Vector Marketing and Cutco Cutlery
My opinion (along with many others) is that Vector Marketing is a SCAM.
This page is here to tell you exactly what many people believe it is and what
we believe they do, for those interested you can hear our side of the story.
They might send you letters in the mail, put ads in the newspaper, on your
campus bulletin, and in other
creative places all boasting work usually for $10+ an hour, usually without
basic information like which company offering it or the job title. I (and
many other people) believe they usually target people just out of high school
and maybe a couple years older in college. We believe they do this because
young students generally are trainable, ignorant of corporate practices, non-threatening
to potential customers, and don't have many other work options. Many times
they probably get your names and addresses from your school. When you call
up they probably won't tell you exactly what type of work you will be doing,
but they will most likely say that it is not telemarketing or door-to-door
soliciting, and add flare to the job by saying it is a customer service, sales
position with household products and sporting goods and that you make more
with commission (according to my phone call, my girlfriend's phone call, and
a friend's phone call, to 3 different offices, a letter in the mail I recently
received, and this person's experience here
$10+(depending on location and date) an hour, customer service/sales, you
just graduated from high school, sounds real good!
They will probably tell you to come on down to their office where you can
learn more (because they probably won't
tell you any more over the phone). When you get to the office, there are
usually a lot of people who got the same advertisement you did and are filling
out applications. They most likely say they will only take the best and only
a few will be picked to join their team (at least that's what they told me
and others as well). You will probably start to get worried, you think this
is such a great job and maybe they will pass you by for someone better.
Reality check: you don't even know what the job is and they are so
probably desperate for work they sent you a letter in the mail and/or posters
all over campus.
After you fill out the application they have you go to an interview. You
get there and they will most likely first boast about how great their company
is and how great the job is (basically selling you the job, in my opinion).
They run a whole spiel for at least a half hour (at least they did with me
and a couple friends too) attempting to make the job and company look good.
You may get referred to a
website that boasts on and on about the company, opportunities, locations,
and how to apply yet leaves you guessing as to what the job really is. Then
the interview process begins, they seem to usually say they have very few
positions available and they make you go through 2 or more mini-interviews
(in my experience and others). You are chosen! How lucky and what a desirable
worker you must be.
Reality check: they probably choose almost everybody. The job is selling
Cutco knives at people's homes and they probably want as many people as possible
to sell them in order to sell as many knives as possible. You yourself have
to fork out money for a set of knives too, in order to display them to potential
customers, and they are really expensive. If they were to tell you all of
this straightforward and right away, they would probably have a more difficult
You will not find Cutco knives at retail stores like Sears or JCPenny most
likely because it would probably sell better and for a higher price to someone
if their nephew, daughter, or grandson were selling it to them rather than
if Sears or JCPenny were selling it to them. Retail stores sell their products
at the lowest price possible in order to compete with other retail stores.
Vector is the only company that sells Cutco and they sell it to trusting family
members and friends of their sales reps at the highest price these people
(who generally know nothing about knives) will pay for them, they don't have
to worry about other companies selling Cutco for less. Many people believe
Vector makes their money by selling sets to naive "employees" then
exploiting their relationships in order to sell more at an incredibly high
It is kind of like the Avon lady, or Mary Kay, Jafra, or Amway (only worse,
in my opinion) and you are the seller. It is known to many as multi-level
marketing, which many people believe is much like a pyramid
scheme. Vector calls it "Direct Selling." Click here
to see Cutco disadvantages and how Cutco knives compare to other knife brands.
I believe (and most culinary arts schools along with most great chefs and
enthusiasts agree) the knives are good, but not
the best, and relatively NOT
worth the high price(some packages cost over $700 U.S.), and their hidden
extra costs are very high, in my opinion as well as others (click here
to see how a $55 pair of scissors is believed to possibly become $75.62, but
the extra costs probably won't be discussed until the customer has agreed
to buy). There are better knives out there for cheaper too(especially some
of the finer German made ones, in the opinions of many). In my opinion, if
you are going to spend that much on knives you are better off with better
quality, and if you don't need top quality there are others of better quality
that sell for a lot less money. The average person will not know this. The
knives most people have in their home are perfectly fine anyway, and they
would only be throwing away cash on something they don't need. Besides, if
they wanted new knives they would go to the retail store and buy some, they
don't need salespeople hunting them down and bothering them about it.
You call people up and then go into their homes and try to sell them relatively
very expensive knives (if they let you). The pay is based on the appointment
which usually runs about an hour and then you get their base payment (my area
runs $13.25 now) after sending in paperwork (if the person you gave the demonstration
to was over 25 with a verifiable job), $13.25/hr in the job advertisement
actually means $13.25 per appointment. This is misleading
in many people's opinions because the appointment could involve several hours
of work. You are not paid for the sometimes quite extensive work performed
outside of the actual appointment and are not reimbursed by Vector for most
costs associated with the appointment or the job. This means the actual amount
you are paid per hour of your work involved in selling these knives is a lot
less than advertised, and much of it goes to costs associated with the job.
If you should sell something you get the commission as pay(if the commission
is higher than the hourly rate), and not the base pay unless the commission
is lower than the base pay. You might be paid a certain % commission of someone
else's sales for referring them to work with Vector as well, if you keep selling
a certain amount yourself and meet other requirements. If you are one of the
relatively very few successful reps you could become manager after some time
where income comes from recruiting others and their sales. many aspects of
working for vector you don't get paid for. You
do NOT get paid for training and throughout the job you will probably
be forced to attend workshops (that are a lot like sale pitches, in most people's
opinions) and meetings you don't get paid to attend either (some of their
conferences you even have to pay to attend)! Many sales reps complain of needing
to constantly check in to their office which they aren't paid for either.
Some people have even reported their office closing down and not
getting paid at all. Some people lose
more money than they gain.
They told you no telemarketing(and I have it in writing), yet they don't
provide you with appointments. You are expected to call people up (this part
you don't get paid for) and ask them if they would be interested in you coming
over to their home, taking up their time, and proceeding with an hour long
high pressure sales pitch for expensive knives(which could be considered deadly
weapons) inside their homes (but you wouldn't ask them this bluntly), at least
this is what was in the training manual. You are considered an independent
contractor, being expected to find your own customers and set up your
own appointments(they probably save a lot of money by not hiring appt. setters)
as well. Needless to say, this is relatively very time consuming (of which
you don't get paid for) and most people I know of don't get a lot of takers.
They encourage you to sell to family members to start you off "so you'll
be in a comfortable environment" (in many people's experiences). You
are responsible for almost every aspect of these appointments including
setting them up, getting yourself there, paying for gas, and such. Vector
doesn't cover any of that (only the base pay or the commission is given).
They told you no door-to-door selling(and I have it in writing), yet selling
the knives is generally conducted (and encouraged to be conducted) in the
customer's homes. Once you do get a taker, you give them your sales pitch
and ask them to give you names and contact information of their friends and
relatives so you can give them the same pitch(this was and probably still
is, in the training manual). Many people find this a sleazy
approach to sales (who is going to volunteer someone they really care
about for a sales pitch anyway?). Some people will be very angry, mean, and
do a lot of yelling (in many people's experiences). Here
is door-to-door selling and telemarketing defined from one source. You might
get your $10+ as an hourly wage in a paycheck OR maybe some commission(I believe
a relatively very low 10% to start, 25% if you get promoted which is very
difficult, they can give out 50% to some reps.), but you feel low and dirty
afterwards, written on the basis of many other people's feelings. Relationships
between your friends and family may
grow sour. Many people believe the job is not easy, here
is the testimony of one. What's worse is that independent contractors generally
fewer rights than regular employees (this is almost certainly to Vector's
best interest and probably not the best interest of their sales reps). Their
managers depend on others to provide a paycheck; certain
ex-managers have reported an element of bigotry and racism as well.
In order to get a regular (40 hour a week) full-time paycheck you must somehow
manage to get to 40 or so homes a week(8 appointments a day, this may take
at least 16 hours of work per day). If you were to take an hour combined driving
to the appointment and back, 15 minutes getting dressed and ready, and 45
minutes for the appointment(not to mention the work in getting the appointment),
altogether it would take at least 2 hours (not to mention time spent training,
checking in to the office, attending meetings and conferences, and more that
you don't get paid for). If you were to get paid $15 for the appointment,
and it only took you 2 hours of work, that would be around $7.50 (minus the
money paid for knives, clothes, gas, phone calls, etc.) per hour of your time
and work(in my opinion that is the same pay as working at McDonalds without
the benefits or security). You can also find better starting commission rates
at most other similar sales jobs. There is more to the entire work force than
Vector Marketing and McDonalds too.
Hopefully, you will somehow make enough money (usually, in many people's
experiences, by selling to your relatives and friends) to pay for the knives
you bought along with other expenses and break even. Vector and Cutco (both
owned by the Alcas Corporation, probably by no coincidence) profit big time
and get rich. In March of 1994 it is believed that Alcas signed an order with
the state of Wisconsin to settle charges possibly of deceptive marketing advertisements
and recruiting tactics, they have since decided to allow Vector to continue
business there. If you have a complaint you want to file, you can go here
to learn how.
How many companies have a
whole message board dedicated to complaints about their company? Vector
probably pays people to seek out these message boards and defend their company
and it is one of the most popular complaint message boards around, none of
their competitors seem to have one. Internet operations management was concerned
about this site since only a few days after it was on the internet. What can
one expect from a company that hires mostly young inexperienced people to
I should also point out that some people are successful with Vector, but
relatively very few. A great deal of people quit within the first couple of
weeks after becoming more acquainted with the program, Vector defends their
program and calls those people either lazy or poor sellers. Some people sing
their praises. The key to success (I am told) is connections and motivation.
Their employees are usually brainwashed into believing everything they say
(in my opinion) and they are told to "follow the program," "believe
in the program," and "do exactly as we say" then everything
will work out great(in many people's experiences). There is a certain issue
of huge trust involved, as far as many people are concerned.
Disclaimer: Since Vector Marketing operations management have been concerned
over this site, a disclaimer has been added. Under US
copyright law, anyone can use copyrighted materials in criticism, review,
or parody; this is called fair
use, even though I don't believe there are any copyrighted materials here.
The webmaster makes no profit off of this site. This site has been made for
the sole benefit of the people only. This site was not made in hate, nor is
it intended for hate propaganda. Everything on this site is merely the opinion
of the webmaster and/or possibly other people. Slander is spoken, libel is
written. It is virtually impossible in the US for a person to libel a corporate
entity; in addition, "opinions" cannot be "libelous." Furthermore, when a
large corporation uses lawsuits (or the threat of them) to try to silence
critics, there are grounds for a harassment suit against that corporation.
This site is not intended to infringe on the rights of any others, but merely
to express the webmaster's opinions, beliefs, criticisms, and reviews granted
by the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This site was not intended
to be objectionable to anybody, but it is impossible to please everybody.
This website is admittedly, mostly one-sided. You are invited to check out
Vector and Cutco's side at http://www.cutco.com
Use the text on this site at your own discretion.