Cookies Right Here, Right Now

While visiting family in North Dakota, my seven year old niece approached me asking if I’d like to purchase Girl Scout cookies.  My sister-in-law was quick to point out that the ordering system had changed.  While describing the changes, she seemed a tad stressed with the new protocol.  She explained that gone are the order forms and waiting for delivery as customers are now able to pay for and receive their cookies on the spot!

According to my sister-in-law, the scouts were asked to “make their best guess” as far as numbers of boxes they expect to sell.  My sister-in-law was worried that ultimately their guesses would be too low.  She was torn as to what number they should ultimately report.  My niece was asked to base her expected number of sales for 2011 on the number of sales she had last year.  Wishing to stay on the conservative side, my sister-in-law didn’t wish to over-order and in turn have to purchase the boxes that do not sell.  This troublesome dilemma weighed both my niece and sister-in-law.  With the goal to sell more than last year, my niece was uncertain what to write for her “ultimate number” of boxes.

Best Selling Girl Scout Cookies
25% Thin Mints
19% Samoas/Caramel deLites
13% Peanut Butter Patties/Tagalongs
11% Peanut Butter Sandwich/Do-si-dos
9% Shortbread/Trefoils

I pondered this new ordering system and wondered how it would affect the Girl Scouts as well as the customer. I did a little investigating and discovered this article from the Star Tribune. On the surface, this change appears to be more beneficial to the customer than to the scout.  My niece will probably be selling fewer boxes this year as compared to 2010 due in large part to being attentive to not over-ordering. Will this number-crunching ultimately benefit scouts across America, making them more business-savvy, responsible sellers?  By having the cookies on hand and immediately available, will this assist in keeping better track of orders and monies as a whole?  The Scouts would like to think so.

Or, is this another way in which “instant gratification” wins out?  Personally, I prefer the old system—ordering in February and then receiving a lovely package two months later was always exciting to me.  Now I have to restrain myself all the more as these boxes are immediately available for my consumption!  Self restraint, when it comes to cookies, isn’t always my strongest point.

What are your thoughts?  Should the Girl Scouts leave well enough alone?  Will this system drive sales as they hope?  Will it create better saleswomen?  Would the instant delivery of cookies push you to buy a box when a girl scout rings your doorbell?