Traveling Sales Crews ‘Buss Words’ and other useful information.

July 11, 2010


Ad Runner: Member of the magazine sales crew responsible for placing ads in the local newspapers for the purpose of recruiting kids into the business. In many cases the Ad Runner is the crew manager or owner.

Blanked: No sales. A sales agent could blank a check or the whole day.

Books: Sales agents are not actually paid like an employee of a company would be paid. They do not receive a check. Their earnings are put in the book (see production). A daily and weekly draw (usually 5 -7 dollars a day and 25 – 30 dollars on a weekend) is given to the sales agent for personal needs.

Bunker Baby: A sales agent that consistently sits on the bunker.

Business: magazine sales subscription orders.

Check/Pick Up: the time that the car handler gives the sales agent  on one street (usually an hour to an hour and a half).

Crew Numbers: Every time a manager hires a  sales agent, they are given a specific "code number", which usually includes the manager's initials followed by a number which was to be put on every receipt and check-in. As an example:  A108, which is the manager's first initial followed by an identifying number  (kind of like your driver license number). Numbers used to make it easier to identify a sales agent at the main office if they had any issues with an agent.

Clutch Order: if a sales agent actually came back with any orders in the spot check.

Contest Partner (usually known as: "cp"): the person that the car handler assigns you to get out on a street with.

Crew Chief: Leader of the traveling magazine sales crew, also known as the Crew Manager. Sometimes the Crew Chief or Manager is also the owner of the magazine sales company.  Note:  Many times the crew manager, crew chief, and the ad runner are all the same person.

Crew Manager: see crew chief.

Car Handler:  Responsible for driving the van. Drops sales agents off then picks them up later. In some cases the car handler also does recruiting.

Cash Agent/Cash Collector: an agent that is known for collecting a lot of cash.

Cash Territory: usually the hood, or trailer parks (places where it doesn't look like the people would write a check.

CIT (car-handler in training): when a sales agent learns how to handle the car.

Late Check: an "after hours" check that the car handler would give you if they thought you did not have enough business (anywhere from 11 to 1 a.m.)

Check-In: Form used to record what a sales agent collected on a daily basis (total sales). This would include: cash, sales, production, checks. The sales agent turns this form into the manager who then mails them to the main office twice a week.

Deposit: A deposit fee is required to solidify the sale. This is a percentage of the total sale and can be in the range of twenty to thirty percent (see production). This amount can be from cash or check. Some magazine sales crews require the full amount of the sale. Other crews will require a deposit plus a processing fee as a down payment. The balance of the order is then mailed in by the consumer. Some magazine sales companies base the sales agents earnings on a percentage of the total deposits for a week. In this case deposit equals production.

Dirty Canvass: Lies told by sales agents (spiel) to snow the Jones.

Do-Lo:  when a sale agent is working the street alone.

DOOFUS: a weak sales agent, or takes a long time to catch on.

Draw: a small amount of cash that is given to the sales agent for personal needs. On week days this amount ranges between 5 -7 dollars and on a weekend ranges from 25 – 30 dollars. Draws are subtracted from the sales agent’s profits that are stored in their individual books.

Enforcer:  Hired by sales company to beat up kids with low sales. (see: New York Times article and video dated February 21, 2007)

Gretched: codename used for weed when the sales agent is around the car handler or manager. Usually used to let the other sales agent know that we the sales agent already had some (weed) so they didn't have to buy anymore.

Hot List/Credential:  Laminated magazine list distributed to mag crews from clearinghouse. As an example the National Publishers Exchange produces a Hot List for the magazine sales companies it does business with.

Independent contractor: 

Wikipedia Definition:

An independent contractor is a natural person, business, or corporation that provides goods or services to another entity under terms specified in a contract or within a verbal agreement. Unlike an employee, an independent contractor does not work regularly for an employer but works as and when required, during which time she or he may be subject to the Law of Agency. Independent contractors are usually paid on a freelance basis. Contractors often work through a limited company, which they themselves own, or may work through an umbrella company.



Itinerant magazine sales crew:  a traveling magazine sales crew traveling from place to place for the purpose of selling magazine sales subscriptions door-to-door.

Jack-Up Artist: a person that may not write a lot of sales, but is known for writing large amounts of production at one time (can make one person buy $200 worth of books or more on a consistent basis)

Field Agent:  traveling door-to-door magazine sales agent. Field agents are hired as independent contractors not employees of the company. See Magazine Publishers of America:

Guidelines on Relations with Subscription Agents

March 1, 2005

Joints for Points: award system used by some sales crew managers whereby marijuana or others drugs of choice are supplied to the sales agents if they meet a certain sales quota. This award system was in use on March 25, 1999 during the Janesville Van Rollover that killed seven kids and maimed five for life.

Jump: When the magazine crew moves (jumps) from one town to the next.

Mag Crew:  Door-to-Door Traveling Magazine Sales Crew.

Mag Crew Names: a.k.a.‘s for the actual magazine sales company or clearinghouse.  As an example: Y.E.S. (Youth Employment Service) was the a.k.a. for Subscriptions Plus owned and operated by Karleen Hillery in the Wisconsin March 25, 1999 van rollover that killed seven kids and maimed five for life. Subscriptions Plus was not a clearinghouse but had contracts with two magazine clearinghouses: National Publishers Exchange: and Publishers Consulting Corporation: The magazine clearinghouse in turn have contracts with the individual publishers such as Readers Digest, Condé Nast, Hearst etc … (for more information on magazine publishers and clearinghouses:

The mag crew names are the names of the individual magazine sales crews. Magazine sales clearinghouses and magazine sales companies in many cases can have multiple sales crews with multiple names but each of the individual sales crews is controlled by a magazine clearinghouse and/or magazine sales company.

Magazine Company Owner: The president of the magazine sales company.

MIT (manager in training): when an agent starts to learn the in and outs of the business in hopes of becoming a manager. (I did that for about a year as well)

MPA: Magazine Publishers of America trade group for magazine publishers. See Letters to the publishers:

What Mainstream Publishers Don't Want You to Know About Door-to-Door Magazine Sales:

Mirror note:  when a person gets 2 or more sales in one check (order) with at least 50 dollars on production (it goes on the mirror as "inspiration" to let everyone else in the van know that "Miss Jones" DOES buy books!!!)

Mirror Note Name: a nick name that the sales agent would put on their mirror notes just to add a little fun (example:  "golddigger"  "booty-booty: yea-eh")

Note: a piece of paper given to the car handler at the end of each check to let them know what the sales agent picked up, whether it was a blank or a mirror note, or anything in between.

NFSA: National Field Selling Association - trade group for magazine companies: Many of the magazine sales companies and clearinghouses are members of the NFSA. A number of door-to-door cleaner sales companies are also members of the NFSA. Austin Diversified Products which sells a cleaner product called Adavnage Wonder Cleaner is an example. In fact Nathan Edwards the owner of Austin Diversified Products was a former president of the NFSA. The current president of the NFSA is Vincent Pitts who owns and operates Palmetto Marketing and Sunshine Subscription Agency.

In September of 2006 the NFSA removed their Members list from their official website. However, many of the individual magazine sales companies and clearinghouses still list the NFSA as their trade group. DMPG archival web history also documents the NFSA as being a member of the MPA.

The following is a list of active NFSA members as of September 2006:

Alliance Service Company, Inc.

1875 B Rohlwing Road

Rolling Meadows, IL 60008

(847) 253-7766

FAX (847) 253-7795

Sandra M. Hall


American Community Services, Inc.

8557 West U.S. Highway 20

Michigan City, IN 46360

(219) 879-7248

FAX: (219) 874-7677

Levan P. Ellis


Austin Diversified Products, Inc.

16615 S. Halsted Street

Harvey, IL 60426

(708) 333-7644

FAX: (708) 333-4775

Nathan T. Edwards

Chapel Sales Inc.

595 Haddon Avenue

Collingswood, NJ 08108

(856) 858-7245

FAX: (856) 858-9709

Tracy Lynch

Ken Squires


Fidelity Reader Service, Inc.

100 Aviation Drive South

Suite 203

Naples, FL

(239) 659-0009

FAX: (239) 659-0032

Belo Kellam


Go Doors, Inc.

611 K Street

Washington DC, 20001

(202) 989-1300

FAX: (202) 898-0832

Otis Garrett


Great Lakes Circulation

29029 Upper Bear Creek Rd.

Suite 202

Evergreen, CO 80439

(303) 674-8252

FAX (303) 679-9909

Cody Payne


Interstate Subscription Service

4835 Fredricksberg Road

San Antonio, TX 78229

(210) 340-0002

FAX (210) 340-2608

Thomas Roach


Magazine Fulfillment Services

15820 North 35th Street

Suite 10

Phoenix, AZ 85053


Fax: 602-978-4709

Robert Spruiell





National Chemical Company

4044 Lake Mary Blvd. #104

Box 403

Lake Mary, FL 32746

Sal Baghdad


National Publishers Exchange

16120 U.S. 19, N.

Clearwater, FL 33764

(727) 524-3600 ext. 1320

FAX (727) 538-0254

Karen Roberts


Pacific Coast Clearing Services, Inc.

5775 Soundview Drive

Suite 104-C

Gig Harbor, WA 98335

(253) 851-8586

FAX (253) 851-8415

Kenneth E. Fryk

James Knight


Palmetto Marketing, Inc.

7522 Wiles Road

Suite 112

Coral Springs, FL 33067

(954) 341-8135

FAX (954) 341-6918

Vincent R. Pitts


Pro-Tek Chemical Inc.

487 West First Ave

Glenn Ferry, ID 83623

Phone: 208-366-2231

Fax: 208-366-7676

Denver Price


Prpteus Enterprises, Inc.

226 N. West Avenue

Elmhurst, IL 60126

(630) 530-0300

FAX (630) 530-1123

Andrew S. Hortatsos

Publishers Consulting Corporation

613 Franklin Square

Michigan City, IN 46360-3411

(219) 874-4245

FAX (219) 872-8961

Robert W. Lake, JR.

Ruth E. Mokrycki


United Family Circulation, Inc.

303 West Shadburn Ave.

Suite 100

Buford, GA 30518

(770) 831-7733

FAX (770) 831-7040

James Clair

Rick Clair


United Subscription Agency

PO Box 6147

Vero Beach, FL 32961

(772) 563-0308

FAX: (772) 562-6156

Charles Key


Universal Subscription Agency

6380 McLeod Drive

Suite 8

Las Vegas, NV 89120

(702) 795-0038

FAX (702) 795-0039

Steve Ingraham


Untouchable Sales, Inc.

613 Franklin Street

Michigan City, IN 46360

(219) 874-4245

Steven Paul


World Wide Circulation, Inc.

32008 Harper

St. Clair Shores, MI 48082

(810) 415-8078

FAX (810) 415-4874

Barbara Mroz-Perez


Xtreme Marketing, Inc.

1498 Buford Highway, N. E.


Sugar Hill, GA 30518

(678) 541-7130

FAX (770) 831-7040

Mr. Angel




The NFSA has created a new website at: However this website is completely void of any contact information and does not list a single member. Here is the most current contact information for the NFSA:

100 North 20th Street | 4th Floor | Philadelphia, PA 19103-1443
215.564.1627 | FAX: 215.564.2175

Contact the president of the NFSA:

Palmetto Marketing

Vincent Pitts

7522 Wiles Road

Coral Springs, FL 33067


(954)341-6918 Fax

Pad Case/Packs: Usually a large leather wallet that contains a receipt book, the hot list, magazine titles, and on occasion some form of identification.  The pad case is carried by the magazine sales agent when going door-to-door.

Points: The point system was created by the magazine sales company owners as an insentive program for the sales agents.  Points are acquired by selling magazine subscriptions/books. Earning points towards a vacation is a common practice. When selling magazine subscription to the perspective customer (‘jones’) the sales agent will in many cases tell the ‘jones’ that they are trying to earn ‘points’ for a trip to Europe or Hawaii. Points are also used in some cases to determine a sales agent’s financial compensation that is put on the books.

Power Agent: when a sales agent is known to consistently write a lot of business all the way around (sales, cash, and production).

Power Houses: Homes in nice neighborhoods. They are big houses and presumably have a lot of money.

Processing Fee: The amount of money required to process a magazine subscription. May be compared to shipping and handling fees. This amount may vary but is usually around $12.00.

Production: an accounting process used by some mag crew owners which allocates profit from the sales received by the sales agents. For the sales agent the deposit equals production. A processing fee is added to the originating order and is similar to shipping and handling but is not part of the production. As an example a $12.00 processing fee will be added to a magazine or book sale. A deposit fee is required to solidify the sale. This is a percentage of the total sale and can be in the range of twenty to thirty percent. The processing fee and the deposit are then added together. This is the amount that the consumer must pay the sales agent. In some cases the remainder of the balance can be mailed in. In other cases the total amount is due when the magazine subscriptions order is placed. Using this process the sales agent is only paid from the deposit.

In some cases the sales agent's profit on the books is calculated by the total amount of deposits (production) for that week. One magazine sales company breaks down the sales agents profits in the following manner:

If total deposits are equal to or greater than $700.00 the agent receives 50% of the total deposits.

If total deposits are between $699.99 and $500.00 the agent receives 40% of the total deposits.

If total deposits are $499.99 or less the agent receives 30% of the total deposits.

Many of the sales agents are paid from a percentage of the total deposits.

Production = deposit.

Deposit is usually between 20 - 30% of the total magazine or book sale and does not include the processing fee.

Sales agent - cut = 30% - 40% or 50 % of production (deposit).

Sales manager - cut = 70% - 60% or 50% of production (deposit).

The remainder of the money goes to the magazine sales company owner/clearinghouse and the publisher. This is why you the consumer pay a 300% mark up on a subscription to Readers Digest when you purchase the subscription from a magazine sales agent. The magazine sales agent gets screwed, you get screwed for being such a dumb ass, while the magazine sales company/clearinghouse and the publisher get rich.

Note: This accounting system varies between the various magazine sales crews and companies.

Room Scholar:  Slang term for door-to-door salesman. A person involved in direct sales.

Room Leader/Room Captain: one person in each motel room that is "in charge"

Sales Agent:  a magazine sales person that goes door-to-door selling magazine subscriptions. Also referred to as a Field Agent.

Spiel/Sales-Talk:  The sales pitch: a school-spiel, cancer-spiel, Iraq war-spiel, points-spiel, sports-spiel, charity-spiel, scholarship-spiel , hard luck-spiel and the list goes on and on and on .....

Spot Check: Usually anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes. An extremely short check used to get the sales agents adrenaline pumping, no time to just walk around or play........just sell!!!

Stretch Check: An extended time period that a sales agent has in a neighborhood (usually 3 hours to all day). Stretch Check usually happens when the car handler is mad at the agent and doesn't feel like dealing with that person, so they just drop them off and give them a time to be back at the corner (the check time).... or the car handler is planning on doing something that day (usually something they don't have any business doing) and they just let the sales agent do their own thing for most of the day so the sales agent is not in the car handlers way.

Territory: anywhere a sales agent goes to knock on doors.

THE BUNKER: the last seat in the van reserved for people with the lowest amount of sales.

WABs:  Weak-ass bitches: Sales agents who come back without any sales. A WAB is lower than dirt.

Write A Lot Of Business: selling a lot of magazine subscriptions.