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Hello Everyone,


I was just wondering if every council has this new policy or just mine. They change the rules for returns this year to only allow you to return 15% of the take order. Before we were allowed to return any unopen cases. Now we try to order the recomended amount based on last year.


Now here is my complaint. I am not a profesional salesmen. How am I going to project how much my pack is going to sell and or what? I am only a voulenteer. They seem to make it harder for the pack to make a profit and easier for council to keep more money.

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In our council you cannot return any chocolate product, period, and only full cases otherwise at the time Take orders are placed. Our council at least has been badly burned by Trails End not accepting returns, so the council has to be careful to not get stuck with huge surpluses. Of course, it does not help when some unit, as happened in the past, ordered way too much product for store front sales, then returned 50% or more.


Your best bet, at least here, is to look at the size of your selling group and who will actually participate, then look at last year, and order conservatively up front based on that. You can generally get more; but returning too much becomes dicey. We ordered roughly what we sold last year, then got what we needed if we ran out of something, or made it a "Take" order.


From my perspective, it is better to be conservative, no matter how gung ho someone may be in your group. Just my thoughts.

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Surplus, unsold popcorn ? Nooooo problemo....


* Give it to the homelsee shelters or give n' get pantries in the area. Can one non-profit take a tax break for a contribution to another?

* Send it to our Troops overseas. They get hungry too.

* Sell it at the various Camporee/WebWeekend/IOLS/SMS training.

* "Partnership" with a few truckstops along our Interstates. You have no idea how supportive semi jockeys are of Scouting.

* Give it to the Salvation Army. They have lots of programs for needy families and can pass things along.

* Send it to the Scout camps in the area. Credit the food budget, internal accounting fun. Snack time in the mess hall!

* Philmont and Northern Tier can always find need for extra carbos.

* Send it to FEMA for distribution to hurricane hurting people. Goes well with all the bottled water that Coca Cola donates (?).

* Use it for packing material for mail order stuff from Scoutstuff. Might even be cheaper than blowup plastic bags or bubble wrap.



Just a few ideas. Give vent to your creative muse.

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We based our order on last years order but we will end up with left over we can't return. We will sell the extra to families in the pack at a reduce cost to sell it.


Personally I think we might just do a take oreder next year and skip the show and sell.


I know the council has to be careful with returns but like I said I am not sails profesional. I do have a job besides scouting.

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Been a few years, but the timing here was that the take orders weren't due until after show'n'sell concluded. Of course any show'n'sell overstock was easily distributed to fill the take orders.


If were were in a situation where we were required to cut our wrists and order inventory in advance of paid sales, I'd tell the council to pound sand. If you are going to absorb the risk, you can sell candy bars and first aid kits at higher margins.


Most councils seem like their such great partners when they are explaining why you need to sell, but that evaporates when it comes to risk taking. Councils should have equitable policies for dealing with over stock and accounts receivable. At minimum, there should be a point at which councils cut their profits. If a unit is taking a hit, the council should share the pain. Few seem to.


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Our council doesn't take back partial cases or any product with 'chocolate,' and they charge 10% for restocking. They do have a take-back day scheduled after most popcorn forms have been collected. The council popcorn FB page is full of popcorn chairs looking to trade product so they don't have to take a hit on profits.


We are slowly pulling out of popcorn sales. Like Twocubdad said, the units take all the risk and the council and national take a good chunk of the profit. If the support from council extended beyond sales techniques, included good training on product tracking and using the TE website, and shared the losses like unsold product and bad checks, I'd feel better about supporting the popcorn program. As it is, I'm not so enthusiastic.

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We had planned on using unsold Show n Sell product to fill regular sales orders.


Won't have to do that as we sold our entire order of Show n Sell.


We have had our best year ever, more than double our previous high. Of course, our troop has 15 more scouts, this year, too.


Next year will be much less expensive for our scouts because of this. We'll have five go to summer camp totally free because of the sales levels they hit. 15 or more others earned $70.00 in gift cards.


High intensity, short duration. We are done fund raising for the year. Woot! What's not to like?


A few ways to project sales have been given. One other way to do it is to project what you need for the year, awards, banquets, overnights at the museum, etc., then set a sales level per scout to get you there.

Assume that 25% won't participate.


Our popcorn Kemal this year did a great job. She rolled out a new (for us) sales method. We're not selling popcorn, we're selling support for the BSA, the council, our District, and our unit. They are buying support of scouting, and they get a small token of our thanks with popcorn.


It worked well for us.

(This message has been edited by Second class)

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Since popcorn is not a "national" fundraiser, there is no one way that councils must handle their sale. Every council handles their own fundraising differently. Not every council uses Trail's End for popcorn, heck, not every council sells popcorn.


Our council does not deal with customer checks (and the possibility of bad ones). They require cash, or a unit check, to pay for the unit's popcorn.


They are, however, very lenient in their return policy. We can order, and return, all varieties, by the piece, not case. We routinely have units ordering enough for Show/Sell to cover Take Order as well. The experienced ones end up with very little popcorn to be returned/ordered. Our council Show/Sell return day is also the day to put in Take Orders. Show/Sell returns come in, units pick up what they need to cover Take Orders. Any outstanding orders are what are placed with Trail's End. This works out well for everyone. Units can fill all/most of their Take Order at that time. Council only has to order what is actually needed, and so has a LOT less leftovers sitting around their offices.

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We finished our sale.....our troop has a sale average of $1700 per scout.......The boys entire program for the coming year, including summer camp, is paid for. I worked my tail off but it happened.



The second our council tries shenanigans like only returning sealed cases or no return of show and sell orders....We will stop selling.....The Units do 90% of the work and get less than 50% of the profit. We are responsible for lost, stole or damaged product, and bad checks or counterfeit bills.


Council and district need us more than we need them. I could buy all my patches and books via an online store...

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Our council will not take ANY of the things we order back. We can trade between units and transfer entire cases to other units, but you have to find a unit who needs what you got.


We actually had 3 order dates this year which was AWESOME. That ment that we could do our initial order for some show and sells, and I collected a few take home orders before the 2nd order date, and only ordered what we had "presold" for that order date and did more show and sells with that product, and now the 3rd order date is coming up which im going to order/reorder everything i need to finish filling takehome. AND we can order in 1/2 cases on the final order which is even more awesome.


we have over 60 kids in our pack and ended up with a total of about $150-200 per kid in sales. That isn't too bad considering I didn't get all those 60 parents to participate, and some of those 60 kids are not actually participating in cub scouts as happens when people drop out. This was my first year doing it, I have a plan for next year to increase sales already :) This year I just wanted to make sure I didn't get stuck with popcorn the pack would have to pay for lol.



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  • 6 months later...

Our pack is really not happy with popcorn sales. We used our extra show & sell to fill orders, but we had extras even beyond that! I didn't think we would EVER get rid of the cheese popcorn.


Our pack sales have been dropping over the last few years. There are a lot of reasons for that--timing of our Council's sale (beginning of the school year), expensive popcorn, not an impulse buy, etc.


Although our pack will sell again this fall, we plan to have another fundraiser for most of our expenses.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We received a paper last year saying they would take no returns. What our pack did was get the scouts to go around, collect orders, then ordered only what an order was placed for (if scout A had an order of 20 bags, they ordered 20 bags, etc.) I'm not sure how they did it in the past (and I know there are many flaws here and is limiting us on sales we could do with supply on hand) but apparently they were burned many times in the past so this is what become of it. Some that ordered never turned in money, so those were the ones sold 'on hand' instead of placing an order. My son sold $770 worth, I think the highest was $1200 (and we only had maybe 18 boys out of...70-ish sell it.) A lot of our parents despise selling it (they sell so much for the elementary schools that this takes the back burner.) I admit due to his popcorn sales, we didn't sell a thing for his school this year (my friends/family said the popcorn was enough.) We talked about it at the last roundtable and I discovered many of our leaders are against selling it. But for those 18 that did sell, it helped cover quite a bit this year so I think if you're not gonna sell it, so be it, but don't say no for those that do (else we'd all be paying out of pocket for everything.)

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