Girl Scouts in NJ Ask: Don’t Try to Buy New Sold-out Cookies Online
The new Raspberry Rally cookie is delicious and nearly impossible to get but New Jersey Girl Scouts ask you to resist the urge to buy them online.
After the cookie sold out in less than a day boxes started showing up on eBay and other online auctions for well over the selling price of $5 a box. Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore CEO Heather Coburn says buying boxes online may satisfy your sweet tooth but doesn't benefit the scouts and the activities funded by sales.
"Cookies are not intended for resale," Coburn told Townsquare Media. "We don't support that at all. And unfortunately, it's kind of diluting the whole point of what the Girl Scout Cookie Program is all about."
The new variety was introduced with great fanfare at the beginning of cookie-selling season in January as being available only online instead of your friendly neighborhood Girl Scout. Introducing a new cookie can be tricky for girls who are learning skills about what is essentially a small business.
"There's people that are excited about it and want to try it. Sometimes for booth sales, girls would over-order inventory. Customers may not like them. So it's a gamble, it's a risk that you take," Coburn said.
Lots of problems at the cookie factory
The bakeries that bake the cookies also ran into issues and stopped production of the Raspberry Rally.
"The Raspberry Rally, much like its sister cookie the Thin Mint, is a vegan cookie so it has to be baked on a completely separate line. I don't know if it was ingredient shortages, labor shortages, whatever the issue is, it turned out that they did not produce enough and were unable to produce any more," Coburn said.
As a result, the Jersey Shore Council was allotted only 7,500 boxes to sell online. They were sold out by 11 AM on the first day. Coburn said it turned into a teachable moment.
"It is teaching them, especially in the current state of the world, that inventory issues are a real thing. Shipping costs are high right now. You have to expect to pay quite a bit to have things delivered to you. That's what Girl Scout is about. We teach our girls to be resilient. We teach them that they will learn something good or bad out of every experience they have and how they can work with that," Coburn said.
A power issue at the Little Brownie Bakery in Louisville, one of two used by Girl Scouts in New Jersey, has caused online sales to be limited to Thin Mints, Adventurefuls and S'mores for the rest of cookie season, which ends on Easter.
Good news for other varieties
There is some good news about Girl Scout cookies: booths are fully stocked with cookies to buy and take home Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
"We have every variety in stock, minus the Raspbell Rally, of course. So girls can have successful booth sales, they can still take individual customer orders and find a way to get them their cookies," Coburn said.
Booths can be found on the Coucil's website at gsfun.org/cookies.
The Scouts are bouncing back from the pandemic when social distancing discouraged face-to-face interactions at the door and at cookie booths. Troops used drive-thru booths, lemonade stands, personalized websites and walkabouts to make sales. Leaving a door hanger with a QR code for ordering or using GrubHub to deliver orders were other creative ways to sell.
"Sales are great sales are our girls are a big part of that. They've gotten back to going door to door and letting people know and spreading the word. Social media is wonderful because you can pop it on there 'Hey, we'll be out at this place from this time on this day," Coburn said.
Coburn, who is mom to a Brownie Girl Scout, said the girls want to meet their goals so they'll have the funds to do community events and fun trips.
"I always say there's so much more inside a box of cookies than the delicious cookies themselves because what it teaches our Girl Scouts is invaluable," Coburn said.