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IPFW student discovers her knack for knife sales

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For information about Cutco products or becoming a Cutco demonstrator, call Ginger Hoade at 1-574-215-8347 or visit

Commission position has worked out well for 19-year-old

Monday, October 8, 2012 - 12:34 pm

IPFW student Ginger Hoade was tired of being low on cash and hearing her mother say she should get a job. So the 19-year-old hired on as a part-time sales representative for Cutco Cutlery, established in 1949. Not expecting much when she began her position May 18, Hoade found career potential when she sold $30,000 worth of Cutco products last summer.

Hoade heard of the job through her mother, who sold Cutco knives in college and has used her own Cutco knives for 15 years. Drawn to the consistent hours and starting commission of 10 percent, Hoade is now at the highest commission of 50 percent.

“It's a lot more money than working at McDonald's or Taco Bell,” Hoade said.

Hoade wants to use of some of her commission to take a trip with her mom.

Stephanie Weiser, sales development specialist for Vector Marketing, the exclusive seller of Cutco, said it has more than 40,000 Cutco representatives throughout the United States and Canada. “It's a great entry-level sales opportunity … and so great for college students,” Weiser said. “They decide how much and when they work … with breaks for finals.”

Some difficulties exist in selling Cutco, however. Other than the occasional cut from handling the knives, Hoade said, “You have to get a lot of noes before a yes … it can be an emotional roller coaster … It's a major downer when there are no sales.” Despite this, Hoade has gotten friends on board to sell Cutco products. Collectively, Hoade's recruits have sold $20,000, for which she gets a 2 percent commission.

Hoade was planning to move to Pennsylvania but said she's staying to continue her job, which helps pay her IPFW tuition. While she wants to continue her Spanish major, she said she plans to add marketing classes.

Some college students receive a branch to manage over the summer and the chance to win scholarships through their sales. Vector Marketing gives $100-$1,000 three times a year to top sellers through the All American Scholarship competition, Hoade said.

Initial training involved three half-days of calling potential customers to set up in-person demonstrations, giving practice demonstrations for family and friends, and learning basic sales techniques.

When Hoade gives in-home demonstrations, she has her potential customers test their current knife set with Cutco's to show the difference in sharpness and quality. A basic Homemaker knife set, including a carving fork and butcher knife, runs for $1,079.