Traveling Magazine Sales Job Ads
Dedicated To Presenting The Violence, Crime, Fraud, Human Trafficking and Exploitation
that have turned the Traveling door-to-door Magazine Sales Industry into a National Tragedy.
Ads like these are killing children, teens, young adults, and homeowners:
Posted on CraigsList: June 2, 2012
WE ARE ARE TRAVELING MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION CREW AND WE ARE HIRING SHARP PEOPLE TO TRAVEL 20 CITIES SELLING MAGAZINES. TRANSPORTATION AND LODGING IS PROVIDED! WE OFFER A TWO WEEK PAID TRAINING AND CASH PAID DAILY! MUST BE ABLE TO PACK UP AND START IMMEDIATELY! SERIOUS INQUIRES ONLY! NO EMAILS CALL US NOW FOR FURTHER INFO...
DREAM TEAM SALES
YES is in town and needs 18-
25 sharp & enthusiastic guys
& gals. If you are money
motivated and tired of fast
food or minimum wage, we
offer 2 week paid training.
All expenses paid. no experience
necessary. If you are out-
going and can start immedi-
ately. Please call 608-241-
4171 ask for Mr. Holmes
(Mon. thru Wed.)
These Kids Answered The Ad And Died On The Job !
Fun & Sun. $500 Today.
We are now hiring 10 girls & guys 18 and over.
Work and travel for sales in the USA.
Sun in Florida, Ski in Colorado, play in Vegas!
Can you work as hard as you party.
Have a no fear attitude and can start today?
Two weeks paid training. 2 paid vacations.
ULTIMATE TRAVEL ADVENTURE!
Hiring girls & guys, 18+. Work, travel and play in the USA.
Paid Training & vacations.
Lisa, toll free 888-386-6872 (AAN CAN)
Publication Sales Co. Now hiring 18 sharp,
Enthusiastic individuals. Free to travel the entire
USA. Paid Travel, Training, Lodging and
Transportation furnished. Return Guaranteed.
Start Today 1-877-278-7353
sharp outgoing people to travel
entire US representing top sport, fashion and
news publications. Expense paid training with
base guarantee. Daily - weekly - monthly bonuses.
Trans & hotel provided with return trip guaranteed.
Call Sarah @ 800-282-0381. Call today - start tomorrow.
A TRAVEL JOB:
A great first job
with Fidelity Reader Service,
over 18, travel coast-to-coast
with young co-ed business group.
$500 signing bonus.
Call Shirley at 1-866-617-8791.
Questions and Answers
Oklahoma Department of Labor:
Read This - PDF Format
Newspapers are by-and-large privatly held companies and have the absolute right by law
to refuse ads like these from the crew managers and owners.
We highly recommend to all newspaper companies across the country
to IMMEDIATELY STOP! allowing these fly-by-night exploiters
to continue placing the above types of ads in your newspapers.
Besides the ever so slow federal legislation drastically needed to regulate
this fowl and immoral industry we have 5 ways to fight this evil monster:
1) Educate our children at all levels.
2) DO NOT allow our teens and young adults to work for a traveling sales crew.
3) DO NOT buy their magazine and/or soap products door-to-door.
4) Starve them of their work force by not allowing ads like these to be posted.
5) City, State, and Federal Legislation
Media Groups Across The Country
It is your legal right and moral obligation to STOP these ads!
This includes ALL media outlets: Newspapers, CraigsList, Facebook, MySpace ...
National Newspaper Search - www.newsvoyager.com/voyager.cfm
NATIONAL CONSUMERS LEAGUE
Five Most Dangerous Jobs for Teens 2012
Tips to Stay Safe at Work This Summer
The National Consumers League’s annual guide to help teenagers
select safe employment and protect themselves on the job
Traveling Youth Crews Performing Door-to-Door Sales
The startling discovery of the remains of a long-missing 18-year-old girl, Jennifer Hammond, in
October 2009, served as a painful reminder that traveling door-to-door sales jobs are very
dangerous. A Littleton, Colorado native, Hammond had last been seen in 2009 in a mobile home park in Milton, New York. She failed to show up at a designated pick-up spot two hours later. A hunter found her remains in a forest in Saratoga County, New York six years later.
Parents should not allow their children to take a traveling sales job.
The dangers are too
great. Without parental supervision, teens are at too great a risk of being victimized. Traveling
sales crew workers are typically asked to go to the doors of strangers and sometimes enter their
homes—a very dangerous thing for a young person to do.
Under pressure and scrutiny from advocacy groups and state law enforcement entities, it appears
that the traveling sales sector today rarely hires individuals under 18. However, in recent years,
there have been isolated reports of minors--and more frequent reports of 18- to 21-year-olds--
Frequent crime reports involving traveling sales crews suggests that the environment they
present is not a safe one for teen workers or young adults.
In March 2011, two men in Spartanburg County South Carolina called police and asked
them to take them to jail because jail seemed like it would be better alternative than the
traveling sales crew they were in. Vincent Mercento, 19, and Adam Bassi, 21, told police they
needed to quit going door to door asking people to buy magazines. They said they were tired of
being wet and selling magazines and tired of the abuse from the company that employed them
which seemed “cult-like.” Their lives were so bad they thought jail would be better.
How Dangerous are Traveling Sales Crews?
In February 2011, Columbia County Georgia authorities arrested a traveling sales crew of 17
individuals for peddling without a license. Five of the arrestees had criminal records, including
one individual on probation for child molestation, another with a conviction for statutory rape,
and a third for not registering as a sex offender. Would you want your son or daughter to travel
in such company?
All 17 individuals were crowded into one van. With vehicular accidents being one of the most
common causes of death for young people, NCL urges teens not to accept any job like those on a
traveling sales crew that involves driving long distances or for long periods of time.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) warned consumers in May 2009 that deceptive sales
practices are common in door-to-door sales—the group had received 1,100 complaints in the
prior year. “Experience tells us that customers aren’t the only victims of [these scams],” said
Michael Coil, President of the BBB of Northern Indiana, “the young salespeople are also
potentially being taken advantage of by their employers and forced to work long hours, endure
substandard living conditions and have their wages withheld from them.”
Unfortunately, young salespeople are also vulnerable to violence by crew leaders. The New York
Times reported in October 2009, that “two young people working as itinerant magazine
salesmen” in Lakewood, Washington were beaten with baseball bats and golf clubs after they told their bosses they wanted to quit. The victims, whose names and ages were not identified in the article, were hospitalized and their six assailants arrested.
"The industry’s out of control as far as violence," Earline Williams, the founder of Parent Watch,
one of the groups that follows the industry told the Orlando Sentinel in a December 2009 article
that reported the beating of Brian Emery, a sales crew member called “The Kid” by his
colleagues [Emery’s age was not reported]. New to traveling sales, Emery told deputies that his
team members gave him $12 to buy beer in Osceola County, Florida, but became enraged when
he bought the wrong brand. Two men were charged with beating Emery, one of whom broke a
beer bottle across his face.
In May 2008, police in Spokane, Washington investigated a 16-year-old’s claim that she was
held as a captive worker by a door-to-door sales company. She escaped after the sales crew
leaders beat up her boyfriend because he wasn’t selling enough magazines.
Many youth desperate for work are lured in with promises that they will earn good money, travel
the country, and meet fun people selling door-to-door. One young man was told that the
experience would be like MTV’s Road Rules.
The reality is often far different. Many salesmen work six days a week and 10 to 14 hours a day.
Unscrupulous traveling sales companies charge young workers for expenses like rent and food,
essentially requiring them to turn over all the money they ostensibly make from selling
magazines or goods. When workers try to quit or leave the crew, they are told they cannot.
Disreputable companies have been known to seize young workers’ money, phone cards, and IDs
and restrict their ability to call their parents. Drug use and underage drinking are not uncommon.
A New York Times report in 2007 found that crew members often make little money after
expenses are deducted. On some crews, lowest sellers are forced to fight each other or punished
by being made to sleep on the floor.
Few of the magazine sales teams do background checks on their workers, according to Phil
Ellenbecker, who runs an industry watchdog group based in Wisconsin that has tracked hundreds
of felony crimes and over 80 deaths attributed to door-to-door vendors. ”It’s not uncommon to
get recently released felons knocking on your door trying to sell you magazines,” said
One salesman who spent 10 years on crews and eventually became a crew manager told the
Indiana Student Daily newspaper, “I regret a lot of stuff I did….I’d become this monster. Lying
to kids, telling them how good the job was, and it wasn’t a good job at all.”
A tough economy has made it tougher to sell magazines, and according to Earline Williams of
Parent Watch, that has meant more violence on crews and more sales employees abandoned.
“It’s gotten meaner,” she told NCL.
Among the possible dangers of working on traveling sales crews:
In addition to the suspected murder of Jennifer Hammond in 2003, other relatively recent
• In November 2007, Tracie Anaya Jones, 19, who was a member of a traveling sales crew,
was found dead of stab wounds. Originally from Oregon, Jones was last seen working in
Little Rock Arkansas before her body was found 150 miles away in Memphis, Tennessee.
Her killing remains unsolved and was featured on America’s Most Wanted Web site.
• In Rapid City, South Dakota in April 2004, a 41-year-old man was charged with
murdering a 21-year-old woman who came to his home to sell magazines.
Working in unknown neighborhoods poses risks, especially if you are carrying money from sales
or goods to sell.
• Although not part of a traveling sales crew, a 12-year-old selling candy for a school
fundraiser in a Jacksonville, Florida neighborhood in March 2009 was robbed by three
individuals who drove up to her in a car.
• In April 2003, a 16-year-old Texas youth selling candy was robbed and shot in the
stomach by two teens.
• In March 2011, an 18-year-old woman selling magazines in the Myrtle Grove, North
Carolina area was approached by a man driving in a truck who assaulted her. Police
arrested the man.
• In May 2009 in Bethesda, Maryland, a 19-year-old woman selling magazines was
attacked and nearly raped by someone she encountered while selling magazines door-to-door.
• In Lawton, Oklahoma, a19-year-old Nevada woman was selling magazines door-to-door
in February 2009 when her potential customer invited her in. The man gave her
something to drink and she awoke several hours later and realized she had been raped.
• A 19-year-old Ohio magazine salesperson was assaulted by three men who expressed an
interest in buying magazines. The victim was waiting for a pickup by co-workers when
she was approached, abducted, and sexually assaulted (April 2003)
Consumers are also at-risk of the dangers associated with traveling sales. Traveling sales crew
members have committee a number of assaults and other crimes against non-sales crew
• In May 2011, Ruben Barradas, a door-to-door salesman was sentenced by a judge in
Omaha, Nebraska to five to eight years in prison for convincing a woman that she and her
7- and 10-year-old daughters should submit to sexual examinations.
• A Texas man, Jesse Estep, who worked in a magazine sales crew, was convicted of
sexually assaulting a teenage girl in Litchfield, Connecticut in May 2010.
• In April 2010, police in Oak Ridge, Tennessee arrested a sex offender for possession of
crack cocaine and other drugs.
• In February 2011, a Texas man from a traveling crew was arrested in Florida for sexually
assaulting a 16-year-old girl.
Traveling sales crews face greater risk of vehicle accidents and in many cases, crew leaders are
driving without licenses or driving on suspended licenses. Vehicles are not always maintained
properly and the use of 15-passenger vans in some cases presents safety concerns.
• In June 2011, a van carrying a traveling magazine sales crew rolled over in American
Falls, Idaho. Three crew members aged 20 to 22 died. Seven others aged 18 to 24 were
• In November 2005, two teenagers were killed and seven were injured when their van
flipped near Phoenix, Arizona. The vehicle crossed a median strip, and ended up in the
opposite lanes of a freeway. All nine occupants, who worked for a magazine subscription
company, were thrown from the vehicle.
• A month earlier, 20-year-old, James Crawford, was ejected and killed from a van in
Georgia. Eighteen young adults were crammed into the 15-passenger van. The driver fell
asleep and was allegedly driving under the influence of marijuana. The occupants were
heading north from Florida to sell magazine subscriptions.
• Two young salespersons, age 18 and 19, were ejected from a vehicle and pronounced
dead at the scene after a vehicle accident in which 15 salespersons were crammed into a
10-year-old SUV that rolled over on a highway in New Mexico (September 2002).
• In 1999, seven individuals traveling as a sales crew were killed in an accident in
Janesville, Wisconsin. Five other passengers were injured, including one girl who was
paralyzed. The driver of the van, who was trying to elude a police chase, did not have a
valid driver’s license and attempted to switch places with another driver when the
accident occurred. The fatality victims included Malinda Turvey, 18, who has inspired
ground-breaking legislation—Malinda’s Act—which passed in Wisconsin in April 2009
to regulate traveling sales crews
The young salesman told NCL about some of the driving dangers, which included unsafe vans
and unsafe drivers: “You’ve got drivers that have licenses but they’re suspended. They shouldn’t
be driving [and] they let young adults drive under the influence.”
Alcohol and Drugs
This excerpt from “Shauna’s Story” (a memoir of life on the road with a traveling sales crew
appears at www.magazinesalescrews.com
,a watchdog site for the industry):
[We were] a whole group of 18 and 19 year olds, and every night we drank more alcohol, and
smoked more weed than the wildest college kids. It was the way we relaxed after some of the
days we went through. We were out there rain, sleet, or snow all day, just like little soldiers.
From the scorching summer days in Alabama to the near freezing temperatures of New York
winters. We had only one mission: bring back the money and that we did. And for all that we
went through, dealing with [the crew leaders] screaming at us when we didn’t have many sales,
to refusing to take us to eat if we didn’t have any sales. To people slamming doors in our faces
all day. We felt like we deserved to escape for a little while. And since we weren’t allowed to
have our own vehicles on the road, we were stuck at the hotel. So every night after work, we
would walk to the nearest store, find the closest dope man, and escape for a couple hours.
Young salesmen have been stranded if they try to quit or do not sell enough.
Parent Watch’s founder Williams told the Orlando Sentinel in 2009 that she handles two to six
phone calls a day from frightened, stranded workers seeking bus fare home.
In the summer of 2009, the National Consumers League received a call from one stranded
salesman, Ricky, who had been left on the side of the road a thousand miles from home with no
money to pay for transportation.
Crews often work in bad weather, walking miles in blazing heat or in cold weather. They often
wait hours in strange neighborhoods for their crew leaders or drivers to take them back to the
hotels they are staying in.
Crews often operate without proper licenses and permits and young sales people are subject to
Young workers, far from home, are at special risk of exploitation from older crew leaders and
crew members—many of whom have criminal records.
Parent Watch estimates that as many as 30,000 to 40,000 individuals are involved in traveling
sales crews, selling magazines, candy, household cleaners, and other items door-to-door each
year. It’s difficult to estimate the number of minors involved in this industry. Anecdotal evidence
suggests that most recruits are over 18 because of the legal risks of transporting minors.
However, NCL worries that there are still occasional minors lured into the business. In April
2011 in Manhattan, Kansas a 17-year-old was one of five magazine crew members arrested for
peddling without a license. In August 2010, police arrested 8 individuals for illegal sales in
Holden, Massachusetts. Two of the individuals were 17.
• In Gainesville, Florida in November 2009, police responded to a disturbance involving a
17-year-old girl who had been fired from a crew for low sales. The girl said she had
nowhere to go and was not allowed to collect her belongings until police helped her.
Police ran background checks on the crew of 50 sales people she was traveling with and
found many with extensive criminal histories.
While this report focuses on protecting teenagers, traveling sales crews present significant
dangers for young adults—large numbers of 18- to 24-year-olds who make up most crews--as
• A news report from Mankato, Minnesota concerned an 18-year-old man with
developmental delays who was lured into following a sales crew. His panicked family
was able to retrieve him about a week later. Another 18-year-old who suffered from
schizophrenia and manic depression was lured from his home in Gaston County North
Carolina in April 2011.
The Web site Parentwatch.org contains an account by an 18-year-old traveling sales crew
member who said she was drugged, raped, and impregnated by a fellow crew member. She also
said she regularly saw fellow crew members get beaten to the point that they needed
The number of crimes in which 18 to 21-year-olds in traveling sales crews are victims or
perpetrators is staggering and can be tracked at here.
Shauna, the young woman who wrote about her experiences in a crew, reflected:
“It’s crazy the things people will put up with to feel like they belong, to feel loved, and to be
accepted….Now that I have been off the road …it’s given me the opportunity to sit back and
reflect on just how blessed I was to be involved in something so dangerous for so long, and make
it out safely. Sometimes I still have nightmares of some of the things that I went through, and
some of the things I witnessed.”
What can be done to help clean up this industry?
States and localities should consider model laws like the one passed in Wisconsin in 2009. It
requires sales workers who travel in pairs of two or more to be employees rather than
independent contractors and subjects them to labor laws. Companies that employ crews would
have to register with the state and their operators would have to pass criminal background
checks. The law requires companies to tell recruits in writing where they will work and how
much they will be paid. It also requires them to carry insurance, and mandates employers pay a
$10,000 bond with the state.
Local police can ensure that crews in their areas are properly licensed and can talk to young
salespeople to ensure that they are not being physically abused or held against their will.
NATIONAL CONSUMERS LEAGUE
Five Most Dangerous Jobs for Teens 2012
Read This Story
Five Most Dangerous Jobs for Teens 2012
Dedicated Memorial Parents Group
Seven Young Kids Killed And Five Maimed For Life
Janesville Van Rollover March 25, 1999
Want to see an exclusive GLIMPSE of what life on a mag crew is like?
watch this amazingly well written short film to see only a fraction of
what these victims go through ... then tell us what you think or how it impacted you!
View the MagCrew Poster
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