For three years I sold expensive olive oil, and it was a great way to pay off debt.

One of my favorite side-hustles ever was selling high-end olive oil. Yes, this is a thing, and it was a ton of fun. In past years, the American consumer has begun demanding specialty products ranging from coffee and butter to chocolate.

And, now, olive oil. I’d never considered selling olive oil until I found myself wandering the local mall looking for a side-hustle and discovered an olive oil store that looked like it would be fun to work in…

…It was!

For almost three years I sold delicious olive oils, varieties of vinegar, spices, and more to people who love that kind of thing.

The store was part of a company from France, and it paid really well for a mall job. At the time I was making around $11 an hour, not including bonuses and product.

How selling specialty foods for extra cash works

If you’re thinking about working at your local mall during the holiday season in the specialty foods space here are some things to consider:

  • Your sales performance is being measured daily. You may be the world’s best salesperson, but, if you’re working in a mall with low foot traffic, it may be difficult to meet your sales goals. This can be a bit demoralizing and frustrating — especially if you’re hustling hard.
  • The product that you’re selling may be new to some of your prospective customers making it difficult to convert them into paying customers. The olive oil store had clients who were very familiar with olive oil, but there was a large number of people who would wander in, and we spent a lot of time educating those potential clients on why they should purchase expensive olive oil. This education process included giving customers samples, long conversations, and testimonials from paying customers who wandered in at the same time and were fans of the product.
  • Uncomfortable pitches — You’ve been in a store, and the salesperson has asked if you would like to sign up for a credit card or email list. There is a reason why they are instructed to ask those questions. Customers with credit cards may spend more in the long-run, and customers on email lists have given the store permission to contact them outside of the mall via their email. If you’re uncomfortable asking for this type of information, working retail may be tough for you.
  • Being on Your Feet — Almost every store that I’ve worked at ranging from Starbucks to the olive oil store has cement floors. Standing for 6-8 hours on cement is tough. Your body feels it. Often, the store manager will bring in a mat of some sort to help with this problem. After a long-shift, my back would sometimes ache after standing for so many hours on cement.

Why I enjoy selling specialty foods

Despite all of this, I enjoyed working at the olive oil store. I truly enjoyed the clientele, and I loved the product. It was incredibly easy to share all of the talking points around what makes a great olive oil great.

I continue to tap into this random knowledge when buying olive oil for myself. Does the oil have a grassy finish, or does it have a fruity finish? What region was it produced and how does that region affect the taste of the oil? Can I cook with the oil, or is it used for finishing off a dish?

In fact, every single side-hustle that I’ve worked has left me with a ridiculous amount of fun knowledge that I can use for trivia nights.

My favorite experience working at the store was during the holiday season. Two Denver Nuggets basketball players walked in with a ton of bags, clearly scrambling to purchase gifts for Christmas.

One of the gentlemen proceeded to purchase over $500 worth of product (we shipped it). Besides being one of the tallest people I’ve ever met in real life, it was a lot of fun working with someone that I follow from one of my favorite sports teams.

If you are interested in working in the specialty foods space, it can be a lot of fun. Customers are typically huge fans of the product, they are either purchasing the product as a treat for themselves or other people, or they may be open to trying new things.

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Article last modified on November 7, 2018 Published by, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Selling High End Specialty Goods is a Great Side-Hustle - AMP.