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I just got a job with Vector/Cutco. Is this a legit company or a scam?

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Alexander Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 12:49 AM
Original message
I just got a job with Vector/Cutco. Is this a legit company or a scam?
Today I saw an ad in the paper (Arizona Republic) trying to get college kids to work for Vector/Cutco, which makes and sells cutlery. My job will pretty much be going door-to-door selling knives and other kitchen utensils.

At the initial interview I was most impressed. They pay a base of $14.75 per appointment (usually lasts an hour), OR they pay you based on commission, whichever is higher. The commission is 10% of what you sell - after you sell $1000 worth of merchandise it then increases to 15%, and so on. Seems like a sweet deal for me - especially since ASU just ended recently and I very badly want a job. The products were very high-quality (a pair of shears that they sell can cut through pennies), and the job seemed like a great way to earn money.

Yet this evening I was told by a friend of mine that this is a total scam. I've looked online and read about the company and opinions seem mixed on whether or not this is a good place to work.

I still plan on going to the training program but I was wondering if anyone had any information that could help me out on whether or not this is a good idea.

Thanks.
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physioex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 12:52 AM
Response to Original message
1. If you don't mind being a door to door salesman.....Then fine..
Edited on Tue May-25-04 12:58 AM by physioex
I don't think I could do this job. Who are you going to sell these knives to? You can't sell them to your friends, it's just not appropriate. If you know lots of rich people who are acquaintances, then you might do well. But I would suggest you get some other form of employment.
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eleonora Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 12:53 AM
Response to Original message
2. a few things to consider
Is it a "job" or a business opportunity advertised as a sales job? You'd have to do your own taxes, I assume.
I've had abrief experience with Granton Marketing and it was a scam, but we weren't selling cutlery, so this isn't the same company.

My advice is to try it out, but be aware there's a VERY high rate of turn-overs in this industry, that's why they advertise for new blood constantly.

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LTR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:28 AM
Response to Reply #2
18. Hey Eleonora
I had an experience with DS-Max (aka Granton, etc.). What a vile bunch!

Check out this site:

http://groups.msn.com/DSMAXTheAftermath

It's all anti-Granton.

Congratulations for keeping your stay with Granton brief. Not many were that lucky.
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eleonora Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. yeah I know of this group
I went to the interviews and went from door to door for a day. Then I decided to get online and saw the MSN group. That did it for me.

Juice? YIIIIKES
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 12:55 AM
Response to Original message
3. Three things come to mind
People these days are not likely to let a stranger with knives into their apartments..

People do not have money laying around to buy expensive knives

Selling door to door is about the hardest thing there is..
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ZenLefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 12:56 AM
Response to Original message
4. Depends on your perspective
I did this myself for a while, and I made far less money than I ended up paying them for training and what-not. The appointments are so few and far beween they're practically non-existant, and the vast majority of those appointments will not end up with a sale. They gave me a list of contacts to start with, telling me that they were all interested in the product, when in fact they'd never heard of me nor had any desire for my presence. They try to impress you with their high quality gear, when in fact it's basically just a step or two above what Wal-Mart sells.

If you can sell the stuff, enough of it to make it worth your while, then great. For me, I'd classify it as a SCAM, but maybe it just wasn't for me. The trainers all took a check from us to train us, and it became clear that they made more money training all of us than we would ever make selling their shit.
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eleonora Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 12:56 AM
Response to Original message
5. oh and one more thing
Edited on Tue May-25-04 01:04 AM by eleonora
check out www.badbusinessbureau.com / www.ripoffreport.com see if you find complaints, then you can make up your mind.

edit: and there are. Classic ones too.

http://www.ripoffreport.com/results.asp?q1=ALL&q4=&q6=&...
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The_Casual_Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 12:57 AM
Response to Original message
6. This kind of selling is obviously very difficult.
and it will not be easy to line up productive appointments. However, if you approach it in the most positive way it will be a great learning experience and you might make a few bucks.

Beware of any "opportunity" where you would be asked to make some personal financial investment in the business in order to buy in.
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LTR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:25 AM
Response to Reply #6
17. The above statement says it all
"Beware of any "opportunity" where you would be asked to make some personal financial investment in the business in order to buy in."

Unless you're just buying a new suit for work or you're Warren Buffett buying the whole company, I don't trust any company that makes you buy your way in. Unless you sell Avon and have tons of female friends.
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Syrinx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 01:00 AM
Response to Original message
7. I've heard about things like this
Does it involve a lot of travel?

If so, it usually involves selling magazines. Where they practically kept the salespeople as slaves. Very unsavory. I have no idea if Vector/Cutco is like that, but my advice is to be very careful, and be sure to have a way home.
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ZenLefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 01:07 AM
Response to Original message
8. Google says SCAM
There are a few positive articles, mostly written by Vector/Cutco reps. But the vast majority are disgruntled college students who got lured in and learned their lesson. My advice: run.

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-...

http://radified.com/blog/archives/000055.html

http://www.petitiononline.com/vector/petition.html

http://www.theguardianonline.com/news/2003/09/24/News/M...
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 01:08 AM
Response to Original message
9. I did this 5 years ago and made exactly 50 bucks.
I did this in the summer of 1999 and made virtually no money. I gave it up after 4 weeks. Is it a scam? No, but it's decpetive and only a few people will suceed at it. Most of the kids who sign up will leave relatively soon after joining, most of whom will not make much money.

I won't say don't do it. Go to the training session if you like and try and get a vibe out of it, but don't let yourself be manipulated by slick sales managers (that's how they became sales managers). They will make it seem like you are on a sure path to Easy Street. If you have a talent for selling things and an especially charismatic personality you might be right for the job. Also, it helps to know a lot of middle aged or elderly upper-middle class and upper class people who can afford to buy these very expensive knives. They are great knives I must say. The Vector managers will ask you to make a list of all the well to do--usually married-- local people that you know and you will be expected to contact them first. If they agree to let you into their home for a "showing" (really a sales call) of the knife set you will then be expected to ask them to make a list, with phone numbers, of their friends who might be interested in buying the knives. That's the tricky part. A lot of people don't want to give out that information, and if you don't get it you will eventually run out of sales calls.

Feel free to ask if you have any more questions.
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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 01:11 AM
Response to Original message
10. Repeating what others have said...
I have little to add beyond what has already been said, but I do have one important comment.

I've not run across people from this particular company, but I have dealt with sales people from companies doing a job much like what you are describing. As an example, at my former place of business, a college-aged student walked it, gave me his name, and said he was there to discuss my interest in purchasing his wares. I had no idea what he was talking about, so I asked. He said he'd been given my address and name (I was management) as a contact and that I had said I might be interested in buying his product.

To make a long story short, his "employer" lied to him about the contact and because, according to my own company's rules, I did not allow him to make his sales pitch, he didn't actually make the contact he was required to make in order to get paid. He had a document he wanted me to sign which, again, I was not allowed to sign per company rules.

Just be wary. This will be an extremely difficult job with a lot of rejection at best. If you start encountering contacts that seem confused about your arrival, take note. If they even hint that you need to invest any money, run away ... quickly.

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NJCher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:28 AM
Response to Original message
11. their product is good
but this is an outmoded form of sales. It's hard to imagine that it is still going. They have been in business a long, long time. I can remember my mother having Cutco cookware and she still has it and uses it! It does last a lifetime.

I wouldn't do it because a) nobody's home in the day anymore b) what posters above remarked about with knives and people's homes.


Cher
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PittPoliSci Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:49 AM
Response to Original message
12. SCAM
They always come to my school and try to get us to sign up to work. I'd always walk past and say "what a fucking scam!" Then the guy would be all like "I make 125 dollars an hour? how much do you make an hour?" Then, even though it was a total lie, I'd say, "I have inherited wealth, I don't even need to work, I'm still richer than you." And he'd feel really stupid because of these reasons:

1. Because he may make 125 dollars an hour, but he only works an hour every 2 weeks.

2. You have to purchase the knives you sell, thus, before you make any money you go right into the hole.

3. The lie failed, 125 an hour vs. inherited wealth. Are you supposed to make someone give a shit that you make that much money an hour when they don't have to work and can get all the money they want?

Those people are assholes though, just stay the hell away from them.
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Mike Niendorff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:54 AM
Response to Original message
13. scam.

Went to one of their "interview sessions" many years ago, when I was just out of high school and in need of summer work.

Everything you described is exactly how their pitch went way back then (and this was almost 20 years ago).

Basically, their scam is to sit you through a professional looking sales presentation, show you how their product can cut through pennies, etc, and then try to get money up front out of you.

I'd look elsewhere, and quickly.


MDN

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NuttyFluffers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:14 AM
Response to Original message
14. Legit, but not for everyone.
Did it, considering going back (the economy here is really bad). Had made sales totalling $5,000. At the end I was making 20% commission. A few appts I made $50 and $90 in an hour/half hour (relatively large sale). But i've found that i'm not a very good salesman and i don't enjoy the career. been given surprisingly large sales job offers, though. Vector/Cutco must have been easily my most impressive part of my resume to explain that. my interviews also point out how high they respect Vector/Cutco so the 'hype' is true in that respect.

Had several coworkers do massive success though. One in my class went on from a Subway job to make $50,000+ career sales and has a few grand days (sell $1000 in a day) under her belt. Since she's now of a high rank she makes 50% commission and can comfortably make an average $100 per appt. great for a college student.

They pay you like a salesmen though, so it's not per hour like some of these complaints say. at least they pay you for failed appts though, not all sales jobs do that.

i like vector and my experience was extremely positive overall, i just chose to walk a different career path. and i have a full set of beautiful knives that have paid for themselves. and they will last a long time - had an appt. with an old boss' parents (we got along well) and they had cutco for 43 years, never had a problem with them either. got a recommendation letter from them too.

don't worry about being scammed - it's legit. but you'll learn a lot about your strengths and weaknesses - and may not like the results. it may be hard to find out that you just aren't salesman material.
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Guaranteed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:33 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. Most aren't though.
And it's not entirely a bad thing.
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LTR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:20 AM
Response to Original message
16. Great product, lousy sales model
Had some experience with them. If you're a door-to-door stud, and can network like crazy, then that's one thing. But D2D sucks!

Plus, it's a pretty expensive knife set. And you can buy Chicago Cutlery at Sears starting at less than $100.

Door to door is a pain in the ass, especially for a college student. I would avoid it, especially since I've crossed paths with them. I've also crossed paths with DS-Max/Granton/Cydcor, and they're a different level of personal pain.

Direct marketing sucks. Really bad. A select few can do very well at it, but it's a horrible way to make a living. There are far better sales jobs out there.
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LynzM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:16 AM
Response to Original message
19. Had a friend who made a killing doing this...
He was the regional best seller for a summer, made thousands... If you can do it, if you can sell, and have connections to people with the kind of money to buy stuff like this (for him, that was mostly profs, their friends, parents' friends, etc.), then you can do really well. Give it a shot, see how it goes, keep your eyes open for other opportunities. You may surprise yourself. And remember, when selling something, make sure *you* believe in it enough to have it or want it. That, or be a very, very slick liar ;)
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denverbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 12:00 PM
Response to Original message
21. scam.
Had a coworker whose boyfriend did that. I think I bought about the only knife he sold. I still have the knife, and it's a decent knife, but AFAIK this guy never made a penny.
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