QVC is a television shopping network with total worldwide sales of £5.1 billion in year 2010 and U.S. viewership of 98 million households, according to its website. The 24-hour Quality Value Convenience network offers everything from lawn and garden products to clothing and jewellery. QVC hosts--some of whom have specialised product knowledge--are well-compensated for their work, with salaries averaging in the six figures.
QVC Host Requirements
QVC is based in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and its hosts must relocate to that area for the term of their contracts. QVC looks for high-energy, sales-oriented individuals who can talk for 15 minutes to an hour about a single product or product line, making it sound so tantalising and life-changing that viewers will pick up the phone or head to their computers to place an order. The job requires hosts to stand and to remain friendly and energetic for three to four hours at a time, as well as the ability to get along with staff, crew and guest hawkers. Even starting QVC hosts are paid handsomely, while experienced hosts can earn a significant amount. QVC hosts start their tenure with a rigorous six-month training and trial period, according to the New York Times. Those who survive and succeed may work there for decades.
QVC regularly recruits hosts via its website, as well as via casting directors. It also holds open auditions at its West Chester headquarters. Casting directors sometimes solicit applications using websites and other casting billboards in cities as far as San Francisco. Online ads in 2010 listed the starting salary for a QVC host as £65,000.
QVC hosts may start in the £65,000 range, but they have opportunities to earn more based upon sales numbers during their shifts, according to former employee Victor Velez in a New York Times article. These bonuses can increase their salaries to more than £325,000, according to Mr. Velez. In a 2007 New York Times article, HSN host Terry McNally claimed that QVC hosts often earn as much as £325,000 per year.
According to Black Enterprise magazine, QVC hosts can also receive bonuses based on their popularity with viewers. Former QVC host Phyllis Lampkin is quoted in the magazine as saying that viewers who called to order products were polled on how well they liked the look and personality of the show host. Those with the highest viewer approval ratings received quarterly bonuses, according to the story.
- New York Times: Ex-Hosts to Sue QVC Network, Charging Bias: David Rohde; December 30, 1998
- Black Enterprise: Cashing in on the Home Shopping Boom: Cassandra Hayes; February 1995
- GotCast: QVC Host Casting
- New York Times: The Biggest Sell is the Audition; Allen Salkin, April 2007
- National Jewelry: £65 Million Super Sellers 2011
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