We encourage everyone regardless of what products you sell novelties, magazines; Candy or what ever you may be selling or whatever group you are with, for-profit or non-profit to pass this Web Site Address out to anyone and everyone. We are here to help!
When you give out our site address we only ask one thing this being that you attempt to be in compliance with all laws. That you dont abuse the use of this site and conduct your activities in an above board manner.
It is very important for you that you are in compliance with all laws that affect your operation. Especially Child Labor Laws. Even without child labor laws anyone knows that a child that is 10 or 11 or even 12 should not be out selling door to door.
From our research we have found that the people that take kids of a very young age usually are the ones that may be taking advantage of them. On the other hand, it may be a person that has a problem communicating with kids that are older. We know that the kids that are 14 and up are a lot smarter and more mature and can give a sales presentation better than kids that are young.
What we are saying is that you should not take young kids out to sell but that when you do, not only are you doing something unethical and probably against the law, you are just opening a door that could create problems and be very costly. Please try to work with older teens.
You should know the child labor laws for your state, as they are not that hard to obtain.
Your vehicles should be equipped with Seat Belts, one for each teen. Anyone using a cargo van should trade it in as this is neither good nor safe for the kids.
When you work with your teens, you should put them in twos, perhaps one on one side of the street and one on the other. Why not consider the use of commercial two-way radios. They are new on the market they operate on a business frequency and have ranges of up to two miles. If each team had one then they could have instant communications with you. They sell for less than $90.00 each and it would be a good investment for you.
We do not think you should carry any more than 12 teens maximum at any one time and only then if you have a 15-passenger van. If they are in teams of two then you only have to monitor six streets and can stay very close to them. Any more than that would seem hard to monitor.
We also urge you not to allow any teen to work more than three school nights a week. Remember the teens have school and homework and part time selling should be just that, an opportunity for them to earn some extra money. The teens are going to grow up and School and Education are vital to their future. You should have more teens participating in the work program so you can offset the days and allow them to participate.
People support teens trying to earn money to buy the things they need may it be school clothes or a birthday gift for mom whatever the reason is they will support them as they know the teen must really need it or they wouldnt be working. The majority of consumers will relate to growing up and having the need to earn money and will support income programs (Teens working to earn money for the things they need) just as they will for other causes.
Recently we have noticed a smear campaign directed against the for profit door to door sales companies.
When a newspaper or someone has a smear campaign they usually attack the words "FOR PROFIT" attempting to make it sound as if someone is getting cheated as well as acting as if only door to door sales by teens should be done by only non-profit organizations.
Teen sales programs have been around for over 60 to 70 years, many, many years ago teens sold flower seeds door to door to make extra spending money.
It sometimes seems that when there is not any juicy negative news to report then the media will do a story on door to door sales. They must feel the industry is an easy target to attack and fill in the news until something that is really news worthy comes along. You can always tell when there is nothing new and exciting in the news, as they will single out some small industry.
Within the last few years someone or a small group of influential individuals have decided that only their pet charities should have the exclusive rights to sell door to door. At least this is what we think although it could be that they might not want minority inner-city youth coming into their middle and upper class neighborhoods. Whatever it is they are against all door to door sales except Non-Profit.
Sometimes they will attack making false statements that a for-profit company is attempting to sell door to door acting as if they were a non-profit.
They imply that only non-profit groups have the right to sell door to door. They try and make it seem as if all for-profit groups are bad. They attempt to portray everyone that is not a non-profit organization in a negative fashion.
They may object to the use of names as if you are not entitled to have a name for your group.
They may say the sales presentations sound fraudulent. Then they may turn around and say that when you give the teens a starter sales presentation to learn that you are teaching them a spiel, you cant win with them when it comes to criticisms.
They may say it is unsafe for the for profit groups to sell door to door but change their minds when a non-profit group accepted by them goes door to door. Even though the kids selling for the non-profit group may be very young and selling without any supervision.
It is bad and deceiving when a newspaper writes an article that is about something that happened a year or two ago, but they may put it on the front page as if it just recently happened. This just tells you they couldnt find anything current that was negative to talk about.
What is really offensive is that thet say that newspaper solicitors are exempt from any laws when in many cases they are not exempt! They never tell the reading public that many of the people working with teens selling products door to door used to work with a newspaper soliciting crew and this is how they learned how to work with teens. The Newspaper Companies taught many of you.
They never say that most door to door sales groups are doing business exactly like the newspaper soliciting groups do and in fact they parallel each other very closely. They seem to get amnesia and do not talk about their own soliciting crews, but have a hay day talking about someone elses.
If you see something on TV that is negative about teens selling door to door you must realize what actually may be taking place.
If you were a teen that lived in a low-income neighborhood and someone from the Newspaper or TV station came to talk to you, wouldnt you feel very important?
If the person talking to you suggested, or asked leading questions only about the negative aspects about your job, wouldnt you pick up on it?
If you were a person from a low-income neighborhood you would quickly realize that you were not important to them if all you could say were good positive things, as they were only looking for negative and only negative.
What would you do or say? If you didnt say something that they wanted to hear as then you would lose your opportunity to have fifteen minutes of fame. You would lose your chance to be on TV or have your name in the newspaper; they would find someone else that would say what they wanted to hear. Naturally any youth and some adults will agree and say anything just to be in the lime light for a short period of time. They feel very important like a ** MOVIE STAR**.
Have you ever seen a reporter talking live and some teenagers bopping up and down in the background? Well when you are young its a big deal to be on TV. How many newspapers or TV news stations report good news? None! They may be being influenced by powerful individuals asking them to make the for-profit door to door sales groups look negative.
If they ever want to talk to you we have heard that it is in your best interest not to do so. But is you do please understand that it is our understanding that to prevent them from editing your entire statement that you should only agree to talk to them if they put in writing not to edit your statements. They have been known to edit and only take part of what you said and make it sound negative. You should always have an Attorney involved as well.
Some groups and organizations have handouts that the teens leave at the door when they have spoken with a misinformed consumer. The hand out tells the consumer about their group and how it works. The consumer may not buy that time but after reading the hand out probably will buy the next time you group calls on them. This is called consumer confidence. You need to establish your group.
You should not have to become non-profit to provide income opportunities for teens. Regardless of status you are still helping a lot of teens in need of money to achieve their goals and serve their needs.
There are no signs on City streets that say "only charities or non-profit organizations can sell here". (Although there are people that would like this) Regardless of what anyone may say YOU know and understand how much these much needed income programs help teens as well as keep them off the streets and out of trouble. Keep up the good work!!
We have heard that occasionally a peace officer will treat a for-profit company in a negative fashion. We have heard of some over stepping their bounds and doing or saying things that show their personal opinions more than just enforcing the law.
You must remember that they may have been influenced by the group of persons trying to paint a negative picture about the for-profit groups, or maybe they have read or heard something negative. Maybe their child is involved in a fundraising drive and they feel you are competing against them. Remember Police Officers are just human beings with personal opinions and prejudices just like everyone else.
If you have contact with a policeman that you feel over stepped their authority please listen to what we feel you should know and do.
Always do what the officer tells you to do. Never argue with him even if you know he is out of line or incorrect.
Write down his or her name or badge number, car number at least. After the contact and you are done for the night call his supervisor, usually the watch commander and talk to him about the officers conduct or statements. Tell the Watch Commander that you want to make a complaint against the officer to Internal Affairs.
Ask the Watch commander what you should do to make a complaint IE forms, letters etc. Then decide if what happened to you is serious enough for you to make the complaint. At the least the watch commander will talk with them.
It has been noted that sometimes in a city there may be one or two police officers that dont want for-profit companies coming into their city. They too could be prejudice as they are just human beings even though they carry a badge they still have personal opinions or may have been influenced by what we call propaganda.
If a police officer continues to harass you and you are in the right and you have been making complaints about him to Internal Affairs then after the third or fourth complaint you may have cause to sue him personally. This is why it needs to be documented through Internal Affairs.
It is important that you follow up when harassed or wronged as if they continue to get away with it they will not stop. Remember it is their job to enforce the law, not write it or let their personal views or prejudices come into consideration while enforcing it. You must follow through, otherwise slowly but surly you will have a few people playing God and violating your and the teens civil rights.
We have only heard of a few such incidents as for the most part Law officers are fair and show little or no prejudices. Many of them support the Teen self help programs, as they know the teens may be doing something negative if they were not working.
We have great admiration for our Law enforcement officers. We really dont like saying anything negative but sadly there has been a few that have overstepped their boundaries.
Stand up for your rights and dont let anyone kid you, you have rights.
If you are Non-Profit
We congratulate you too!!! We know that you are helping a lot of teens.
We are also pleased that you have taken the big step to be a non-profit organization. We know how burdensome it must be to keep detailed records of your expenditures as well as reporting to governmental agencies.
You are fortunate and smart to have taken on the responsibility to be a non-profit organization, as no one should bother you like they do the for-profit groups even though you all share in the same goals and objectives.
Keep up the good work!
We hope that this information has been helpful for you. We hope that you tell and show others the positive effects these programs have on teens. Dont let anyone try an convince you otherwise as you have seen with you own eyes all the positive things that come about while helping Teens.
We would highly encourage any group or organization to form a coalition or association of people like your self that work with teens. If this was to be done then your industry could police itself and make sure everyone is doing things right and above board. This would insure your future and show legitimacy and stability.
If there were interest we may consider setting up a web site for members only that you could share industry related information with others in the interest of Teens having income opportunities.
We encourage emails from you. Please tell us if there is something you would like to see on the Site, tell us if there is something you dont like, its OK. Just communicate!!
We are reluctant to give you these suggestions and information. Our intentions are not to make anyone mad nor disparage anyone.