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I Worked At Vector Marketing So You Don’t Have To

Fifteen-dollar base pay, no experience necessary, flexible schedules sounds appealing, doesn’t it? It sounded appealing to me four years ago. A senior in high school, I fell right into and out of that mess in less than a week. After which, it left my mind until I saw the above poster hanging outside my media literacy class.
Before you even consider applying, let me save you the trouble and teach you the many reasons this job is not right for you.
1. They Market To High School And College Students For A Reason
With the recent state of the economy and the costs of higher education, the average student not only wants, but needs steady employment to minimize student loans, make car payments, and purchase food and clothing let alone non-essentials like night’s out, concert tickets, or travel expenses. Yet with complex schedules of courses and internships, minimal experience, no degree, and often an unreliable form of transportation students often don’t make the most desirable employees. High school and college students are the most vulnerable age category in the work force and you better know Vector Marketing understands that. Offering pay high above the minimum wage, Vector markets to an over-eager audience of inexperienced students expecting unquestioning loyalty in return.
2. They Prey On Your Family And Friends
Vector Marketing can afford to pay inexperienced workers so high above the minimum wage because they look at employees as untapped resources. Vector Marketing is the overhead company of Cutco, a cutlery retail company. Your job is to sell this cutlery, but Cutco doesn’t believe in cold calls, otherwise known as the practice of calling up complete strangers out of the phone book and reading them a script asking if they are interested in a new knife set. Your job, instead is to read that script off over the phone to your friends and family. When Vector Marketing hires you, it’s because they view you as a phonebook of potential new customers, and its manipulative and brilliant. Using your contact list as your work, Vector looks to eliminate the unappealing emotionless nature of cold calls, because they know you personally they are more likely to take your call and more likely to buy your product. It’s like primary school fundraising for new band uniforms or a class trip by selling candy bars, only you’re selling two-to-three hundred dollar knife sets, which clearly, the average household can’t afford. That’s why there are four separate payment plan options.
3. The Pay May Not Outweigh The Costs
Even worse yet, the pay isn’t all its cracked up to be. Sure, in comparison to the average minimum wage in the United States, $8.25, fifteen-dollars base pay sounds amazing, especially when you take into account commission, but its not as black and white as it seems. Vector Marketing doesn’t offer a pay of fifteen dollars an hour, it offers fifteen dollars per in-home appointment. Sure, you get paid whether a customer makes a purchase or not, but these appointments have to be at least forty-five minutes and verified by the customer to be considered for your pay. This does not consider the cost of travels, or equipment. Each employee must complete five eight-hour days of unpaid training, must dress business formal, must purchase a demonstration set of knifes, must purchase apples and potatoes to be chopped, must supply pennies to be cut, and must cover their own costs of travel including fuel, but also vehicle inspections and oil changes. Employees are also liable for any injuries they may obtain demonstrating the cutlery, meaning if you cut yourself you are paying for your own stitches. 
Bottom line is Vector Marketing needs you more than you need them.
Vector Marketing would like us to share the following information to address some potential inaccuracies or misunderstandings within the article:
  • Customer verifications for pay are not required, but Vector Marketing reserves the right to verify appointments and do so periodically.
  • Pay is explained in the interview as $15 for each completed appointment.
  • Reps are independent contractors so the costs of travel are tax deductions at the end of the year. Because reps are independent contractors, their personal insurance would also cover any on-the-job injuries while out in the field.
  • Initial training is 2 or 3 days of typically 5-7 hour sessions. Most offices ask reps to wear business casual attire to training; some offices allow jeans with shirts tucked in.
  • A sample set of knives is provided to all sales reps free of charge. Reps are asked to return the kit once they have finished working with Vector Marketing. In the past a security deposit has been requested for the sample set of knives but that was eliminated in the US in February of 2011.
  • Reps are encouraged to have customers cut food on demos, but purchasing food to cut is not required.
  • Vector is the marketing division for Cutco Cutlery and the Cutco Corporation is their parent company. Vector has been in business since 1981.
  • An average order is $250 but prices range from $30-$3,000. Vector does have payment plans available similar to other companies with mid- to high-priced products and the majority of their 16 million customers are average American households.


Creative Writing student at Chatham University. Animal lover. Literature enthusiast. Photographer. Writer of...(to be determined).
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