scouts-l Mail Archive for April of 2000: Re: ScoutStuff.Org
MAJ) Mike Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle (blkeagle@USSCOUTS.ORG
Sat Apr 17 1993 - 18:33:36 CDT
You wrote in part and asked us:
>Anybody know about any plans to be able to order on line? Our scout shop is
>only about 50 miles round trip but its out of my way nowadays and it results
>in two trips or more to get what I am ordering if its not in stock. I'm sure
>there are many people throughout the country that have far more difficulty in
There's three responses to your question about the BSA's National Supply
Division going "online".
First, call your Scout Shop(tm). They can take an order over the phone and
can ship it directly to you, which will avoid the double trip. They can
also take a faxed over and ship it. Finally, SOME Scout Shops(tm) CAN take
an emailed request and credit card information (pass credit card information
in some other form, please, to keep your number and other information more
secure!). I would always call in first and see if they have it in stock
BEFORE I would make a trip into the office...that's one of those "Jessi
things", a habit which has crossed over from her to me.
Council Trading Posts will do the same things, generally. Don't press them
if they can't do the email thing; some Councils do not want to deal with the
"email thing" yet, waiting for National to come "online".
The second, I posted over on the US Scouting Service Project (USSSP) website
a few months back (I'm sorry; my browser, like the rest of my machine this
evening is telling me "upgrade, Mike, upgrade!" and I can't get my browser
to work to give you the link; it is on the front page of the USSSP's website
however at http://www.usscouts.org)
This third response is included in a copy of a posting I responded in my
duties as a member of the Board of the USSSP to Loren, who wrote:
>I wanted to let you know that our company, Camping Intentsly, is a
authorized >BSA retailer in Vancouver, WA. I am letting you know this
because we will be >putting on-line the entire BSA catalog.
Have you talked with your Supply Division Representative (the fellow from
the Western Region, BSA) *directly about your plans*? The BSA says that
they will NOT allow their distributors to put up a Scouting "estorefront"
until the BSA can work out how to manage such efforts.
The Basics Clothing Store was ALSO an official BSA distributor until the
Supply Division closed them down and from what I understand, their
relationship with the BSA and the Supply Division in particular, is on very
shaky ground. They are telling the BSA that they have a right to establish
and sell BSA items; the BSA's Supply Division is pointing to the written
agreement with the store that tells each store plainly that their sales of
BSA merchandise is subject to the BSA's policies. One of those policies is
that the BSA does not allow sales of its labeled items through ANY
Unfortunately, this to *me* (and more importantly to the Supply Division),
it means "no online sales."
I would STRONGLY check with the Region's Supply Division representative
BEFORE you open your storefront and get his approval IN WRITING BEFORE you
open up. I would really hate for your hard work (and believe me, I
KNOW...I'm in the middle of building an online catalog of military support
software for my primary employer...and it's taken our four-person team
several WEEKS to get all of the code down, to match up the graphics with the
code, and put it all together in an attractive "package". I KNOW.) to be
retained by the BSA just because you felt "since you're a BSA distributor,
then that means you can sell BSA items any way you can...."
It is NOT a matter of how "secure" or not your site is, Loren. The BSA has
been taking very tiny "baby steps" toward this whole idea of online support.
While you and I feel that it will bring more people by, the BSA still holds
fast to the traditional walk-in store (like yours) and their Scout Shops(tm)
to sell their items. They are also fearful that "undesirable individuals"
to whom membership has been refused will purchase and wear BSA -labeled
items with little or no controls. And since the BSA's "database" of
membership is NOT open to "the world", it presents a problem for BSA members
and for those merchants like yours that are trying to provide a service.
What I would recommend while the BSA is working through the issue of online
sales, is to take orders via email (the BSA does allow local Councils and
their branded Scout Shops(tm) to do this since they are not "directly
selling" items) and offer to mail out catalogs to BSA members so that they
can order from you. They can send their items and then call your store with
the credit card information (or you can use one of those popular "cash
exchange" services like PayPal(tm) so that you don't have to worry about the
credit card transaction...it can be be accomphished online with just the
email address, a list of items, and the person's name and address --they
don't provide you with NO credit card information, and the transaction is
secure and insured!)
I am truly sorry to "bust the bubble"; as I read your posting, you sounded
really upbeat in letting us know of the possibility. Please check with the
Supply Division first. If we receive something in writing regarding
approval of your "electronic storefront" from the Supply Division (which
either myself or other members of the USSSP team can confirm with the Supply
Division), we would be happy to add you to Sears (tm) and JC Penneys(tm) as
authorized *online Scouting item distributors*. Please don't take this as
a negative, but rather as a cautionary flag on our part, since our site and
information do reach a significant number of BSA members, their families,
and the local Councils they are a part of.
We would not, unfortunatly, be able to add a graphic or other representation
of your firm once approved; it would be a violation of our non-profit
status. We can list your firm and provide a link to your firm using the
same disclaimer we used to point and list Sears(tm) and Penney's(tm), however.
Personally, Loren, I'm rooting for you and your store....we need such a
facility online and the BSA has told me that they are at least nine months
to two years away from doing it themselves. But at the same time, the BSA
*does own* the items you are selling on their behalf through your
store....and they do get to set the rules and "out of bounds" areas for your
selling of those items. And for the *present*, it means "no direct online
Thanks for your note to the US Scouting Service Project...please keep me
informed of the progress, and I hope that you can use my suggestion in the
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
Board Member, US Scouting Service Project, Inc.