Toledo Talk

THE MYSTERY OF THE CANDY BARS IS SOLVED

First, it's a sure bet that I'm more naive than you.

With that said, on several occasions, I've been at the Secor Road Home Depot parking lot and have been approached by a young kid trying to sell me a candy bar. The 12- to 15-year-old doesn't have any pretense about selling the candy for a school, etc., just wants to sell me a candy bar for $1.

I've run into this at some other public spots.

I was talking to a TPS teacher about this and she was amazed that I didn't know what it was all about. She told me that these kids' parents sell their EBT (food stamp) cards for cash and buy boxes of candy bars at WalMart, Costco, etc. and the kids sell them to get cash.

Wow--who knew.

In a MILLION years, my parents would never have left me be a part of an illegal scheme to get some spending money--I just did without.

created by Starr15 on Sep 20, 2013 at 08:11:04 pm
updated by Starr15 on Sep 20, 2013 at 08:12:45 pm
    Comments: 27

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Comments ... #

I see. You talked to someone who heard from someone else who repeated a rumor heard from another person, and now this is "solved."

Gotcha.

posted by historymike on Sep 20, 2013 at 08:41:29 pm     #   2 people liked this

Perhaps you might consider other explanations.

posted by historymike on Sep 20, 2013 at 08:50:43 pm     #  

Perhaps you might consider that there is more than one explanation for this type of activity?

After reading the article at the link you posted, my conclusions are:

1. Under either your explanation or mine, the parents of the children aren't doing their jobs. What responsible parent would let their child be part of a scam like this? Didn't we all want spending money as a kid? Would your parents allow you to work for 12 hours-a-day to get it? There are basic expectations we should have for parents throughout our society.

2. The only difference between the explanation you provided and the one I received from someone is "parent" is replaced by "stranger." I wouldn't expect these candy crew leaders--who have criminal records--to be obtaining the candy legally.

posted by Starr15 on Sep 21, 2013 at 04:01:03 am     #  

historymike posted at 09:41:29 PM on Sep 20, 2013:

I see. You talked to someone who heard from someone else who repeated a rumor heard from another person, and now this is "solved."

Gotcha.

Wait a minute.

Someone
told
Someone
told
Someone
told You.

is different than

"A TPS teacher told me directly."

Just an observation. Not a reverse Gotcha.

Who knows what the deal is with the candy bar. Moot point for me, I wouldn't have bought the candy bar no matter the source or intent. That's not how I do my philanthropy. If those alleged families allegedly selling food stamp candy depended on me, they'd starve.

Now, running across cheap labor while leaving a Home Depot can sometimes be a good thing. Can the candy bar kid lay tile?

posted by justread on Sep 21, 2013 at 06:05:14 am     #  

Another difference that you neglected to note is that your explanation is a thinly veiled attack on welfare recipients: "these kids' parents sell their EBT (food stamp) cards for cash and buy boxes of candy bars at WalMart, Costco, etc. and the kids sell them to get cash."

You are also ignoring the following possibilities:

  • These kids are simply budding entrepreneurs trying to make a buck (entirely possible);
  • These kids might be legitimately selling candy for an organization (admittedly less likely, since most groups do not encourage this sort of thing, but perhaps the kid was over-zealous)

Of all the problems in this community, I am a helluva lot less concerned about some teenager hawking Snickers bars than, say, the same teenager jacking my car or breaking into my house for my flat screen TV.

I was approached by one of these teenagers at the Home Depot on Secor a few months ago. I normally put on my bad-ass face whenever approached by strangers in parking lots to ward off evil (or benign-but-annoying types like panhandlers) but this kid had some sales moxie. He was polite, called me "sir," and when I queried a bit on his alleged organization (Whitmer football) he clearly knew enough that it was safe to assume he had spent at least a few months at the school.

So I broke my "don't f**k with me" policy and bought a couple of overpriced candy bars.

But hey: if you want to believe your TPS friend who knows everything, be my guest.

posted by historymike on Sep 21, 2013 at 06:08:03 am     #  

justread posted at 07:05:14 AM on Sep 21, 2013:
historymike posted at 09:41:29 PM on Sep 20, 2013:

I see. You talked to someone who heard from someone else who repeated a rumor heard from another person, and now this is "solved."

Gotcha.

Wait a minute.

Someone
told

Someone

told

Someone

told You.

is different than

"A TPS teacher told me directly."

Just an observation. Not a reverse Gotcha.

Who knows what the deal is with the candy bar. Moot point for me, I wouldn't have bought the candy bar no matter the source or intent. That's not how I do my philanthropy. If those alleged families allegedly selling food stamp candy depended on me, they'd starve.

Now, running across cheap labor while leaving a Home Depot can sometimes be a good thing. Can the candy bar kid lay tile?

Heh - with two consecutive TT posters promoting the idea of TPS teachers being authoritative sources of information, I am inclined to think I am stuck in an episode of The Twilight Zone.

posted by historymike on Sep 21, 2013 at 06:11:13 am     #   1 person liked this

Whoah there.... I never said that TPS teachers were authoritative sources of information. I just thought there might be extra links in the chain of rumor and innuendo.

Although some might say that teachers in general might be reasonable sources of information. Wink.

Have a good one.

posted by justread on Sep 21, 2013 at 06:21:15 am     #  

On Two different occasions at the Krogers on Alexis and Lewis kids wearing Whitmer football shirts, (not numbered jersey's just shirts that said Whitmer Football) approached me trying to sell candy bars. Upon asking a Whitmer football coach that I know about this, he said those kids are not on the football team and this stuff happens all the time. No big deal I guess.

posted by Ethel on Sep 21, 2013 at 06:50:32 am     #  

I like the laying tile idea. Or take him in the store and get him an inexpensive snow shovel. It'll fly soon and he can do what I did as a kid for a buck.

posted by Mariner on Sep 21, 2013 at 07:05:03 am     #   1 person liked this

It might be the only thing Whitmer's football team can do.

posted by Molsonator on Sep 21, 2013 at 07:15:34 am     #  

you don't have to sell your food card to get candy all you have to do is buy it on the card, simple as that. The card covers anything that is food related. I see people do it at the store all the time. They aren't just buying whole boxes though. They will throw one into their pile of food and then swipe their card with no balance that has to be paid. If it works for one I would say it works for a whole box.

From the time I was eight I would work a 6-8 hour day on weekends and on school holidays. Not doing anything illegal of course but working with my dad. He never believed in just handing over money, if we wanted something we had to earn it and buy it ourselves.

posted by lfrost2125 on Sep 21, 2013 at 07:45:53 am     #  

you can buy the fundraising boxes of candy at Gordon Foods.

posted by jhop on Sep 21, 2013 at 07:58:16 am     #  

I normally put on my bad-ass face whenever approached by strangers in parking lots...

Excuse me sir, but are you feeling alright? Would you like me to call 9-1-1 for you? Here, why don't you sit down and take it easy a moment. That mall food can be a little rough on, ah... experienced people. I think there's a men's room over this way if you'd like.

posted by madjack on Sep 21, 2013 at 09:55:25 am     #  

I work part time at a business near Westfield Mall. A few years ago we had youths selling candy in front of our store, some being a bit too aggressive even following clients into the store. When we called the police we were told to call them in the future as many of these kids were being exploited by their parents. Conversely, I am friends with a couple whose children were selling similar products for their basketball league in the same manner and it was legit. My suggestion if in doubt is to ask a few questions, you should be able to determine pretty quickly if it’s a scam or not.

As far as Star 56’s notation about selling food stamps as cash… that is not a matter of hearsay. That is chronic! I know that because I have had to frequently discourage people from both buying and selling them.

posted by Danneskjold on Sep 21, 2013 at 10:06:03 am     #  

From HistoryMike: Heh - with two consecutive TT posters promoting the idea of TPS teachers being authoritative sources of information, I am inclined to think I am stuck in an episode of The Twilight Zone.

Wait until you pick up the morning paper and see the headlines.

TPS Teachers Critical of President Obama!
Syrian Airstrike Not The Answer
Today TPS Teachers issued a press release criticizing President Obama's plan to launch a missile strike against the Syrian government. 'We need books, not bullets.' President Lawrence said. 'One president to another, it's up to Obama to provide the qualities that has made the United States the nation it is today - a nation of government, government and more government.' President Lawrence went on to say that people learn through repetition.

posted by madjack on Sep 21, 2013 at 10:06:31 am     #  

Danneskjold posted at 11:06:03 AM on Sep 21, 2013:

I work part time at a business near Westfield Mall. A few years ago we had youths selling candy in front of our store, some being a bit too aggressive even following clients into the store. When we called the police we were told to call them in the future as many of these kids were being exploited by their parents. Conversely, I am friends with a couple whose children were selling similar products for their basketball league in the same manner and it was legit. My suggestion if in doubt is to ask a few questions, you should be able to determine pretty quickly if it’s a scam or not.

As far as Star 56’s notation about selling food stamps as cash… that is not a matter of hearsay. That is chronic! I know that because I have had to frequently discourage people from both buying and selling them.

I know full that welfare fraud occurs, Danneskjold, and that there is a significant underground market for EBT cards to be sold for all sorts of purposes, some much worse than candy bars (such as addicts selling a card for fifty cents on the dollar or less to get drug money). My disagreement was when the original poster declared that the situation was "solved" because of some random conversation.

No investigation, no evidence, just a piece of hearsay from someone who may or may not be in a position to know, and the OP came to the implicit conclusion (after all, this has been "solved") that all kids selling candy must be the children of parents selling EBT cards for cash.

posted by historymike on Sep 21, 2013 at 11:16:39 am     #  

Historymike:

I have the propensity to believe what my friends tell me, but will now know to investigate and ask for evidence!

As an aside, I don't believe that I've seen any evidence that what I was told wasn't true.

posted by Starr15 on Sep 21, 2013 at 11:52:04 am     #  

Ok, I'm just going to say it. Who fucking cares.

posted by hunkytownsausage on Sep 21, 2013 at 02:46:36 pm     #  

^thank you

posted by justareviewer on Sep 21, 2013 at 03:42:04 pm     #  

hunkytownsausage posted at 03:46:36 PM on Sep 21, 2013:

Ok, I'm just going to say it. Who fucking cares.

Here's an idea: if a thread bores you, move on to a different thread instead of hijacking it with insulting comments.

Just a thought...

posted by historymike on Sep 21, 2013 at 05:41:09 pm     #   2 people liked this

hunkytownsausage posted at 03:46:36 PM on Sep 21, 2013:

Ok, I'm just going to say it. Who fucking cares.

I'm not sure, and maybe someone else here can verify it, but I think that the people who responded to this post cares just a little.

Hope that answers your question.

posted by Ethel on Sep 22, 2013 at 06:13:55 am     #   2 people liked this

From Starr15: She told me that these kids' parents sell their EBT (food stamp) cards for cash and buy boxes of candy bars at WalMart, Costco, etc. and the kids sell them to get cash.

I've been trying to stay away from this one, but I can't resist. Look, you've got a part of the story, but not the whole story. Parents (any adult) will cheerfully sell their money food stamps for cash. That's been going on for years, and if the government really wanted to save money they'd offer a cash alternative to food coupons - a lesser amount of cash in exchange for your coupons.

The part where you lose it is the buy candy bars for resale. They don't. They've got that cash earmarked and they are not buying anything for resale; their mind doesn't work that way. The kids, on the other hand, will do this kind of thing. Buy a box of candy bars and hawk 'em at a bean a piece, and you can make some decent coin.

Not to put too fine a point on this, but a few of these entrepreneurs may have tipped to the fact that if you steal your candy bars, what you have is %100 profit. The adults with the cash instead of food stamps might easily go for this method.

posted by madjack on Sep 22, 2013 at 08:02:00 am     #  

The dead horse officially surrenders................stop beating a dead horse. These little rugrats peddle candy bars everywhere, especially outside public events and sporting events. It's like drugs.....just say NO

posted by Hoops on Sep 22, 2013 at 08:04:30 am     #  

historymike posted at 06:41:09 PM on Sep 21, 2013:
hunkytownsausage posted at 03:46:36 PM on Sep 21, 2013:

Ok, I'm just going to say it. Who fucking cares.

Here's an idea: if a thread bores you, move on to a different thread instead of hijacking it with insulting comments.

Just a thought...

Oh HM, this wasn't directed at you or really anyone other than Starr15. All of his/her posts have this passive/aggressive theme to them against minorities or scary downtown Toledo and the like. That was what raised my ire. Should the kids being doing this? No, obviously. That said if they're smart enough to figure out a way to make some extra money selling candy bars, so be it. At least they're not selling drugs.

I could swear Starr15 has the same tone and writing style as Elva. Maybe I'm wrong.

posted by hunkytownsausage on Sep 22, 2013 at 09:20:40 am     #   1 person liked this

Wait a minute:

Don't most businesses have rules against solicitation on their property without permission?

posted by Sohio on Sep 22, 2013 at 09:57:55 am     #  

  • Thanks for the clarification, hunkytownsausage.
  • Sohio: yes, the business would be the best place to start with the complaints. The police are far too overworked to be dealing with something this small in terms of criminal activity (likely nothing more than tresspassing or disorderly conduct, and if they even showed up they would probably just send the kids packing). When I owned some retail businesses in the 1990s I had to regularly deal with stuff like this: people trying to park used cars for sale in my lots, people trying to sell stuff to my customers in the lot or even in the store, and even a few times when hookers would solicit potential johns in my lot. It was important to shoo 'em on their way so my customers would not get annoyed or be fearful.

posted by historymike on Sep 22, 2013 at 10:05:04 am     #  

I've run across teens selling candy bars a couple times.

My last experience was in the foyer to Panera. A teen was selling candy bars for $1 to get money for some boxing center in Toledo. I asked him who was his coach, when was the next fight, what were the different levels in Golden Gloves, what does he normally do during training.

The teen answered all the questions without hesitation. I gave him $50 because I'd gladly support his cause and his ambition to make money for the boxing program.

I looked up his coaches name online, and sure enough it matched.

Maybe some teens will lie to make a buck, but there are easy ways of telling a scam from the truth.

posted by JJFad on Sep 22, 2013 at 12:16:47 pm     #