I'm hoping for some direction here. Although I have baked cookies for years, I've never really shipped them before. Now I want to expand my business and offer shipping.
I feel like a total ditz but I've read through every post I can find regarding sealing and shrink wrapping cookies to ship. I'm still confused. I apologize in advance for all the questions and for being so "green" here. Any advice/direction that anyone can give me would be greatly appreciated!
1. Is it necessary to both seal and shrink wrap the cookies? Doesn't shrink wrapping them remove most of the air? (see, I told you I'm so confused on this).
2, Which types of bags are best to use? I've seen some people say cello bags, others have used regular plastic bags, etc. I want to ship cookies decorated with RI and I know everyone says the RI will not melt, but I'm terrified to try it without having a better idea of which bags to use.
3. Any ideas on the best place to purchase the bags would be great.
4. Now that I will have the bags, what do I use to seal them with? I've read a lot posts where people talk about an impulse sealer and also an I Bar but I did a google search for these and I can't tell one thing from another. My husband told me he has a heat gun in the garage but how do I know if his heat sealer is too strong, or if there even is such a thing as being too strong? Is there a wattage I should be looking for? Can anyone give me a brand and model number that would be good?
5. Ok, now you're really going to think I'm lost but.....if I'm using a heat gun, isn't that sealing the plastic and also shrink wrapping it at the same time?
6. I think what I need are some specific steps/directions. For example, if I have a dozen decorated cookies, not on sticks, this is what I think I need to do but I could be way off here so please forgive me if I am:
I place the cookie in a bag that is a bit bigger than the cookie.
I gather the top of the bag and press most of the air out??
I seal that top (with what and how though is the question)
I use ___?__ to then shrink wrap that bag so the bag is snug against the cookie.(How hot is the heat supposed to be to shrink wrap without ruining the cookie?)
My other question is this: What type of box do most people use to package the cookies in for shipping? My original plan was to use a regular cardboard bakery box, pad with bubble wrap, add the cookies and then top with bubble wrap, and then put that box into a larger box to ship (i.e. a USPS Flat Rate Box). Is this the best way to ship to ensure the least amount of damage to the cookies? I read on a website recently that a sturdy "document box" is better but have no idea where to even buy them. Is a regular bakery box (I want to be able to get boxes in bulk) too flimsy to pack cookies in? How about a corrugated box?
Yesterday I saw an adorable idea in a magazine where the cookies were in a box similar to a narrow shoe box. It's hard to explain the box exactly but it looked like a box you would buy a pair of sandals in - definitely sturdier than a bakery box. Lined with tissue paper the cookies looked so cute in the box. I have no idea where to buy those type of boxes though. Any ideas?
Thanks so much!