I am conducting a job search after completing training, along with other people helping me. I received a telephone call from Lisa at Capital Management to come in for an interview on Monday, May 12, 2003, at 2:30 PM.
I went in for the interview at the proper time and was met by Lisa and was asked to sign a list at the front desk. I was ushered into a room set with approximately 15-20 chairs, and was given an "Acquaintance Sheet" to fill out.
After about 10 minutes, I met with Chris Bibzak, Manager(?). The questions asked were similar to what I had already read about earlier today, on this site, such as: Rate yourself from 1-10, etc.
He gave me a date and time for the second interview, for those who were selected by phone, and the interview proceeded. Towards the end, he said not to expect a phone call, that he wanted me to come in on Thursday at 11:45, and he congratulated me on "beating out" 150 other people that he had interviewed in the past few weeks.
The Second Interview (Thursday, May 15, 2003)
11:45 Welcomed by Chris, ushered into room set with approximately 15-20 chairs, Josh came in to find out more about us. I discovered he had just moved to the area from Chicago and was asking about some nightspots around town. Just the usual chit-chat.
12:00 Chris came in to start the information session. He asked us not to ask any questions until the end of his speech, which was approximately 2 and 1/2 hours long.
He gave background on the company, Perfume World, and its founder, John Whitworth (Johnny). He is a self-made millionaire who started out in test marketing in Atlanta and New York for a test marketing firm (no name mentioned).
He decided to open up his own firm and sold luggage, Visions cookware, and electronics. Decided they were not a repeat buy (residual product). He involved a branch with fragrances for a year and the profits went up by 150%, due to marketability and growth potential.
Chris went on to break down the costs of making the perfume, the different types of perfume (Eau de cologne, Eau de parfum - which Perfume World uses, Eau do toilette, and Knock off brands made of all man-made ingredients).
He held up a bottle of Giorgio perfume and a bottle of Primo perfume and had me read the ingredients list on the Primo box. Butane was pointed out specifically because of the fire hazard. At no time did he let any of us read the ingredients of the Giorgio bottle, though.
He explained about the master perfumer that John Whitworth had working with him, Mark Larecy, who had previously worked for, and filed a suit against, Calvin Klein, and who finally won because perfume could not be patented, only the packaging. Chris also mentioned Johnny hiring a father/son team of master perfumers (not named).
Chris went on to explain the separate costs for producing perfume: shipping and handling, packaging, and advertising. He then pulled out box containing a 3.4 oz. bottle of perfume in a frosted glass bottle.
He explained that because the perfume mix and ingredients in the bottle produced by World Perfume was the same as the ones produced by the name brands, but is known as a "rendition," the perfume could be sold for only $26.00 each, and described how it could be bought in any type of economy.
The perfume sold under the name of "Parfum du Monde" or Perfume of the World, and included the 35 top womens' fragrances and 25 top mens' fragrances.
He gave us 3 reasons why to buy the products:
1. Spot advertising - full page color ads in Vogue, Elle, Mademoiselle, Harper's Bazaar, et al.
2. Packaging - 3.4 oz tester bottles, brought down costs by $20
3. Shipping/Handling - all production, labs, bottling, storage, distribution from Texas
Chris explained that this company was undergoing a $10.4 million expansion in this part of the United States, due to Perfume World being the only distributor to have both original and rendition fragrances.
Local Pittsburgh locations: Monroeville, Bethel Park, South Park, Robinson Twp., Baldwin, Mt. Lebanon, Sewickley, Allison Park, Aspinwall, Greentree, Bridgeville, Castle-Shannon.
Out of State locations: Milwaukee, Appleton, Green Bay, Wisconsin; Detroit, Michigan; Cincinatti, Toledo, possibly Cleveland, OH; Indianapolis, Indiana; St. Louis, MO; Albequerque, NM; Phoenix,AZ (only needs one more person); Las Vegas, NV; Orlando, Jacksonville, Tampa, FL; Atlanta, GA; Raleigh, Charleston, Charlotte in the Carolinas; Boston, MA; Buffalo, Syracuse, NY.
He also went on about John Whitworth receiving letters from Liz Claiborne, and Hugo Boss to start original fragrance lines. He now works with 75 other major designers.
Training - would be 10-13 weeks long, broken down into 3 stages:
1. Basic training (includes Marketing, Administrative,and Management)
2. Executive Levels - supervising 5-8 people in office under your manager's supervision, offered $300-500 "crew bonuses"
3. Branch Manager - open own office
While training, each "Manager" would make a commission of $7 per transaction, but once training complete, salary would be between $38,000 - 40,000 at entry level.
Benefits and Perks:
-New Managers would have the lowest possible overhead for the first year.
-Open advancement, no "Bigwigs", based on merit, not seniority
-Profit sharing, matching dollar for dollar for the top branch managers
-Flexible schedule, take Fridays off
-full life and full health insurance, no premiums, deductibles or co-pays, but no dental
-Vacations are 2 weeks per year, split however
-1 week mandatory company trip to exotic locale, Chris' example was Cancun.
Of all the training overview, the ability to teach others stood out the most as the attribute they wanted. the phrase "Listen, Learn, Apply" was used, and "DWIT" (Do What It Takes). The main object of the business is to oversee distributors by: originating, opening, closing, maintaining "Accounts".
The seven types of accounts are:
4. Mail order
5. Route Sales
6. FFAAR (Friends, Family, Associates, Acquaintances, Relations)
A few other names to look out for from the Chicago area are: Tracy Bencal and Terry Burton, who trained Chris Bibzak, Adam (no last name given), and Lisa (no last name given).
A word on Chris, Josh and Lisa, they are all in their early to mid-twenties, the office is thrown together, just the basics. No computers anywhere, no phone calls came through while interviewing, anywhere in the office. The Training room has a large, drywall sized wipe off board taped to the wall and about 20-25 chairs. It seemed as though the office was just thrown together at the last minute.
Look for, and ask about certification, you will not see any. If this report helps a future job seeker, I'm happy. Someone helped me realize that this is a pyramid scheme, just before I became involved, I hope others will read this and recognize the same signs.
Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on World Perfume