The Cult of Cutco: How Vector Marketing Mass-Hires Students into Dubious Contract Labor

[Edit Note. Thanks for all the shares, guys. Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit share buttons are all on the bottom.

There’s a 2013 follow-up post here: The Cult of Cutco Tries Desperately to Knock Me Off Google]

Are you an eager but inexperienced college kid, desperate for money, preferably fast cash?  Then you are the target demographic for the eager recruiting centers of Vector Marketing!

Vector Marketing is the sister company of Cutco Cutlery, a high-end knife and kitchenware retailer.  Their job is to promote and sell Cutco’s products.  To maximize profits, Vector recruits young men and women in bulk and then depends on their ability to do in-home demonstrations of the knives.

Vector employs a variety to tactics to draw in as many workers as possible. You may have seen them at the CCM Job Fair.  After each fair they usually set up a table outside the B cafeteria in Cohen Hall for a few days. High school graduates report receiving letters advertising summer work with “flexible schedules” and “opportunity to advance.”

Ever get a little card in your car window advertising That’s them!

But just how has this seemingly professional company earned a reputation for dubious practices?

For one thing, they fail explain to their trainees that they are not actually employees of the company.  Instead you are what is termed an “independent contractor.”  By designating you as such, they “escape a world of culpability” says a member of Students Against Vector Exploitation (SAVE), an online organization aimed at workers’ rights.

As you are not legally considered an employee, Vector is not required to pay your training nor do they take out money from your paycheck for income taxes and social security, things that are federally required for employers.

They have also been accused of deviating from what the IRS states as the guidelines for an independent contractor, and have previously been involved in a class-action lawsuit.

In addition, new hires are required to buy his or her own knife set, about a $150 investment.  Vector does not compensate for travel expenses to the clients.  Vector does not find potential clients for their workers and instead ask the hires to depend on selling to their own social networks of friends and family.

They then gloss over these deficiencies with fancy rhetoric and flip charts, stories of success, and a youth-oriented, psuedopositive atmosphere.

Vector never once uses the phrases “door-to-door” (except to try and explain that it’s not) nor “independent contractor.” It does use clever wording to make $18.00 per hour appointment seem as simple as $18.00 per hour, and above all, promotes an obnoxious enthusiasm about the products.

With Cutco knives you can effortlessly slice through rope!  Shear a penny into a corkscrew!  They’ll teach you how sell your heart out in their three days of unpaid training sessions, topped with lots of smiles and upbeat music.  The more you earn, the more superficial titles you can earn.  Who doesn’t want to go from “sales rep” to “advanced sales rep”?  Oh, by the way, your paycheck is base pay or commissions, not both.

Despite this, it is possible to profit. Matt Markoff, Farleigh Dickinson 06’, said, “I made about $3000 in 3 weeks and worked a total of 10 hrs.“ Still, he quit after a month. “I liked the product but hated how we had to sell them.”

Tiffany Tsui, Rutger’s 11’, worked for Vector’s Morris County division based in Denville for about three weeks, during the summer before her freshman year.

She commented, “I left because the pressure our ‘manager’ put on us was just too much. He wasn’t reasonable and to be frank, was really annoying… I went to [a required meeting] and it was the biggest waste of time ever. It was basically a time to make the sellers with the lowest product sold feel crappy about themselves and to make the people with higher amount of product sold to feel better about pushing the knives onto people.”

After reading the guidelines of what constitutes an independent contractor, Tiffany says she “definitely would not label [herself] as an independent contractor.”

Although many find Vector a waste of time, effort, and money, many students learn from their experience.  If you want to overcome your fear of playing with sharp objects in front of strangers, go for it!   But remember the caveat: If a place sounds too good to be true and is more interested in you than you are in it, it’s probably not worth pursuing.

Additional Reading Regarding the “Vector Scam” :

Employee or Independent Contractor

Students Against Vector Exploitation


88 thoughts on “The Cult of Cutco: How Vector Marketing Mass-Hires Students into Dubious Contract Labor

  1. I actually worked for them partly the summer after my senior year. I think I sold about $1000 worth of knives and made maybe $500-$1000-ish. The manager I worked for was good, though. He was more honest than stories I’ve heard, and I think he actually paid both base and commission. It really depends on the manager, since they’re also technically independent contractors too. Some people at Denville made a lot of money, but it is an annoying job that requires you to almost have a natural car salesman-esque ability.

    • I was bored and went to the interview and first training meeting. It was really clever the way they tried to make the “group interview” all serious and professional, and then did a complete 180 with the atmosphere and put on obnoxious pop music and danced at the training session. I never invested in the knife set (I’m sure they are nice knives, but I lack rich friends and relatives), but I did learn a lot about psychological manipulation that day.

      • Just hired there. No matter what, you make $17 (base pay) for the hour you worked in the home. If you sell, you get commissions 10-30%. You get paid the bigger difference (either base pay or commissions). More clients you see, the better you do. Once you get up to 30% commission, you may only have to see 6 clients a week to be making 1,000 a week. Schedules are super flexible so I could work a part time job ontop of this to maintain consistency (maybe I won’t have to in future). It’s an easy going way of making extra dough. It’s also all referral based so people make appointments with YOU to see the product. It’s not like your going door to door at random (they actually don’t allow that).

  2. vector is an awsome company. they are trying to get ppl that dont have exprence to get some i have worked for a month already hit 3 promotions and on key staff. in training they explain everything. they dont waste there time in the interview expalining everything if they dont think that you are good for the job. i love this job flexable hours you just have to do some work. ppl are lazy and they just want to start some drama so they talk smake for no reason just cause the job wasnt right for them. a lot of jobs arnt right for certain people i have learned so much with this comapany and busted my self esteem. i thank vector. and also you dotn have to pay for a kit anymore and also the training deff pays for its self. i dont think every job in the world pays for training. i dont seee a whole bunch of nonsence for that.

    • I Completely agree I’ve been with the Company for 3 years. i had a good friend pay for all of his schooling with it and i did as well. its not for everyone however i do believe everyone who puts any effort into it will get valuable lifelong experience. this is a Job that you get paid for exactly how hard you work, the only way you don’t make money is simple if you don’t work. you get to choose your own hours so if you choose to do none i don’t understand the surprise in lack of pay! but if you choose to work hard you will be surprised in the amount of pay!

    • And obviously you are a standout to the company. Just simply look at your spelling to see that LMAO. You just prove that this company will hire anyone. It’s their not there and… Never mind what’s the use in telling you all the wrong things you wrote. Yer making SO much money anyways HAHA.

    • Wow… if you really wanted to promote a company in which you are an “independent contractor”, learn to be grammatically correct. You do not do anyone justice with your lack of communication skills nor look very bright and well educated.

      • I have been a part of Cutco for almost a year now, I did not have a fast start like some people but I am a person who likes to be independent and work for myself with no boss, just mentors and leaders to keep you accountable. I did however write down the most potential customers on my list with over 1000 people. that has been a huge part of my success because I know I am never worried about running out of people to talk to, knowing that I meet on average of 5 new people a week and get their contact info. After 3 months with Vector I decided to leave the office because I am more entrepreneurial and I like to be able to do my own thing. I still keep in touch with the office and turn in order forms there along with keeping in touch with the manger, which is a great person. I am doing better now on my own and have sold over $32,000 worth of Cutco and I am currently at 40% commissions, I was at one point at 50% but it is pretty hard to keep yourself at 50% because I have my own business elsewhere so I am just doing Cutco part-time. All in all though I love Cutco and what most people do not understand or are just used to is not really having a boss to keep you accountable. They end up not calling people on their list and in turn do not fill their schedule, and in turn make no money and call vector/Cutco a scam and other bs, when in fact that just weren’t willing to put in the work and quit. They didn’t take responsibility for their actions and put the blame on the company and pointed fingers at others instead of looking into the mirror at themselves. If you want the results of money you have to be willing to put in the work…period.

        Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. But until you start believing in yourself, you ain’t gonna have a life.”
        ― Sylvester Stallone, Rocky Balboa

  3. Samantha- They obviously did not train you how to use spell check! “Flexable” “ppl” “nonsence” “smake” “expalining” “they don’t waste {there} time…”

    Need I say more?

  4. I currently work for Vector as well and i wouldn’t say its the best company around, but it’s definitely been great for me as a student. i started working this past summer and sold 10,000 worth of cutco in what they call a “push” which is basically a company-wide sales contest. in this 2 week period of time i made $2500 in income which is more money than i had made the entire summer working at a local restaurant.
    My manager first came off a little too nice and i never tusked him until just recently but i still have my doubts. Basically, the way to be successful at vector is to do it your own way. My manager has been all over me to sell this semester but i haven’t felt like it and haven’t had much time so i just haven’t sold anything. Due to this, i haven’t made any money recently, but thats because i haven’t been working. i still go to the meetings and everything because i’ve made a lot of friends in the office and i like to hang out with them.
    the job is definitely not for everyone. which is apparent because of the constant influx of new reps and a lot of people not sticking around for very long. it definitely helps to know people when you are going into this job because without having good people to see when you first start then you won’t ever get any good recommendations. again this just shows that not everyone can do well with this job. i think personality has a lot to do with it too
    here are a list of positives i’ve experienced with vector:
    1. good pay, although it takes some effort to get the higher commission rate
    2. flexible. i work whenever i want to, don’t let the manager be in control of what you want to do. you won’t get fired at vector for not selling because they only pay you when you sell
    3. great for resume. to say i’ve generated $15,000 worth of sales based off of my efforts, plus i’m in line to be an assistant manager next summer
    4. made a lot of great friends. half of the people i work with i will hang out with on a regular basis. everyone is a student in college so we all get along pretty well and like to have a good time

    i’m not gonna say this is the best job ever, but its def worth a shot. i never thought i would be good at it but i just tried it out and what do you know
    so good luck if you decide to work with us, maybe i’ll see you at a conference or something. if not, i don’t judge you or blame you, its your decision

  5. I was a total money-hating flower child from Eugene, OR. I was in need of a job that would give me the opportunity to have better communication skills to be an effective counselor, which was what I wanted to get my master’s degree in psychology. I was unsure of the position, but open to the opportunity. Three months into it, I became a manager. I mentor reps, help them reach their own financial goals, all the while, they prove to themselves they can meet people, influence them, and network with relevant individuals in the community who can help steer these young people in the right direction for their careers. I thank Vector. I don’t work for Vector, Vector works for me. I choose my hours, make as much money as I want, and learn to positively influence people every day. Business skills arent bad either. Now, my goal is to be a contributor to health care reform. I want to close the gap between the mind and body by increasing the communication between mental health practicians and physicians. I have the assertiveness and effectiveness that is required to help this country have people that are well in the head and in their bodies. And when I want to leave from Vector on this endeavor, they will fan my flames. And I didn’t pay a dime to work here.

    • Didn’t pay a dime? Did Mom and Dad already buy the demo set for you from one of your friends?

      • They loan it to you as long as you are actively selling at least once a month, if you fail to meet that requirement, you have 2 choices, give it back or buy it at a 80% off discount for about $90.

  6. @Scandalousmuffin… Open your fucking ears and shit your fat fucking mouth. Pay attention to this because, though these comments were directed at someone else, you could learn a thing or two.

    Your Mom Is a SCAM says:

    @william lugo – first off, your brother is an idiot if he worked somewhere for an entire year and didn’t make any money. Maybe the fact that he’s retarded and has no common sense had something to do with his inability to complete basic human functions.

    @tabby – YOU are also a fucking idiot, you did 6-8 demos A DAY?? really? well that would make you the #1 fucking rep in the company! congratulations on not turning in your base pay sheet you fucking dumb dumb! Maybe your horrible $60 commissions came from the fact that you cant fucking read a manual and cut rope, you should just cut your own throat with the knife instead! Medical School? I mean, come on, fuck off you cant sell Cutco? You dont go to medical school! We have a kid with autism on our team and he’s sold thousands of dollars.

    LISTEN UP, you get paid what you are WORTH, so if your paycheck was SHITTY its because YOU are, IN FACT, a piece of SHIT.

    • Or, like Mary Kay consultants, they didn’t make any money because they don’t have rich friends.

      Didn’t learn anything, sorry. (Except that you might be schizophrenic, since I have no idea who tabby and william lugo are.) Thanks for telling me to shut up on my own blog; I’m sure that will be very fruitful advice in the future.

  7. In College Vector always seemed like a cult. People would try to be my friend and then at the last minute they would end up trying to sell me knives. It felt very sleezy. Eventually the Vector crew started this kind of gang that would go from table to table in the dining hall trying to sell knives. The comment from “Your mom is a scam” is a great example of how I felt after an encounter with these people: bullied, annoyed, and harassed. The whole idea of someone actually saying that “if your paycheck was shitty its because you in fact are a piece of shit” is so absurd, cruel, and cult like it shows their real face. Yeah, I’m sure Vector does think that that the total worth of a human being is in how much they can get people to spend on knives. It sounds like corporate mentality showing its true face. Sad.

    • Sara,
      I agree with you what these people said above as well as what the people at your school said is very un profesinal and I can tell you that the management does not back those statements. You get paid for the work you do. So what your willing to put into the company you will get paid for. I am sorry about the people you had to deal with however just like any company there will be a few people with good intentions that go about it ALL the wrong ways and I apologies for that! Bottom line is make a decision based on the values of the company and a good manager and not just a couple individuals with in a large corporation. Thank you!

  8. I worked for Vector for a month…it wasn’t worth it, especially if your last name is the same as the competition 😦

    • I loled so hard you have no idea. I’m feel sorry for you during training or team meeting 😦 “henckles sucks” . And to leave my ten cent, I do work with them and I dint really knwe that many people in the start but I worked hard and it payed off, my manager is great, she encourages every time even if a demo ends in a no sale. My experience was phenomenal and can say my resume grew from nothing g to a shit lot. It’s not for everyone tho, I can see the things that people might not enjoy. But fuck it, please all of you keep arguing, this is my favorite reading material, my favorite line is not getting paid for training. I can teach you all basic economics and show you why we do it but you are so close minded that it would be hard. I’m willing to have am actual conversation with anyone if you guys want.

  9. I find it amusing that the Vector shills, with their near-illiteracy and childish insults, are making the company look even worse than the article already does.

      • +2 any company which requires new trainees to give a list of private personal numbers over to a company managers requiring recruits to use their phone contacts, on the first day of totally unpaid raining is a true scam in. Entrusted

  10. Well written article. Slanted but well written.

    I can’t help but notice the comments made about the bad grammer of the people defending Cutco. If they have done so well despite looking so “uneducated”, what does that say about the people who did not do well?

    • Fuck grammar, make money.
      But damm their spelling, but whatever they have motivation and put hard work in and make money. If you ask me they are doing great at life by making money even without spelling skills

  11. Here some no bullshit facts about Vector from a hired employee that isn’t biased.

    -You don’t buy your sample kit.
    -Training is 18 hours, unpaid.
    -You are responsible for your own sales.
    -You get as much out of this as you put in. In my group I was the only one who worked hard for my new job, I have sold over 7 thousand and made about 1 thousand in my first 3 weeks. The others in my group didn’t work as hard, got shit paychecks and quit.
    -I spent over 120 dollars in gas one week that was not compensated.
    -The more you sell, the more you earn. I started at a shitty 10% commissions, now I’m making twice and a half that at 25%.
    -This job rewards those who work hard. If you’re at another job and you work your ass off and are the best employee and your friend sucks and slacks off, it doesn’t matter. If you both clocked in at the same time, you made the same money even though you worked harder. At Vector, he’d make nothing, and you’re make a killing because you WORKED for it.
    -This job is NOT for everyone, it takes confidence and a lot of communication skills.
    – Your checks are tax free, which means a bigger check, but you have to give a tax return when income tax season rolls around. I avoid this by doing the extra work of keeping receipts and having someone do my taxes and turn purchases into tax deductions.
    -You make your own hours, so work will never conflict with another job, school, or previous engagements.
    -The knives are the best.
    -You are not pushing the knives on anyone.
    -Managers vary from person to person, if your manager is a dick and forcing work you are uncomfortable doing, then quit. My manager is the coolest boss I could ask for.
    -I’m 18, I’m not a know-it-all. But this is what I know about Vector in my experience here.

      • No, Fuck you sir.

        If you don’t like what I have to say, then enjoy your shitty 9 to 5.

        Your opinion makes no difference to me lmao.

      • And this is why the Internet is the perfect medium for communication. People that instead of having a conversation decide to just say “fuck it I have no counter argument” and leave.
        Fun fact: if a fact is real, there are no counter arguments unless you just throw your facts.

      • Why is it anytime someone disapproves of these 100% commission only D2D jobs, the other party has to counter with something sarcastic along the lines of ‘enjoy your 9-5 job’. I personally very much enjoy my 9-5 job. I work for an awesome company, make really good money, have full benefits, a set schedule, can make sound financial decisions because I know what I am going to earn every pay period. I have also room for advancement and a perfect work/life balance. If that is a horrible thing, then I am happy to welcome the horror of it all, lol.

    • Lol, vectobots. Who comes up with this stuff?

      I’m not here on damage control lmao, I was just doing my research on what seemed like a shady company and giving my take on it. If anything I’m telling you NOT to join haha, most people can’t cut it anyway.

  12. I am currently employed by vector. All of you people who are griping about how this company is full of lies and is to be avoided and that they are not honest about the pay structure are just mad because YOU had false assumptions about it going in and didn’t ask the right questions before you got into it and realized YOU were wrong. I have been on the job for only 4 days now and am already more than half way to my SECOND promotion. I have sold over $2,200 worth of CUTCO and will get paid according to the EFFORT I put into making those sales. If you work hard at this job (most people are lazy and just want money handed to them for doing nothing) you will be rewarded for putting in the effort. People that expect the base pay that you see to be paid hourly to them did not read it closely enough, never once says that this will be paid hourly to you. It specifically says BASE PAY. And the company has a high base pay so that if your commissions are low for that week and do not exceed the base pay for the appointments you did, you get paid that instead. Same goes for your commissions, if they exceed your base pay for that weeks appointments then you get paid that instead. As far as booking your own appointments, that teaches you SO much more than them booking appointments for you. You learn time management, how to book a full schedule and keep to it, and you get invaluable sales experience as well. If your angry at vector for not being “honest” with you, then obviously YOU had the wrong assumption going into the job, rather than sitting back and actually listening to what your told or waiting until the interview to see what the job entails.

  13. vector is not bad at all. Everyone is super nice and positive. I just started working at vector last week, its great but im just a shityy salesmen. The assistant managers do want to see you strive and help you get a sale no matter what. I decided to quit vector in the next week because of MY performance. The company did nothing wrong, its just that im not enjoying that i do.

  14. I worked for vector in Alexandria, LA and it was the worst experience of my life. The “manager” was a piece of shit racist that thought he was hot shit because he could get a job doing something besides working at Arby’s. I was a receptionist, might I add, and he got pissed at us when people just were not interested in working there no matter what we said. It’s a ripoff and a scam. You don’t lose any money working here, but you do get people’s hopes up when they are actually looking for a real job,and they drive sometimes far distances to get to an interview, only to find out that you’ll be working with some nerdy little prick bastard that wants you to sell kitchen knives. It’s quite a let down. Maybe working in another place under a different manager wouldn’t be so bad, but not at the one in Alexandria. Good luck to all that fall in this evil scheme.

  15. I currently work for them and i can tell you ihate it i turned in like 17 demos and i got only paid like 70 dollars what b.s is tht huh 20 demos equal 330 dollars well i should of gotten paid less than tht instead i got 70 dollars cutco deserves to go down idc about he knives people dont want to buy 1000 knives ok! this time period were all doing horrible and it saids i n the manual they dont have to buy at all w still get paid for the demos? yet i get a call saying because i dont make any sales they had to verify with the cusomers to make sure i did demos with them and on top of tht these people dont want to give out their info! if they dont wanna buy they dont wanna buy leave it at tht shit! and we get paid 16.50 per demo i need a job tht pays by the hour what if we run out of people to do demo with i not going to people houses who i dont know wtf is tht shit all about?! all i can say is its nothing but a scam and they should be sued not getting payed for training or meetings wtf?!?!?!?!

    • Yeah, real independent contractors usually sign a paper contract. If there’s no writing, there’s no proof you should get paid, and it makes it that much harder to get the money you are due if you want to take action.

      Sorry to hear you got screwed. I hope your next job is better and pays well.

    • This is exactly why I quit after day 2 of training. They hire so many new people in order to get their contacts. And training is more than 18 hours because you are required to do “homework” make appointments and get people’s numbers. Even though they said I was “hired” I actually was just invited to the training according to a letter they gave me. We couldn’t take a lunch break either day (6-7 hours) and got a 2 minute stretch break. No you do not have to buy the knife set but they only give you 4 knives, shears and a cutting board, the complete set can be won as prizes in your first week. They are really banking on the sympathy of your family to buy from you. The trainer seemed like he was on drugs and the assistant manager spoke and patterned himself after the trainer, it was very cultish. Everything you had to say was scripted….I quit via email and received no reply what so ever, so unproffessional. The knives are really high quality but how does the company make a profit when sales reps and managers make 90% commission in total for each order??? Not my gig. Maybe others have had a better experience but once the trainer finally explained at the end of training day 2 (after we had to make our first appointments) that we would not get the full set to demo, but we could buy it for 90$….I was done.

      • And they kept touting how this is a made in the usa product but the icecream scooper is made in china….

  16. It was quite sketchy how everyone just got a second interview the SAME DAY but I work with them for 3 months and hey, the pay was good I just didnt enjoy my job yes I learned valuable exp but never again will again work for them waste of my time .

  17. October 21st 2013, reading through this article I found 80% at least to be completely false. First off all training has been paid for, my set that is taken to clients was also paid for, part of the money per appointment is alloted for specifically for gas, and finally you get paid whether you make a sale or not. Of course they will like you better if your sales are good, but they don’t hold your family hostage over a few hundred dollars in missed sales. I just started recently so I’ll come back to confirm all my comments made, but for now almost literally everything that has been said is completely false. Nice try though!

  18. Vector Marketing is the sister company of Cutco Cutlery. I had read enough right there I am a sales manager for a vector office. Right there second paragraph and you’ve already fabricated information. Vector is owned by Cutco corporation. They are not sister companies. They are not on the same level. That is like saying Procter and gamble is a sister company with tide. They are not on the same level or playing field. If you are interested in sitting around and not working but getting paid for it. Then vector is not the place for you. I know several people who have made livings and millions of dollars from their hard work and dedication. It’s sad that so many people similar to yourself expect things to be handed to them on a silver platter rather than through working for it. There is a reason that Cutco is a top selling brand of kitchen cutlery. That reason is because the strategy of marketing works. The training that they offer has been taught in college classes across the United States. They also award scholarships, donate hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, and provide a great income opportunity for those who are willing to work for it. In my opinion there are few better opportunities for college students.

  19. It really bugs me about how people always say Vector is a scam. Sales is not a job for everyone but it does teach you very valuable skills in the world. I am not here to show off my accomplishments but rather show another side to the story.
    I never had to purchase my knives when I started and I got up off my ass to work and I sold over $6,000 in my first 10 days on the job. I worked my tail off. By the end of the summer I sold over $10,000 and made close to $2,500. I knew kids who made $10,000 their first summer and they started the same time I did. I learned how to be confident and how to put yourself out there.
    Recently I went to a management training paid entirely through Vector and toured the CUTCO factory because I worked my tail off.
    No matter what job is out there, there is always going to be some person who talks disrespectfully about the employer and employees and if they don’t like their job then quit!
    By the way I am the youngest employee in my office and I make 30% commissions and not only do I continue in sales but I am also an Assistant Manager. I have only worked with the company since June 2013.

  20. uhh this is almost all lies hahaha.
    I’ve been working here, never paid for my set, was told time and time again that I am an “independent contractor,” and they do reimburse me for my gas. Yes, some people will find unsatisfactory with the job but that’s because they don’t know how to be salespeople!

  21. I’ve just completed training at Vector and did my first couple of demos today. To be honest, some of this information is true and some is false. You don’t have to pay for your demo set anymore, though you used to. While it’s not a pyramid scheme exactly, it is multi level marketing, which shares many of the unethical practices. I honestly don’t have much business experience; that’s why I’m studying it. I can say from personal experience that training was horrible for my self esteem. It was incredibly success focused, to the point that they would start to ignore you if you weren’t scheduling 13 or more demos. There were times I wanted to test the melon knife out on the manager’s fat melon head. Additionally, the environment is designed to weaken you. Tons of trophies, flashy videos, but hard chairs and very little break time. Additionally, I feel awful visiting friends only to peddle knives. Don’t get me wrong though; Cutco is pretty good and functional! Nice-looking, and I can’t say how it holds up over time, but I’m initially pressed. I just wish they would sell it over the web like normal people. Paying long-term salesmen to do optional demos by request would be much more ethical. And nothing in the demos is really dishonest that I can tell. I can’t cut a penny to save my life, but then again I’m pretty scrawny. Although, some of the communication skills they teach are helpful. When given two options rather than open-ended questions, you’ll often get a response. Is it worth training with no lunch or time to breathe? I guess if you know enough rich people to do enough demos to get to 30% commission. I myself am going to do the few more I already have scheduled and get an honest job somewhere else. And then apologize to the people I’ve badgered like a slave.

    • Hey! I just started yesterday and my manager Jared has been so pushy… Were you invited to attend a conference? And what about the super late office meetings? Tell me all you know, I want to get out when I can…

      • The conference costs $40 and it comes out of your paycheck… If anyone is working in Tucson please tell me!

    • I paid 75 for sc2 in the golf coast division, comes out of my paycheck but they give me knive that I can use to demonstrate (I.e. sell more and more often), keep, or sell at 100% comisssion

  22. I was lured into Vector/Cutco by a reccomendation from my closest friend. Upon arriving to the interview, which I quickly assessed as being sketchy and unproffesional due to the location (In a ghetto part of Jacksonville, FL) I was hired. 90 percent of who else was in the room with me were also hired. It being my first job, however, made me excited. The receptionist who interviewed me and accepted me was truly genuinely sweet, however she had obtained that position by rising in the ranks from selling Cutco herself…

    Training consists of three seven to ten hour days. You are told to bring food and then told you can eat it whenever. You sit nearly the entire time in hard plastic chairs in a hot room with many trophies and cheap looking “awards” and recognition of those who have sold the most on the walls and floor around you. This training is entirely unpaid, and depending on how many “potential” customers you give them on a list (30 is required while 150 is ROCKSTAR level…) they will designate you as either a favorite or never pay attention to you again.

    Because of the recommendation and the fact that I took notes and paid attention, the manager brought me and several others into his office at the end of the first day, saying that we were his go team and that he would be making eye contact with us and telling us special tips and things during training…I was proud and felt accomplished, went home with the manual and read the prices to my mother. She simply laughed and asked me if I had gone insane.

    Their “Homemaker plus eight table knives” set is over a thousand. They make it seem like less during presentations because the Wustof and Shuns sets they and you will compare Cutco too are the MOST EXPENSIVE, NON DISCOUNTED sets that are sold IN STORES, not online, If you look online you will see ,many of competitors products are reasonably priced, many under four and five hundred dollars. Unless you sell individual pieces (and if they refuse to buy at all you must call the manager in order to have him give them *discounted prices* so he can try to make a sale) This is not the case with Cutcos products.

    After my second appointment with a close family friend who I knew would not buy anything, I called the manager to clock out and report. He was vicious. He was condesdending and I have never been spoken too like that. My mother was planning on buying something at a later time, but after hearing the way that man spoke to me, that possibility is gone, and that is due to his lack of managerial skills.

    They play favorites, they quickly assess who will do the best and then focus on them, while everyone else struggles and eventually quits. I know a hell of a lot about knives now, I did learn a lot about life and business through the horrible training. But they expect everyones parents to buy these products immediately, suggesting that it will be a more comfortable client. However, many modern day parents dont have nor need thousand dollars worth of knives because like it or not, we are not iron chefs. My moms knives are not extremely expensive, but they have lasted six years and she can still use them just fine. There is no need to buy these massively overpriced sets, which they say have built in discounts. They offer payment plans, but there are hidden fees within them, which usually adds fifty to a hundred dollars per order.

    I am quitting as soon as the receptionist calls me to check in. I doubt I will see any of the thirty bucks I earned, but they have got to be accountable for something. His attitude and the approach the company itself holds is unnacceptable in my eyes,

  23. This is the biggest waste of 4 days in my life. After a long fruitless job hunt that dated back to April, out of absolute desperation I called Vector Marketing. I regret not researching it a bit more extensively first instead of just calling. I had received an incredibly nondescript letter from them in the mail about a month prior. At the time, it seemed pretty okay- $15 an hour? Not bad. I was greeted by a rather flirty receptionist who was probably hired off of craigslist somewhere who buttered me up and promptly set me up for an interview. So I went to the interview the next day, which was done in a rather odd format; we were talked to two at a time, and then our interviewer did a group presentation for us. He cut rope and pennies with Cutco knives. Wow, awesome. I guess it would be cool to start selling this stuff. The next day, I was hired. Of course I was. You can’t not get hired. I didn’t think this at the moment, though; I was just pretty happy to have landed my first “job”.

    Then… training began. Three days of unpaid 6-hour training. We met our district manager, a pushy, cocky little blowhard who made it a point to constantly remind us of how “balling” he was and all the crazy money he was making. He showed absolutely no appreciation of us as individuals, treated all our questions as if they were stupid, and cared about absolutely nothing but the almighty dollar, as I’m sure is the case with every other Vector manager. He would take notice every time an expensive car pulled into the parking lot, as if to say “oh look, someone has a rich family they can sell Cutco to.” After a long lecture from him about his life and how glorious Cutco is (another thing I’ll get into), we were told to continuously read aloud pages of the manual in unison like mindless drones, practicing our sales pitch. It was okay until the end of the day, when they told us to write down 100 people we personally knew who we could potentially sell to. I found this odd, but didn’t think much of it and pressed on, figuring it’s just some type of exercise to demonstrate how many connections we have, but just don’t realize. And as mentioned before, their blatant worship of knives and Cutco’s “superior craftsmanship” is downright creepy and even laughable at times. Managers would brag about their awesome Cutco products and how sweet their knives are and how they are the ultimate solution to anything ever. It was unsettling and truly a sign of evil at work. I hadn’t seen brainwashing this ridiculous since the whole Vemma thing one of my college buddies got sucked into, which is a different story for a different day.

    Day 2 of training is when things got ridiculous. Up to that point, I figured I’d be working at their office in a little cubicle just doing presentations to random people based off of the manual. No. They want you to prey on all your friends and family and sell them overpriced silverware they don’t need and don’t want. After being introduced to their little fast start incentive program which would give you rewards based on how many Cutco products you sold in ten days, oh boy. It felt like elementary school fundraisers all over again. I just sat back and watched the whole monkey-brain show as the assistant manager hyped up nights on the town, iPads, and trips to Cancun that no one could ever achieve and would be an absolute fool in trying to do so. Then once our manager started talking about making appointments with our connections and trying to knock out as many as possible, and that we make our $15 by the appointment rather than the hour, nope.

    Our manager constantly reminded us that the knives sell themselves, and implied that you are basically a failure if you cannot make sales. Wow, okay. Yeah, let me go sell $1,139 worth of knives to my mom real quick. Piece of cake, right? He would tell us little anecdotes about huge sales people have made, like when a representative sold roughly $3,000 worth of knives to his grandmother. That’s cool. I don’t have a grandma who can shell out 3 grand for anything on a whim, as I’m sure is the case with everyone else. It’s no lie that Cutco is a quality product, I’m just surprised that it’s sold through such heartless and dubious means. Vector Marketing does nothing but exploit; they exploit legal loopholes to get away with the exploitation of young adults and their families. I feel like I lost a great deal of dignity and brain cells for every second I spent at their little “office”. I feel like an idiot for even having enough of an experience with them to write this review, which could have been avoided with a couple of extra keystrokes and scrolls. I’m just glad I didn’t make a single cent for them. To everyone considering a career with Vector Marketing: unless you are a natural-born salesperson in Malibu somewhere with a bunch of rich friends and loaded relatives, steer clear of the snake pit.

  24. I sold Cutco in NJ in 2003 for 10 months. I sold $8,000 worth in my first month, hit $25,000 in sales in 5 months, and when I quit I was at $55,000 in sales. After $25,000 in sales, your commission is 50%. I once sold the Ultimate Set for $2,100 to an older Greek man who was rich and loved to cook and have nice things (he got his name engraved on the block), and I made $1,000 in less than 2 hours. I quit because of many different reasons, but one of them was the Do Not Call List craziness that people were very serious about for a little while in 2003 (in NJ at least). Even though I had spent an hour with one of their friends or family members, and they suggested I call them and gave me their phone number, they would still think I was a cold caller or something. Plus, my manager wanted me to become a manager, because they really weren’t making any money off me anymore. Being a manager would have been horrible. I basically sold the sh!t out of these knives for almost a year and milked the commission based pay as long as I could, then quit. I worked probably 10 – 30 hours a week, including an hour a night on the phone. I would say that Vector marketing is not a ‘scam’, because they sell a quality product. They rely on high turnover of sales reps, which is why people get angry after failing and say it’s a scam. I will definitely say that the meetings and trainings I went to were pretty awesome if you really listened and applied what they were saying. Motivational type stuff, but also self growth and persistence and hard work. I sometimes gave speeches at the weekly meetings, and a few times people told me I made a difference in how they were thinking. That was cool. I won some awards and still have a big Eagle plaque from when I hit $50,000 in sales, given to me at a big meeting in front of hundreds of people. Cutco knives are amazing, I wish I still had mine. Especially the scissors… I was amazing at the corkscrew penny trick!

    • Well I sold for 10 days , 30-90 minutes a day and made $150,000! Everyone commented how I seemed to be the second coming of Jesus, they were spell-bound by my speeches and I have tons of trophies and marriage proposals to prove it (the trophies and marriage proposals were given in front of trillions of people). That was sooo cool! The knives really are truly amazing, I wish I still had mine. Especially the corkscrew.. I have a neat trick I can do with the corkscrew but it might not be appropriate to post it here)!

  25. Repeatedly told by the “manager” (this term seems like a joke because they are not your boss–you’re just their customer) not to even bother trying to sell to “niggers” because they are too cheap to buy whether they have money or not, and because they are dishonest thieves and will likely rob me anyway.

    • That has absolutely nothing to do with Vector, and everything to do with that manager’s personal opinion. Vector does not promote ideas like that. However, there are certain demographics which your customers should fit into; that’s sales in general.

  26. EVERYONE CALM YOUR TITS! This article is very biased. It gives certain information as if it is fact without verification. Also, what I have noticed about people who dislike Vector, is that their opinions are based off of stories they have heard from a friend and/or from their week of totally reliable experience…lol. There are, however, some correct things here. But, like I said, it’s biased and these things are portrayed from a negative stand point. There are plenty of companies with managers that aren’t the best. That doesn’t make the entire company bad. You just need a new manager. Besides, the company allows new branch managers to run their office the way they prefer to run it. Which may not be the best way in your opinion. I personally have worked for Vector for about 4 months. And I quit only because I wasn’t doing well enough to see the benefit in staying. If didn’t have a car for most of the time I was there. But, the times that I did, I did well. But, that was my issue. If I had a car, I’d still be working there. The virtual demos just weren’t for me.NOTHING IS FOR EVERYONE. But the one thing that was very clear to me as so many people fell off over those four months was that, most people quit because they were working hard. You need to work hard for anything else you do in live. This is no exception. But, the reason I stayed for so long was because I LOVED the knives, the job, the experience and atmosphere. I learned SOO MUCH beyond how to sell knives. I learned about time management, self motivation, how to be professional, how to build rapport, the list goes on and on. Next time someone wants to throw Vector under the bus, make they are a valid source and know what they’re talking about. It’s really a shame that a few downers had to go and create such a bad name for such a truly AMAZING company. A lot of people are being cheated out of great opportunities because of lies and bad perspectives. People should really give Vector a chance and try and stick with it. You will learn so much that you can use beyond this one company. Now, what kind of a scam is that. You’ve scammed yourselves!…smh

  27. Why do all of these Vector apologists always come out of the woodwork when someone criticizes the company? It’s very cult-like, almost at Scientology levels.

    Yes, people can make money at Vector, but a majority of the employees will stop after doing presentations for a few family members, friends, and neighbors.

    Most of them are college students, so how can they find that many leads unless they drop out of school full time and go door-to-door down every cul-de-sac in America?

    There’s nothing wrong with making a sales commission, but just be honest.

    The job has a high turnover rate because most employees can only find one family member or rich friend who will buy something out of sympathy.

    Vector uses college students because they will make a quick buck for the company. It is a multi-level marketing scheme to some degree, because they are very expensive and they are not selling their products directly. The manager will receive a higher percentage of commission than the actual employee, and some higher-up will make more money than him.

    It isn’t a scam per sé, but it is certainly more like a multi-level marketing scheme than most jobs. It’s non-traditional, and it’s not an ideal position for someone who needs a steady paycheck.

    If you work at a minimum-wage job or in the school office, you might not make as much, but at least you’ll have a steady paycheck.

    However, if you are really gung ho about marketing, then Vector might be good practice. Just know what you’re getting into and don’t believe that you’ll be able to find an interminable list of people who will buy expensive knives from you.

  28. As a Vector Manager I like to think that I’ve been extremely honest with anyone who has worked with/for me in a sense that I haven’t had a single person not receive a pay check for every appt. that they do. In fact I just had a employee go from training and not sell a single thing in 7 demos. The base pay is $15.50 and I just entered in her $108.50 directly into her account and she was astonished. I simply replied that some people have a hard time starting/ IT WAS HER FIRST 2 DAYS. I did not expect her to be an expert on her first 2 days. She was astonished and grateful for how amazing it was that we have that base pay. Again, anyone who believes that this company is a scam believes so for a few reasons
    1) They didn’t work (crazy how that works when you don’t work you don’t get paid huh?)
    2) You simply have to make a 30 second phone call so the Manager can help you out and inform you of any specials going on to better yourself
    3) They had a unprofessional manager, there’s not much you can do to prevent that other than finding out that Manager’s boss and explaining the dilemma and I can guarantee that it will get worked out in your favor

    I think its a great experience for college kids to venture from their shell and learn better communication skills. I personally worked with a student who worked here all 4 years of his undergraduate and is now graduating without a penny of debt. (He also paid for himself to go study abroad in the bahamas for a semester) And to add onto that He didn’t sell more than 300$ to his entire family, yet he worked hard followed the programs laid out and is now over 200,000 in career sales and has one hell of a resume now.

  29. Umm, I worked for Vector Marketing for about a month and didn’t make any money.. this wasn’t because I lacked effort nor was it because I did not try hard enough.
    My best friend and I both struggled to see success with this company because of our location. First of all, the company slowly would add more and more information/ tasks for us as the job went on.
    Most of the reason is because customers in the area which we live simply didn’t have customers interested in spending $600-$700-$1500 on kitchen knives.
    There is no doubt that the product is nice and does the good work it appears to. But the fact that I lived 1 hour away from the office building for Vector Marketing made things difficult. Also most of the people from training group were successful because of their locations and they had even admitted that fact to me..
    Basically the downfalls were:
    -the company wouldn’t tell me everything I needed to know until I’d get so far into the job.
    -my location was just not high enough in society (just because a product seems perfect, doesn’t mean that every person is going to want to spend their money on that product)
    -to “move up” with the job, you don’t have a flexible schedule, you basically have to dedicate your life to scheduling demos.
    I completely am all for the product. I can even admit myself that some of the prices are not as outrageous as others. But the job overall comes down to something different than what you are told.

  30. I actually started working for Vector a couple of days ago. I can honestly say I’m just their for the skills and experience because this job provides no financial security at all. To me it’s just something to look good on my resume. $18 is just base for the holidays after that it’s actually $14.50. I think maybe if I was more interested in Cutco then I would have a different outlook on it. Yes, I want to make money but I also want to be secure while doing so. What I don’t like however is that I don’t get both my commission and base pay. I worked hard for both so I should get both. Other than that Vector is an alright company.

  31. I just had an interview today and was hired. The hiring manager seemed very odd in the way he presented his ideas and what the company was about. He seemed like a scab to start with. I knew it was a sales rep job so I already had an idea of what I was going to do(except I was hired) and I must say it’s great knowing you’re hired but it’s terrible because it’s for a false cause.

  32. All this talk has basically repelled me from Vector Marketing. It seems sleazy that hey don’t give a lot of their info up front, and it’s actually kind of disconcerting that they seem to have so many issues trailing after them.

  33. Ok, I literally just completed an interview at Vector a couple of hours ago. Some things seemed a little weird so I decided to look it up and found this as well as many other people’s complaints. I only know that when I first went to the interview the location and office was weird, it wasn’t professional but seemed cluttered and simply not trustworthily. I applied for a job at JcPenny and expected to be interviewed as a sales associate but instead he talked about knives for over an hour and how amazing they are, which they did seem to be. I thought $18/h was too good to be true and it really was since the interviewer talked about pay towards the end of the presentation and said it was based on your appointments. Though in the beginning he said it was $18/h. He seemed nice though and this was my first interview and job search so I was trying to really please him. I had to fill out something at the end, which asked for people who are looking for work and their contact information. I asked my cousin if this is common since she’s had many jobs and said she’s never heard of it. I was hired, being extremely happy because I was accepted and was on my way out. Luckily the president was chilling in the background and asked how I did and when I said I got it he congratulated me and shook my hand. He seemed okay though I found it weird that a president of a company would be watching the “duel interview” next to messed up papers, signs, and a old couch in the background. The whole concept of this doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest but I was happy to be accepted. Based on what I’ve read I don’t think they are a scam but i don’t think they are trustworthy or treat their employees properly. In the presentation he mentioned a lot of “rewards” and “titles” you would get in the company. (You may get a bronze “sticker”!) I felt like I was in kindergarden again. The other person who was their said they applied for a JcPenny job as well. The pay seemed good but of course thats if you can actually sell the knives, which many people cant (based on what I’ve read) because of the prices. I don’t recommend this to anyone but i do think it would be best to go yourself and at least go through training (or one day of it) and decide. Still, based on what I’ve read and what it was like…its too sketchy for me to take the risk or occupy my time.

    • Hahhaa they hire nearly everyone, and that feeling in your gut that something is a bit off and different is correct! Welcome to direct sales.

      All direct sales jobs have similar concerns. I think this business model is on the way out. I think the real shame is that good products are caught up in bad marketing.

  34. I’m not familiar at all with Cutco or Vector, but I wonder how similar its “cult” environment compare find at MLM’s like Amway or its partners. I was recruited once but quickly withdrew from it once I found that it was something I definitely did not want to do. To me, it was very off-putting with how they project “success”. The most important question to ask yourself before signing (as it was posed to me by then sponsor), is: “Am I process-oriented or driven just by results?”. If you have any moral or ethic concerns on the business, then it’s probably not for you.

    I recommend to anyone interested in learning about the cultural environments in an MLM, like Amway, to read Stephen Butterfield’s Amway: The Cult of Free Enterprise. Proponents of Amyway reading this may not appreciate me sharing this, as Butterfield was once one of their IBO’s who made ~$80k/year. If you’re considering joining an MLM (if Vector Marketing even qualifies as one), then I urge you to check the book out. Use your own judgment.

  35. I just had an interview with this company and I swear to God the girl looked like a hooker! I think this company might be a prostitution ring! Please young people do not work for this company. Don’t even go near them.

  36. Has anyone been told they vector was charging them with theft for not returning the sample kit on time. When communication was sent to them that when i got back in area would return. didnt reply three weeks later said theft charges filed. and very rude they were

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