The traveling salesman was known for his effective and sometimes dubious sales pitches used to draw in a customer. Before brand names and huge company logos, the travelling salesman was the face of small local companies. The travelling salesman usually travelled outside of large cities and into more suburban areas. These salesmen valued the importance of one-on-one sales tactics and often individualized pitches based off a quick assumption on the buyer.
Going into the 20th century, the salesman had to compete with large advertising agencies so they adopted half-truths, exaggeration and tailored messages into their sales pitches. When buyers finally became aware of the false advertisements, the travelling salesmen became a brother to the con man in the public eye; trying to trick and fool the buyer into buying something that promised to “cure all illnesses,” when in reality it’s a glass bottle of water. The people of the time described the market as, “caveat emptor” (let the buyer beware). This era of massive false advertisements ended when a huge consumer movement fought against the salesmen making hard for them to continue to thrive.