Magazines. Meat. Home repairs. Vacuum cleaners. Asphalt paving. Those are but a few of the many products that are sold door-to-door in some parts of the U.S.
Door-to-door sales aren't new, but consumer complaints about scams in such solicitations are on the rise , according to Katherine Hutt, a spokesperson at the national Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBBs) in Washington, D.C.
"Unscrupulous marketers sometimes trick consumers into paying hundreds of dollars for items they don't want or can't afford. Oftentimes, their presentations are so slick consumers aren't even aware they've actually made a purchase," Hutt says.
High-pressure sales tactics
Your front door is attractive to scammers for much the same reasons it appeals to legitimate salespeople, explains Susan Grant, director of consumer protection at the Consumer Federation of America, an association of nonprofit consumer-advocacy groups in Washington D.C. In both cases, Grant says, the aims are to catch you off-guard, quickly establish rapport, play on your politeness and create a sense of urgency to get you to say yes.