Tutorial - How to Pack Cookies for Shipping
Shipping sugar cookies is possible when they're packed well! I was terrified of shipping and resisted for quite some time. To expand my business, I finally decided to give it a try.
Thankfully I have two cookie friends, Amy and Cindy, that answered my questions and encouraged me!
*knock on wood* I've had great success with cookies arriving to my customers intact.
Here's what you need to do..........
First, read my blog post on How to Bag Cookies for Shipping.
To recap that post . . . Place your cookies in individual favor bags. Heat-seal the bags about 1" above the cookies. DO NOT TIE THEM WITH RIBBON. Yes, that's important enough for all caps. If you tie them first, the gathered bags take up too much room in the box and don't allow the cookies to rest up against each other as nicely for support. Include ribbon in the box for your customer to tie.
Cut strips of bubble wrap, about as wide as your cookies are tall.
Line the bottom of your bakery box with long strips of bubble wrap, the width of your box. Place one strip across the box, then the second strip in the opposite direction, like a +. Leave one of the strips long enough to be folded over the top of the cookies and tucked in the other side. The second strip needs to be just long enough to fold over the top of the cookies.
Fold the tops of the favor bags over to the back of the cookies. Place rows of cookies, standing up, with a narrow strip of bubble wrap between each row.
You want the cookies to be tightly packed in there. Well, somewhat tightly. They need to rest up against each other for support. You don't want them moving around in the box.
(Not sure why I don't have a second long strip of bubble wrap lining the bottom of the box below!)
If the box isn't completely full of cookies, fill any empty space with tissue paper or bubble wrap.
Once all of your cookies are in the box, fold those long, bottom strips of bubble wrap over them. Tuck the wrap into the opposite site.
Give the box a little shake. No movement of cookies? Good.
Include curling ribbon, business cards, and ingredient/allergy information. (Want to cut ribbon quickly? Check out this tutorial.)
If there's empty space between the wrap and the top of the box, add more bubble wrap.
Close the lid. Give it a shake. Turn the box upside down. You shouldn't feel any movement. If you do, add more wrap or tissue.
Add a business sticker and tie bakery twine around the box.
Place crumbled paper on the bottom of the shipping box.
Place the bakery box on top of the paper.
Place crumbled paper strips around all four sides of the bakery box. You don't want the inner box to move and you want cushioning between boxes should anything happen to the outer box. (I use whatever I have handy for all of this - bubble wrap, packing paper, air pillows, etc.)
Fill the top space with more packing material. Remember the goal - No movement.
Seal up the box. Done.
* I use USPS Priority Mail with insurance. There's some debate over whether the PO will honor insurance for broken cookies. I figure that I'd rather be safe than sorry. They may not pay out for a few or many broken cookies, but I assume that they will pay out if (*gasp*) the box goes missing or gets run over by a truck.
* I ship only sturdy shaped cookies. I won't ship anything with narrow, fragile parts like crabs, wine glasses, flowers with stems, etc.
* I make sure that my customers understand that there is a risk to shipping cookies. Broken cookies are a possibility. I ask them to take this into consideration when deciding on the number of cookies to order. A shipping policies page on your website is a good idea.
* You can weigh the box and print a shipping label at home or take it to the post office.
* Record the weight of the entire shipping box and what cookies are included inside. Later, when giving a shipping quote to a customer, you can scroll through past shipments to get an idea of what an order will weigh. (Thanks to Cindy for this tip!)
* To calculate postage, go here on the USPS website. I charge the actual shipping rate, plus a few dollars for insurance. Then I round it up and add a dollar or two to cover just a fraction of my supply costs.
Materials I use......
10" x 10" x 5" bakery boxes from BRP Box Shop - If that box is too large, I have some that are 8"x 8" x 4" that I picked up at a local bakery supply store.
12" x 12" x 8", #7, Priority box from USPS
Cello Bags from Gifts International
If you need to use two 10" x 10" bakery boxes for the cookies, then use a 12" x 12" x 12" outer shipping box. I pick those up at the local UPS store. Unfortunately you have to pay for those, about $3 each.
Any questions on shipping cookies? Let me know in the comments. I'd be happy to answer.
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Cookies are available for order through my website.