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  • Popcorn

    We have a popcorn evalution meeting tonight for our Council. If you could make changes to anything about the sale what would they be?

  • #2
    Not sure about your council's timeframefor selling, but ours starts right betrween the start of schol and roundup.

    Basically, parents just got finished with spending a bunch of money from three paychecks in a row for new school supplies, scghool fees, school pictures, school uniforms( where required) or just new clothes, sports uniforms,. band equipment, booster/ key club fees, etc..

    Then- if they are new, they go to a roundup at school put on by a DE who then tells them they owe "X" dollars for council fees, insurance and "If you want, we have Boy's Life" ...which is described as being extremely vital for a scout to even survive being a scout.

    A week or so later, they go to the pack of their choice where they hear about den dues, pack dues, recharter fees coming up in a few months, the cost of uniforms and books, etc...

    It's enough to make you pull your hair out and your checkbook catch on fire.

    Oh wait..did we mention we sell popcorn too? Then we have other fundraisers in the spring and every camping event cost $$$$ too!

    Honestly, I almost walked out of the new scout orientation meeting given at my current pack because of fee after fee after fee being talked about.

    My solution? Sell popcorn in the spring! Hand out awards at the last pack meeting before crossover or graduation. Let the council parties ( for top selers) be in warm wether instead of cold weather. Maybe the top prize could be a free weekend of camping at council camp on the event date of your choice . This would save council froim having to rent a facility and spend more $$ for an event they could do for practically nothing at camp.

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    • #3
      Around here, there isn't a lot of advice available on how to structure your sale in ways that trains and motivates boys and families to maximize sales.

      I'm sure that succesful packs have this figured out, but the information isn't widely disseminated.

      Just one example ---- saving the names and addresses of people who bought popcorn the previous year and hitting them up again. That's a simple idea --- why not publicize it?


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      • #4
        We give up sales because of Food Allergies/diabetes/etc/ ... is there a non-food object that can be sold/offered at the same time? First Aid kit/Flag/??

        Ask about credit card readers/phones. A couple local packs made 25-30% extra this tear using them (trial use).
        (This message has been edited by dg98adams)

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        • #5
          Scout fish, how do you accommodate for the fact that your webelos are gone in the spring when it comes to the fundraiser?

          Aside from the fact that we wouldn't have the funds to carry us through to spring, this seems to be the biggest inhibitor to a spring sale.

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          • #6
            We were one of the Packs that had a credit card reader as a trial. The cell reception for the reader was horrible. Overall we only had 2 credit card sales. You could run a sale off-line and then when you got recption it would run it through. That's scary for show and sell. They just got the product and you're not sure if their credit card will be accepted.

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            • #7
              "Scout fish, how do you accommodate for the fact that your webelos are gone in the spring when it comes to the fundraiser?"

              The fundraiser is before crossover. The Webelos work it too selling tickets or serving food plates. Spring isn't so much an exact date, but general time of year.

              But if the webelos are gone by then, then they are less that have to be funded. But they did work it all the previous years.



              "Aside from the fact that we wouldn't have the funds to carry us through to spring, this seems to be the biggest inhibitor to a spring sale."

              We made a little over $5,000.00 clear profit at our last fundraiser. Now, this is not our entire budget. We still charge a minimal fee for camping $20.00 per scout and $5.00 per parent to cover cost of facility rental, food, and materials at pack camping at other facilities, $5 per scout and parent whehn camping at the CO to cover food costs.

              We charge $40.00 per scout yearly dues [ %15.00 per council fee, $5.00 council insurance, $20.00 to the pack for supplies, badges, awards, materials, etc...]

              Scouts pay their own was to council camp or cover it from scout accounts from selling popcorn.

              Now, I would like to see the popcorn dates moved to a different time of year, but once you've been in it a while, it's not the same sudden overload and shock to new scouts and new parents.

              Another down side to popcorn being sold when itis..is that alot of big store are already breaking out the holiday season candy.

              Go to Wal-Mart, K-Mart, or Target and get a 5 gallon can of 3 flavor popcorn for $3.00

              Or buy a 20oz box of single flavor for $25.00

              Guess where over half of potential customers buy their popcorn.

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              • #8
                Have a lower cost product that people can afford. People might pay $7 for over-priced popcorn but many won't drop $20-$50 at a show & sell event.

                Get agreement from all councils in one area on a common start date. We're bounded by several nearby councils and sometimes it seems like they compete to see who can start a week earlier than everybody else, making sales at mom & dad's work places more than a little crazy. (Mr. Smith whose kid is in the "early" council gets all the sales before Mr Jones's kid is allowed to sell by his council)

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                • #9
                  This opinion isn't worth squat because I truly hate popcorn BUT...the comments I have heard amount to: "get rid of the bags and bring back the tins".
                  I'm sensitive to this because the tins can be reused for other purposes (I keep rice, beans, etc. in them - they're superior to the original packaging due to being mouse and roach proof). The bags just go to the dust bin.

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                  • #10
                    Personally I was not fond of the bags for the popping kernels. The kernels tended to poke holes in the bags, then you start loosing corn all over. Not a good thing.

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                    • #11
                      For show-and-sell there should be small packages that can be sold individually so that passer-byes can make a $1-2 purchase of the bag just to please the boys and/or buy and sample to see if they would be interested in purchasing a larger bag for a higher cost.

                      Stosh

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                      • #12
                        >>>>Honestly, I almost walked out of the new scout orientation meeting given at my current pack because of fee after fee after fee being talked about.

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                        • #13
                          I am conflicted on the subject of fundraisers. I understand without them some scouting families would be hard pressed to be able to afford the different activities requiring fees. At the same time I don't like the idea of turning our scouts (my son in particular) into little salesmen.

                          I have a problem with being accosted, if you will, by different organizations (girl scouts selling cookies as an example) outside of every Walmart, Target or other grocery/discount store when I go to do the shopping. I have nothing against the girl scouts.

                          I have a problem with being accosted by co-workers selling this and that for little Johnnie's organization or little Sally's school fund raiser. And when I politely tell them that I wouldn't care to buy anything from their angels, they take it as a personal slap in the face.

                          I apologize in advance and don't mean to come across as being unsympathetic to these causes but c'mon man. It seems like I get hit up and nickeled and dimed to death from everyone for every cause. Is it not enough for me to support my own kids efforts which stretches me pretty thin as it is?

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                          • #14
                            "And when I politely tell them that I wouldn't care to buy anything from their angels, they take it as a personal slap in the face."

                            Tell me about it.

                            I also hate that if I get approached on Thursday about buying "X" and it's "The absolute last and final day lest they pull our fingernails out" to buy product "X".

                            Sorry,I don't have the extra cash til FRIDAY when we both get paid. Figure that I get paid bi-weekly, then every other week, I am strecthed thin.

                            Then the seller stomps off in a huff!

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                            • #15
                              There are two reasons the Girl Scout cookie sale has been an 80 year success: 1)tradition and, more importantly, 2)product pricing

                              Almost anyone will buy a box of cookies for less than $5 from a GS because the cookies don't seem abnormally expensive. They are. We all know that, but it's only $3.50 or $4, depending on your council. You havne't broken a psychological barrier, unless you remember when they were $1.25. Plus, men rarely want their change back! Sometimes they'll ask it be put in the Cookies for Soldiers jar or just tell the girls to keep the change and have fun.

                              Boy Scouts needs a cheaper, entry level product, especially now that people are carrying less and less cash. If you ask my husband to buy a $25 tin of popcorn, that's likely all the cash he has since he uses his debit card for everything. Ask him to buy a $1-$4 envelope of popcorn, and he is way more likely to do it. He won't even ask for his change.

                              We need a cheaper product for booth sales. Why can't we have a three pack of microwave popcorn for $4? It's only about a dollar more than what's on sale inside the Wal-mart. People are willing to spend that extra dollar because of the place that Scouting has in our national culture and memories.


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