Well I have decided to answer these questions in detail as they pertain to my Etsy shop A Thyme To Bee Comforted. Please keep in mind, this is how I ship and does not reflect the shipping policies of any of the edible shops that you will find on Etsy.
So to answer the first question: "How can you ship food like this"?
Well to begin with it is all in the packaging and delivery time. I ship priority mail as my standard shipping method which means that your package will arrive on your door step with in 2-3 days. I can also ship overnight, at an additional cost. Priority mail is the most cost effective method for both of us as I use a flat rate box. The benefit of using flat rate boxes is that the shipping cost is based on what you can fit into the box up to 70lbs and does not go off of weight. That is where overnight or express mail get you!! They go by weight and by box size!!
I typically use the Large Flat Rate priority box (measures 12” x 12” x 5-1/2” ), as this gives me the most space to pack your product in. You need to keep in mind that I am not only shipping your product in your box, but also ice packs and dry ice. All of which take up a good amount of space!!
Since I am using a flat rate box, I am limited on space. I do combine orders if you order multiple items. Typically 4 items will fit into one Large box, this is an estimate of course as it is all dependant on what you are ordering. Some products are larger than others and will take up more space. I would only charging shipping on one box, if all the items fit into one box, once they do not fit into one box you of course would incur another shipping charge. Unfortunately Etsy does not let me structure my shipping profile this way. So if you end up buying multiple items don't panic when you see the shipping amount!! Once your order has been packed and shipped out to you, I will refund you the overage in shipping!
Well now you know how the box gets to your door but I know that doesn't explain how the food gets there fresh!! Well it is a combination of things that helps the food get to your door fresh and delish!! For the most part everything that you purchase from me is completely cooked, when it arrives at your door all you will be doing is reheating (reheating instructions are provided). Once I have cooked everything in your order it goes into the freezer to help insure that it arrives at your door cold. The only thing that is not frozen prior to shipping are the fresh salsas , as they only need to be kept cool to keep them fresh. I only offer items that will not lose their taste or texture when frozen.
Next is the packaging, while I use the priority boxes to ship in I alter the interior of them to help keep the food insulated. I use Cool Shield Bubble to insulate the boxes. It provide short term thermal shipping protection for food, plants and pharmaceuticals and is safe to use with food per the FDA. Your order is completely surrounded by the cool shield, from top to bottom!!
The next step is ice packs and dry ice. I put about 3 ice packs at the bottom of your box and on top of them I put about 5lbs of dry ice. This will extend the life of the ice packs by keeping them frozen. You can find out all about shipping with dry ice at ://www.dryiceinfo.com/shipping.htm . In addition to food, pharmaceuticals are also shipped with dry ice! Basically I have made my own cooler to ship your food in!!
This brings us to the final question of "Why is your shipping cost so high"? As you can see I take great care in packaging your orders. My shipping cost is high because not just as simple as put the product in the box and sending it out! Dry ice and the packaging that I use is not inexpensive. Here in AZ dry ice is $1.20 or so a pound. As I mentioned I typically ship with 5lbs so if you do the math on that it is $6 just in dry ice!! Not to mention the ice packs and the lining of the boxes! I want your food to get to you as cold and as quick as possible! Also my food products are more delicate than those of the Bakery shops you will find on Etsy. I ship this way because I want the food to be completely safe when it arrives on your door step!
Keeping this in mind if you know that your mail is slower than most places, shoot me an email and let me know before you order that way I can put in some extra ice packs! Typically with priority mail the packages arrive in 2 days and do not go into the 3rd day.
Well I hope that this little post helps you feel better about ordering for over the net!! If you ever have any questions about the products in either of my stores feel free to convo or email me!!