay a kickback for bringing in a new worker.. If the store uses an outside agency, get the contact information. If you're interested in a specific product, go to the company website to check for openings and apply online. Kiosk operators in malls sometimes hire part-time product demo help. Pump it up.

Next: Do you take holiday decorating very seriously? >>

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