Information on Operating a Cookie Booth
Here are some suggestions from leaders who have learned ways to have
a great cookie booth. I hope these will help you all have successful
booths of your own. Good luck! [Thanks to Critter in CA for many of
- Have the Girls Sell.
Insist that the girls sell their cookies. At 9 and 10 years old, they
should be able to count back change and hand out the cookies. The adults
are there in case some adult starts to bother the girls. The girls
are there to sell the cookies. Remember, this is part of the learning
- Limit Your Girls.
Have only 2 girls at any door, unless you are at an extremely busy
spot. More than that and they start paying more attention to chatting
- Use All Doors.
If the store has more than one door, set up girls and tables at
both doors. If half of the traffic goes in each door, you would
lose half of your sales if you are only set up at one of the
- Involve Shy Girls.
Give the shy girls a job and a prop. If they can't ask, they can smile
and hold up a box of cookies to lure in a customer.
- Ask On the Way Out.
If you are in front of a store, always smile and say hello on the way in
and ask them if they would like to buy on the way out. Politeness is
extremely important! Hounding is very bad--it may prevent you from being
allowed to come back next year. If they say they have already bought
cookies, remember to say, "Thanks for supporting Girl Scouting!" because
that sale did help you! If they say, "No," reply, "Have a nice day!"
anyway. You're teaching good salesmanship this way and you are creating
good PR for Girl Scouting. Both are very important!
- Always Ask!
Always ask--you will be amazed at how many people walk by thinking,
"I'll buy if they ask!"
- Focus on Selling!
Smile, be cheerful, be attentive, be involved with selling cookies.
The more effort you put into the sale the better the results will be. Some
years it seems the cookies sell themselves and others are tough, but Girl
Scouts and their cookies usually bring out the best in people.
- Dress Professionally.
Insist that your girls wear something that identifies them as Girl
Scouts, preferably their vest or sash, since most people recognize
them from a distance that way. How about a GS T-shirt if they don't
have a vest? At the very least, their pins should be visible.
All girls and adults should be dressed neatly and professionally.
Girls should not be eating at the booth sales. You can't ask for a sale if
your mouth is full of food. Gross. If your booth is scheduled during
a meal or snack time, have your extra adults take the girls in shifts
away from the booth to have their meal.
- Don't Get in the Way.
Be careful that you and your table doesn't block traffic going into or
out of the store. Also, be careful to stay out of the way of the Cart
Catchers. If girls are allowed to stand at the exit, make sure they
stand off to the side, not directly in front of the door. Not only is
this safer (less likely to be accidentally decked by a shopping cart),
but customers complain to the manager if we stand in their way, and we
don't want that.
- Visual Aids.
One thing we found works the best if we have a poster telling of what they
are supporting. Show the troop doing stuff: camping, helping plant flowers
at the school, babysitting for the neighborhood mtg, etc. Help people to
become vested in your troop--to want to be part of what you are doing.
It also brings them in because they are curious, and they leave not only
buying a box of cookies but they also leave thinking wow, Girl Scouts is
great! And they will look for you next year!
Decorate your table with tablecloth, posters, and an attractive and
interesting display. Three-dimensional displays attract attention
and can be informative, too. You can even recycle your used
Cookie Boxes to create tabletop displays
and posters. Also, keep your table neat and tidy; drinks, purses,
and other objects should be left in the car or tucked out of sight.
- Weather and Guilt.
Do not cancel because of weather--our best booth sale ever in Illinois was
during a sleet/freezing rain storm! Everyone that wandered by to get a
video, or run into the grocery store took pity on us and bought cookies. We
froze our bottoms and toes off, but it was a grand sale. Use the bad weather.
We always bring markers and poster board to make signs as we go and when it
started to sleet we made up signs so that people would see us better. The
girls used them, waving them around. By moving they stayed warmer and the
people noticed the bright moving signs in the snow/ice. Use the adversity
to your advantage.
- Thank Your Merchants.
Seriously appreciate the fact that the managers and merchants that allow
you to sell are cutting into their own business to allow you to be there.
They sell fewer cookies, and people have less ready cash after you get
through with them. So say, "Thank you!", drop off a box of cookies with
them, let them know when you arrive and when you leave. Make sure the
area is cleaner than when you got there. Take all empty boxes home with
you, or take them to the back of the store to their cardboard dumpster.
Don't abuse the site. Make sure when you attach tape that it won't take
paint off with it. Remember, without these generous people your sale
would not be happening! Make it easy for them to say, "Sure, you can
come back next year!"
- Follow Up with a Thank You Note.
At your next meeting, have the girls create a nice Thank You note to
send to the store manager and anyone else who helped you with your
sale. Tell them, in writing, how much you appreciate them letting
you hold your sale at their location. These notes mean a lot to
the store managers, and they will help you build a good relationship,
so you can return next year!
[Source: Items 1-2, 4-9, 11, 13-14 from Critter]