Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Monday, May 21, 2012

To Sell or Not to Sell

To Sell or Not to Sell

Whether it is selling home automation, pest control or home security, many USU students this summer will be paid on commission. My question is: Why or why not?

Some argue that to pick up and move for the summer is inconvenient, and that they will lose the job they currently have. Others argue that the benefits far out reach the costs. The money they can make in three months can sustain them for the entire school year or pay off their student loans.

I researched around the internet and talked to some friends to find other pros and cons to commission based sales from an employee perspective, and this is what I have found.

Employee Pros

The amount of pay you can receive on commission can be significantly higher than that of a salaried job while requiring the same level of education, experience, and training. According to, a summer sales person can make $20,000 to $30,000 – or more -- per season. There is also the point that the more you sell, the more you make. If you have a knack for sales, you can give yourself a pay bump by simply working as hard as you can. It is all up to you. My brother, Parker, is going to sell home automation in Texas this summer. He believes that since he has no commitments here in Utah, he will be able to work as hard as he can, with little distractions.

Employee Cons

If you don’t produce, you don’t get paid. It’s as simple as that. Vacation time may be treated like a week without pay. To succeed at commission-based work, you have to produce constantly. You cannot coast. If you are not a sales person, then this is definitely not the job for you.

Another cost of doing commissioned based sales, is the lack of professional experience you receive. I recently talked to a guy named Jayd. He has done summer sales for the past four years. Even though the money is great, he admits that all he has on his resume is callused knuckles from knocking on doors.

My Conclusion

It really depends on what kind of a person you are. If you enjoy hard work or love sales, this is your job. If you like to keep to yourself or revel in the security of hourly pay, this is not your job.

In the end, the decision is yours.

--Klydi Heywood

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