Last night a young man that had just graduated high school gave me a call. This wasn’t a completely random call. A friend of mine had given this young man my number because I might be interested in helping him out. He told me he was competing for a scholarship and needed six people to watch and critic his sals presentation. This sounded feasible so I set up and appointment and then he let slip that he was representing this company CutCo.
Now if you know me and odds are you don’t then you know I don’t like buying from MLMs. I find them predatory, deceptive, and sell overall low quality products. I am in the business community and by being there I have to deal with a lot of MLM people that represent themselves as small business owners. They are just an independent business just like mine trying to make their way in the world. Closer to the truth would be they are the modern day door to door salesperson representing a large national corporation that is taking advantage of them.
I just don’t like MLMs. So, when I Googled Cutco and found it was an MLM that had been around for years and years I got an immediate distaste in my mouth but I had agreed and this was a high school kid that didn’t know any better which is the exact type of person the Google results said Cutco targeted.
As for the presentation itself it was severely lacking. After enduring a roughly 15 minute interaction of personal info from this kid he asked me to download the app. My phone told me not to and I probably should have listened but again I’d agreed to listen and so I downloaded the app. Then I got to watch a ten minute YouTube video about the knives and they sliced and diced. Had the strength to cut through a tin can and still sharp enough to slice a tomato and all that jazz any infomercial knife can do.
Let me tell you, I’m all for upgrading my knife set. My FabriWare knife set currently goes for $35 on Amazon and while it gets the job done it could certainly get the job done better. There is also the fact my wife has her own knife set and it is the one thing we have never combined. She has her knives and I have mine. We could do with an upgrade so I’m fully open to buying knew and better knives.
Here I was watching this presentation and then a detailed demonstration on the functionality of each knife and they were cool looking knives. Then came the deal maker or breaker, the price. This was sold buy showing a German set of knives and a Japanese set of knives. I looked up the German set on William-Sonoma while the presentation was going on. The kid said they sold for close to $4,000 and his Cutco knives were half that. The only problem was William-Sonoma had the best set of those German knives for $1,099 as did Amazon.
Here was a bit of dishonesty and I am certain the kid was just reading the slides and following a script so it’s not his fault but he had broken rule one. He had lied to me. No deal was ever going to happen now. The other thing is that’s the best set of the best brand of German knives. I could get either a different set or a different brand for even less. Something like $250-$500 and there are a lot of other brands out their that I am certain are better the FabriWare.
That’s the thing with all these demonstrations. They show their competitor knives can’t cut through a tin can and there are two problems with that, their competitor could be Acme brand knives and I don’t eat tin cans. I dice chicken, carve roasts, and sometimes cut vegetables. Maybe I’d do more with better knives but I don’t think I’d do much more. Especially that now is grilling season and I don’t cut the steaks before I grill them.
The presentation winds down with me continually telling the kid I’m not interested in his ever shrinking knife set. The lowest I’d have to spend is $150 for a butcher knife. While the best butcher knives on Amazon are close to that those are knives for literally butchering meat. You can get a very similar speciality knife on Amazon for around $70 which is a lot for a single knife.
After all this was done and I had turned aside every offer it was time to finish rating the kid. I was asked one question, rate his product knowledge. I gave him a ten despite not actually talking himself and just showing videos. After that question it asked me to upload my contact list to their app and check off any I’d like to send as referrals. I told him I didn’t have time to go through my list at this time and I’d do it later.
If you needed me to say it, I will. I’m not doing it at all. Watching this did spark curiosity in me and as I said we could use new knives. But after looking on Amazon and seeing 19 piece knife sets ranging from $19.95 to $1,099.00 I have the feeling this is something you have to see in person and getting to try them out would be even better. How do I commit to spend even $500 on a smaller Wuthof or $250 on a Henckels knife set. This is a complex decision and I’d really like to at least carve a chicken with one of these knives before committing to a full set.