Avoiding Job Scams, Part 2

These jobs are offered and run by real sales people, so they often look good. An atmosphere of great activity and enthusiasm is common, and everybody looks like they don't have a second to spare. Generally speaking these jobs operate from offices, or shopfront reception areas. The job ads are aimed toward 'funky, young, and fun' people, and read like they were written during a long lunch sometime in the 1960s.

The jobs involve selling:

  • Any form of merchandise.
  • Subscriptions to anything and everything.
  • Memberships for anything and everything.
  • Services like milk deliveries, cable TV, phones, etc.

Basically these jobs involve finding people to go scouring the world to find customers, for rock bottom pay. Commissions or 'On Target Earnings (OTE)' are the usual rates of pay. However, many people are not natural salespeople; sell nothing, and waste enormous amounts of time before they realize how futile the 'job' really is.

This barely even qualifies as real sales work, in terms of experience. It's not even at direct marketing level. If you went for a real sales job, you couldn't use this as a part of your CV. If anything, it'd be proof you had no real sales experience, unless they were desperate for sales people.

You're given some training, let loose on the public with your order forms, and if you sell anything, fine. This is really casual work, and rarely if ever does anyone make anything like a normal wage out of it. You'll hear rumors of someone selling well, and there may even be one or two people who do reasonably good business.

Ironically, for jobs that can barely deliver even a percentage of a real sales job, you also get all the joys of being badgered to do more, get better sales figures, etc. This is either sadism or play acting, but the fact is that if you're not selling, you'll find the 'fun' atmosphere evaporates pretty fast. One of the classic signs of a dud sales job is a very high turnover rate. Another is a lot of very frayed people looking like they're wishing they were somewhere else.

But, as anyone with sales people in the family can tell you, salesmen aren't normal human beings. Only about 1 in 1000 people is a real sales person who can make a living out of it. So the overwhelming probability is that any sales job of this sort is just interfering with getting a real paying job.