The Girl Scouts in years past have went door to door taking orders for Girl Scout Cookies. The order form would then be turned in to Girl Scout leaders who would then order the countless cookies for customers. Consumers of Girl Scout Cookies would have to wait weeks to enjoy a taste of goodness. Girl Scouts would then go back to each person and household to deliver said cookies. At the end of Girl Scout Cookie season, troops would gather at storefronts to have booth sales, selling the extra leftover cookies to the community.
What is/was different this year? This year the Girl Scout organization tried something different. No one was sure about how this was going to go. They directly sold cookies to customers. Forget the order forms and delivering cookies after weeks of waiting on them to come in. This time girls in Girl Scout troops received cases of cookies and sold directly to customers. The girls went door to door with wagons, baskets, trailers, and car-loads of cookies to sell. No more waiting on cookies to come in! This confused many customers who did not understand how this was happening. Many elderly repeat customers kept insisting that they knew when deliveries would be made each year and this was not how it was done.
So what is the verdict? How did this year’s cookie selling go? Well the sales of Girl Scout Cookies are through the roof! Every girl, almost, beat her old record and amazed herself at how well she did. If Girl Scout Cookie sales were down last year because of the economy, they were way up this year because of direct sales! Why was this possible with direct sales? Customers do not want to wait on their cookies. Girls could sell to vacationers only in the area to sight-see, girls could have their own booth sale in their own yards, girls could sell anywhere they went by just carrying a box or two of Girl Scout Cookies around, and girls were pumped up by seeing diminishing piles of Girl Scout Cookie cases.
What went wrong with direct sale of Girl Scout Cookies? Plenty! For one thing, girls could not get enough cookies to sell. It was frustrating for girls to keep running out of cookies and it take so long to restock. The bakery was not up to the high volume of Girl Scout Cookies sold during the direct sale. There has to be a better way of doing it so the girls can set a goal and be able to meet it. When a girl is only three shy of meeting her goal, it is bad not to be able to restock! Troops in the same areas should confer on these problems and share when necessary to help a girl meet her goal when she is so close.
Another problem were the parents of girls who were pushy about locations of booth sales and the number of cookies sold by their daughters. If direct sales continue in the future, parents should have to sign an agreement about following Girl Scout rules. There are rules for booth sales that should apply in this situation. Younger girls should not be at a store selling Girl Scout Cookies over three hours. I saw a parent of a six-year-old have her at a storefront for five hours one day!
I do hope that direct sales will continue with some improvements next time. With the sales of Girl Scout Cookies doing so well, it looks like ordering them will become a lost tradition. The girls really had a great time with direct sales this year!
Sources: Carolyn Foster and her daughter in Girl Scouts