Girl Scouts warn to beware Amazon cookie sellers

- The Girl Scout cookie selling season may have just ended in March, but some people aren't waiting a whole year to buy some more S'mores or Samoas.

Vendors are selling Girl Scout cookies on Amazon for about $11 a box. Through Amazon Prime, customers can even have multiple boxes delivered to their doorstep in a day.

Leaders with Girl Scouts of the USA are warning buyers to beware that what they're purchasing might not be the same quality they'd receive buying directly from a Girl Scout.

"If you purchase cookies online, we can't authenticate that those are actually Girl Scout cookies. They might be expired. They might not be from our actual bakers," said Nicole Gonzalez, the public relations representative for Girl Scouts of West Central Florida.

Gonzalez said when people buy cookies from a third party the money does not benefit local troops or go back into the community.

"[Girl Scouts] know at the end of the season that money that they're earning might send them to camp this summer. It might send them to Savannah, Georgia to visit our birth place," said Gonzalez. "Those are really big goals, and they get really excited about that. Having people support them locally really helps them reach those [goals]."

During the last cookie selling season, the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida sold more than 2 million boxes of cookies across their eight counties.

Girl Scout officials are concerned that Amazon sales won't just hurt the pockets of their pint-sized entrepreneurs, but also take away from the lessons girls learn each year through sales.

"Girls who sell Girl Scout cookies gain so many life skills, from goal setting to people skills to marketing. These are skills that a lot of women who are business leaders today say they accredit to that early program of selling Girl Scout cookies to helping them become business women," said Gonzalez.

Gonzalez said cookie orders across Tampa Bay will begin again in January.

Anyone interested in ordering online is encouraged to reach out to a local Girl Scout they know to purchase through the Digital Cookie Mobile App. A Girl Scout can invite customers to her personal cookie website, allowing them to place orders and pay with a credit card. The cookies will be shipped or delivered by a Girl Scout.

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