Important change for the 2016 Girl Scout Cookies sale

Girl Scouts of Colorado is moving to a no-return policy for the 2016 Cookie Sale. This policy will allow girls to be more successful because we’ll have better control over inventory, a more accurate Starting Inventory Order and girls will have the cookies they need.

After production issues experienced at the bakery last season caused challenges nationwide, Girl Scouts of Colorado decided to move up our planned timeline for a no-return sale. Girl Scouts of Colorado was one of only a few councils that allowed returns.

Girls and troops still will be able to transfer cookies from troop-to-troop and order more cookies from their local cupboard as needed.

Additional training will be provided to Troop Cookie Managers to ensure that troop Starting Inventory Orders are well thought-out and meet the needs of the girls and troops.

We’re looking forward to an awesome 2016 Cookie Program where Girl Scout Cookies can do a world of good!

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Why is GSCO moving to this policy now?

Inventory shortages at Little Brownie Bakers created a situation in 2015 where some troops and girls ran out of cookies to sell and couldn’t get more. Moving to a no-return policy and troops submitting a Starting Inventory Order of what they actually plan to sell will ensure we have all the cookies on hand at the beginning of the sale.

2. Can I still checkout booth sale cookies on consignment?

No, booth sales will need to be accounted for in your SIO. We will provide solid estimates of the number of cookies you can expect to sell of each variety at a typical booth sale. Make Hometown Heroes a prominent push at your booth and door-to-door sales and any leftover packages you have will go to your HTH donation. Additional cookies will be available at cupboards but cannot be returned.

3. Can I swap varieties of cookies for others at the cupboard?

The council cupboards will not accept any returns or swaps. Troops and girls can swap with other troops. Service Unit-level volunteers will be able to help facilitate these transactions.

4. Can I return damaged cookie boxes?

Yes, if you find damaged cookies in your inventory, please exchange the package for a non-damaged package at your local cupboard as soon as possible.

5. Will GSCO recommend a SIO per girl?

A new section of cookie training will focus solely on Starting Inventory Order. Council can recommend an average SIO for a new troop or girl based on program level and region.

6. What happens if we have a girl who cannot sell at the last minute due to a family emergency or something?

As we saw during the 2015 Cookie Program, Girl Scouts are happy to help sister Girl Scouts. Your troop can transfer those cookies to another troop looking to supplement their inventory.

7. Can GSCO return cookies to Little Brownie Bakers?

Girl Scouts of Colorado pays for every case of cookies that we put in our warehouses. We cannot, nor have we ever been able to, return any cookies to the bakery or exchange cookies with other Girl Scout Councils.

8. How will this change the volunteer role of Cookie Cupboard Managers?

Cupboards will still be used for storing, managing and delivering cookies to troops/girls. A new Cupboard Manager training will be provided to focus on the no-return policy, troop-to-troop transfers and the number of cookies needed for booths.


16 thoughts on “Important change for the 2016 Girl Scout Cookies sale”

  1. As a leader for 20 plus years it will be interesting to see how this affects sales. I think it will be hard our troop cookie managers.

    1. Our council GSWO had been doing this for a while. We haven’t had a problem. Think of it as “using resources wisely”.

      1. Correction, we still take pre orders, but the majority of our sales are booths. My starting inventory order is usually about 100 boxes a girl. Depending on the goals of the troop.

  2. I really see chaois with this. Council will need troops to select booth sales before making our starting inventory. This will make pick up day longer and more time consuming. This will not help inventory by the end of the sale, I see us running out of cookies again, because of no return and not being able to get more from the bakery . As a 6 year veteran TCM, I am very concerned about this sale.

    1. No. A no-return policy will allow girls to be more successful because we’ll have better control over inventory, a more accurate Starting Inventory Order and girls will have the cookies they need.

      1. This is only my second year as leader but the problem is that we cannot really have an accurate starting inventory if we don’t have pre-orders or know about booth sales. This puts the financial burden on the troops and parents if they under or over estimate yet if we did the pre-orders again, a lot of the uncertainty is gone aside from booth sales.

        1. A new section of cookie training will focus solely on Starting Inventory Order. Council can recommend an average SIO for a new troop or girl based on program level and region. We will also provide solid estimates of the number of cookies you can expect to sell of each variety at a typical booth sale.

      2. No, this will only ensure that Council is successful and girls lose money because they get stuck with cookies. It is time to go back to take order. Our girls will no longer be selling cookies. It is too much hassle and stressful and no one wants to be cookie mom anymore.

  3. As a veteran of 16 years this will NOT be more accurate, I can name a few things that will go wrong with this system. First we must get our booth sales booked, before placing any orders.for 15 years we have done over 30 booths a year, last year only around 18 because of no cookies, by stating I want 4000 boxes it still doesn’t work if the booths are not available as we have lost stores, do to changing the time of year,taking away Presidents Day shifts and store closings, and or just other troops making stores mad because they don’t clean up after themselves. Plus we live in Colorado, weather could play a factor, and Stores only let us in for a limited time.
    Also Parents who have girls who sell in the thousands, Where are they going to store these cookies? And how are they going to know what flavors will sell to the exact number.
    As a troop leader of 10 girls who sell into the 5000 range where am I suppose to store these, how am I suppose to pick these up? And How are the Cookie pickup locations suppose to be able to handle orders like these when in the past they couldn’t even get enough volunteers to deal out the amount of cookies that were suppose to only be a 30-80% margin. This is going to be a bigger mess than last year. So very Concerned our last year is going to be a waste and we have a huge trip we have been planing for the last 3 years.

  4. Honestly, I have never had any issues managing my troop cookie inventory and have always erred on the conservative side when ordering. I would rather make more trips to the cupboard to get more cookies than to be stuck with 50 cases at the end of a sale and scrambling to try to sell them or transfer them.
    As long as the cupboards have extra cookies and troops are willing to share, I don’t see this non-return policy being an issue for my troop.
    The only suggestion I have is for council to help the troops out by having MORE booth sites available in eBudde next year. I was more frustrated with what seemed like fewer booth locations and dates/times last year than anything else. It felt extremely competitive to be able to snag a booth site last year and we even had to resort to driving from Denver to Longmont just to get a booth site.

  5. I think they should go back to pre orders before they do any kind of ordering so that they the troops get a better count on the number and kinds of cookies that the people are wanting. I know that we had numerous complaints from our customers that they missed the girls coming to their doors and taking orders from them and that they couldn’t get the cookies they wanted. I think the order forms should have ALL of the cookies that the baker makes for your area so that the customers can order what they want and just like when you put your order into the system it gets rounded up to the next full case and that is what you have extra to help with your booth. Would definitely cut down on alot of the caios and overages. And then if your troop needs more you can go to the local cupboard and get more. It is too much of a pressure on the Troop Manager, especially if it is their first or even second year and no one is really giving them any support or help as we got to experience in our troop.

  6. I’m glad we are getting advanced notice. I only hope this means the GS Council is working to secure more booth sites for next year. That was our struggle last year. We knew what booth sales had been in previous years, but then we didn’t have enough locations on Ebudde to choose from and we scrambled to locate other options on our own.

  7. Another poor business decision from our Council. I can see our troop getting stuck with cookies if the weather during the sale window is bad. That could potentially negate any profits from selling cookies. Plus, we have no idea how much new Girl Scouts may sell. There should be a system in place to return a small percentage of cookies such as 5% or 10% of the total troop order. Pre-orders take twice the time when you factor in delivery. I don’t have that kind of time. This used to be such a good fundraiser for our girls.

  8. You overestimate the ability of Cookie Managers to estimate any year’s upcoming sales. With Colorado’s weather being so unpredictable in February and March, the same troop could have record sales one year and be stuck with tons of excess inventory using the same numbers for the following year. This is a very bad idea that will simply result in fewer troops selling cookies. How about changing the sale date to April when we have more warm days and fewer snow days?

  9. Despite disliking it, I CAN understand the no returns for SIO.

    That said, I cannot find the logic in having to add booth sales to your SIO! Whether or not you’ll be able to score a booth in a location and time that the girls can work is an unknown variable. This concept is totally backwards & not a risk I’m willing to endorse for my troop. In light of these changes, if we participate in cookie sales at all…the booth is too risky for my girls.

    GSCO it’s only July and…you’ve already got me stressed out about cookie season! $0.65 per box may not be worth the hassle. I urge you to review the feedback you’re getting, rethink this decision, and consider going back to preorders.

Comments are closed.