Thursday, March 27, 2008

Where Have All the Girl Scout Cookies Gone? Check eBay

Billions of dollars in commerce have moved online, but the Girl Scouts of the USA still strongly discourages its scouts -- or their parents -- from selling cookies on the internet.

Auctioning cookies on eBay is not what the organization's leadership has in mind for Girl Scouts, who are supposed to learn social skills and confidence from the experience. "Everyone thinks about the cookies and the money," said Michele Riggio, a spokeswoman for the organization. "But cookies are an activity first and foremost."

Meanwhile, a number of web-savvy merchants have picked up the slack online during this cookie season. A quick search on eBay returns at least a hundred listings for Girl Scout cookies.

Some sellers claim that they're selling on behalf of their kids.

In any event, eBay merchants are addressing a huge market: the Girl Scouts of the USA sell about 200 million boxes of Girl Scout cookies every year, generating about $700 million in revenue.

And although resales are a violation of the organization's policy, the Girl Scouts has not contacted eBay or sellers about pulling down the listings.

Hani Durzy, an eBay spokesman, said: "As far as eBay is concerned, these cookies are private property. We are not going to ban people from reselling them." He added that employees in eBay's corporate offices in San Jose, Calif., were "up to their ears in cookies."

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