On Friday, we got a visit from a meat seller. As it happens, we’re somewhat interested in bulk meats, and we definitely want a freezer (which they were throwing in), so we let him in.

His sales pitch was solid. I was initially pretty reluctant, but Clancy (who in particular is interested in bulk meats) was a bit more enthusiastic. I want to start doing a lot more cooking, and having a lot of meat around seemed like a pretty good way to encourage me to do so. He almost had a sale.

I remembered Dr Phi’s post on Town & County Foods, however. Clancy asked if he could step outside to give us a few minutes. Which he did. Remembering Dr Phi’s post on Town & County Foods, I was inspired to look up the company online. While the model of this company differed from T&C, there were enough similarities that I wanted to check up on them. It… did not paint a pretty picture.

On the upshot, this was not a fly-by-night operation. A lot of the complaints I saw involved their aggressive sales strategies. There were no items about hidden contracts, which was a primary concern. There were vague comments about how the business did business, but little in the way of specifics.

However, they do have an “F” from the Better Business Bureau. While they have no obligation to be members, that they aren’t and that they failed to respond to any of the complaints against them… well, that doesn’t prove anything, but also doesn’t fill me with confidence. Given the sheer number of complaints out there, they seem to have accepted or resigned themselves to having a pretty negative reputation online. Which means that if things go sideways, they don’t have a reputation that they would particularly like to protect.

We told the salesperson that it wasn’t going to happen. He made some sale-save efforts, but quickly determined that it was a lost cause. It was a very long few minutes while he packed up his meats and went on his way. On the one hand, I felt bad for him because he really probably thought that he had made a sale. And it fell apart due to no mistake of his own, and on account of something there was absolutely nothing he could do without.

On the other hand, he was an unsolicited solicitor. That’s got to come with the business.

Unlike T&C, I don’t know that what they were offering was a bad deal. I was mostly worried about, once having ordered from them, fending off attempt and attempt at re-order. I once had an ongoing issue when I purchased some printer ink that was alledgely “no obligation” that ultimately resulted in my having to tell shipping “please to not accept any packages from these people.” The salesguy said that wasn’t how they operate. Maybe it’s not. But there was enough out there to make it a concern.

Category: Market

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10 Responses to Bulk Meat

  1. Peter says:

    Maybe the salesman will catch on that he’s caught up in a pyramid scam and will get a real job.

    • trumwill says:

      That thought had crossed my mind. I’m not sure of this particular meat company’s business model, though.

      • Peter says:

        If the salesman is going unsolicited door to door, it’s basically a guarantee that he is (1) on straight commission and (2) under relentless quota pressure; and most likely (3) is making less money than he would at a fast food joint.

        • trumwill says:

          I expect that #1 is at least mostly true, and #2 likely so. I can defer to your experience on #3.

          One of the interesting things, though, is that he couldn’t give me any contact info. Might have been a “hard sell, buy today” thing, but if I didn’t buy from him that day, he said any future orders would likely be through someone else.

  2. Mike Hunt Ray Rice says:

    When reading this post, I was picturing you as Ron Swanson.

  3. A 4 says:

    So the salesperson just randomly knocked on your door? Did he start with the classic line “Hey, do you like steak?”

    That’s what I got the last I encountered these guys, driving by in a strange refrigerated truck when I was doing yardwork. Really persistent, even when I was clear right off that buying meat from a door to door salesman wasn’t going to happen. It got more awkward after he claimed to be local, and then I asked him why he had a license plate on the truck from 1500 miles away.

    Have you considered bulk meat on your own? Chest freezers are really cheap, and there is certainly someone nearby to you who will sell you have 1/2 or quarter cow. Ask at your local beef processor, which you probably also have, even if you don’t know it.

    • trumwill says:

      He just jumped right in with “I have a bunch of meat in my truck and boy do I have a good deal for you!”

      I haven’t looked into the bulk meat all that much. It’s Clancy’s wheelhouse. I am open to getting the freezer, though, which we’ve been talking about since before Lain was born.

    • fillyjonk says:

      I’m super suspicious of people trying to sell me stuff.

      I’d have been tempted to go into my best imitation of a vegan debating a meat-eater if some random guy in a truck asked me if I liked steak. (I wonder how the meat-truck guys respond to, “No, we are vegetarians.”?)

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