Scam jobs

I’m talking about the kind where people walk door-to-door selling stuff, literally.

I’m out of a job and need a source of income bad. So I came across an ad promising a base pay of $420 a week. I called it and the next day they got back to me. The past three days I’ve sat in the training where this gorgeous girl talks about how easy this job is and how you can literally make a thousand dollars a week by selling vaccuums. :rolleyes:

Yeah right. It’s obviously a scam.

But is it really? I mean someone’s gotta be making money if they’re doing this. And, these managers say they’ve made a lot of money doing it and they started where I’d be at now. So actually the only obvious thing is that this works for somebody.

After reading the contract though, there’s some catches. What they call a qualified presentation has to meet some standards and if you don’t meet them they don’t have to pay you.

So it seems like a gamble to me. Chances are it’s not going to work and you’re not going to get anywhere and make any money. But you can get lucky and actually make a good living out of this type of thing.

And I went to college for this!!!:smack:

Anyways, whats the dope consensus on these types of get rich quick schemes? I’m sure people have experience with these types of jobs and maybe even some inside information on how these organizations work. I got the weekend to think it over, PLEASE, help me out so I don’t make yet another bad decision.

A qualified presentation probably means that you get to do your full spiel - all two hours of it. I fell for having a vacuum cleaner presentation once, and that jerk was in my house for hours, and wouldn’t leave when I asked him the first time (I didn’t ask the second time).

Some door-to-door selling isn’t a scam; I put myself through secretarial school selling charity calendars door-to-door in the evenings (it was a legitimate campaign for a legitimate charity). It was no $420 per week, but it was enough to pay the rent and feed me.

Yep, qualified presentation means it has to be at least an hour. Among other things.

Somebody is certainly making money at this operation. Which means somebody else is paying money.

Guess where you fit in?

Well no Little Nemo, I wouldn’t go that far. I’m not putting any money into this, the most I have to give is my gas and time. Actually, thinking about that yeah I do see a little more where I fit in.

It’s easy for people who have natural sales ability, and while theoretically you can make the big bucks, in reality you almost certainly won’t if you aren’t blessed with said ability. No doubt this gorgeous gal has the ability, and is now using it to sell the notion that this is a great job to folks like you.

I did a tag-along for a day with a door-to-door sales company (under the guise of a full-day interview). They sold much cheaper stuff than vacuum cleaners, so their angle may be different from your prospective employer.

As far as I could see, the scam was that they used your labor, your car to get you to the sales area, and took a huge chunk of your commission, all at zero risk to them. If you didn’t sell anything, you got nothing. Plus, they quite clearly gave the better routes to favored employees and gave burnt-out and worked over sales areas to the people they didn’t care about. Some people were making money, but a lot weren’t making much.

You could make money, it just isn’t a very stable source of income. At the company I was at, there was no one over 30 except the main boss. People that young couldn’t see that they were being used for their free labor and that they had no future or long-term prospects at the company.

See Erdosain, they at least promise a base pay of around $420 a week. So long as you complete 3 qualified presentations a day. Also, they group you into teams of about 3-5 and they drive you around in their vans all day. Honestly it seems the most you have to give is your gas to their office and your time during the day.

Yeah, that means that you have to, every day for a week, get 3 people to each spend a whole hour listening to you in a neighborhood that 2-4 other members of your competition will be hitting hard. They’ll probably drive you around from dusk till dawn, and I suspect you won’t get meal breaks. For $420. And then do it over again the next week and the following.

If it sounds too good to be true it is.

I am almost sales-proof but I did agree to go through a demonstration for Cutco knives once at my house because it was for a college student that was a friend of a friend three times removed or something. I made it perfectly clear that I wasn’t going to buy anything no matter what he did before I let him come over. I don’t think he quite believed me but I was serious. He was nice enough but I was watching my toddler daughter at the time so I just let him keep talking as I did other things. He finally believed that I really wasn’t going to buy anything when he asked me to open my own knife drawers for a comparison. My ex-wife is in the gourmet food business and everything in the kitchen is top of the line and given mostly as expensive gifts and demo products. It was funny to watch his eyes get big as my knives beat his in challenges like cutting thick pieces of rope.

I finally just got him to help me chop a bunch of vegetables and meat to make dinner to fill his time quota. He said he got paid $18 just for showing up and doing a demonstration which isn’t that bad. Businesses like Cutco are legit in a way. Their products are real and are of reasonable quality but they tend to be horribly overpriced. The entire idea is a little shady and maybe demeaning to the salespeople but you can make some money and develop some skills by doing it. It may not be a complete scam and could work in a way depending on what your goals are. Some people just want to make extra money or learn how to do hard-selling and that could be a good fit for a little while.

In college I actually worked a couple of jobs somewhat like this. Yes, the economy was also bad then. I am, apparently, one of those people who are reasonably good at it, since I was able to make better than minimum wage. However, it was probably more miserable than many minimum wage jobs. Also, it doesn’t look good on a resume, although I will say it does teach you some useful “soft” skills if you pay attention. Selling strictly on commission focuses the mind and is in some ways a better teacher than an internship where people blow sunshine at you for creating a PowerPoint.

The people who are above entry level in this kind of organization are usually about halfway on the wrong side of the law. Your coworkers are also likely to be a very interesting group.

If you are extremely clean cut, not prone to getting discouraged (facing each day with a positive attitude is essential), and know you have a knack for sales, you may be able to make minimum wage or a little better. Still, I don’t recommend it in the face of any viable alternatives.

If you have the skills to succeed at this, and a clean criminal record, you can succeed at a lot of other things with the same amount of work. If you are willing to try selling strictly on commission, you are better off looking at something like cars or furniture where there is at least some infrastructure around the job.

You know it’s funny too, they say “people are going to try and discourage you from doing this.” However, I’m sure it’s with good reason.

I knew a guy who did this for a couple of years (Yep - your heard right, that was years), I believe he worked for Blue Max or Silver King or something like that. The vacuums cost upwards of $1k (but I believe they were less than $2k - this was in the early nineties) and were a very good product, he was definitely a believer. He made pretty good money, more than I did at the time, and he did not seem to work too hard (maybe 50 hours a week tops). He was a natural born salesman, he could talk you out of a kidney if he tried. Nice guy.

I remember that I thought my friend must be scamming old people to get them to buy vacuums for $1,500 or whatever it was. I mean, why would anyone buy a vacuum that cost that much? Then, 3 years ago I bought a $900 vacuum (a Miele) and would never go back (no that this thing is going to break anytime soon - it has a lifetime warranty). My wife and I went through 3 ~$150 vacuums in as many years and I just got sick of it. I would have bought one of those Blue Max or whatever they were. It made me laugh to remember it…

I would venture the reason is that 90+% of the folks who try this type of sales do very poorly at it. It may work out well for you, but it doesn’t for most people.

I did this job for awhile. Its really hard to sell 2-3 a week, but some people were selling 2 a day on average. It was a while back but they made 150 per sale and were doing very well. I sucked at it and managed one a week until I got tired of doing it.

I did this for a summer. I don’t recall any of this guaranteed income or qualified presentation nonsense. It was a commissioned sales job. If you did X number of presentations per week that would on average net you Y amount of money. It’s a crap job, but it’s not a scam.

Being a good salesperson helps. I’m not a good salesperson. I just desperately needed the money to get through college and there weren’t any better jobs around. I sold on average about 2 or 3 per week and made a bit more than minimum wage by the time you factored gas and other expenses into it, so it beat the fast food jobs which at the time were my only real alternatives.

If you don’t like sales, the job sucks. Plain and simple.

The really good salespeople, those with the slimy personality of a used car salesman and was willing to work 12 hours a day, did make the money they promised and then some. So it’s not a scam. Most of the folks there were like me, desperate for work and not 100 percent dedicated to the life of a salesman. We made much more average incomes. There were a couple of the “big hitters” in our office, about half a dozen that were more like me, and a couple of losers who didn’t last long and didn’t make anything either.

We also had to deal with a nice video and pep talk every morning. :rolleyes:

Was it Kirby? I walked out of their presentation the minute I saw that thing come out. They had me there under the pretense that I’d be managing a sales force that sold cleaning products. I wasn’t the only one to walk out either.

I learned my lesson after selling ADT security systems door to door for a summer. Even when I could convince someone to buy one, their credit would rarely get approved. I tried to quit that job several times, but the manager wouldn’t have it. At one point I screamed at him that I needed to pay my &&$^ rent. He asked how much my rent was, then handed me the cash. Desperate times I guess. That job was %100 commission too, no sales, no pay. Man that sucked.

The best place to sell security systems are to the folks who aren’t home.
Just leave a brochure on the kitchen table or in the bedroom. :smiley:

Seriously? I got an adt system, not door to door, and I don’t qualify for credit at all. It sucks big time, many false alarms and now its broken.