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 ;-).


  1. I have been working for vector for awhile and i havent had to pay any money for my set plus i have won plenty of free knives for just my first week of sales, its not a scam at all… some people are just butt hurt cause they couldn’t do their own job or they didnt really try to do it

  2. i absolutely love selling cutco.. idk what yall talking about but i didnt have to pay anything to work for them. i make $16 pr appt and 15% commission.

  3. i work for vector. my boss and i make bets all the time and ive won almost everything cutco has. theyre great. ive sold over 30k and what does that mean? i make half of everything i sell. GUESS WHAT? i sold $4000 this week. so you can go ahead and kiss my $2000 check on friday you idiot.

  4. I dont see how this is a scam. Yes, it is door to door sales. Personally its not a job I could ever do, but there are folks who are natural salespeople and will excel.
    We bought a set off a friends daughter. They are heirloom quality. They not only offer free sharpening but also guarantee all knives for life with complete restoration or replacement. Not your life, the life of the knife. I can pass on my set to my daughter in 25 years and they will be like brand new.
    For a serious cook, they are nice sets.

  5. I hope anyone reading will notice how professionally the people that write in support of Vector express themselves.
    Professionalism is one of the many skills taught by Vector.

    I worked with the company from 1987 to 1993. I worked with many, many successful students including one (Allison) who earned $50,000 in her first full year while taking 18 hours per semester plus summer classes. Like most jobs, there were people that had moderate success and some that failed completely.

    While I would rate my success with the company as moderate, I can tell you that the company gave me superior sales skills to carry with me into higher ticket item sales. With that training, I was blessed to perform at a level that allowed me to retire comfortably at the age of 47.

    So for those of you that believe in yourself, understand that there will always be detractors (haters) when you work to better yourself. They act this way out of jealousy or ignorance. There are plenty of intelligent people that, while acknowledging the job is not for them, will still be supportive of your efforts and happy when you succeed.

  6. I Work for Vector Marketing and I can ease your worries because it is not a scam. At first I thought it was, $15-20 base pay, flexible hours, no experience necessary, I mean it seemed too good to be true but I tried it. I got accepted and I have currently been on the job for 2 weeks and 1 day lol. In that time I have made 12 appointments and 8 sales. It teaches you communication and sales skills which are very marketable. I also have another job and since vector is flexible because I go by appointments that I schedule MYSELF, I know when I work and when I don’t want to work. They start you off with a sample kit which allows you to go on appointments and do your presentation btw it is FREE. I haven’t had to pay for nothing but a weekly metro card which is understandable. Sure Vector Marketing isn’t a 9-5 set hour job but it sure is fun because you decide when you feel like working and still get paid. As for people who purchase Cutco, that is not a scam either, when I go to a person house and they decide to buy something from me I either have the paper receipts or I would do it online on my account, I do both just to please the customer.

    For those who want to apply, do so, you’re young, have fun while working, don’t stress over having to wake up early & what not.

  7. Im confused. The author of this site doesn’t even really state why he/she/it believes Vector is a scam. I would assume they got pissy at this company because their kid misinterpreted what they were told in the interview and wasn’t a hard enough worker to actually make it in the sales world.

    If this page was current they would realize Cutco no longer asks representatives to pay for their kit. They can simply borrow it and return it when finished working.

    P.S. Cutco does not sale tomahawks, or machetes.


  8. I can discredit every single “scam” reason he stated

    1) You decide how many appointments you want to make, whether that be 8 a day or 2 so they tell you how many you get to make. I fyou are lazy then you are the one who is whining saying you do not get paid enough because you do not want to put in any real work, you just want to show up an get paid to do nothing.

    2)I do not know why you are making up that you have to pay $200, You get your starter set ( 4 knives, cutting board, vegtable peeler, and super shears) FOR FREE!! you can buy more of the knives if you want to but you do not have to. So there are no costs because you get all your materials (rope, leather, etc) FOR FREE as well

    3) There is no such thing as “using the niceness” of your family, in fact, during my time on the job, my family is the ones who bought the least. They may make an appointment with you out of niceness which there is nothing wrong with that, but no family member spends hundredds of dollars out of niceness to buy knives, they buy them because they love them no matter who is selling it to them.

    4) Obviously you have not done your research very well. Any set of knives that comes close to quality of Cutco costs atleast twice as much if not 3 times as much. And to bew the one who says there is nothing special about the knives is the real scam. They for sure last decades longer then your “walmart 440A” By the way, there is no other knife that uses 440A so do not try to scam people into helping believe your “facts.” And if it is such a scam why does no one send the knives back during the 15 day grace period saying they can send back the knives for free? Possibly because they actually really like the knives?

    5)And you are reimbursed on your travel expenses. Because you are driving for work, you can write off your gas expenses on your taxes which means if you log your miles, you get 55 cents for every mile you drive. You should research a little better

    And to add to the rest of this article. You get $15 every appointment, so 2 appointments a day, literally 3 hours out of your day, you can make over $200 sellling NOTHING. And most likely you will sell something out of that which means you get PAID EVEN MORE. So making money is all uo to you. If you want a job where you want to sleepand do nothing work at McCdonalds, but it is called WORK for a reason, you ahve to get up and make calls, go to appointments, work on your presentation because that is what work is!
    And for current and potential Cutco owners, the knives qualities exceed even the most expensive set of knives 4 times their own price. Sure they are not a $50 set, but that is because they come with A legit Forever Guarantee and highest quality look, material, and results.

  9. its not a scam at all, sales isn’t for everyone so people do fail (just like if they fail at sport because its just not for them)the reason there sold they way they are is to cut out the middle man and your not going to find that good of steel in a bucket at walmart there very high quality and just like anything else you buy you should also look at the value not just the price. and if you were to recommend someone like a friend to work with you yes you do get a small insinuative but it doesn’t affect there paycheck you clearly haven’t done enough research and know little about cutco/vector

  10. Recently my job of 10 years closed because a land developer bought the building. So I started job hunting right away and one of the posts on career builder was for a customer service/help desk. So I sent the resume and at the end it said “call to schedule an interview” which I also did. The woman on the phone asked me various questions about working a customer service field and then asked if I could come in for an interview and to fill out papers, so I took what little money I had left thinking I at least had a good shot at some sort of job, and drove the 150 mile one way trip to this office. It was then I finally saw the business name for the first time. Soon as I was in the interview I was watching someone trying to sell me Cutco knives. So I am not knocking the product, and it may be possible to make some money doing it, when your in your upper 50’s and one of the last living members of your family, you don’t have a lot of “family” left to sell to. The bottom line is as I was leaving I realized I just blew up 30$ worth of gas I would never see a return on and I got played.. The customer service / help desk was an outright lie to get me in the door and the person I met with just made some money for doing a presentation. No matter how you slice it, they flat out lied in their job posting by hiding the actual business name and product until you actually get in the office.

  11. Just FYI I’ve been working for this vector marketing for a couple of months now. I’ve sold over $10,000 worth of knives in a state in which I just moved to and barely know anyone. This job is not hard and it is not a scam. The company stands by what it says it is going to do. Our flyers say $16 per appointment not per hour. And that’s true. They also explain in the interview that once you make over the base pay from commission you only get the commission. Working here is a great opportunity you can advance quickly if you work hard. That is all.

  12. The knives are great but I ordered a set and got the price I would be charged and was charged 246.34 more than quoted price. I think this is very underhanded and would tell people not to deal with cutco

    1. I just started working 3 weeks ago, but I can still tell you why you were charged more. The sales rep put the order in wrong. It happens to EVERYBODY at some point in time. All you have to do is just call customer service and they will sort everything out. Trust me, ive put an order in wrong once, but they fixed it. It wasnt Vector or Cutco, it was HUMAN ERROR, an honest mistake. The alternative is that the rep quoted you the wrong price on accident. Like I said, could happen to anybody, ESPECIALLY a HS student who’s new and is just learning.

  13. Haha. A lot of this is true but i joined and they dont make you pay for your set anymore.
    It sounds like the author of this got the interview and got the first training day but couldnt bring himself to drag his lazy carcass to an actual day of work. Rather, he would prefer to flip his mcchickens at his minimum wage job taking him no where in life. And when he comes to his mom’s house he complains about why being an adult is so hard. I dont hope you receive anything you did not earn.

  14. Having read this I believed it was really informative.
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    together. I once again find myself personally spending a
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    But so what, it was still worthwhile!

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