Why You Shouldn't Buy Girl Scout Cookies Online (Aside From The Fact That They're Expensive AF)

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Recently Girls Scout cookie lovers (so, all of us) rejoiced when they discovered that you can now purchase Girl Scout cookies on Amazon. But although being able to buy Thin Mints on a whim seems amazing, there are legit reasons why you shouldn’t buy Girl Scout cookies online. Beyond the fact that these online cookies are very overpriced, buying them from Amazon undermines a program meant to help Girl Scouts gain valuable skills. And on top of that, you might end up getting subpar cookies. (The HORROR.) Bustle has reached out to Amazon for comment and will update upon reply.

The problem here is that the Girl Scout cookies you may see for sale on Amazon, eBay, or other sites is that these cookies are being sold by resellers, not the Girl Scouts of the USA. Some of the sellers on Amazon have names that might make them sound like they are officially associated with the Girl Scouts, like “Little Brownie Bakers” or “Girl Scouts,” but these are, again, third parties who have purchased Girl Scout cookies and are selling them for a profit. Furthermore, the Girl Scout cookies for sale on Amazon are being sold for a huge price hike; most single boxes appear to be selling for $10 or more. (To compare, a box of Girl Scout cookies from an actual Girl Scout will run you $4 — $5.)

One major problem with purchasing Girl Scout cookies online is that you have no way of knowing about the quality of your purchase. A representative of Girl Scouts of the USA told Mashable,

We caution against purchases of Girl Scout Cookies found for sale online at auction and via community list sites, such as eBay and Amazon, because GSUSA, your local Girl Scout council, and our licensed cookie bakers cannot guarantee the freshness or integrity of these cookies. In many instances, these cookies are actually expired.

But as awful as paying $10 for stale cookies would be, the main reason not to buy Girl Scout cookies from resellers is that it cuts the Girl Scout out of the cookie-selling process.

“[T]he Girl Scout cookie program is a financial literacy tool for girls,” a spokesperson for the Girl Scouts of the USA explained to NY Mag. “We’re trying to help them learn, and for them to do that, they have to be the ones doing the selling, interacting with a customer (either online or in person), making the change, learning the skills. Buying the cookies through Amazon is giving people access to cookies without access to Girl Scouts, which undercuts the programmatic element.”

In other words, when a Girl Scout sells cookies, she’s not only raising money for her troop. She’s also interacting with customers, planning her sales pitch, making change, and so on. When someone buys Girl Scout cookies in bulk and resells them on the internet, the Girl Scout loses the chance to have all of those positive, educational experiences.

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If you’re trying to find Girl Scout cookies in your area, skip the online resellers and head over to the Girl Scouts of the USA website, where you can enter in your zip code to find the closest cookie booth sale near you. The Girl Scouts are also moving into online sales through the Digital Cookie website, a new platform that lets customers purchase cookies online, while still allowing Girl Scouts to interact with customers and learn important entrepreneurial skills.