Profiting from a Non-Profit. Ethical or Rotten?
February 18, 2007
Is it wrong to make a profit off of the Girl Scouts? I don’t think so. Read on before you disagree with me.
We Are Suckers
My wife and I don’t eat Girl Scout cookies but we buy them from the neighbor girls when they come knocking on our door. I think I inherited this trait from my mother. She’ll buy anything kids sell door to door just because they’re making the effort. So we spend money on the cookies to support the girls but they sit in our cupboard uneaten.
Cookies for the Highest Bidder
When I first started selling on eBay, I sold anything I could get my hands on. I ran across several boxes of Thin Mints sitting on the shelf and quickly put them up for auction. It was off-season for Girl Scout cookies so the law of demand had pushed their price on eBay over what we had paid for them.
My excitement over watching the bid price climb was suddenly dashed one day when I received an email from a Girl Scout mother, chewing me up one side and down the other. I was an awful person from profiting off the Girl Scout organization and the hard work of those little girls. I responded to the scathing email in a courteous fashion but defending my actions.
After several such exchanges I realized I wasn’t going to get a pardon from the cookie police and left it at that. Of course I left the auction running and profited from shipping the cookies to a satisfied cookie fanatic somewhere on the East Coast.
Taking the Stand
I saw this season’s batch of Thin Mints on the shelf today and decided I needed to try my case in front of the world.
We help these girls out every year by spending money on something we don’t want. Is it wrong to resell them later on for a profit? It wasn’t Girl Scout cookie season when I sold them so I wasn’t stealing any business from the little girls. It seems like a win/win/win to me. The Girls Scouts sold a few boxes, I made a little money, and I delivered the cookies to a cookie junkie, craving a fix during the off season. I rest my case.
What do you, the jury, think?
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