Cookie booths - waste of time?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-06-2000
Cookie booths - waste of time?
14
Mon, 03-01-2010 - 7:16am

The more I look at this, the more I feel like cookie booths are a big waste of time.
We had a booth for about three hours and sold about 12 cases.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 03-01-2010 - 9:17am

My first year as a GS leader someone told me cookies are a program first, a money activity second.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2004
Mon, 03-01-2010 - 9:54am

I get where you are coming from based on popcorn and booths.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2010
Mon, 03-01-2010 - 3:14pm
I also don't get not at least buying a few boxes from your child & turning the card in with zero sold (providing it's not an economics thing).

“Clearly," said Arthur,"you're an idiot- but you're our kind of idiot. Come on.” 
― Markus ZusakThe Book Thief

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-1999
Mon, 03-01-2010 - 4:14pm

This is a really good post.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2002
Tue, 03-02-2010 - 8:53am

We had a 3 hour booth sale on Saturday at the mall and sold about 250 boxes. Then we sold cookies after each of the 5 masses at church this weekend and sold another 150 boxes. There is only 1 other trained Girl Scout adult in my troop (because she used to be co-leader) and she couldn't stay at the mall due to basketball practice and she's the coach. But she is still cookie mom and checkbook keeper for our troop, so she brought all the cookies, the changebox and change to get us going. Then she only worked 1 mass time. So, I had everything else. There were no other parents for the Saturday night mass or the 7:30am Sunday morning mass, so just my daughter, her friend who had a sleepover and I went. There are lots of other adults there so we were never alone and we didn't sell a whole lot, but I thought it was great to be out there and sell what we could. We got some flat out donations without any strings attached too. I plan to credit girls cookie box totals based on how many hours they worked and what percentage of sales that is. For those girls who only worked 15 minutes at the back of church, they are only getting about 5-10 boxes of credit. For my own daughter and her friend, it will be more like 70-80 boxes added. Is that fair... I say it is... they did more work. Was it worth my time? I say yes because we don't have that much money to pay for the things my daughter wants to do, so this helps. Was I exhausted. Yes.

The booth sale also gave us time to share our goals and to tell about the service projects we do that benefit our customers and people they might know. For example, many people didn't know that our girls donate their time to stuff the bulletins for our church. And we also had paper bags that we decorate for Meals on Wheels. We got an extra table at the mall and brought out our markers and stickers and more bags and asked the customers and other passers by if they would decorate just 1 bag. We finished a huge stack of bags that way. I don't know if it sold any more cookies, but perhaps it showed all girl scouts in a better light. And perhaps it made a mom want to allow her preschooler to join next year? And of course we sold for the troops overseas and talked about how 1 of our girls dad's is over there right now and we are sending him cookies directly and another dad is heading over in the springtime and we will send him cookies (or let him take them with him?).

I would like to set up on paper an account for each girl since we will be taking a trip to Savannah GA in 2012. Girls who work more towards it should get more paid for their trip expenses. This will also help us if new girls join our troop (just because of the trip... they won't be able to do nothing and have everything paid for). I understand that if you are planning a big trip then crediting money in this fashion is fine, so long as you have some in your account for regular troop expenses that is evenly used for all girls. This will benefit me as the leader greatly, because my daughter is always one of the highest sellers, so if her trip is mostly paid for, it won't be so much of a burden on our family. I'd like to have the adults that attend pay mostly for themselves though, including me.

Now, I can't speak for popcorn booth sales, because the first one we were supposed to have ever didn't happen this year. Even though we had product in hand (in someone's basement) it just sat there. What a waste of an opportunity. I would like a booth sale for my son because popcorn is so much harder to sell than cookies.

-Jen

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-01-1999
Wed, 03-03-2010 - 3:21pm

I hate site sales but it's been a neccessity this year. Our council has moved to the "cookies now" model. We no longer take pre-orders which means we had to guess how much our girls would sell. We ordered about 80 percent of our average sales. 2 girls (mine included) sold about 3/4's of the boxes and the other 3 girls sold less than 50 boxes each (they've never been high sellers but never this low.) We had a lot of product to move and this years site sales helped us unload our last 300 boxes. Not much profit but better than having to buy them ourselves as it was way over the limit of what we could return. Once those were gone, we chose to cancel the rest of our site sales and just be done with cookies even though we technically have another couple weeks.

I'm SO tired of cookie sales. I'm tired of 2 girls funding our troop every year. I'm tired of the competitiveness and how disconnected most GIRLS are from the actual sale of cookies. Four of our families could pretty much pay out-of-pocket for everything we do but 1 girl could not. We pretty much sell cookies so she can participate. I wouldn't take issue with this if they put out some effort in this reguard but she always sells next to nothing and hasn't been to a site sale in 2 years.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-01-1999
Wed, 03-03-2010 - 3:40pm

I have to add that the other frustration I have is how you are limited to your own community for site sales. We live in a smaller suburban town with only 4 places to sell (2 grocery stores and 2 pharmacies.) On the BEST day you will be thrilled to hit 100 boxes. Two of our sales were less than 30 boxes for.

We have almost double the registered girls as the two neighboring communities but they are incorporated cities and so have all the malls, shopping centers, Wal-marts, as well and more grocery stores and small shops to sell in front of. One troop in the community next to us even had a deal with Old Navy where they sold INSIDE the store and were giving 10 percent coupons off for Old Navy merchandise with a cookie purchase. I do understand why they break them up the way they do but I wish there was a way to share some of the resources across the county.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2002
Wed, 03-03-2010 - 8:29pm

We don't have to stay in our community... we share the grocery store and the mall in the next town over with girls from all over our area. The council office that is closest sets up the times and it's first come, first pick on days and times for the mall and grocery store. Everyone only gets to choose one spot until the end if any are left. If you want any booth sales beyond that, you have to set them up yourself and tell the council about it on the proper forms.

What council says you have to stay in your own community? Perhaps they are defining "community" too narrowly? Do you ever go to those stores? Then I'd say that's your community too.

-Jen

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2003
Sat, 03-06-2010 - 10:50pm

Don't forget about girl planning. Do the girls think it is worthwhile???

And if you start valuing your volunteer time at $20 per hour, and expect a financial return on your investment, what is the point of holding meetings or going on trips or spending time planning?

sooooobig
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-06-2000
Sun, 03-07-2010 - 1:11pm

I understand your point on volunteering.

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