Boxes of the newest Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) cookie variety, Raspberry Rally, are being resold for hundreds of dollars on eBay. The unauthorized resales have left the organization "saddened" by those "looking to make a profit" off of the organization's name without supporting its mission.
Described as a "sister cookie" to the cult-favorite Thin Mints, the popular chocolate-coated cookies were introduced in August. However, they could only be purchased online and shipped directly to consumers' homes. Per the organization's website, this allowed Girl Scouts members to "learn new skills and build their ecommerce business."
The Girl Scouts typically recognize cookie season nationally from January through April, though it may vary locally. Prior to this season, GSUSA announced possible cookie delays and shortages due to ongoing supply chain issues. One of the Scouts' vendors, Little Brownie Bakers, also "reported projected inventory shortages," which impacted "select councils' timing of their local cookie sales," according to a January news release.
After selling out, Raspberry Rallys are now being resold on eBay, which currently features buy-it-now prices ranging from $15 for one box to a whopping $400 for a case of $12 boxes, according to a scan by Salon Food. In comparison, the Girl Scouts' price was $5 to $6 per box.
In a statement to Salon Food, GSUSA emphasized the critical role of cookie sales in funding its scout programs.
"Cookie sales are critical to Girl Scouts programs. We like to remind all cookie customers that the proceeds stay local and are critical to fund troops' activities throughout the year," a GSUSA spokesperson said via email. "Participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program gives girls the opportunity to not only learn the valuable life skills of goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics, but to gain confidence and make new lifelong friends."
The statement continued, "Every year, cookie sales start and end on a rolling basis across the country, varying by council. Both bakeries producing Girl Scout Cookies have reported supply chain issues. We encourage cookie customers to find a local booth, try different flavors if their first choice isn't available or donate to their local council's cookie donation program to support the largest girl-led entrepreneurship program in the world."
"We're saddened that the platforms and the sellers are disregarding the core mission of the cookie program."
In separate comments to "Today," the organization expressed its "disappointment" with the "unauthorized resales" of its products, which disregards "the core mission of the cookie program."
"We're saddened that the platforms and the sellers are disregarding the core mission of the cookie program and are looking to make a profit off of the name without supporting our mission," a GSUSA spokesperson told the outlet.
Amid the backlash, eBay said resales of the cookies don't violate its own policies.
"eBay's purpose is to connect people and build communities to create economic opportunity for all," an eBay spokesperson told "Today." "We strongly support the entrepreneurial spirit of hardworking local Girl Scout troops and encourage cookie-seekers to also support their local Girl Scouts, however the sale of Girl Scout cookies does not violate eBay policies."
Want more great food writing and recipes? Subscribe to Salon Food's newsletter, The Bite.
Amy Amatangelo, a Girl Scouts cookie distributor in the Boston area, suggested that the shortages were also a result of the Girl Scouts not anticipating high demand for Raspberry Rallys. Demand for the cookies was reportedly so high that consumers drove up to local Girl Scout cookie booths, desperately asking for the raspberry treats.
"As a general thing, people want what they can't have, so there's probably something elusive about the Raspberry Rally only being available online," Amatangelo told Salon Food.
She continued, "When it was introduced, there was a lot of commotion and press around it. So, people were very aware of this new cookie, but then they couldn't get it from their local Girl Scout or at a cookie booth. That is, to me, what the shortage is about. Girl Scouts didn't anticipate the demand of this new way of introducing a cookie flavor."
The Raspberry Rally may not be in stock right now, but there are plenty of other cookie varieties to try. Adventurefuls, a brownie-inspired cookie that was last year's new flavor, are back and available for purchase. Classic flavors like Do-si-dos, Lemonades, Tagalongs, Thin Mints and Samoas are also fully stocked.