Thin Mints E-Commerce Hits a Snag

Published on March 16, 2009
by Raymund Flandez

An eight-year-old from Asheville, N.C., found that there are limits to where you can sell Girl Scout cookies. Her dream of selling 12,000 boxes to send her entire troop to summer camp has been dashed by a technicality that’s left people scratching their heads.

Earlier this year, Wild Freeborn (yes, that’s her real name) posted a YouTube video, with the help of her dad, with an enthusiastic pitch: “Buy cookies! And they’re yummy!” They set up an online order system where customers in their area could purchase Tagalongs, Thin Mints and Samoas. Within two weeks, 700 orders came in.

But Miss Freeborn’s e-commerce plan hit a major snag. The Girl Scout Cookie Program, which according to Newsweek “bills itself as the largest program to teach entrepreneurship to young girls,” says it prohibits all online sales of its cookies — primarily because of safety reasons. Its guidelines state that Internet use should only be for advertising.

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