Vector Marketing Scam | Cutco Knives Scam Review

Vector marketing review

Consumers hate them… don’t fall for their simple trick.

If you are between the ages of 17 and 24, you might have heard of Vector Marketing. They recruit students between these ages for “$12-20 an hour” summer jobs. Beware, we all know about things that are too good to be true… do you expect to get $12-20 an hour with zero experience? Read on to find the dirt on Vector Marketing.

About 2 years ago, my son was looking for a summer job and seen an ad on CraigsList that guaranteed $12-20 an hour jobs for students. The ad stated that you needed to be 17+ with a high school diploma or 18+ without a diploma. It did not include a list of daily activities and was very, very vague. The ad was more like a landing page telling my son to fill out a form and apply. If you’ve been working for awhile and are a professional, you will realize that a $12-20 an hour job with no real requirement (GED) is a little far fetch.

**[Update May 27, 2013] Vector Marketing is Trying to Manipulate You Online **

This post picked up quit a bit of traffic because our SEO man is very good at search engine optimization (SEO). He informed me to inform you of Vector Marketing’s “reputation management” campaign. Reputation management, long name “online reputation management” (ORM), is when a company attempts to drown out negative reviews on the search engines. For example, lets say the CEO googles “vector marketing scam” or “cutco knives scam” and sees tons and tons of *real* people stating how Vector Marketing is a scam. This is bad news because around 8,100 people google “vector marketing scam” every month. That is a 270 people a day! Wow, Vector Marketing must be scamming a lot of people! That number is obtained from Google’s Keyword Tool, a tool that shows how many people google which keywords (mainly used by SEOs and advertisers).

Click on photo to see full size. This is taken from Google's Keyword Tool, a tool that reports how many people search for a term.

Click on photo to see full size. This is taken from Google’s Keyword Tool, a tool that reports how many people search for a term.

So, to the CEO, 270 people a day are finding out the *real* image of Vector. That is not good for recruitment (read rest of post for why). That is 270 potential contractors who are not going to become workers. Because their business model involves having college kids selling to family and friends, this really means 270 lead sources are lost. That is a huge drop in advertising reach.

Therefore, Vector does what any other shady company does: hides their dirt. Instead of listing to the outcries and changing, they are only manipulating information. Below is a screenshot of the search engine results page as of May 27, 2013. The sites I highlighted as fake are sites operated under the purse of Vector Marketing. Do not listen to the claims on these website. Also, Vector Marketing has been posting in the comment section of this page as well as other pages online with fake testimonials. Basically, if someone seems to be *too* happy to be working at Vector, it is fake. (Why else are they taking their time to promote their employers? It is not like they are getting paid… oh wait, they are).

Watch out for fake reviews.

Watch out for fake reviews.

You Can Help Stop Vector Marketing Scam!

If you don’t want Vector misleading other people, you can end this by sharing this page on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and any other social networking account you have. Social signals are used by search engines to determine rankings and, therefore, if this post becomes #1, Vector losses ;-). If you have a blog, you can also blog about Vector Marketing and link to this post within the blog post. That, a backlink, also helps rank sites.

Now, back to the rest of the article…

When I read it my mind screamed BizOp. That is industry speak for business opportunity. It is a niche where people sell to other people the idea of making money. They get your hopes up on living the life you want and than feed off of your work. Or they sell you junk. Vector Marketing does both.

I told him what I thought about it and told him he should just go to the interview anyways (surprise, he got an interview… ). He might learn a few things about marketing from seeing how they work–like how they can get young folks motivated to work for them without telling them what they are going to be doing.

The interviews are all group interviews and that all the company has about 3-4 group interviews a week. The interviews had about 10 people. That is 30-40 new employees earning $12-20 an hour a week! Again, this sounds like either the company is 1.) a non-profit, 2.) super bad at finance, or 3.) a scam… the company says it has annual sales of over $200 million and is based in 250+ locations… if a company is that big, I’m sure they know how to manage their finances, so it is probably option 3.

Once you arrive at the nondescript business building, you will be given an intro on the company, Vector Marketing. Vector Marketing is the child of Cutco Knives. What Vector Marketing does is market Cutco products. You, the new sales rep, will go around and find leads, conduct in-home demonstrations, and sell Cutco knives.

What is Cutco Knives?

Cutco is an old US knife maker that used to go by the name Alcas. Cutco owns the Cutco Knives line, Kabar knives, Vector Marketing, as well as a few other companies. Cutco is privately owned and based in New York. Cutco makes pocket knives, folders, kitchen knives, machetes, balisongs, tomahawks, and a ton of other blades.

What is Vector Marketing?

Vector Marketing is a multilevel marketing company that sells Cutco Knives. You can not buy Cutco Knives from retailers like Sears–hence it is “exclusive.” Vector Marketing targets college students as well as recent high school graduate to sell knives for them. In my son’s group interview, the interviewer talked about how easy it is to sell to parents, relatives, neighbors, teachers, and friends. He paints a clear picture at how you can easily make money selling knives to people you already know.

You get a cut of the sale and, as you increase in sales, your cut increases. You also get a cut from sales done by people under you. What this means is if I tell my brother about Vector and he signs up and starts selling, I’ll get a cut of his sales. “Its a great way to earn passive income” they say.

The company also has cool things like trips to Cancun and scholarships. Wow, what a great job for a college kid!

How are Cutco Knives?

Cutco sells overpriced knives in my opinion. They use 440A steel which, for their three digit price, is very expensive. You can find 440A steel in budget knives at Wal-Mart.

What Cutco does that other knife manufacturers do not is that they offer free sharpening program. You can get your knives sharpened by the factory for as long as you want. This makes the 440A steel a lot better because, as I’m sure Vector knows, most people never both to sharpen their knives.

No matter how great the steel is or how amazing the kitchen knife is, it will need to be sharpened sooner or later. Kitchen knives are almost always made of stainless steel. Stainless steel resists rust very well but dulls quickly. Sharpening it will bring the edge back.

How does Vector Marketing Train Young People to Sell Knives?

First, you start with people immediately near you like parents and close relatives. You show them a 1 hour long presentation. You are paid a base rate of $12-20 per presentation. Yes, of course your relatives will sit there and listen to your 1 hour presentation.

The presentation will show you a $200 set of Cutco Knives (that the salesperson must buy with their own money). They often compare it to your kitchen knives. Most Americans do not sharpen their kitchen knives so the the brand new Cutco Knives wins by a long shot.

They than go into the Forever Sharp guarantee and a few other great sales tactics. Basically, the person is reciting what they heard from their boss.

If the target buys or not, the seller will ask for 10 referrals (What?! I didn’t even buy your product so why should I tell my friends about you?). Most people agree because they are too nice. Than the process happens all over again.

Why is Cutco Knives a Scam?

  • The scam with Vector Marketing and Cutco Knives is that you won’t make $12-20 an hour. That is the base rate for an appointment but most sales people do not take the base rate because that is like saying “I am inept.” Cutco feeds off of your desire to get a job and make money so that they can get you to promote their brand for almost nothing.
  • You also must spend $200 on knives. Have you ever seen a college kid who needed a $200 knife set? Or have you ever seen a college kid who cooks? Me either. They could of just give out demos to their employees. That is at least 10 appointments (or 2 weeks of work) for a new employee to break even.
  • You are using the niceness of your family. How can an uncle say no to a niece? That is how Cutco gets you to buy their knives. Most people don’t need a new set of knives (most people just need to sharpen theirs).
  • There is nothing special about their kitchen knives. Yes Ka-bar is one of my favorite knife brands but Cutco kitchen knives are overpriced. You are better off buying a professional knife set with the same amount of money.
  • You are not reimbursed for travel expenses. Yup, if you drive across the state, you won’t be paid for it and, for in-home sales, you will do a lot of driving.

Conclusion on Cutco Knife Scam

Don’t do it! If you are a college student looking for a part time job, I recommend you get a REAL job or, better yet, do something that will be a stepping stone for your career. It might not pay the best right now but, if you make $5,000 more a year after college because of it, it’ll be more valuable than any college job you could of gotten.

Real College Jobs

Good college jobs that pay well and are often overlooked are:

  • Lawn work. You can cut grass for residential and commercial properties. They are always looking for English speaking summer help. You will easily get 40 hours a week and a good tan. Look for places like golf courses if you want to earn a lot. I’ve seen ads for $12 an hour (as of summer 2012).
  • Kitchen work. You might need to start doing dish work but, after being there for awhile, you can move up to a waiter/waitress. Tips can earn you easily $100 a night. It all depends on your ability to befriend/flirt with your customers.
  • Pizza driver. $20 an hour at least, guaranteed. Most pizza orders are $20+ and, with a $2 tip and 10 stops an hour, you will get at least $20 in tips. If you want to make more, be a driver for a high end pizza joint.
  • Grow house. If it is legal in your state, work in a grow house trimming MMJ. One of the best jobs ever. Flexible hours and everyone is very laid back.
  • Bartending. This is the ultimate college job. You might need to start bartending at restaurants before you can move up to bars and clubs. Most bars will not hire people without experience. Bartenders can make $100+ a night in tips.
  • Lab work. If you want to work in the sciences like medicine, psychology, or chemistry, look for lab work at your school. You might need to be a volunteer at first but there are paid positions for students. It is a great thing to have on grad school resumes.
  • Donating plasma. You can earn $100/week for two 30 minute sessions.

Just be weary of stuff that say you can make a lot of money with little work. If that was true, everyone would be rich. Also stay away from unpaid “internships” at companies–they are just using you for free labor ;-).

  • Colleen

    I started with Vector when I was 17 as a Biochemistry major in college and opened my own office with the company by the time I was 19. I made tens of thousands of dollars, enough to graduate debt free… just from selling Cutco! This is not a scam. We don’t even have people buy their samples anymore; reps get to use them for free. Sorry that you or someone you know had a bad experience, but there is really no reason for you to try and bash the company when we have 65 years of experience and 16 million customers that know how wrong you are. I truly can not comprehend why you would even bother.

  • Peter coin

    My real world experience at Vector is the sole reason that I was just offered a job making 75k salary plus commission my first year out of school!!! BOOM!!

    In all of my interviews, not one person asked about my GPA, or other experiences on my resume. When they saw Vector, it’s all they wanted to hear about!

    If you’re a hard worker, and want to have success in life, get experience at Vector!

    If you’re looking for a 9-5 job where you don’t have to think don’t apply.

    I’ve seen a lot of people try out the job and I notice they leave for 2 reasons:
    1) they are more passionate about another job or school
    2) they are self-limiting, and have a victim mentality. (These are the people who say vector is a scam because they don’t take personal responsibility for their failures)

    Because of vector I’m in 0 debt and have a SICKK new job.

    THANK YOU CUTCO AND VECTOR!

  • DGB

    My son, who is about to graduate from high school, started with Vector about 3 weeks ago. We knew it wouldn’t work and he wouldn’t make any money but we let him figure it out on his own.

    He worked for two days. Five appts. When he realized it wasn’t as easy to sell as he thought, he immediately lost interest.

    He did not however, have to purchase his knife kit. He got a kit with scissors and four knives. Vector keeps emailing him to send it back or purchase it for $84. He did not receive his commission check Friday. After reading all the comments on here I’m thinking he probably won’t get it.

    • Ryan Long

      Hi @DGB:disqus. My name is Ryan Long. I’m the public relations manager for Vector. We came across your post and want to make sure that your son does get the pay that he deserves. Please email us at VectorPR@cutco.com or you can call me directly at 1-866-704-0682.

      -Ryan

    • DGB

      If he doesn’t get paid on Friday, I will call you – Thanks…

  • Tam

    Fyi this article is total crap. People… this company is just like Mary Kay, Premier Jewelry, Pure Romance and anything else like that. They just happened to create a strange marketing company which seems to have some employee issues and inconsistencies. They need to handle that if statements are true. Anyway, I don’t work for them, but I just had a newbie Cutco rep over tonight. Her first paycheck was $250 or so and that’s from her starting out commission of 10%. She is almost at her sales to be making 15%. And it goes up from there, but they don’t take it back just bc you had a bad month. Once you hit your commission increase you stay there. Also, just like the others how target to stay at home moms and people who may want a side job they can work with their life and schedules Cutco is targeting young adults. You know why? They are smart! They are an old company that was known in my Grandmother’s generation. They have to get in with the young crowd now before their name vanishes. Re-marketing a product / name is so hard when it has hit the bottom of its life cycle. Yes, I have a marketing degree. I also wish I had someone come to me with this when I was 17 like my sales rep today. I didn’t know her. I was a referral. She was not pushy. She wanted experience, got credit just for coming out, and I even purchased a ka-bar knife for my dad’s birthday which helps her with the scholarship program she is aiming for through them. I have been in 2 home sales companies like I listed above. None are as easy as this one. I am not saying that you don’t have to put in the effort to make great money bc nothing comes for free. However, she walked in with a notebook, her laptop, her FREE demo kit, the second largest block set they have (bc she one it at a conference for FREE lucky goose) but you don’t need that, a smile and great conversation. I would have to arrive 45 min early to setup after carrying my loads of crap in, help the hostess, entertain people I had no energy for, and then pack it all up after spending time with each guest getting cheap as crap orders and then still having to pack it all back up! Exhausting! So know your story before you slam a company and try to keep these youngins from working hard. Tell your lazy son that life isn’t easy and stop quitting. Tell him it takes 7 nos to get a yes and to get back out there and work for what he wants. So there. Obviously, this article ticked me odd a bit.

  • MINDY BILLINGS

    it’s just normal multi-level marketing, no biggy

  • VectorOppty

    A good deal of this information is outdated and the reviews lack a true understanding of marketing processes as well as the Cutco product. I can see you put more effort into it than a Twitter post, but still terribly misinformed and largely false.

    If you need questions answered correctly and truthfully, message me.

  • Nicole Dufresne

    I started working for Vector about 4 weeks ago. At first, I was kind of hesitant and thought it was a scam. The company provided the knives for my presentations, so I’d say if you have to buy them be on your toes because there are people trying to scam you and pose as Vector Marketing. Secondly, it’s a tough job. Sales will never be easy and it’s all about networking. If it’s not your gig, just quit. Don’t bad mouth a company for your inability to do the job. Thirdly, if you expect to get paid for gas or mileage, you won’t. You are an individual Cutco Sales Representative. Those things are tax write-offs and you’re not compensated for them because you are considered a private business contractor or whatever. Yes, some companies like Paul Mitchell Systems will pay you for mileage/gas, etc, but it varies. If you don’t like that or can’t swing it, again just don’t work for the company. The fourth thing is because you’re independent, you have to take the taxes out of your check. I think each office varies what they offer for base pay, though. I’m not 100% sure. I get $18 before taxes, but my commissions are 25%. The company pays you whichever is higher at the end of the week. You get out what you put into your job. This is my third job. I’m nineteen and have worked in a restaurant for two and a half years. I’ve made at least double in this past month than I make 3 months at the restaurant as a hostess. It’s not your typical job and it might seem weird at first. A lot of people quit because they don’t like it. Personally, I really love this job. The company rewards you for your effort. They have a lot of fun events like Cutco drawings, conferences, and commission promotions. I’ve already hit my third promotion and have a few pieces of cutlery to own forever.

    I guess if you’ve had a bad experience it makes sense to write a bad review. But for anyone interested in hearing more about my positive experience with Vector, just comment on this.

    • The Spartan Woman

      No darling , get it right , it’s not an inability to do a job , a scam is a scam , no matter how smart or slow you may be to sales and marketing .

    • Blade The Cut

      personally, i dont think its a scam. it may be the hardest job ive ever had in my life (and ive worked as an electrician, so traded in getting shocked for cutting myself lol), but if youre willing to do the hard work, it will work out in the end. only been here 3 weeks and have had to bust my ass. and yes, it is an “inability to do a job” because some people dont want to spend the time and energy making the appt, they just want to do the easy and fun part which is selling the knives. my friend that i started working with quit cuz he was expecting instant results with little to no work.

    • Jeremiah Carington Payne

      I just got hired today a Long with a friend. Just like i saw in one of the previous artícles , the manager was more focused on the applicant that was envolved with sports. I was 1 of 4 applicants. Everyone was hired at same time basically. I just want a better understanding

  • Adaar

    Huge scam. Got told myself by a Vector Rep “We charge so much for the knives because we don’t make a lot off of our sales reps.” Didn’t even get my supposed $14 per appointment for the six I had called in. Nothing anyone says will convince me this isn’t a pyramid scheme.

    • Blade The Cut

      did you have the customer fill out the verification form and did you turn the form in? -_-

  • Jaclyn

    One thing that you failed to mention and they fail to mention is that if you don’t get a sale in a week, you don’t get paid. For example, if you have 20 appointments in one week, but nobody buys from you they just won’t pay you. I asked about it, and they completely glossed over it by saying that the product is amazing and someone will always buy. Holy cow, apparently Cutco knives are crack.

    • Blade The Cut

      Listen bro-etta, i dont know where you got those facts, but they arent true. I only know people who are poor as shit and didnt sell any knives for my first week and a half….still got paid for all of my appts though. i have started to realize that people, like you, who post hate-comments do so only because you or someone you know couldnt make it as a sales rep cuz you/friend didnt want to put in the hard work or you were expecting instant results. so what you or your friend does is twist the facts slightly and then post comments like these for a reason i have yet to figure out. but dont worry, detective Blade will find out whats the stick in your craw lmfao.

  • Mercedes Kelley

    I work for CUTCO and it is amazing. Nothing beats this job. Its great for a part-time/side job and there are amazing incentives. Bad reviews are probably from those who aren’t sharp or dedicated enough for direct sales. The job is not for everyone but it is certainly still a job and requires hard work.

  • Charles Mills

    Your fucking retarted. Tell my $2,000 weekly paycheck that I am a scam. I make money because I work hard and am good at what I do. I have also learned invaluable people skills that most kids my age will not learn until their late twenties. And almost all of your facts are false. Fucking faggot

    • Charles Mills

      It’s people like you who make our world so pathetic and and everybody settling for jobs hat are below their potential

  • Blade The Cut

    basically everything i was gonna say has been said in other comments already, but i noticed something was missing so ill just tell yall that. first, been working for vector for 3 weeks. is it hard? hardest thing ive ever done (and i just went through 12 years of grade school 😉 ). but you know what? if youre too, and forgive my french, pussy to dish out some hard work for results, then no, this isnt for you. but with people saying that they “lost money”, everything you buy to help you with your demos (i.e. fruit/veggies to cut up and gas spent driving to appts) is all tax refundable. just hold on to your receipt from your gas bill or hold on to your publix receipt and, come april, all that money you spent on the company is refunded to you. if you are wondering what else this wackadoodle dad with a hard-on for dissing a company thats been around since 1949 has gotten wrong, just scroll the comments. this was the only other fact this bozo talked about in his misguided and misinformed rant that i didnt see anyone else cover. btw, my name is just a coincidence. this is my username for everything, youtube, xbox, gmail. so yea, not promoting. just informing the misinformed.

  • Rick

    I do not work for Cutco or Victor, but this article is full of lies and it angered me to say something.

    I am a professional knife sharpener. I do live demonstrations all around the U.S. And sharpen everything including a lot of customers knives. I have seen more different types of knives then probably 95% of the population including old vintage knives to brand new and specialty collector’s knives. I am always impressed when I get get to sharpen a Cutco knife.

    While it does take about twice as long to sharpen them, this is only a testament to the quality of the steel and once they are sharpened they stay that way forever or at least until they are mistreated. The steel in Cutco is comparable to to knives that would sell for 5x what a Cutco sells for and the blade profile is a perfect balance of a strong spine and a thin edge angle. To say that you could get a comparable knife at Walmart makes it obvious that the writers experience is very limited and I would seriously doubt the credibility.