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  • #16
    We always have familes that are late. Set an early Pack deadline with plenty of cushion to meet the council's deadline for turning in money.

    We do not purchase awards for scouts that are delinquent on their popcorn money. Our Pack pays for the cost of awards and these awards are primarily covered through our fundraisers. In our Pack, Families have two choices to help the Pack go: 1) Avoid participating in a fundraiser and simply pay the annual Pack Dues. 2) Participate in a fundraiser to cover the cost of annual Dues.

    If a family chooses #2, then they need to show us the money. If they refuse, then we have theft. We had his happen to us last year, but that's another discussion on how you handle that.

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    • #17
      We can only return full cases to our council also so we team up with our feeder pack and offset our extras as much as possible. Fortunately we have ways to get rid of the extras pretty easily.

      I also use the extras to our advantage though. Since the troop has to bear the brunt of the extra units, I have added a scout called TROOP to our order for the last 3 years. This way, the TROOP bought the extra units and I can get a prize for the TROOP at what level we are stuck with. So if the TROOP has $350 extra, I can get the $15 gift card prize level. Normally, whatever extra prize I can get, I raffle it off to the scouts that sold popcorn.

      I also allow a buffer week for the boys turning in their orders before I have to submit my order and returns to council. Same thing others have said...do not tell families when the unit has to turn their order in to council. They will use that against you in not turning their orders to the unit until the last second.

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      • #18
        I've never heard of this issue of units having to order full boxes. We can order one item if we want. I have also noticed that when you walk in to our council service center after popcorn sales are over, they have various containers of product for sale at a slightly discounted price. I assume they must be "eating" the odd numbers so units can buy how many they want. This would seem to be more efficient in the big picture, and certainly more "customer" friendly.

        It's also a misconception that councils must use Trail's End. Our council uses this place, and apparently is not alone: http://pecatonicariverpopcorn.com/history.html

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        • #19
          Blancmage - I've been hearing recently that our council, as well as some others in our area, are considering going with a different vendor than Trail's End. Should be interesting.

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          • #20
            Blanc.....like the variety of product offering......how would you rate the quality??????

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            • #21
              Replacing trails end? They should. The whole program screams of needing a total revamp. The price/product value ratio is totally unacceptable. The $50 purchase is more like a $42 contribution with a $8 comparative value. Some of the items are worse. It's hard to pitch with a straight face other than to say it's really a donation with a thank you gift.

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              • #22
                fred,

                Trails end is way over priced......Quality is good. But it is a hard sell. I like the variety that blancs link showed.....I would be interested in their pricing structure as well. Of course it is irrelevant because no one would listen to me anyhow when it came down to a decision.

                Truth be told.......When people came over to our table and heard the prices, they gave us donations instead of buying popcorn. We never asked for donation and we did not have a donation bucket on top of the table. lets face it a $5 dollar donation is better than selling a $10 bag of carmel corn.

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                • #23
                  The council I'm working with changed for this first time this year to a vendor other than Trails End. Reactions so far have generally been positive - in terms of quality, price and value for money, as compared to Trails End. The council also seems a little happier dealing with this vendor, rather than Trails End. We're also using a local vendor, which I think helps make it an easier sell.

                  The downside that we've seen is a slight reduction in variety (which apparently hasn't really harmed sales much). Also, while the boxes and tins of popcorn that Trails End sold featured the Scouting logo and Scouting-related graphics, this vendor's packaging does not. Probably not a huge problem, but something to keep in mind if that's important to you. Though, as I understand it, the hope is that we might be able to work with this vendor in the coming years to feature Scouting-related images on the packaging.

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                  • #24
                    We've had this for as long as I have been involved as an adult (7 years), so I can't compare it to Trails End as far as quality or taste, but compared to products you would buy in the store, it seems to be very good. The prices and relative value seem much better (compared to TE).

                    I scanned the order sheet - see link below. I don't recall exactly how much the unit gets from each one, but IIRC, it is in the 25-30% range.

                    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/pas219/Popcorn.jpg(This message has been edited by the blancmange)

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                    • #25
                      The prices are actually very similar. Unpopped corn is actually more than TE (although I don't have the TE weight offhand). Microwave is very similar--$16 here vs. $18 TE. The chocolate lovers is actually more expensive than anything on the TE order form (highest TE product is $40).

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                      • #26
                        I was a little underwhelmed as well. the vendor website listed a bunch more product than the order form has on it.

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                        • #27
                          We decided as a pack, that the work out weighs the benefit in selling popcorn. We have not sold in a couple years. the last two years we did Christmas wreaths and candles instead. This year I think we are going with Sees candies.

                          Basement, you don't have to sell the same popcorn as your council or district sells. your pack can do what ever it wants as a fund raiser. In the spring we do a walk a thon. almost zero over head and 100% of donations go to the pack.

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                          • #28
                            irregardless of my other short comings and attitudes, I understand that we need to support our council financially and this is how our pack currently does that.

                            If someone builds a better mouse trap we may just do that and send them a check for a couple of grand....who knows.

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                            • #29
                              I've been a Popcorn Kernal for 7 years and counting. Its the major fundraiser for our troop and its done well by us.
                              We also do wreaths, Tom Wat, Rada and flower bulbs too. For all of you with the deadline disease. Question: Do you want the kids to sell popcorn or meet deadlines? That is what i told our concil poohbahs at the kick-off meeting. The key here is flexibility on the councils part. They tried to get hard line this year and thankfully they have backed off. I've learned a few things along the way. Those kids who are truly motivated to sell will do so year after year. They like making the money and watching their scholarship grow with Trail's end. The rest of the boys will only sell if the parents want their kids to pay their own way through scouting. Most of the time the parents wind up footing the scouting bill. We have put our foot down though on families who want camperships because they don't have the money. If they didn't make a good effort to raise funds there won't be any camperships for them. BTW I go out to the community to raise funds for that purpose too.
                              The best motivator though for the kids is to have a specific goal for the troop to work towards. For example, a trip that the troop wants to take would require X amount. Make that the goal and the kids will work more diligently toward it. IMHO.

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                              • #30
                                The biggest problem I have with the popcorn is the minimum order price. It's very good, but it is ridiculous that I had to spend a minimum of $52 to support my grandson. (I made it a bit better by splitting an order with my son, GS's uncle).

                                But I AM supplied with all the popcorn I am going to need for the next 5 years!

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