Is Cutco a Scam?

Is Cutco a Scam? – Can You Make Money Selling Kitchen Knives?

Hey, welcome to my Cutco/Vector Marketing Review! Most probably, you have seen their job announcement, or even a friend introduced it to you saying that it might be a good opportunity to earn money. And you want to know more about it, maybe even wondering: Is Cutco a Scam?

I have spent 20+ hours to research this company so you don’t have to. In this article, you’ll find out what is this company all about, what are its products, and if it worths joining. 

Without further ado, let’s get into the facts right now!


Cutco OverviewIs Cutco a Scam? - The Logo

Full Name: Cutco Corporation

Type: MLM Business Opportunity

Cutco Website: https://www.cutco.com/

Year of Establishment: 1949

Price to Join: $0

Recommended? No


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What is Cutco/Vector Marketing?

Based in Olean, New York, the USA, Cutco is a privately-owned multi-level marketing company, often referred to as network marketing, direct selling, or referral marketing company.

It specializes in the manufacture of high-quality kitchen utensils as well as outdoor accessories. The company was founded by Alcoa and Case Cutlery, which further united into Al-Cas.

In 2009, Al-Cas has officially changed its name into Cutco, which is the brand name of the primary product.

Is Cutco a Scam? - Vector Marketing

When it comes to Cutco, you also may hear the name Vector Marketing which is Cutco’s sister company that markets Cutco’s products.

It’s done mostly through a team of college students, who are trained to do in-home and virtual demonstrations on a pre-set basis.


What Are Cutco Products?

Cutco specializes in the manufacture cutlery and a variety of kitchen utensils, cookware, as well as sporting, and outdoor knives.

Is Cutco a Scam? - The Products

Here are the main product categories:

Knives – this includes all sorts of knives for the kitchen (Paring knives), with different dimensions and blade types.

Kitchen Sets – this includes sets of cutlery and knives, plus cutting boards, block and sharpener.

Gift Sets – if you are on your way to a birthday party without an idea in your head of what gift to make, at Cutco you’ll find beautiful pieces like this one:

 

Is Cutco a Scam? - Gift Sets

 

Garden Tools – this includes all sorts of utensils that make your garden life easier: cultivators, transplanting trowels, weeders, bypass pruners, etc.

Sporting Knives – if you are an avid hunter or fisherman, here is where you’ll get your portion of balm for your soul: different hunting knives, fisherman’s knives, Lockback knives, pocket knives, etc.

Accessories – super shears, sharpeners, shear holsters, turning forks, carving forks, vegetable peelers, pizza cutters, ice cream scoop, cheese knife, potato masher, basting spoon, etc.

Storage – this category includes different wooden blocks for organizing all of your cutlery in one place.

Is Cutco a Scam? - Storage Blocks


Are Cutco Products Worth Their Price?

Cutco products are marketed as being of high-quality and those who have tried them, say that these are very durable and will last you for a lifetime.

Here is a demonstration of how easy is to cut leather with a Cutco knife in comparison with other standard knives:

 

 

However, I have also seen different opinions like Cutco knives would be too shiny which means that they are high in chromium, and therefore, wouldn’t worth the cost.

 

Is Cutco a Scam? - Lower Grade Steel

 

Speaking of the cost, by the way, it’s quite steep.

Here is a screenshot I have taken from their European independent office website:

 

Is Cutco a Scam? - Pricey Products

 

These are the prices for individual products.

If we look at their sets, the cheapest one is more than $300:

 

Is Cutco a Scam? - Prices for Products in Sets

 

Taking into consideration that there are definitely thousands of other good cookware brands out there, the price for the Cutco brand could be a hindrance to the selling process for you.

Just to give you an idea, these knives from the renown German brand Wusthof are much more budget-friendly:

 

 

Is Cutco a Scam? - WustHof Knives Prices


How Much Does it Cost to Join Cutco/Vector Marketing?

The good part about this MLM is that it’s completely free to join.

You even get your sample product kit for free, which used to cost members around $300 some time ago.

 

Is Cutco a Scam? - Free to Start

 

However, please note that once you start working with Cutco, you are going to be monitored by your supervisor or someone in your upline and if you’ll not make any sales in your first week or two, you’ll have to return that kit.

 

Is Cutco a Scam? - Free Kit is Actually NOT Free


How to Make Money With Cutco/Vector Marketing?

Cutco does have a few retail locations but the products are sold predominantly through their network of representatives.

They focus primarily on college students, assuming that this category has a lot of free time to sell the knives for them.

Whether you are a student or not, in order to make sales, you’ll need to hold in-home sales demonstrations, inviting people who you think might be interested in these types of products and showing how easy, fast, and handy Cutco products are in usage.

You can also take advantage of local events, like trade fairs, expos, etc.

Cutco is an MLM, so if you are not a newbie to this industry, most probably you already know that there are two ways to make money:

#1. Retail Sales

As a Cutco representative or distributor, you make money when you sell Cutco products.

Commissions could vary between 10-50% of the total sales you make. The more the sales volume, the bigger are your commissions.

For example, if you sell Cutco products up to $1 000 worth of merchandise, you’ll receive 10% commissions.

If you manage to collect between $6 000 and $10 000, commissions get up to 25%, so on and so forth.

#2. Recruit Other People into Your Team and Earn Bonuses from Sales They Make

This second method lets you earn money from other people’s efforts which is a true way to passive income in the MLM industry.

It works the same way as method #1: the more sales your group makes, the bigger your leadership rewards.


Does Cutco/Vector Marketing Allow You to Use the Internet to Build Your Business?

Since joining Cutco is free, obviously, you are not getting any kind of replicated website to drive sales or recruit new members through the internet.

Cutco uses old-fashioned sales methods which means you’ll need to work a lot in person with people, making product demonstrations and explaining why people need to buy Cutco knives instead of other brands.

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Is Cutco/Vector Marketing Legitimate?

Cutco typically targets high school and college students. Rather than a traditional one-on-one interview, Vector will often conduct group interviews in a sort of non-descript building.

Also, they don’t always tell people that’s a group interview either.

According to some testimonials I have found on Youtube, people are saying that Vector is even sending people to fast-food parking near their interview locations rather than giving them a real address.

Again, although it’s not illegal, it’s extremely shady!

If someone would tell me: “Hey, go to the KFC parking and then we will get you to the building to interview”, I wouldn’t go.

 

Is Cutco a Scam? - Shady Recruting Process

 

So, once you get there, assuming you’ve managed to even find the place, you fill up paperwork and get invited to the second round of interviews.

But this second stage of interviews is actually one of the giant infomercials for their products.

They’ll sit these teenagers down and sell them their products, convincing them how fantastic it is, how easy it is to sell them to friends and family, and make money!

Cutco reps have even resorted to posting chalkboard jobs advertisements in college facilities without permission.

 

Is Cutco a Scam? - Pushy and Lying Reps

 

So, is Cutco, or Vector Marketing actually a scam?

While it has a real product to be sold, it’s not a scam. But the tactics they use, make people feel like it really is a scam.

Even people who work for Cutco, admit that:

 

Is Cutco a Scam? - Even People Who Work There Admit That it Seems Like a Scam

 


Can You Make Money With Cutco/Vector Marketing?

To get an answer to this question, it worths taking a look at the company’s annual income disclosure statement.

This is an official document showing how much already existent Vector Marketing distributors are making on average.

Unfortunately, my search didn’t give any result in this regard so I’m not able to give you the exact numbers here as they are simply not available.

If you come across this kind of document, please post a link to it in the comments section to this post, I’d love to take a look!

Anyway, based on my previous experience reviewing MLMs, I can assume that Vector Marketing is no different in terms of the income distribution.

In MLMs, only people on the top are making a DECENT income, while others are working for peanuts or worse, lose their own money.

According to the Washington Post from 1996, “more than half of Vector representatives lost money rather than earning it. If they did make money, they earned on average, about 3 dollars a day”.

You may say that this is too outdated information but I don’t think something has significantly changed since then.


The Good and The Bad

PROs

#1. Free to Join

It cost you NOTHING to start your Cutco business.

There is no application fee to be paid and no Starter kit you need to purchase like in most MLMs.

#2. Lifetime Guarantee

Your customers are going to get a lifetime guarantee on all Cutco products they buy from you.

This should make the selling process much easier as there are hundreds of stories over the internet where people have had these knives for more than 60 years!

Although, this is not really unique thing that couldn’t be found elsewhere.

Almost any reputable company does offer a lifetime guarantee.

#3. Sharpening Services

If you’d like to point your customers to something unique that they could find only at Cutco, it might be their Re-sharpening services.

However, please note that there is a charge to be paid every time for postage and handling, which a lot of people out there could find uncomfortable doing every time they need their knives or scissors sharpened.

 

Is Cutco a Scam? - Re-Sharpening Services

 

There are special devices (like in the image below) people can use in the comfort of their own home without having to resort to sending knives to Cutco and support all the associated charges while having to wait a couple of weeks for the products to return back home.

 

Is Cutco a Scam? - Sharpen Your Knives at Home

 

Sharpening a knife doesn’t have to be that difficult.

I don’t know about you but sending my kitchen knife in the mail isn’t really something I’d want to make a habit out.


CONs

#1. Expensive Products 

I have already shown you what are the prices for Cutco products.

Even German quality Wusthof knives that been around since 1814 aren’t priced that high.

#2. Outdated Sales Tactics and No Training on Safeness

Vector, as we already know, encourages people to go door-to-door which is kind of the old-fashioned way.

This can be extremely dangerous especially for young teenagers who are the main target at Cutco.

I don’t know if you have realized this or not, but you never know whose door you are knocking on, what kind of person is going to open it, or anything could happen.

It implies a big risk.

 

Is Cutco a Scam? - Door-to-Door Selling

 

But Vector promotes this way of selling.

The problem is that they don’t teach or prepare for the scenario that they’re putting young men and women into.

You’re supposed to feel safe at work but how can you?

It’s one thing when you are in a group standing at the doorstep but when you are INSIDE a stranger’s home, trying to sell them knives, I would feel pretty uncomfortable walking into a  stranger’s house all by myself to make a demo product presentation.

And inevitably, and horribly, something tragic did happen in this regard.

In 2014, a Cutco saleswoman from Salt Lake City alleged drugged and raped while pitching knives door-to-door.

The man whom she was trying to sell the knives in her first week, offered her a drink and after accepting it, she lost consciousness but thankfully, was able to escape through his bathroom window after a time.

This could be avoided if Cutco did background checks of people whom they are sending their distributors, would have taught their representatives simple things as to how to protect themselves, including not accepting any kind drinks from customers.

If your job doesn’t tell you how to stay safe but instead, cares more about teaching you how to sell their products (2 out of 3 training days are dedicated to how to sell Cutco’s products), that says a lot about who they are as a company.

#3. Customer Service Could Be Better

Cutco couldn’t become the perfect company that doesn’t receive complaints from its customers.

The majority of complaints are related to their customer service which has a lot of room for improvement.

 

Is Cutco a Scam? - Customer Service Could be Better

 

#4. Beware of Lawsuits Around Cutco

In 1990, Vector Marketing was sued by the Arizona Attorney General for alleged deceptive recruiting techniques.

This lawsuit lasted 7 long years of legal procedures and ended up by a settlement that required Vector to reform its advertising of the compensation system in Arizona.

Another case targeted an ex-sales representative who appealed to the New York Labor Department to win compensation for unpaid training and formed a group called SAVE (Students Against Vector Exploitation).

 

Is Cutco a Scam? - Students Against Vector Exploitation

 

The lawsuits around Vector/Cutco are just too many to keep track of people. When your company gets sued 7 times over their business practices, you really might want to consider buying your knives elsewhere.

Why support a company that doesn’t even take proper care and supports its own distributors?


My Final Opinion About Cutco/Vector Marketing + A Better Alternative

With all the controversial opinions about this company, and so many people seeming to dance around it, I can’t recommend it as a good opportunity to make money with.

Cutco/Vector Marketing applies vague marketing tactics and spreads misunderstandings of what the job entails.

Remember you have to do training that you don’t get paid for, and they tell you that you’d earn a fixed hourly rate which is not true right from the start.

It operates under the MLM business model which is strictly commission-based.

With all the risks associated with those in-home presentations, I believe it simply doesn’t worth the effort.

There are way safer ways to make money which you can do without even having to walk out of your home.

One of them is blogging and affiliate marketing. This is what I do and I simply love it for the flexibility and freedom it brings.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article and now, you’ve got an answer to your question: Is Cutco a Scam?

Please feel free to leave a comment if you have questions, or just want to say “Hi!”.

I am moderating this website personally, and I would love to hear from you!

Otherwise, I wish you stay safe, and well, and I’ll talk to you within my next post very soon!

Natalie

Cutco/Vector Marketing MLM

$0
5

Product

6.0/10

Support

5.0/10

Business Opportunity

4.0/10

Pros

  • Free to Join
  • Lifetime Guarantee
  • Sharpening Services

Cons

  • Beware of Lawsuits
  • Outdated Sales Techniques
  • Expensive Products

7 thoughts on “Is Cutco a Scam? – Can You Make Money Selling Kitchen Knives?”

  1. I appreciate the honesty.

    Just the fact that its knives alone interest me, but now I know its not a good fit.

    I feel a lot of MLM’s these days are not good. The person that makes the most is the owner, and I’m sure a heck of a lot more than everyone else.

    Great review!

    Reply
    • Hi, Alex,

      Thank you for your comment.

      After reviewing a lot of the MLMs on this website, I have the same feeling that it simply doesn’t worth the effort.

      Cheers,

      Natalie

      Reply
  2. Sound like they need to do a lot of updating and drag their company kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

    I agree with the price issue there are a lot of other options out there that are cheaper and most can be bought at your local shopping mall.

    Very well written and researched I hope to hear more from you.

    Cheers,

    Kevin

    Reply
    • Hi, Kevin,

      Thank you for dropping by and your comment.

      I believe they need to reorganize totally to have a fresh start and reborn. Although, it’s difficult to wash out the bad reputation they have managed to acquire during the years.

      Cheers,

      Natalie

      Reply
  3. Hi Natalie,

    It’s hard to believe a set of knives cost that much while we can get the cheaper alternatives online.

    They aim to recruit teenagers to do a salesperson job which I leather the most when I know it.

    It seems that they don’t want to pay that much salary to adults but hire the youth for them.

    Another red flag for me is the lawsuit, and it shows that they didn’t pay teenagers for what they deserve to earn from Cutco.

    So sorry, I won’t join this business opportunity.

    On the other hand, I think your recommendation sounds so much better than Cutco. When everything goes online, we need to proceed with an online business to catch the trend.

    Matt

    Reply
  4. My whole family has Cutco and my friend is a Cutco Rep. He doesn’t work very much and gets payed pretty good commission. He’s made about $3,000 this summer. What he said is everything is virtual and he gets recommendations from previous customers. Also they try to get you believe that Cutco is the best product there is. Which their forever guarantee kinda helps accomplish that. Also, he told me that there are high-quality Wustoff and Shun brands that cost close to 2,000. So for high-quality knives it seems like a good deal. And there is also free replacement on any broken, or chipped knives and free sharpening (paying for shipping).

    Probably, there are better jobs for teenagers, but my friend said he’s doing it to get sales experience, build his resume and making some extra money as a first-second year college student. And also make some quicker money where it would take many months to make 3,000 dollars

    Reply
    • Hi, Grant, thank you for your comment.

      That’s good to know that there are some people who enjoy being a Cutco rep. I believe these are rather the exception than the rule.

      Cheers,
      Natalie

      Reply

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