Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Who's doing the selling?

A week or so ago, I got a phone call and two emails from my father in law. He has two small daughters (I know, that sounds crazy, but whatever. They are 7 and 5. Whats that, you say? I have a 5 year old too??? That is a whole other post.....) that both are going to school. Apparently, the new thing is to send email links to these school fundraiser websites, along with the link for them specifically (so the student gets credit for it) and for a small fee (about $5) they will ship it to you. Here is part of my problem. Yes, my sister in laws are young, but they can talk to me and ask me to buy something so that they can "earn" a limo ride to Chuckie Cheese. But it wasn't them that called, it was my father in law. He sent this email out to a lot of people. So, if they aren't the ones at least calling (obviously email is out) and if they aren't going "door to door" like we used to do when we were kids (for obvious reasons. safety being the biggest one) how the heck are they "earning" this limo ride???

I had a knock on my door about a week ago, and a young guy from church was at my door. He was selling chocolate bars for his school fundraiser. Granted, he is around 13 or 14 (Monica, how old is A??) and so he can go around to homes where he knows who lives there and sell his candy. But he is the one hoofing it around the neighborhood, not his mom. Not his dad. He is. If there is anything for him to "earn", he will be earning it. But my little sisters in law, how are they earning this? Yeah, it would be fun for them to go to Chuckie Cheese, in a limo, but it is supposed to be something they earn. As a kid, I earned the lamest things because I wasn't willing to sell my cuteness to get a cheap trip to Chuckie Cheese. Or whatever the big prize was.

So, did I buy anything from them? No. I haven't, and I don't know if I will. Unfortunately, it isn't solely on principle. In the last month we've had to put out somewhere near $600 into our van. And if I have to put out shipping for each item, and if the one item I buy from each of them isn't even something that I would actually use......total waste. I guess I could say it is to support the school. But we don't make that much money.

Where do you stand? Do you buy things that you would never use? How do you feel about when the parents do most of the work to help their kids "earn" stuff? (I don't consider writing on a piece of paper the details and then leaving it in the office lounge as a lot of work. my dad would do that with our girl scout cookie order forms, and sometimes for other stuff we had to sell. but we still made the phone calls and hit the road)


Fort Skinner said...

I have bought several chocolate bars from different kids in the neighborhood.
I will buy things from people I know and interact with regularly. I don't feel the need to buy things from brother's in law who send their kids magazine order forms to me. I don't even get Christmas cards from my in-laws, why would I buy magazines from your kids?

Stephanie said...

I was way too lazy to sell stuff... because of that, I usually buy stuff when someone comes to my door. I figure, if they're putting themselves out there, I can buy a candybar. I never buy stuff from emails people send me- not so much because I don't like the principle (I figure if I buy something I can consider it a donation to the school, not necessarily helping the kid win a prize) but because I'm less likely to buy something if a kid isn't standing in front of me flashing their pearly-whites. :)

Mary Alice said...

I refused to let my kids sell for school fundraisers...in fact I would rant on and on about the PTA being pimps and prostituting the kids....I would rather write a check to the school for stuff (if the school really needs it) than allow my kids to spend valuable time selling cheap stuff that no one needs. The only real profit from that game goes to the company selling the stuff....the school gets a small percentage and the families do all the work selling. It's stupid. BUT if people want to do it, fine...but allow the kid to do the work, there is no charity lesson in the adults doing all the leg work while Little Timmy does nothing.

Piouette said...

I told my boys early on after we got hit with the same fundraisers 2 or 3 times (we livedin a small town and knew most of their school friends) that I would not do fundraisers, period. Where do you put the limit? I have 4 kids, 3 in school, the next one next year. Who do you support and who gets the axe (because their class won't get a party!)
Last year the PTA "hit" us (the parents of the school) 4 times between back to school day and Halloween with various money requests. I was so sick of it. Coupons books are the only stuff I buy anymore because I get to really use them. That's it, I'm so done with money asking, at the door at the school, on the phone, in the mailbox... Maybe it would be worth a whole blog and not just a comment... Sorry I got started!