Pick red, ripe berries with their caps and stems. Strawberries do not ripen after picking, so do not pick them with a "white tip." Leave the caps on to prevent the berries from losing moisture. Keep strawberries cool - do not leave them in a hot car or in sunlight.
At home, sort the berries, using the ripest ones first. Place in shallow containers so as not to crush the berries and refrigerate immediately. Do not remove the caps or wash until ready to use or process.
Pick-your-own strawberries are sold by the pound, while pre-picked strawberries are sold by the quart.