Sunday, February 1, 2009

What do Zappos & Girl Scout Cookies Have In Common?

It's February, which means my fave Girl Scout Cookies will be here soon!

But Thin Mints need a social networking site?

Intrepid Girl Scouts - and their status-updating parents - think so, and are Facebooking their way to increased cookie sales this year. “It’s amazing what this tool has done” to quote a mom.

Duh... a bit more traffic than the farmer's market on Sunday mornings, imagine that.

Brownie Nicole Newton, Facebook sales=Going Places Plush Pony. The 8-year-old had hoped to sell 85 boxes of cookies to earn the prize, but was stuck at 83 when her mom, Beth, posted a frustrated status update - “I’m tired of selling Girl Scout cookies” - and sold a fast 10 boxes. Do you think knocking on a few more doors would have been less than effective? “She actually sold 93 boxes. It was all because of that horse,”

The organization frowns upon an e-commerce site for its iconic cookie program because the point of the sale must be the girls. Well a quick E Bay search debunks that notion. eBay returns at least a hundred listings for Girl Scout cookies. Some sellers claim that they're selling on behalf of their kids. The Girl Scouts of the USA sell about 200 million boxes of Girl Scout cookies every year, generating about $700 million in revenue. And although resales are a violation of the organization's policy, the Girl Scouts has not contacted eBay or sellers about pulling down the listings.

This February Girl Scouts will have a lighter burden to lug around. As the costs of baking and transporting the group's famous sweets shoot through the roof, the Girl Scouts of the USA has decided to package fewer cookies into boxes of Thin Mints, Do-si-dos and Tagalongs and to shrink the Lemon Chalet Creme cookies.

In order to give the customer the product they're used to, instead of raising the price, this was the only alternative: lowering the weight of the cookies rather than asking the customers to pay more," said Michelle Tompkins, a Girl Scouts spokeswoman.

Girl Scouts now blog, and spend way too much time on Facebook but traditionally sell the cookies to practice setting goals, managing money and working in teams. Each local council sets its own price, sometimes as high as $4.50 a box, though the nationwide average is $3.50.

Would have been nice to learn that the partially hydrogenated oils were axed too, but I suppose that will be a future battle.

No comments: