Can You Trust the Girl Scout Cookies on Amazon?

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Buy at your own risk. Photo: Katherine Frey/The Washington Post/Getty Images

The internet’s been abuzz over the fact that you can buy Samoas, Thin Mints, and Tagalongs on Amazon now. As big Amazon shoppers ourselves, we were intrigued: Was there really a way with Prime to get our cookies in two days? Without waiting for a coworker to bring in the three boxes of Trefoils we ordered from her niece? We called a spokesperson for the Girl Scouts of the USA to find out.

So you guys are selling Girl Scout cookies on Amazon now?
No, we definitely are not. Whatever you’re seeing on Amazon is coming from resellers.

Oh, but they are real Girl Scout cookies. That doesn’t sound so bad.
Well, the Girl Scout cookie program is a financial literacy tool for girls. 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.

I’m sure it cuts into the sales, too.
Well, the cookies were bought at one point, so that sale has been made. It’s not about the sales. It’s costing the girls the opportunity to grow, which is what the program’s actually about.

Is the Amazon thing new?
The Amazon phenomenon is not new. Legally, what they can’t do is sell them for more than what they’re worth. It’s kind of like scalping. It’s legal as long as you don’t overcharge.

But people are selling them for ten bucks or more.
Yes, we’re noticing that. At that point, our legal team is aware and uses its discretion with cease-and-desists. It’s a trademark-infringement thing.

So what would you say to someone who wants to buy Girl Scout cookies then?
Go to www.girlscoutcookies.org and look for a booth sale near you — the site will direct you to Girl Scouts in your area. Or if you want to buy them online, they may know a Girl Scout who has a digital-cookie website, if they don’t want to leave the house.

But you can’t just go to the digital site to buy if you don’t know a Girl Scout?
Right, even online, someone must know the actual Girl Scout. We want to create some form of personal interaction, even if it’s online.

There must be a quality-control issue with cookies sold on Amazon, too.
Exactly, we caution against sales of cookies bought online because you don’t really know. They can be expired. They can be from three or four years ago. We can’t guarantee they haven’t been opened or tampered with.

One last time: Even if the manufacturer claims to be “Girl Scouts” or “Little Brownie Bakers,” there is no official way to buy Girl Scout cookies on Amazon.
That is correct. The only sanctioned ways are the two I mentioned earlier. There’s no other way. Not on Amazon, not on eBay, not anywhere else you find them.

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Can You Trust the Girl Scout Cookies on Amazon?