No good reason



  • Our Cub Scout pack, like every other one, has been selling popcorn as a fund raiser. We order stuff and sell it in front of the local grocery store and individual scouts take orders, too. They can do it with traditional pen and paper or set up an online account, which is great, because they don't have to deal with any money or popcorn (it gets shipped directly to the customer).

    As Unit Leader, I set up an account to manage our Pack's stuff. As a parent, I've set up an account for my son to sell to far flung relatives and friends. So far, so good. I want to see how much everyone has raised, and I have a "Reports" section of the page when logged in as a leader. I select "All Scouts." At the top of the report, I see this:

    TotalSold includes Trails-End.com Sales from 8/1/2014 to 11/30/2014.

    Cool, I get the online stuff. Oh, wait, it says $0.00, but I know my son has sold a bunch online. WTF. So I email them and find out that the systems (on different subdomains are completely separate and I have to manually transfer stuff over). I explain that this is the opposite of what the report is telling me and ask why this is the case. I suspect they get this a lot, as the answer came back:

    There is no good reason to explain why the systems are separate. We are currently working with our web developers so that next year the systems will be combined.

    Emphasis in the original. I definitely appreciate the honesty there.



  • Trails-End has a thankless job.



  • I guess so. Another problem is that they make the microwave popcorn boxes too big. No one wants to pay ~$20 for a box of popcorn. Cut them in half and sell them for $10 already!



  • See? That :arrow_heading_up: ! Everybody's a critic ;).

    There were a more inexpensive options this year, but we no longer had "Crab Corn"...

    I always told the kids - when you have to go for the hard sell - push the Crab Corn - can't find that stuff in the store!


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    That reminds me, I keep meaning to look up the local boy scout website. Their popcorn is great but I can never find the kids >.> The girl scouts camp out in front of every grocery store in the area, but I've never seen the boy scouts selling anywhere.


  • Fake News

    @Yamikuronue said:

    The girl scouts camp out in front of every grocery store in the area, but I've never seen the boy scouts selling anywhere.
    Generally, the girls have stay-at-home moms, while the boys have working dads. Some boys have dads who are managers and can nudge their underlings into buying 'corn.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    Yeah, but I'm a working wife, so the only time I ever go to the grocery store, it's outside the normal workweek. So I'd expect to see them.



  • If you're willing to pay a little extra for shipping, I can PM a link to buy it online. :wink:


  • Fake News

    @boomzilla said:

    If you're willing to pay a little extra for shipping, I can PM a link to buy it online.
    Hey now, I thought sales were done for the year. :stuck_out_tongue: (Den Leader here.)



  • We have a hard time organizing the "Show-and-Sales"...
    a lot stores don't like them (from any organization).

    I think it's because of all the various Fall sports.

    Plus we have sort of an Entente with the Girl Scouts - selling stuff in front of stores seems like their "thing" and we shouldn't tread on any toes.



  • @lolwhat said:

    Hey now, I thought sales were done for the year. (Den Leader here.)

    I know that locally, we had to get orders for the stuff we physically pick up by last Friday (and pickup of that stuff is next Saturday, IIRC). So for those orders where you deliver yourself, probably true (unless you're selling out of inventory that you already have).

    The online stuff is a bit different. I think the current sales period goes through the end of the month. But I think another period kicks off after that. As I said, these things are not integrated at all, and it's my understanding that you get commission checks sometime in December, trickling down though the Council, District, etc.



  • Hey, ours are too!

    Not Trustworthy @Boomzilla!



  • @ijij said:

    We have a hard time organizing the "Show-and-Sales"...

    The local grocery store is amenable. Another one a little farther away apparently had someone get hurt one time and stopped doing it. We've also gone to a local Lowe's, but the grocery store is more profitable for us (not that we do a ton of business either way). I've seen other packs at Wal-Mart and a different Lowe's.

    Our local store has lots of groups set up out front. There was a church group set up collecting food this Saturday. They didn't realize that it was the Scouting for Food collection day (from which we'd just come) and had forgot to put their bags out.

    @ijij said:

    Plus we have sort of an Entente with the Girl Scouts - selling stuff in front of stores seems like their "thing" and we shouldn't tread on any toes.

    We got to know the local Girl Scout leader by dint of setting up next to her at several local back to school nights, so we have good relations. A lot of people are disappointed that we're selling popcorn instead of cookies. I've seen Girl Scouts at our local store in the past, though I don't recall seeing them this year.



  • @boomzilla said:

    I...these things are not integrated at all, and it's my understanding that you get commission checks sometime in December, trickling down though the Council, District, etc.

    I was confused...

    ..these "commission checks" are for the online sales?

    We must sell absolutely $0 online - I haven't heard of this before - and I'm the Treasurer. (And/or the TRWTF).



  • @ijij said:

    Hey, ours are too!

    Not Trustworthy @Boomzilla!

    I'll bet both of your packs will make a ton more money that we will. Actually, I think we're still in the hole, which is why we're having a booth this weekend. :frowning:



  • @ijij said:

    ..these "commission checks" are for the online sales?

    That's my understanding. I haven't seen it yet. Go to http://sell.trails-end.com and see if you can set up your son for your unit. Ours wasn't in their system and there was a bit of WTF-iness getting them to hook up with our District to get us in there.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    @boomzilla said:

    I've seen other packs at Wal-Mart

    That might be the problem. I ain't going anywhere near our local Wal-Mart during prime shopping hours, I always make sure to shop there during weird times to avoid crowds. Lately I tend to buy online and ship to store for my husband to pick up in the middle of the day.

    Anyway, I'm picking out a tin now, having found the local website :)



  • @boomzilla said:

    I've seen other packs at Wal-Mart

    We do our best at the local supermarket, in the evening.
    We're near a college, and all the co-eds walk by and get all goo-ey "oooh, my little brother was a Cub Scout!!"
    Sold.

    @boomzilla said:

    A lot of people are disappointed that we're selling popcorn instead of cookies.

    Too true.



  • @ijij said:

    We do our best at the local supermarket, in the evening.

    Hmm...haven't tried weekday evenings. We usually go Saturday mornings. My biggest observation is that it's laundry day in our neighborhood. Several people came in and bought nothing (or just a few more) but laundry detergent.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    @boomzilla said:

    A lot of people are disappointed that we're selling popcorn

    I tried the popcorn for the first time at a convention when someone went around the gaming room giving out free samples. I was surprised how good it is, even after hearing the local radio morning show host ranting and raving about it (since, well, he's paid to shill it).



  • What type of popcorn did you try / do you like?


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    I don't remember exactly which flavors, but they were some of the sweet ones with the fudge. I was pleased :)



  • I bought some popcorn from my local troop in front of the grocery store a few weeks ago. It was like ranch bacon flavored or something? Wasn't that great, kind of a chore to eat.

    Edit: Thankfully, Wal-Marts still aren't a thing here. Generally, I think there's a couple, but none within grocery distance of me.



  • I've never tried that flavor. The caramel corn is my favorite. My son loves to eat microwave popcorn, and the Ultimate Butter is pretty good. The jalapeño cheddar was pretty good.



  • I have a fancy popper, and like 4 years' worth of seed, so I had to buy a pre-popped type. I don't remember what other flavors the kid had, oh well. It's a donation anyway.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    Yeah, none of the savory flavors looked good, but I figure anything covered in caramel and fudge can't be too bad :)



  • @blakeyrat said:

    It's a donation anyway.

    Yeah, when selling I try to emphasize that 70% of what you pay (minus shipping, if you order online) goes to scouting in one way or another (IIRC, 30% goes to the kids' unit, the rest goes to the higher organizations).



  • CRAB CORN!!

    That's the best.


    Other than that we like the microwave kettle corn and the pop-it-yourself kernels the best.



  • @ijij said:

    CRAB CORN!!

    I almost wish I knew WTF you were talking about.



  • @boomzilla said:

    Yeah, when selling I try to emphasize that 70% of what you pay (minus shipping, if you order online) goes to scouting in one way or another (IIRC, 30% goes to the kids' unit, the rest goes to the higher organizations).

    I push that too, since the "higher" levels also support Scouting in areas where it couldn't otherwise thrive. They help pay for upkeep of camps, leader training, and sometimes even help underwrite some units.



  • Here in the Free State we like to put Crab Seasoning on stuff...

    Look around at the supermarket, Utz makes a delicious Crab Chip.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Yamikuronue said:

    The girl scouts camp out in front of every grocery store in the area, but I've never seen the boy scouts selling anywhere.

    I didn't even realize the cub/boy scounts do that! I think once or twice in the last 6-7 years I've seen an individual scout and his dad at the entry to a grocery store, but they were selling, I don't know, coupon books or something.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    Thankfully, Wal-Marts still aren't a thing here.

    You should stop reading peopleofwalmart.com and actually try going to one. They're not really worse than any other big chain store, and for groceries, they have a somewhat limited variety but they're noticeably cheaper than pretty much any grocery store.

    Sure, you'll find some crap stuff there, like anywhere else, and you won't find much top-of-the-line stuff, either, but Vizio TVs, for example, are perfectly cromulent.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    I can't go to Wal-mart when I'm tired; I fall into this lull of wandering around the store aimlessly going "I should buy things... things like spatulas... or tires... or fabric... hmm, this is nice fabric..." until my husband comes to rescue me.

    But they're the only place in town that has plus-size clothes at less than 150% the cost of smaller-sized clothes. So there's that.



  • Wal-Mart is just a slightly-cheaper, less-uppity version of Target. Nothing to be afraid of.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Yamikuronue said:

    I can't go to Wal-mart when I'm tired

    Well, don't, then. :) But I was replying to BR, whose comment seems to suggest he thinks he's too cool for Wal-Mart or something, which may be the case.

    I will admit when WM came to Massachusetts, it did not impress. My wife, in particular, did not appreciate the large woman in the scooter who kept hitting her. I told her, after the third time, if she didn't cut it out I'd pick up the back of the thing and set it on a display shelf to keep the motive wheels out of the ground, and that seemed to do the trick.

    Down here in Dallas, though, everyone who's not snooty goes there, and you might see the mayor or your minister there.

    I try to avoid going there in the evenings, definitely, because they never have enough cashiers then, although the robot lines are improving that--my local store has 8 of them now, and I hold out hope more people will learn to use the things efficiently.

    @Yamikuronue said:

    plus-size clothes at less than 150% the cost of smaller-sized clothes.

    That's a nice benefit, yeah. I've noticed sometimes they do charge more but frequently it's fairly nominal, like only $2 more.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @mott555 said:

    Wal-Mart is just a slightly-cheaper, less-uppity version of Target.

    Also, if you use the pharmacy, they'll give you the $4 generics, without even asking. Contrast this to, say, Walgreens, that also has a $4 generic but won't give it to you without their stupid little card, instead opting to charge your insurance a $15 or whatever copay and cheerfully telling you you "saved" an additional $13 or so. Hm, I could pay $28 or $15 or $4. WHERE WILL I GO?


  • SockDev

    @Yamikuronue said:

    I can't go to Wal-mart when I'm tired; I fall into this lull of wandering around the store aimlessly going "I should buy things... things like spatulas... or tires... or fabric... hmm, this is nice fabric..." until my husband comes to rescue me.

    i'm this way too. Unfortunately for me and my wallet I currently have no SO to come rescue me.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @accalia said:

    i'm this way too. Unfortunately for me and my wallet I currently have no SO to come rescue me.

    You two remind me of a friend[1] who wandered into a car dealership one day after a long day at work before he had supper. Next thing he knew, they'd pressured him into trading in his paid-off-a-couple-years-prior Jetta TDI for a new Altima.

    Unfortunately, there's no cure except for what you already know: stay away when you're tired.

    [1] this paragraph isn't meant to be disparaging.



  • Fuck you.

    You know what we did here in Washington? We saw that Wal-Mart "thing" and said, "we can do fucking better than that", and we invented Costco, which is a billion times better than Wal-Mart ever will be. We don't need Wal-Mart, we already did it better. (Hell, Wal-Mart is ripping us off with "Sam's Club". Except Costco pays a decent wage and benefits, employees and customers love it, and their prices are still better.)

    So fuck you.


  • SockDev

    @FrostCat said:

    You two remind me of a friend[1] who wandered into a car dealership one day after a long day at work before he had supper. Next thing he knew, they'd pressured him into trading in his paid-off-a-couple-years-prior Jetta TDI for a new Altima.

    rule of thumb, if they work on commission then stay the F**k away from that store if you do not have backup from a reliable party.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    @accalia said:

    if they work on commission

    Or even if they're just incentivised based on numbers. Don't get me started on GameStop.


  • SockDev

    @Yamikuronue said:

    Don't get me started on GameStop.

    Gamestop: Just say NO! and if that doesn't work use the pepperspray on them.



  • I don't go to GameStop often (usually buy games at Fred Meyer, which is another local big-box that puts Wal-Mart to shame), but last time I was there it was pretty pleasant.

    And they went out of their way to explain the game (Titanfall, IIRC) was multiplayer-only, and even asked me about the rating just in case I was buying it on behalf of a kid, so that was pretty cool.


  • SockDev

    The GameStop experience varies greatly from store to store.

    we have two of them here, one in the mall and none next to wallmart, the wallmart one is cronically understaffed but gets much better service than the one in the mall.

    Still i'm going to get my games fix at Bullmoose.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    You lucked out and got one of the good employees, then. They're notorious for following people around and trying to upsell them desperately because the management at GameStop corporate has decided that the only thing that matters is selling #impossible_number of $thing_we're_rated_on_this_week. My husband worked there for way too long.



  • @ijij said:

    Look around at the supermarket, Utz makes a delicious Crab Chip.

    I have seen that. Hadn't noticed a similar popcorn offering, but I may be outside of the target area....


  • SockDev

    @Yamikuronue said:

    My husband worked there for way too long.

    working retail of any kind sucks. i did it for 7 years when i was in HS and early college before i was qualified enough for a paid internship (i refused several umpaid internship opportunities. I know unpaid means 'you will be out coffee slave and we won't actually teach you anything because we're not paying you")


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    Yeah, he worked at a mall store so he's got Black Friday PTSD.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    You know what we did here in Washington? We saw that Wal-Mart "thing" and said, "we can do fucking better than that", and we invented Costco, which is a billion times better than Wal-Mart ever will be.

    You're a moron. The stores aren't even comparable. You're thinking of Sam's Club. I've heard good things about Costco, but then I've heard awful stuff like how they randomize where they put everything to make you walk the entire store every time you go in order to find what you need.

    Fuck that shit. You are terrible people for inventing that. Costco was better when they were still The PriceClub.


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