BBB Accredited Business Profile

Southwestern Advantage

Southwestern Advantage

(615) 391-2801

Southwestern Advantage

161 years in business

2451 Atrium Way
Nashville, TN 37214

Additional Phone Numbers
  • (888) 602-7867
Additional Email Addresses
  • dmoore@southwestern.com
BBB File Opened: 10/01/1961
Business Started: 01/01/1855
Business Started Locally: 01/01/1855
Business Incorporated: 01/24/2012
Type of Entity
Corporation
Contact Information
  • Principal: Mr. Trey Campbell, Director of Communications
  • Mr. Dan Moore, President
Business Category
  • Publishers - Book
  • Sales Organizations
  • Sales Presentations
  • Sales Training

Additional Information
  • INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS & PARENTS: Students are interviewed and recruited by Southwestern Sales Leaders and local student leaders during the fall and spring. If selected for the program, the students may begin initial training to know what to expect, and informal product training. Students, although legally classified as adults, are endorsed into the program by their parents through a parental support letter. The students attend a five-day training course in Nashville that covers business management, product knowledge, sales presentations, success principles, safety and ethics among other things critical to running a successful business. Similar to other direct selling companies students are independent contractors, NOT employees of Southwestern Advantage. After training they are provided a suggested sales area in which to work. They typically live with a host family and 1 to 3 other student representatives of the same gender. Housing is not guaranteed, but students receive training and advice from the company. Housing is part of the set up of their business. Many host families do house year-to-year and consist of both alumni and non-alumni. Students are financially responsible for the lodging, food and travel expenses during the training and summer time. Southwestern Advantage suggests students bring approximately $500 with them to sales training. The total expenses incurred throughout the summer vary according to the individual, but range from $1,500 to $3,000. Students generally pay their expenses from down payments collected from sales of product and remit the rest to the company where it is recorded on their company account to cover the wholesale cost of the products. The most successful student dealers work a rigorous schedule of 72 or more hours a week, Monday through Saturday, typically 8 am to 9 pm. The students talk to families in their homes through cold calls and referrals. Although students work independently during the day, a student leader is close by to mentor, support, answer questions and even follow or be followed to offer advice from his/her previous experience. Student leaders meet with the students each Sunday and someone from Southwestern calls each host home at night to collect stats for inventory and make sure the students returned safely. There are no sales quotas set by Southwestern Advantage, as the representative is an independent contractor. At the end of the summer, students deliver the product to their customers, collect the balances due and return to Nashville to reconcile their accounts. They remit the remaining money, return left over product for full credit, and receive a check for their credit balance. INFORMATION FOR CUSTOMERS: By Federal law, customers who purchase Southwestern Advantage products from the student representatives have three days from the date of purchase to cancel their order. Saturday is included by Federal law as a business day. Southwestern Advantage is a third party to the contract between the students and customer and can only act on the student's behalf within the three-day cooling off period. After ordering products, be sure to keep the sales receipt given to you by the student. It is a contract with the student of your intentions to purchase the product. If in the event you do not receive the product you ordered, Southwestern Advantage will guarantee delivery if you have a valid receipt. Call the Southwestern Advantage Customer Contact Center at 888-551-5901 or e-mail at customercontactcenter@southwestern.com.

Alternate Business Names
  • Southwestern

A+

Overview

Southwestern Advantage is a direct seller and publisher of educational and reference products including books, CD-ROMs and a subscription-based website. Southwestern is America's oldest direct selling company, established in 1855 in Nashville, Tennessee. Since 1868, Southwestern has helped college students run their own business to offset their educational expenses. Students from over 300 colleges and universities in North and South America and Europe participate, many earning college credit hours as an internship opportunity. Between 2,500 and 3,000 students participate in marketing and selling books and software each summer. The student representatives have over 4 million personal interactions with families and customers each summer all over the United States and Canada. When reviewing complaint information as outlined in the "Customer Complaints Summary" below, please take into consideration the company's volume of door-to-door transactions in relation to the number of complaints filed with BBB.

BBB Reason for Ratings

BBB rating is based on 13 factors: Get the details about the factors considered.


Licensing information is provided in the BBB Business Profiles to inform the public about industries that may require professional licensing, bonding, or registration. Better Business Bureau encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.

BBB promotes truth in advertising by contacting advertisers whose claims conflict with the BBB Code of Advertising. These claims come to our attention from our internal review of advertising, consumer complaints and competitor challenges. BBB asks advertisers to substantiate their claims, change ads to make offers more clear to consumers, and remove misleading or deceptive statements.

BBB reports on known significant government actions involving the business's marketplace conduct.

BBB reports on a company that is out of business for three years from the date the company closes its doors or ceases to do business.

BBB reports on unauthorized use of the Better Business Bureau's name and/or logo for as long as the business continues to use it in any advertising, or for one year after the business ceases any repeated unauthorized uses.

BBB reports on a business’s bankruptcy as long as the business remains in bankruptcy.

BBB reports when mail sent to the business was returned by the Postal Service.

Southwestern Advantage

Southwestern Advantage

BBB ACCREDITED SINCE 10/01/1961

Customer Review Rating:

Positive
63%
Neutral
2%
Negative
36%

Composite Score:

0 3