Vector Marketing, known for door-to-door Cutco knives. called-out a ‘pyramid scheme’ on TikTok.

@dinomulani/TikTok

‘i was just ab to schedule an interview’: Vector Marketing, known for door-to-door Cutco knives. called out as a ‘pyramid scheme’ on TikTok. Is it?

‘They rlly reel kids in.’

 

Jack Alban

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Vector marketing is being called out for its hiring practices once again.

This time, it’s happening in a viral TikTok posted by user @dinomulani, who used a Spider-Man- themed joke to call into question the company’s recruitment protocols.

The video, which has garnered over 38,000 views on the popular social media platform, sparked a conversation in the comments section from users who shared their own experiences in dealing with Vector, along with others who said that they were going to abstain from interviewing with the business now that they’ve done further research on them, thanks to the TikTok post.

@dinomulani #vectormarketing #pyramidscheme #highschoolers ♬ Spider-Man 2099 (Miguel O'Hara) – Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse – Daniel Pemberton

In the TikTok, the creator records himself gasping and covering his mouth in shock with a text overlay that reads: “Me watching the high school students get tricked into working for Vector marketing (I cannot interfere it’s a canon event)”

The clip is set to Miguel O’Hara’s character’s theme from Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, doubling down on the “canon event” reference from the film, which is construed as an important life-changing moment in an individual hero’s universe that mustn’t be avoided or altered. For if it is, it could potentially disrupt the fabric of that world’s reality, no matter how negative the ‘canon event’ is.

Vector Marketing, the company most known for selling Cutco Knives, has been the subject of numerous controversies.

A 2022 class-action lawsuit, which has been resolved with the company in California (according to Classaction.org), alleges that employees weren’t fairly compensated for “initial training time[s]” despite taking several days to complete.

“It was alleged that Vector Marketing was required to pay its employees at least the minimum wage for the three to five days they spent in their initial training, but failed to do so,” the report said.

Vector’s recruitment methods have been called into question previously as well.

A June 2019 report from West Chester University newspaper The Quad stated that there were several signs posted around campus with offers of student work that pays $16-$18 per hour, under companies that were subsidiaries of Vector Marketing.

The paper reiterates a common criticism of Vector’s business model: job seekers are lured in with the promise of earning a certain amount of money per hour and the ability to work on their own schedule. They’re expected to attend unpaid trainings as independent contractors and are urged to book sales meetings with friends and family members in order to sell them knife sets.

It’s this business model that has landed Cutco Knives a reputation as being a pyramid scheme, which is described as “a business model that recruits members via a promise of payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme, rather than supplying investments or sale of products.”

Fair Shake has stated that this isn’t the case with Cutco/Vector, as they are a Multi Level Marketing company, which differ from pyramid schemes in that there is no upfront cost for the applicant to become an independent contractor with the company.

Vector lost a number of legal battles throughout the years and lawsuits for their “deceptive” recruitment practices and lack of paid training, but folks who choose to try and sell knives for Cutco are given a loaner set in order to conduct demonstrations and are not required to purchase their own sets of knives. If they decided to no longer work for the MLM, they must return the knives back to Vector.

Despite the number of lawsuits in various states for unpaid minimum wages, Vector marketing is still in business, and is also still under scrutiny for its “predatory” tactics in recruiting high school and college students to sell its wares for largely a commission-based salary.

Another school newspaper, The Gazette at Western University, also reported on Vector’s hiring practices, stating that the company will not be allowed to return to campus in order to advertise job offers or head up recruitment with pop-up displays in the school’s atrium.

One commenter who saw @dinomulani’s post said that they were thankful to have come across their video, as they were scheduled for an interview with Vector: “i was just ab to schedule an interview but luckily im smart and looked it up on tiktok first”

Another said that they were hoodwinked into joining Cutco’s ranks with the company’s recruitment tactics: “can’t believe I was delulu enough to think I could sell knives to my whole neighborhood”

Someone else said that upon quitting Cutco during the training process, they were maligned by one of the brand’s employees: “I quit after the 3rd day of training and the girl in charge of the branch told me i’ll never be successful.”

Then there were those who said that they were quick to catch on to the company’s business model even during their initial phone call with them: “Mistakenly did a phone interview with them bc I thought it was a potential internship or something in college, figured that out real quick”

One TikTok users discussed the effect it had on their family dynamic: “flashbacks to when my brother sold door to door… i tried to tell him it was a scam”

In spite of the lawsuits against Vector Marketing for not paying job seekers during training, it would appear that there are still reviews posted online from folks who are saying they were not offered any form of compensation for attending Vector’s training seminars.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Cutco via email and @dinomulani via TikTok comment for further information.

 
The Daily Dot