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Moxie

Selling GS cookies

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I hate it so hard. Our selling time is Dec15-Jan 15. I can’t think of a worse time. So, between Christmas and rain, dd has sold zero cookies. Our GS leaders daughter has sold 1000’s of boxes; they live for this crap. Now we have 6 inches of snow and her cookie order is due tomorrow. Dh just got in from shoveling so he refuses to take her out. She doesn’t want to go out. I’m about to order $100 in thin mints and stay in my comfy jammies.

Edited by Moxie
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I feel so much for the girls who are out here right now.  It's freezing! 

 

I don't understand why cookie sales aren't later in the year, like March.  It would make more sense to sell them in the spring after people forget about their New Year's resolutions. :laugh:

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I was big time into it back when I was in Girl Scouts.   But, I wouldn't let my daughter put a lot of effort into it.   I was able to earn two weeks of summer camp with around 400 boxes of cookies.   Now the vast majority of money goes to national and they don't want girls going door-to-door.   

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We do a lot of cookie booths later in the year so I don’t feel too bad. I’m just too busy for this ish.

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It's February-March in our area. I didn't know areas sold at different times.

I didn’t either until a friend posted on FB that sales start today. Must be nice.

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Interesting. Friends (soon to be avoided btw) with daughters in Girl Scouts posted that sales start today here. Girls get very little money from the boxes. It seems like a lousy fund raiser. 

Why do they do that? Spread the selling out over time over parts of the country?

 

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Cookie sales used to start in early January, but not the first. I had to make sure DD was out the first Saturday after it started, because there was a family that drove their daughter to our neighborhood because it was easier to make sales with less walking in a townhouse neighborhood. (I thought that was obnoxious, since there were three scouts that lived here trying to sell already).

 

I thought sales were moved back so people could hit up family over the holidays.

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Why is your area selling at that time of the year?  Could it be shifted for next year?  Can you talk to the leaders?  I wasn't wild about selling door to door at all as a GS but we sold in front of grocery stores sometimes and that wasn't bad.  But we did it at a better time of the year.  

Edited by OneStepAtATime

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Dd1 started selling around the middle of October and delivery was around the middle of November. Our region is the only one that sells during that time for our council.

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We sell in Jan-March which I think as worse. People are cheerfully and spend money in December.  In January everyone is poor, and on a diet.

 

As fundraisers go, it's OK. Girls don't get a lot per box, but, they sell boatloads of boxes without having to really do any marketing.  And at least some of the money goes to camps and programs.

 

We sell less than $100 every year and ti's mostly gifts I give out.  I don't care.  Glad there are super sellers in the troop.

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We sell in Jan-March which I think as worse. People are cheerfully and spend money in December. In January everyone is poor, and on a diet.

 

As fundraisers go, it's OK. Girls don't get a lot per box, but, they sell boatloads of boxes without having to really do any marketing. And at least some of the money goes to camps and programs.

 

We sell less than $100 every year and ti's mostly gifts I give out. I don't care. Glad there are super sellers in the troop.

Except that parents (ME!) are extremely busy Dec 15-Jan 15 and walking her around the neighborhood is not high in my list of things to do for the holidays.

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We only keep a small percentage, but ALL of the rest goes to the local council, and here, the programming is abundant. awesome and extremely inexpensive. I have no issue raising money for the council since they provide great services to us! We don't have a lot of family to buy cookies, so she gets all her numbers at booths!

 

I realize councils in other places are not so awesome, and I might feel differently in that situation.

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I know from FB that my California friends started selling yesterday. I'm expecting it to start any day here, and we'll buy $20 worth from the neighbor girl if she's still in GS. Boxes are delivered in February and we pay then too. That's enough recovery time from Christmas, both money-wise and over-indulging-wise. I agree that Dec. 15-Jan 15 is about the worst possible time.

 

It took us a year or two of dd selling to realize that if we ordered more, we could easily sell extra boxes when they came in. Dd carried a box around with the best-selling flavors and a sign on it, and people would walk up to us to buy cookies. If you only had thin mints, you could sell quite a lot, and thin mints and samoas would be my recommendation for top two flavors.

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Scouts will accept money donations and get 100% of the proceeds instead of the small percentage received through cookie sales.

I have gone this route in recent years as I realized how small the boxes of cookies have become--I just give them the money in lieu buying of the cookies. 

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Interesting. Friends (soon to be avoided btw) with daughters in Girl Scouts posted that sales start today here. Girls get very little money from the boxes. It seems like a lousy fund raiser. 

Why do they do that? Spread the selling out over time over parts of the country?

They only use two industrial bakeries to make all their cookies. They have to be spaced out so the plants can have a reasonable production schedule.

 

Most of the money goes to the councils. These are the entities that own the camps and provide region wide programming. For example, our council has a camp and a fleet of small boats on Galveston bay and a camp and a herd of riding horses in Conroe as well as a large building for hosting adult training and summer day camps/badge workshops in a prime location in Houston. That's very expensive to maintain so cookie money is essential.

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They only use two industrial bakeries to make all their cookies. They have to be spaced out so the plants can have a reasonable production schedule.

 

Most of the money goes to the councils. These are the entities that own the camps and provide region wide programming. For example, our council has a camp and a fleet of small boats on Galveston bay and a camp and a herd of riding horses in Conroe as well as a large building for hosting adult training and summer day camps/badge workshops in a prime location in Houston. That's very expensive to maintain so cookie money is essential.

 

 

That's a good point.  I find it frustrating that the GSofA leadership shoot themselves in the foot, though.  They take money away from cookie sales by allowing the trademarked cookies to flavor supermarket specials- ice cream, coffee creamer, cereal....that money goes directly to corporate.  I think troops have struggled more since the flavors are more widely available.  I can walk right past the cookie booth and get GS Thin Mints granola bars, gum, and herbal tea if I want it.

 

(and yes, I know Keebler has Grasshoppers and such, but it's different when GS is branding it)

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My kid never did door-to-door selling; her troop did cookie booths at stores.  I remember hanging out in front of Walmart in freezing wind; the girls could barely give change because their fingers were so cold, and dollar bills were almost whipped out of their hands by the wind.  Hated it so much.  Sam's Club has that nice big vestibule area but they wouldn't let any groups sell inside it.   

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My cookie info may be outdated since my daughter is in college, but in our area, 100 percent of the profits stayed in the council. This maintained the properties and programs so the girls could do discounted things like climb a rock wall for 5 bucks or camp all weekend for $20. We’re in a HCOL area, so doing anything for a low price is a rarity.

 

Since leaders are supposed to use the money the year the girls earned it, it can be problematic to push sales towards the end of the school year. Also, the bakeries need to be able to produce these cookies, so every troupe can’t sell in the fall.

 

My personal experience wasn’t as frustrating as the OPs. We had an entire month to sell, our cookies were delivered before Thanksgiving and we found them to be a very easy thing to sell. People knew what they wanted.

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Scouts will accept money donations and get 100% of the proceeds instead of the small percentage received through cookie sales.

I have gone this route in recent years as I realized how small the boxes of cookies have become--I just give them the money in lieu buying of the cookies. 

 

 

I've done this too.  The girl who sells in my neighborhood has receipts with her just for this.  It ends up being a tax deductible donation (buying cookies is not).  

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We live in the Midwest and our cookie sales run Feb-March. It’s cold. There’s snow. I feel ya.

 

I have two dd’s in Girl Scouts. Last year between the two I think we sold 1600 because they wanted the American Girl doll. This year I talked them down to the each selling enough to get top seller and I can have some of my life back. We hit opening weekend hard and every free evening too. My youngest is 2nd grade so it’s maybe a bit easier. Often times my 7th grader makes dinner so we can eat when we get home.

 

I’ll gladly support our council and cookies are 100 times easier to sell than the nuts and candy they sell in the fall.

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Dh and I are supposed to be watching what we eat but I was so tempted to buy from someone we know when she shared a cookie order sheet on her Facebook. Could you do that or similar? I understand it might be for the children to do themselves, though. I'm not sure of all the rules.

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Interesting. Friends (soon to be avoided btw) with daughters in Girl Scouts posted that sales start today here. Girls get very little money from the boxes. It seems like a lousy fund raiser. 

Why do they do that? Spread the selling out over time over parts of the country?

 

Why? Is their cookie selling offensive?

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If you don't want to sell, don't sell - the only thing you *have* to do is live and die.

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I had thought this was interesting. Breakout out of where the cost goes. It all seems reasonable, except that they broke out what I would call 'Governance" into three categories.  Put together, it would be $1.47 (29.4%)

 

http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2014/02/03/good-question-where-does-girl-scout-cookie-money-go-2/

 

"Baking and transporting the cookie takes up 27 percent of the cost – or $1.08 of the $4 box. There are two Girl Scout Cookie bakers in the United States. Girl Scouts River Valleys works with Little Brownie Baker from Louisville, Ky.

After paying to make the cookie, 21 percent ($0.84) goes straight back to the troop. Ross says local troops can use it for supplies or pay for uniforms.

Sisters Sofia and Victoria Itskovich of St. Paul say they use it for activities like rollerskating, horseback riding and a trip to Paris in two years.

“I love Girl Scouts because you feel that everyone is your sister and that you can get to know people better,†said 9-year-old Victoria.

Another 19 percent ($.076) goes toward volunteer support to train and screen the volunteers for the 41,000 Scouts. A good chunk, 15 percent ($0.61), pays to upgrade the camps and subsidize the cost to make it more affordable for scouts who wouldn’t otherwise be able to participate.

Twelve percent ($0.49) goes toward leadership programs, which Ross calls “overarching programming experience.†And the final six percent ($0.22) goes to local administrative offices and support."

 

 

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After paying to make the cookie, 21 percent ($0.84) goes straight back to the troop. 

 

Interesting. Percent back to the troop must vary by council. Here it's 50 cents a box unless you sell some large quantity as a troop at which point I think it goes to possibly 60 cents. Unlike the Boy Scouts, who can have individual scout accounts to earn for activities, it all goes back to the entire troop, which was a surprise to some families who had dealt with Boy Scouts previously. 

 

As to why to sell cookies rather than another fundraiser, our council requires troops to participate in both fall sales (nuts, magazines, and candy) and cookie sales (Dec into February/maybe early March) before they can request permission to do any other kind of fundraiser on their own. This is our last year with Girl Scouts (daughter is graduating), and I won't be sorry to be done with the business end of cookie sales. We'll move on to buying from our god-daughter, I suppose, who is a Brownie this year. The circle of life. :)

 

It will be interesting to see how the changes in tax law impact the numbers of folks who currently make donations rather than buy cookies, since the incentive is very substantially lowered to make donations to get a tax deduction. There's the potential to negatively impact many organizations who depend on donations. 

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We start in a couple of weeks here. It is just another season of the year here. After Christmas is cookie sales/latin exam study time for us.  Since I have two registered scouts, we don't do high numbers. We usually get around 300 boxes per girl after some door to door and a few booths. We don't do anything super crazy, but it helps my dd go to camp. Last year she was a CIT for two weeks in younger girl camps. She isn't old enough to be a paid counselor yet, but she plans to be later. The cookie sales money she had (they do get some individual rewards on top of the troop 60 cents a box,) went towards her camp, and scholarships covered the rest. The scholarships are available from cookie money to the council and service unit. So in the end it benefitted her a ton. My middle dd works as a program aide in day camps, so there is no charge to her to go to that camp, but in a couple of years I will have three registered scouts, two old enough for the CIT camp. We rely on cookie money to help them out. Our troop uses our cookie money for uniforms and registration fees for the families who participate. Since registration is $25 per person (me included,) that saves us $75 alone. When my youngest enrolls we will be at $100 a year just to be members. We will sell some cookies to save us that, uniforms, and badges and curriculum costs. Odd is working on her gold award currently. Scouting has provided so many amazing opportunities for us. 

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I have so much sympathy for girls that sell in winter and early spring. Our council sells in the fall, starting in early September and our booths are usually in decent enough weather, I am so grateful for that. We're the only council that sells that early and there is only a portion of another council that also has a fall start date (as MomtoCandJ mentioned). 

Last year my girls were serious go getters and wanted to hit high goals, together they sold about 1,200 but I also tracked all the hours we spent going door-to-door and at booths, etc. So this year, when they went to set their goals, I reminded them about all the work they put in last year and to keep that in mind when setting a goal this year -- they decided to back off their goals greatly.  This year, I just ordered a few hundred cookies to take door-to-door instead of the usual, go door-to-door to take orders and then come back to deliver them (we also don't live in a neighborhood so we have to drive to one). It backfired because it go dark so early by the time cookies came in November but luckily we were able to clear them out with another booth. 

I do like the cookie program, even with all it's downsides. There are so many skills that girls learn throughout the process and it is much more than just asking someone to buy cookies. 

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The two years my daughter sold cookies, she did most of her sales through booth sales with the troop, and digital sales (mostly to friends on WTM!). We did a little bit of door to door, but it tends to get saturated and the requirement of a parental escort made the time we could do that very limited.

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I've had a GS since 1999. I never stress. They sell what they sell. Buy a box and save the rest of your money to send her to camp or something.

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk

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Adding, I do think the girls gain confidence, learn about presenting themselves, our troop uses funds to learn budgeting and they pick a charity to receive a donation. They don't learn that if parents do the work. GS cookies and BS popcorn were/are the only product sales I let the littler kids do.

 

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Adding, I do think the girls gain confidence, learn about presenting themselves, our troop uses funds to learn budgeting and they pick a charity to receive a donation. They don't learn that if parents do the work. GS cookies and BS popcorn were/are the only product sales I let the littler kids do.

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk

Which is why I don’t post on FB or let dh put the form in his office.

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My dd's troop used to have the girls sell cookies at grocery stores and other stores on weekends. They worked in shifts. My dc's cadets do the same thing with their poppy sales and TAG days. I really appreciate this method because you gain access to a large "audience" and the kids do the selling. Kids in uniform are a much better sell than parents. ;)

Edited by wintermom
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Which is why I don’t post on FB or let dh put the form in his office.

 

I think i depends on how it is done - my children film videos for posting on Facebook and takes requests to call or video chat for orders -- I am happy to help facilitate that for them. For DH's work, my children always go in, talk to people in person and only leave a list for those that they didn't talk because they've been asked to do so, and also some people order more. They also usually make up a list themselves with info on it, not just a generic order form. 

 

Other people I see will post asking if someone wants a call from the scout to take their cookie orders, so it's still girl led and not parent led. Though there are tons that just post requests and forms and ask for the kid too -- and honestly, that doesn't remove all the work from the kid, hopefully they're still helping to tally orders, sort orders, package them, deliver, write thank you notes, etc. 

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