...Over a cup of coffee, she introduced herself as Tysharia Young and tried to do what she’d come to do: sell me overpriced magazine subscriptions. It was not the first time someone had knocked on my door for this purpose, and I was sure it wouldn’t be the last. Gainesville has had such issues with magazine sellers that our local police department recently issued a public warning.
Young came armed with an official certificate stating her company’s mission. According to the paper, Certified Management Incorporated was dedicated to helping youth and other troubled souls get off the streets by giving them the opportunity to sell subscriptions door-to-door for points while the company provided room, board, and food. The workers get placed on “crews”—teams of four to 12 people—and travel across the country, canvassing neighborhoods. At each door, they tell residents their personal stories—which generally include a litany of poverty-driven hardships and the need to support a family—and then try to sell them magazine subscriptions for a staggering $75 to $150 apiece. After a week or two, the crew moves on to another city.
But Young was hundreds of miles from home, and she worried that if she failed to deliver, she wouldn’t earn enough to make it back to her kids. “If you sell too low or you’re a troublemaker, they’ll leave you,” she said. “And I ain’t got nothing.”
Young is one of tens of thousands of people working for door-to-door magazine crews, and the fear of being left behind is nearly universal.I had a college friend who sold encyclopedias for a summer; he made it back and I didn't hear any horror stories. But I'd hate to have one of my kids abandoned in the middle of nowhere, as seems to happen to some of these kids.
I worked food service for a little bit, but I never did any door-to-door sales. I don't think the majority of door-to-door is for charlatans like Certified Management International, but I presume that it's still soul-crushing to try to work through hundreds of rejections and literal slammed doors.
Readers, any stories of door-to-door sales?