Vector Marketing Review
Vector Marketing is a sales arm of Cutco Corporation selling Cutco Cutlery—a line of kitchen and hobby knives and scissors.
Cutco Corporation began with hundreds of smaller, detached sellers. However, it quickly came to the corporation's understanding that Vector was to be the most successful seller.
It generated twice as many sales as the other independent merchants between 1981 and 1984. Vector's success was becoming undoubtedly apparent, so the company quickly began replicating the arm's successful strategy.
Today, it's an MLM (multi-level marketing) branch which proudly states that 85 percent of its sales force are college-aged people. They supposedly hire without any requirement for prior work experience, while guaranteeing a base pay.
This all sounds like the dream job for a college student who's struggling with loans. However, when doing a quick search, bad reviews begin to surface about sketchy interviews and less-than-promised payments. So, what should we believe?
Vector Marketing Reviews - What Is Vector Marketing?
It is an independent retailer, focusing on recruiting students and selling Cutco products.
Vector came into business in 1981. Today the branch’s key people include: CEO & President of Vector West—Albert DiLeonardo, Vector East—Bruce Goodman and COO—John Whelpley.
Vector Marketing Reviews - What Does Vector Marketing Sell?
Vector sells Cutco's range of cutlery such as kitchen knives, scissors, cutters and tableware. But it also provides garden tools.
When reading its site, most of the focus is on Cutco utensils such as knives, which Vector states are the world's finest.
About Vector Marketing
Vector Marketing is a distributor for Cutco products, mainly kitchen knives.
It adheres to the parent company of Cutco Corporation which started back in 1949. At that time, it was under the name Alcas Corporation and was then owned by two brands, Alcoa and Case Cutlery.
A few years later, Alcoa bought out Case Cutlery's share and became the sole owner of the company. It quickly enlisted a range of independent distributors or sellers, one of which is Vector.
Vector sold the products mainly through direct sales where a representative would engage one on one with the possible buyer during home visits. To this day, home visits remain as Vector’s primary approach for generating sales, as well as recruiting employees.
Vector Marketing's Annual Income
Vector Marketing’s annual revenue is estimated to be around $41.31 million. This doesn’t make it one of the leading companies in America, but Vector is up there. Most of Vector’s success is probably due to the high number of recruits enlisted each year.
Vector Marketing states that it’s proud to be one of the largest employers of college students in North America - hiring high school graduates and college-aged people, even with no experience.
Once Vector representatives have accepted your recruitment, Vector will provide you with training. This involves sales techniques to acquire the skills needed to succeed.
Vector’s philosophy urges the aspiring sales force to come with an open mind and a great attitude, but also the will to work hard.
In many of the reviews, people allege that Vector Marketing reps forced them to attend unpaid training programs. These would supposedly last three to five days. Some say that the sessions were long, about seven hours, and with only one break.
By the end of that training program, in order to continue, many say they had to buy a sample kit of knives. This would supposedly cost them about $114. Other's allege that you could put a security deposit on it instead.
After many complaints, Vector changed this policy and is now lending the sample kits to sales representatives.
How Do You Join Vector Marketing?
You can apply for an interview to become a part of Vector’s sales force through its website. This is completely free, and it does state that you'll get paid commission each time you make a sale.
But the branch also gives promises of a base payment which you apparently will receive, even if no one buys the product.
In the past, Vector did claim to work directly with the colleges to enlist students for its sales force. Today, Vector is still working closely with some schools across North America.
On its website, it says that the recruiters are often seen on campus to promote and draw in potential sales representatives.
This is also something you’ll read in many of the reviews. Several online reports declare that college-aged people were recruiting them. The reps were walking around on campus, handing out flyers.
Nonetheless, Vector claims that some colleges do teach marketing classes according to Vector’s training programs. Students can attend those during school hours, then during the afternoon, they can go into the ‘field’ and sell Cutco.
The students who attend these classes will allegedly also earn a commission.
Another claim on the website states that having job experience with Vector Marketing on their resume will help students get other jobs. One bold statement says that companies supposedly place the resumes with Vector Marketing at the top of the pile.
Weekly Paycheck and Flexible Hours
Vector promise a weekly paycheck and flexible work hours. These are ideal when you're in college trying to manage a low budget and grueling study hours.
Vector will hire you as an independent representative. If you don't know what this means, tune your glasses. An independent rep is a liaison, between the branches for the bigger corporations and consumers.
They are not considered to be employees so they’re not eligible to receive the same benefits, such as health insurance or paid travel. Instead, they're seen as affiliates - or a person who advertises and sells.
On the brighter side, this means you can schedule your own meetings with clients and you can also choose how many during the week.
For example, if you want to plan five possible clients in one week, then you're free to do that. If you want less or more, do as you please.
However, on the downside, many online reviews claim that they drove around for hours on end, without getting paid. Some did allege that it was a waste of time and gas money.
Also, during the knife demonstrations, reps must cut up vegetables and fruits. Several reviews say that Vector did not provide them with these extras. So, students had to use their own money to pay for these things.
Vector does promise a base pay when you read the website. But in saying this, you must meet some requirements before being granted that paycheck.
Firstly, the client you are trying to sell to must be a 'qualified' customer. For that buyer to be qualified, he or she must agree to watch you do a demonstration of the knives.
Secondly, that guaranteed pay is about $13 per appointment. This means if you scheduled three meetings, but only one came through, you wasted your day for $13.
Many reviews claim that the knives are very overpriced, and unless you have wealthy connections, people will likely close the door in your face.
The students selling Cutco in the classroom have an opportunity to donate their earnings. One of which is to charities such as the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada.
Vector Marketing is proud to say they’ve raised about $225 million and fulfilled 13 wishes. Vector claims that this due to the students’ efforts.
Once you become a part of Vector’s sales force, other team leaders give you chances to advance in your position. Vector offers opportunities to lead your own branch over the summer if you do well.
You can later expand on this and become a full-time branch manager.
Vector stresses on the fact that it wants to help you reach further. Even if it's just gaining extra experience you can bring with you to another career.
Fun and Dynamic
Vector prides itself on being a brand of professionals, but without taking itself too seriously—promising a fun and dynamic workplace for its employees.
Vector Marketing does put a lot of focus on college students. The reason for this is because it gives the students an opportunity to gain some work experience.
What Can You Expect?
Basically, as a part of their sales force, you will do two things - call possible customers and reach out to family, friends or other peers to generate a sale.
There are some who do get lucky right away. But there are also those who waste a lot of time trying to succeed at this. It's really not a ‘get-rich-overnight’ type of thing. Vector also declares this on its site.
Those chosen to join its sales force must show dedication and willingness to succeed.
Vector Marketing’s compensation plan has for long been in deep waters. This was mainly due to the prices on sample kits as I’ve explained above.
But also, since sales reps aren’t reimbursed for any time spent for the company. Whether it’s while traveling to see clients, or during training programs.
Looking at its site, many testimonials do state that they’re receiving more than $1000 per week. Yet, when reading online reviews, most state that their earnings were less than $20 per week.
Bottom line is that it’s really a game of luck. It’s about being good at selling but also having connections. Not everyone is going to let a person into their house with a set of sharp knives.
Vector Marketing Reviews - Is Vector Marketing a Scam?
This is not easy to answer. When searching online for the branch, many claim that they did indeed make a reasonable sum of money. However, there's also a generous amount of people suggesting it's a scam.
When looking into details, it rings the alarm of an old-school pyramid scheme. They promise a lot but often fail to deliver, according to reviews.
Are There Any Lawsuits Against Vector Marketing?
This branch has, in the past and recent years, been involved in a couple of lawsuits. The latest claims that Vector Marketing allegedly ordered aspiring sales representatives to attend training sessions. These include three to five days of unpaid hours.
This violates a federal law called the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This law requires employers to pay for time spent at obligatory training programs.
Is It Recommended to Join Vector Marketing?
It has paid off for some people. Some claim they could repay student loans with the money earned.
But its rewards seem to be more beneficial on the short-term scale than from a long-term perspective. In other words, when you don't have supportive people to buy Cutco products, you're left without customers.
It may be a decent summer job, but not a lifelong career.
Vector Marketing Reviews - Summing It Up
Vector Marketing is surely not the worst thing out there. It made mistakes in the past, for instance by forcing students to pay for sample kits. However, this seems to have been redeemed.
Vector does provide its sales reps with real-life experiences and as many reviews say, it’s not something for everyone. You may get rejected a lot and that can wear on self-confidence. But if you can take it, this will only build on your experience.
Many talk about the fact that they learned a lot while working for Vector. The training programs did bring some benefits which several suppose they could use in other places.
Still, is it all good? No. As you've already read above, I do point out some negatives, and frankly, there are quite a few when you search for the company.
To make any money, you must spend a lot of time calling and reaching out to people. This is a normal part of advertising. However, some say that since these products are high quality, they are often expensive.
This can make them difficult to sell, so it’s not uncommon to get yelled at over the phone.
Vector Marketing is an old branch which has long been promising more than it could deliver. Their recruitment strategy needs improvement, too. It’s clear that this company needs to make some repairs and clarify what people are signing up to do.
Unfortunately, it seems as though Vector is mostly interested in recruiting as many as possible, regardless of how long they stay.
This is probably true, since new recruits sell the most products when they reach out to family and friends, i.e., during the first few weeks of working for the company.
So, is it worth it? From my point of view, you’re better off with another company who truly employs you instead of exploiting you.