It was somewhere around 1968, and it’s one of those memories that only makes sense in retrospect. After all, at the time I was 6 and had no idea what a Fuller Brush man was.
But, my dad was one. A part-time one. He also used something called Watkins Liniment. ( I remember that, only because I found a rusted capped bottle of the stuff under a bathroom sink, after my Dad died)
So, maybe I came by my interest in Direct Sales naturally.
But, it was surprising to me a few years back when I, as a Quixtar-affiliated Business Owner, became eligible to sell Fuller Brush products through a Partner Store agreement between Quixtar and Fuller Brush.
So I decided maybe I needed to research this Fuller Brush connection I had as a child and now as a Quixtar Independent Business Owner.
First, a little history about the Fuller company.
TO MANY AMERICANS, THE “FULLER BRUSH MAN” is known as the friendly Fuller Brush representative who comes to consumers’ doors to sell the company’s wares. Widely thought of as an American institution, the company’s sales team has been featured in comic strips such as “Blondie,” “Mutt and Jeff” and “Mickey Mouse.”
Joe DiMaggio, Billy Graham, Dick Clark and Dennis Quaid were Fuller Brush salesmen. Red Skelton and Lucille Ball even starred in movies about the famous brush purveyors. But although the door-to-door salesman may be considered a vanishing
breed on America’s landscape and young people may not be as familiar with the company as their parents are, Fuller Brush continues to come into consumers’ homes. Only now it is through direct mail sweepstakes, catalogs, the Internet and television
shopping, as well as by traditional means.
Alfred Fuller founded the company in 1906 in Boston, making brushes at night and selling them door-to-door during the day. His goal was to make products that were guaranteed to last. By the end of this first year, the company had more than $8,500 in sales ($160,000 in today’s dollars), more than two dozen salesmen and 32 different types of mop and broom products.
The company notes that while the sales force grew dramatically in the next few decades, the job was not easy. Dealers received no base salary and seven out of every 10 failed within the first three months. “The average Fuller Brush salesman was 40 years old, walked six miles a day and sold to only one in every five homes,”
The company says. “Once every four years, he could expect to be bitten by a dog.”
The statistics for Direct Salespeople and now, MLMers, probably haven’t changed much except maybe the “walked six miles a day”
Secondly, the partnership between Quixtar and Fuller is somewhat unique. Not only can Quixtar reps sell Fuller products. But, Fuller provides and markets Quixtar replacements.
Remember the old Amway Shoe Spray?
“Old-Time” Amway reps were known for carrying around a can of instant shoe shine spray. They would spray a prospect’s shoe(just one) and let the prospect see the difference it made. Then the pitch was, “If you want your other shoe to look just as good, buy this can”.
Well, Quixtar doesn’t sell this spray any more. Who does?
You’re probably saying, “Dave, that’s not a Quixtar product, that’s a Fuller product”
See what it says?
PRODUCT REPLACEMENT LIST
And among the replacements are:
Shoe Spray is replaced by Shoe Shine Spray (#704)
Pursue Foam Cleaner is replaced by Industrial Germicidal Cleaner (#761)
Industroclean is replaced by Spray Clean (#634)
See Spray Lens Cleaner is replaced by Spray & Sparkle Lens Cleaner (#56)
Mint Condition Gel Bug & Tar Remover is replaced by Tar & Bug Remover (#797)
These are Quixtar-approved replacement products sold by a COMPETING or a not-so competing company; but a cooperating company.
But there’s more to this unique partnership. Quixtar is selling many of the Fuller products DIRECTLY through the Quixtar website, complete with Quixtar compensation PV and BV points.
Both of these products can be found in Quixtar catalogs as well.
I think this partnership is fascinating and provides a wonderful opportunity to Quixtar IBOs and Fuller Brush reps. And while, I won’t be walking 6 miles a day, door-to-door carrying my Fuller Sales sample case like my Dad probably did; you can bet I won’t be looking at the “Fuller Man” as a competitor anymore, after all, I guess I’m a Fuller Man, too.
UPDATE: August 31, 2009
While Quixtar/Amway Global still has a Partner Store agreement with Fuller Brush; some of the above links and photos are no longer valid. Fuller Brush however still carries many replacements for discontinued classic products once available through Quixtar as well as a Commercial Business-to-Business products section featuring a Quixtar/Fuller product cross reference and replacemnt section.