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Knife selling job scam for college students
Old 11-09-2007, 10:11 PM   #1
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Knife selling job scam for college students

A friend of mine with a daughter in college sent this out:

____ found a "job" a couple days ago. I was suspicious.
Here's what I discovered about the company, Vector Marketing.
  • They recruit college students to sell Cutco knives, about $900/set
  • Applicants are told they will make about $15/hr to get them in the door. But they are actually paid 100% commission.
  • Hired 'employees' are required to make a $150 deposit on a demonstration set of knives
  • Hired 'employees' are required to attend 3 full days of training (without pay)
  • These new employees (sales reps) are directed to sell to family, friends, family friends, neighbors or anyone else they can approach for overpriced, low quality knives
  • The company deducts money from commissions for the first sales as reimbursement for training (oh, we don't pay you for training, you pay us!)
  • If you quit the deposit for the demo knives is forfeited and the knives returned unless you spend $20 to ship the damned things to New York
  • Only the $15/hr offer is promoted to recruits. So they go check it out...and some of the bite on this PIECE OF CRAP, BAD DEAL.
  • There are hundreds of web posts from really p_ssed-off kids who have wasted hours of time and money on this crap when they could have had a real job
Fortunately his daughter asked him to check it out before she leapt on this "opportunity". Smart girl.

I remember years ago, when I was married, wife got a call from such a salesperson, for a no sales pressure demonstration. Kid begged for an opportunity to come out, saying he got paid just for demos. So she told him to come on out. I had to practically throw him out, he seemed mad that I wouldn't let her buy anything. We already had a nice set of Chicago Cutlery so I wasn't being cheap. I guess now I see why he used that tactic.

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Old 11-09-2007, 11:00 PM   #2
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I hate to admit it but I almost fell for this scheme. I had finished my freshmen year in college and my family had just moved to OH. I didn't have too much luck finding a job in the first few weeks so I decided to respond to the ad in the newspaper advertising $15/ hr even though my inner voice told me it was a scam. So I called the number and much to my delight I was told to come that afternoon for an interview. So I went to the office which had no sign outside and there were probably about 20 other people in office for this "interview". The district manager went through this whole demonstration and then called each person into her office one by one to tell them if they were hired. I was hired and told to come back for training a few days later.

I went to training and the whole time they preached that it was not cold-selling but was based on leads. Also they kept preaching there were no quotas and that you were your own boss. At the end of the first day of training, the manager told us to bring a list of 100 people that we know to training the next day. I could begin to sense where this was going, but I showed up the next day with my list. So the second day is more training and then she finally verified what I suspected. The list of people that you made was a list of potential clients and then you supposed to ask them for the names of their friends and that is how you got more leads. At the end the manager tells us that we have to schedule 5 appointments in the next week (quota?) to sell these knives. Oh yeah and bring the 250 or 300 dollars tomorrow for your set of knives. Against my better judgment, I actually scheduled a couple appointments with family and a family friend.

However I started to feel really bad trying to sell this stuff to family so I decided to do some research (should have done a lot sooner I know). I goggled "vector marketing" and got lots of hits from former employees complaining about everything that I seemed to be having concerns about. So I decided to quit. At around midnight, I called the office expecting to get an answering machine, but the district manager was still there so I told her that I was quiting and she tried to talk me out of it but eventually she just said thanks for calling. I was so relieved after quiting and they didn't get my 300 dollars. I think the office in my area must have closed down because every time I have driven by the office, there have been no cars out front. Sometimes I see fliers hanging around my college campus that are obviously ads for Vector (they never have their name on the ad) and I just want to rip them all down so one does fall for this pyramid scheme.

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Time well spent
Old 11-09-2007, 11:25 PM   #3
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Time well spent

I had a similar experience although with a twist.

After my freshman year at college ('79) I couldn't find a summer job so I signed up for a 3 day sales training to sell supposedly high quality cookware. I don't remember paying anything at this point and I didn't have any money anyway so getting $300 out of me would never have worked. Anyway, I dropped out after the 3 day training but I found it very valuable. I learned all about high pressure sales tactics, closing questions, setting up with the sale with positive responses, learning that 98% of people who want time to "think about it" never buy, etc.

I was approached my senior year in college to buy whole life insurance and experienced the same sales techniques I had learned all about and was able to recognize it for what it was. To this day, when we shop for a new car, my wife warns the car salesmen not to use high pressure tactics with me as she has seen me walk off a car lot without so much as a wave once I sense these methods.

I also learned that sales was not for me. All in all, a very important life lesson and a well spent 3 days almost 30 years ago!
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Old 11-10-2007, 06:16 AM   #4
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Yougottabekiddingme! They are still doing the CUTCO knives scam? I fell for this one in 1964!

I had a hard time finding a college job and one day answered an ad for what turned out to be CUTCO. I went through exactly the things you posted, was given a set of very expensive knives to sell, and was expected to return or pay for them in return for my "training" if I didn't sell them.

Well, I pounded the streets for a month or so, without any salary, and didn't sell any knives. So I called the office, told them I was quitting, and asked them how they wanted their knives returned. They said they'd let me know. So I loaned them to my family until I got called to return them. Never got the call, so got a free knife set out of the deal. Well, not exactly free, since I worked for a month without pay.
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Old 11-10-2007, 09:42 AM   #5
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My brother is a tall silent type and as a teenager was recruited to sell Bibles. He and a group of young people were loaded into a van and taken from Oregon down into Texas and the South to market to the faithful. Those that sold and/or had a few dollars would pool their money and rent a room, 6-8 people would cram in. Those who didn't sell and didn't have money would sleep in the van or wherever. My brother is a country boy - to him if it's on a plant it's free for the taking, so he fed himself to a great extent by grazing. Lowlying fruit from this tree, tomatoes from that garden. Police were called on him several times for eating his way through the neighborhoods, also, i suspect, for not having quite the correct expression and voice quality when he would loom into a doorway and intone "Do you want to see what your neighbors have been talking about"?
Family ended up wiring him bus money to get home and the Bible sales company hounded him for months afterward to pay for his "samples", which he left with the sales group when he bailed out.
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