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posted by [personal profile] drusillas_rain at 08:15am on 15/03/2011
Have you ever shipped baked goods in the mail? How exactly does this work?

I'm thinking of offering up homemade brownies for the charity auction, but I've never sent or received food in the mail, so a part of me is thinking "won't they go stale?". Or is there a specified shipping time I should pick that would prevent this. How do you ensure your baked goods don't go bad???

For those in Canada - can you only ship in Canada? Or could I ship to the US too?
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posted by [personal profile] woldy at 12:22pm on 15/03/2011
I've never tried sending baked goods in the mail, but like you I'd be worried about them going stale. My experience with Canada Post is very, very bad and significantly worse than that of anyone else I've met, so personally if I'm sending something that I want to be pretty certain will arrive in under a week then I'd NEVER put it in Canada Post. Mail from the US to me in Vancouver usually took over a month, mail from one part of Vancouver to another varied a lot and was regularly opened by Canada Post staff (they were opening and watching the DVDs I was sent by mail), and mail from Vancouver to other Canadian cities like Victoria and Ottawa took up to 3 months. A package sent from Whistler to me in Vancouver was returned to the sender because they erroneously claimed my address didn't exist, and when the sender re-sent it the package disappeared entirely. In short, my experience suggests that Canada Post are deeply unreliable, that some of their staff are thieves, and that their complaint procedures are laughably inadequate. I recommend spending the extra money to send things by Fedex.
 
posted by [identity profile] drusillas-rain.livejournal.com at 05:48pm on 16/03/2011
I've also had bad luck with Canada Post - that sucks re your lost packages :(
 
posted by [identity profile] furiosity.livejournal.com at 12:44pm on 15/03/2011
I think if you ship it via Xpresspost or other "fast" method, there's less of a concern about timing -- if they're packaged in airtight containers, they should be able to hold up a couple of days. My experience with regular mail at both Canada Post and USPS has been just awful, but the express services are decent because tracking numbers keep things honest (though Canada Post routinely ignores instructions like "do not safe drop" -- the only real way to get them to deliver something properly is to have a tracking number AND require a signature upon delivery). The only thing is that I'm not sure if it's legal to ship non-prepackaged food across the border, but you could always get around that by claiming (on the form) that the package contains stuffed toys or something.

If you're worried about costs, just don't offer to ship outside Canada, or stipulate that winning bidder pays shipping. I've seen other people doing that, and I don't think there is a problem with it.
woldy: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] woldy at 01:26pm on 15/03/2011
When I asked them, Canada Post told me that the tracking for packages sent abroad only works until they leave Canada and after that they don't have any information about where the package is and won't give any guarantees about when it will arrive. I concluded that it was best to send international packages by courier so that I could track the entire journey, instead of just being told what Canadian airport it left from.
 
posted by [identity profile] furiosity.livejournal.com at 01:41pm on 15/03/2011
Really! I have been able to track packages using the other countries' postal services with the tracking number provided by Canada Post at time of shipping. Like, I've sent stuff to the States/Japan/China and was able to use USPS/Japan Post/China Post online tracking with the Canada Post tracking number.

I agree that it's best to send by courier if money is not a concern, but FedEx is ridiculously expensive compared to regular postal service. DHL isn't much better, and UPS is slightly cheaper but their service is horrible.
woldy: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] woldy at 02:14pm on 15/03/2011
Huh, so the information they gave me is wrong? Or maybe it depends where you're sending it to, and they didn't bother to tell me where it did & didn't work.

Fedex is way more expensive, but given my experiences with Canada Post I have no confidence in them delivering anything within a reasonable timeframe, and I'm doubtful about whether packages will arrive at all. On their past performance, sending anything important by Canada Post would be kind of like optimistically tying it to a pigeon, or putting it in a bottle and tossing it into the Pacific. Maybe the Vancouver offices are especially bad, or maybe I've been especially unlucky, but at least 30% of the time the stuff I send / receive takes forever or goes AWOL.
 
posted by [identity profile] furiosity.livejournal.com at 02:47pm on 15/03/2011
I think maybe they didn't bother to tell you -- I've found Canada Post's customer service reps to be very polite, but utterly useless. I think maybe I figured out on my own that I could use the tracking numbers with other services.
 
posted by [identity profile] drusillas-rain.livejournal.com at 05:48pm on 16/03/2011
That's true - xpresspost should be fine.

If you're worried about costs, just don't offer to ship outside Canada, or stipulate that winning bidder pays shipping. I've seen other people doing that, and I don't think there is a problem with it.
good to know :)
 
posted by [identity profile] coffeejunkii.livejournal.com at 02:38pm on 15/03/2011
i've shipped cookies and brownies before and they were fine. i put them in ziplock bags. you can always do priority shipping if you're worried about the cookies going stale :)
 
posted by [identity profile] drusillas-rain.livejournal.com at 05:49pm on 16/03/2011
Good to know - thanks!
 
posted by [identity profile] puckkit.livejournal.com at 04:48pm on 15/03/2011
My friend has shipped me cookies before (via a Purolator envelope) and they were squished to pieces because she put them in a ziplock bag haha. It took about two, three weeks to arrive I think? And that was coming from Halifax to Vancouver. All in all, pretty good.

I, myself, have never shipped baked goods anywhere but as long as they're sealed I couldn't see them going stale too quick. Never shipped to the US so I'm useless there. Good luck!
 
posted by [identity profile] drusillas-rain.livejournal.com at 05:49pm on 16/03/2011
Boxes are my friend - good to know ^_^
 
posted by [identity profile] stasia.livejournal.com at 05:12pm on 15/03/2011
Bake them, let them cool all the way, wrap them in batches in plastic wrap. Then, ship them in ziplock bags or inexpensive plastic containers from a 'dollar' store. (Um, which are ubiquitous here in the US, but I don't know if they're as common Up There.)

I'd use UPS or UPSP Priority Mail, but (again), I'm in the US, so YMMV; I don't know if CanadaPost has priority mail services (and if they're reliable). The thing about something like UPS is that, although they might be a bit more expensive, their tracking works, regardless of whether the package is in one country or another.

And, um. You're offering brownies?

Stasia
 
posted by [identity profile] drusillas-rain.livejournal.com at 05:52pm on 16/03/2011
I'm thinking of offering brownies in Canada only (because I'm not 100% sure I can actually ship them across to the US), as well as maybe a step-by-step foolproof recipe and instructions with pictures and commentary of my brownie recipe as a pdf. But only if I actually manage to get enough time to post my bid sometime this week - so far I've just been too swamped to firm up the details/post/etc.

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