19 answers

Boy Scout Popcorn Sales - Best Way to Do It?

My Cub Scout has sold popcorn in front of grocery stores a couple times during the "selling time period." It goes alright--nothing super spectacular. He is very polite, friendly and knows he is representing the BSA, thus his behavior is very good.

We are thinking of loading the popcorn in our "red" wagon and going door-to-door around our neighborhood on a Sunday afternoon. My husband thinks it would be a waste of time and that we should sign up for another time slot at the grocery store-again.

I disagreed. I told my husband that when people are going grocery shopping, often they are busy and running in, and often, just want to get it done asap. I was thinking if my son goes door-to-door, that people are more relaxed and can take a few minutes to look at the varieties and may purchase the same amount--or even more because they are more relaxed and maybe not so rushed.

What do you ladies think? Are you more likely to buy popcorn from the Cub Scout at the store, or at your home, when he comes knocking?

Thanks!

ETA: Should we accept checks?

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I would be more likely to buy at my home. I am a sucker for the kids, even high school aged, that come to my door selling anything. I usually buy something. I did buy Boy Scout popcorn last year (my first time) and I just have to say it's pretty good but boy is it expensive! Wow! I know you have nothing to do with that, but to be honest, I might try and avoid my boy scout this year!

2 moms found this helpful

more likely to buy when I am at home. I definitely think he should go door to door. Also you can email out to everyone you know, put it on Facebook, etc to help him sell. have dad take the popcorn to work too.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

we had pretty good luck going door to door as long as we got there before someone else. Make sure to get the money up front. We had one person move on us. You don't want to get stuck having to pay for some of it.

3 moms found this helpful

I would be more likely to buy at my home...where I have cash...something I rarely carry in my wallet!
And make sure to post that you are selling popcorn on FB--if you have an account.

3 moms found this helpful

I have a scout, and we skip the whole thing...we just write a check to the pack. I really hate the whole process!

3 moms found this helpful

We will buy from any Scout that comes to our door in uniform. However, since my son no longer is in cub Scouts, no one has come to our door.

Scouting has been great to my son!!

2 moms found this helpful

I would be more likely to buy at my home. I am a sucker for the kids, even high school aged, that come to my door selling anything. I usually buy something. I did buy Boy Scout popcorn last year (my first time) and I just have to say it's pretty good but boy is it expensive! Wow! I know you have nothing to do with that, but to be honest, I might try and avoid my boy scout this year!

2 moms found this helpful

fascinating....in mid-MO, we pre-sell using order forms....ask for payment up front, & then deliver the popcorn within the month. Our sales period is one month long, including the ShowNSell. We did our dangedest to get the families to agree to public selling at our local grocery store....& no one was interested. 1/2 of the families were tied up with sports & the other 1/2 were tied up with H.S. Band. It's such a missed opportunity.

We also tried getting the Scouts to sell door-to-door.....& again, no takers. How sad.

We live in a small town & we accept checks. The reason why we pre-sell is because by turning in the checks to our Troop, we can be sure the checks clear prior to final count at the district level. It prevents our Scout families from having to cover those bad checks. :)

I think you'd have better luck at the store....it's really hard to catch people at home in today's busy world. My own son is struggling with that issue right now....he's tried selling to our neighborhood 3 times since sales opened on the 24th. He's made only a handful of sales....simply because nobody's been home!

2 moms found this helpful

I have been asking 5 times in the last 3 days to buy popcorn. I never carry cash or a checkbook. I would have loved to hear a boy say, "we have an Iphone app."

Go door to door. I have a checkbook at home.

1 mom found this helpful

Do not accept checks! Cash and offer to come back if they don't have it at the time.

We used to always sell GS cookies door to door, and at publix but d 2 d was always more profitable.

I think the BS popcorn is just way way way too overpriced, how do they expect the boys to make any money? We always donate (my husband is an Eagle Scout) but we don't buy the popcorn. I would do the same if they came to my door.

1 mom found this helpful

Poor boy scouts... they kinda get the shaft. Every one LOVES cookies and wants them, but nobody wants that popcorn. I think door to door in the uniform would be appealing. How cute is that! I agree that in the grocery store I'd be way too rushed as opposed to at home. However, if a boy scout came to my door I'd have to ask him to come back. I'm a woman of plastic. I don't write checks anymore and I don't carry cash. I too, am one who hates selling things. My son had to ask for donations in preschool, which was even worse b/c he wasn't selling, just asking for money. I ended up donating $40 and calling it good.

Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

most likely at The store because personally, door salesmen are annoying to me. I never knew boy scouts even sold popcorn. I usually just bought girl scout cookies...

1 mom found this helpful

I prefer when kids come to my door to sell for the reasons you gave. I also go looking for specific things (girl scout cookies) if I know they are being sold but haven't been approached. It depends on the question of accepting checks. Do they make them out to you or to BSA? If it is to you I would probably only take checks from people that I know or feel comfortable taking checks from. You could always offer to go back the next day or in a couple of days to give them time to get cash.

1 mom found this helpful

I was a scout master or assistant scoutmaster or filling another adult position in the boy scout troop for almost 25 years.

You don't buy the pop corn because its a good deal. You buy the popcorn to help educate the boy in scouting. Just like I don't buy Girl Scout cookies to get a good deal. I do it to help educate the girl.

If the popcorn is too expensive, give the boy scout $5 and tell him it is a donation to the troop. It will accomplish almost as much good.

Door to door or at the store. I don't see as it makes much difference, except you meet more people at the store.

BTW, scouting is worth it. All six of my sons made Eagle Scout and they are better off for the experience. I think it makes men better husbands and better fathers.

Good luck to you and yours.

1 mom found this helpful

It is easy to pass by the kids at the store cuz I am usually in a hurry. I would tend to buy from a kid walking around going door to door. I love to support Boy Scouts but if I am in a hurry at the store then it is easier for me to politely walk by.

Good luck and best wishes at selling a boatload of popcorn! The Boy Scouts is an awesome organization. My hubby is an Eagle Scout and our 2 boys hopefully will also.

1 mom found this helpful

Honestly, I am not a fan of the expensive popcorn. So I would never stop at your table at the grocery store. If you came and knocked on my door I might feel a little guilty and might consider buying one item less than $10. So yes, door to door might work. But I wouldn't be buying it b/c I want it, but b/c you came to my door asking for me to buy it.
(OH and like Dragonfly said - yes in uniform! And as many "yes ma'am" as I hear I may be a little happier about buying the popcorn. There's nothing that makes me smile more than a very polite young man that says "Excuse me, ma'am. I am selling popcorn for my Boy Scout troop. The money will be used for . . .. . Thank you for your order ma'am. I appreciate it.")

Now girl scout cookies --- I drive TO the grocery store hoping that the girls are out front. I have to go out of my way to go to Walmart and LOOK for the stands. Wish they'd come knock on my door. (Sorry - not b/c they're girls, but b/c they're delicious COOKIES!)

1 mom found this helpful

Our pack does the "show and sell" mostly in front of convenience stores and pharmacies. We are not allowed to decide locations on our own or take the actual popcorn door to door, but we can tell everyone we know when we'll be there. We sign up for 2 or 3 time slots, even though it's a hassle, because it is a very good lesson in sticking with a job. To stand there for 2 hours in 100+ degree heat after a long day at school is not fun. But I tell my son if he asks 100 people to buy popcorn and only 5 do, he is still a success.
We bring a lot of stuff with us to set up- folding table, tablecloth, brightly colored poster, scouting magazines(as decorations, for my son to read, and to give away), clearly labeled donation jar, "business cards" with our pack's website and how to order online, a stool(they're not supposed to sit but my son needs a quick break), bottled water, and breath mints.
If we don't meet our sales goal, then we can do the next phase of taking the order form door-to-door. My son actually loves going door to door and meeting people who are not in a hurry, but we try to limit it to a few neighbors that we know or have told in advance that we're coming(and don't have giant dogs that scare my son when they answer the door).

I am very unlikely to buy anything from someone going door to door or in front of a store. I might let my son donate a dollar or two, but that's it. The best customers are former scouts or members of the military. It makes me really uncomfortable to be taking money for overpriced popcorn from someone who has just lost their job.

1 mom found this helpful

A home depot or or other "manly store" works well with food. We did very very well with door to door in our neighborhood, but it does take alot of time. I was really surprise though most of our customers had their own boys (now grown) that supported my son. Scouters really does give back, you just have to find them. And I have never been turned down by any Eagle, or Eagle parents. We have an older neighborhood and the popcorn was pricey. Now that there is no longer any Ten dollar items, I am not sure how well we would have done.

I have not had one scout come to the door, in two years. Apparently parents sell on face book.

1 mom found this helpful

If you do accept checks make sure you know the people well. People ripoff the Cub and Girls Scouts alot. In GS we couldn't even accept checks from the member's families. Our CS Pack does not accept any checks, but we accept Visa, new this year.

Pack up your wagon and go. I'm in VA, that's a long walk for your little guy. lol
My guy is doing everything online this year, except for his obligatory two booth sales. It has been much easier.

1 mom found this helpful

more likely to buy when I am at home. I definitely think he should go door to door. Also you can email out to everyone you know, put it on Facebook, etc to help him sell. have dad take the popcorn to work too.

1 mom found this helpful

My brothers always went door-to-door, as did pretty much everyone else in their troop. My brothers always accepted checks, but it was also from people we knew. (We had a very short, dead-end street where everyone knows everyone else.) As long as you're going door-to-door in your neighborhood, I don't see any reason not to take checks. You know where to find them if something happens... ;)

1 mom found this helpful

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