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General Information

Recruitment into a Sales Crew

Teens are recruited from all over the country into traveling sales crews. Once recruited they are driven from state to state, where they are housed in motels by their manager, and put out to sell various products door-to-door magazines, cleaner, candy, jewelry, perfume, household appliances, and other non-brand items.

Teens who respond to newspaper ads that promise high earnings and excitement may be interviewed in a motel room. The recruiter offers little information about the job during the interview other than that the recruit will travel with an informal co-ed group, and make a lot of money.

Some crews don’t recruit in person, but through an 800 number in the newspaper. The recruiter, operating from a cell phone, may be located anywhere in the country. If the teen is hired over the telephone, the recruiter will authorize a bus ticket to the nearest crew location, which could be several states away.

Sometimes teens are handed recruitment pamphlets on the street, telling them to go to a nearby motel for an interview to join a “self-help” organization. Sales people even recruit teens that answer the door “on territory.” Sales people are told by their managers that they will get a cash bonus for every teen they bring in.

In any case, the recruit, who is promised travel and the possibility of high earnings, must leave right away. Recruits often leave town with no idea what they will be selling. They may simply pack a few clothes, leave a note for parents, and step into the van that is waiting on the corner. They could be several states away before the day is out.



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