I love Popcorn Season, and the fact that my unit can earn up to 40% in commission isn’t even one of my top 10. Each day I’ll share – in no particular order – one reason why I feel this way.
Popcorn sales offer a lesson in retail economics & profit margin
If you’re not familiar with our family, we have two Scouts in the program. My daughter, currently an Arrow of Light, has been the top earner in our Pack for the last three years. She’s paid for her own Scouting fees, camp, and the items necessary to complete her uniform. She’s also earned gift award cards in an amount high enough to purchase herself a hoverboard. Her younger brother, currently a Bear, has not really grasped the entrepreneurial spirit as strong and is happy to simply sell without any particular goal other than to get his patch. Typically, he just goes along with whatever, and happily works the show and sell table because we’re there.
However, this year, after a few trips to the Mussleman Scout Shop and drooling over a new compass and wood crafts, he’s decided he needs to earn some serious money. I swear, I thought he understood the purpose of all this, but apparently, I did a better job explaining it to my daughter than to him. Our first two-hour wagon sale commitment resulted in $230 in sales, which I was happy about…but he was ecstatic!
“Mom, I’m gonna buy so much stuff at the shop! Do you know how much stuff I can buy with $230?!”
Now, there was a lot to unpack here, but we started with the basics. “We have to pay for that popcorn, bud.”
“But I worked really hard to sell it,” he asserted.
“Yes, and someone else worked really hard to pop it and package it. Then someone else loaded it on a truck, and someone else drove it to you. All those people need to be paid for their services, or else you wouldn’t have anything to sell in the first place.”
At eight years old, I had an opportunity to describe the process from production to distribution, and wholesale vs. retail pricing in a way he understood. Sure, I kept it simple, but since it applies to him, he paid closer attention and asked questions that led to a much deeper conversation.
After he accepted the reality of his situation, I didn’t stop there. I hit him with a blow about budgeting, bills, and discretionary income. (Because, why not, eh?) He loves being a Cub Scout and going to camp, so when I explained he needed to contribute to his Scouting activities and the amount he had earned to apply to his upcoming adventures, he quickly confirmed he needed to dedicate more time to popcorn sales. We’ve successfully moved from the mom-makes-me-do-it sale to the I-want-to-do-it passion his sister has. As I type this, I see the list on the fridge of all his ‘bills’ and what needs to be paid before he starts upgrading or adding to his 6-Essentials.
This was his idea, not mine.
I’m just here to help him fulfill his potential…and his budget.
Interested in raising support with Popcorn? Visit the Alamo Area Council Popcorn Page to find out more.