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Shipping a bike(9 posts)

Shipping a bikeShalen
May 18, 2001 3:47 PM
I'm purchasing a bike over the internet and the person I'm buying it from wants to know how to ship it. Does anyone have any experience with this? Any input would be appreciated.


re: Shipping a bikeMrCelloBoy
May 18, 2001 4:16 PM
I just shipped a tandem recently to Chicagoland from California.
I used a trucking company (Consolidated Freightways) since most UPS/FedEx max. dimensions were exceeded. It cost me about $100.
I used two standard bike boxes (available at your LBS) taped together with about a roll and a half of strapping tape. The tandem was somewhat disassembled (bars & Stems, crankset, rear derailleur, bottle cages, wheels, all off. All was wrapped in bubble wrap and I poured in styro. peanuts to make sure things didn't rattle around.
Everything arrived intact.
re: Shipping a bikeshalen
May 18, 2001 4:25 PM
Should I have it shipped COD or what, and how does that work? I want to make sure that I don't get screwed.

re: Shipping a bikeMrCelloBoy
May 18, 2001 4:33 PM
That's the tough part! My buyer actually sent a cashiers check in advance!
If you do it C.O.D. you'll still be giving the shipping Co. a check before you have a chance to inspect the bike completely. (They won't want to wait around while you unpack it). I don't know what to tell you there. My buyer was very trusting, I lucked out that way and so did he.
re: Shipping a bikeSpoke Wrench
May 18, 2001 4:34 PM
I've had good results with UPS but, you know, your mileage may vary.

To me, a lot would depend upon how much confidence I had in the seller's mechanical ability. To fit in a UPS-able carton the bike is going to require some disassembly and there is no substitute for a good packing job.

If a bike shop does the packing, expect to pay about $30.00 for that. UPS rates will vary depending on distance. Generally about $30.00 will ship a bike from St. Louis to most anywhere in the contiguous 48 if you actually take it to UPS. If you use one of the packaging and shipping stores, expect to pay about $10.00 more.
re: Shipping a bikeshalen
May 18, 2001 4:41 PM
I don't mean to sound like an idiot, but should I tell him to take it to a bike shop to pack it and then to UPS to ship it. Then do I tell him to ship it COD for the agreed upon amount plus shipping? I'm in AZ and he's in TX, so am I going to be into shipping charges for around $60 (including packaging)? What about US Postal Service, do they tend to be higher than UPS?
re: Shipping a bikeSpoke Wrench
May 18, 2001 4:49 PM
I doubt postal regulations will accept a package as large as a bike box.

One of the nice things about UPS is you can track a shipment almost in real time. I had a customer call me within 10 minutes of when I received his bike to ask me how it looked.
re: Shipping a bikeMrCelloBoy
May 18, 2001 5:18 PM
Why don't you meet halfway in NM and forget about shipping?
My recent experiencemike mcmahon
May 18, 2001 5:59 PM
I recently sold a bike on e-bay. Let me tell you my frustrating story in the hope it will save you time and money. Based on the fact that more or less everyone selling bikes on e-bay said shipping charges would be app. $40-$50, I put the same thing in my ad when I posted it.

When the bike sold, I went down to my LBS, grabbed a Trek box from out back, and packed the bike in it. Next, I drove off to my local privately run shop to have it sent from CA to VA, expecting to pay about $40. The guy tells me the cost to UPS it is going to be $140 because it's oversized. I almost sh1t!. This guy suggests the post office, so I drive off to the p.o. USPS won't ship a box this size and the woman suggests I check with one of the passenger bus companies because they will sometimes transport freight.

Steamed, I go home and check the FedEx web site and find that it would be even more expensive to ship with them. So I go to the UPS web site, which has a price-calculation function based on package size. I punch in the dimensions of my Trek box and discover that ground shipping charges are in fact about $140, as the guy told me. I also discovery, from monkeying with the numbers on the site, that my package is JUST BARELY oversize: 2" too big.

Next, I go out to the garage with a box cutter and a roll of packing tape. Realizing that the bike is not taking up the entire length of the box, I cut the box and shorten it by about 3". I then take the new measurements of the box back to the UPS web site and determine that my shipping charge from CA to VA is now $35 (thirty-five without a hundred in front!). So I ship it with UPS and it gets there unscathed.

So, the moral of the story from my perspective is: Ship with UPS but be sure that the bike is shipped in a box that is not considered oversized. I fit a full-sized road bike (including wheels) inside a box that ended up meeting size regulations and did it withoug breaking the bank. Your seller should be able to do the same thing.

I hope this helps and hope I didn't bore you with too many details. Good luck, Mike