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Old 09-15-05, 07:09 AM   #1
cyclezealot
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I need get a couple bikes overseas. ( To Belgium,France.) This coming month.
My question..I contacted their 800 telephone number . They will ship..Price wise are reasonable. Are insured. But, I read in the newspapers. The U.S. Postal Service has a very low rate of return on insurance claims.
Using the U.S. Postal Service overseas..Any problems with receiving your bikes. Was the insurance good.? Any damage. A lot is up to me with how it is packaged, I know.
I called Fedex/UPS.. They charged almost the price of the bike. That is insane.
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Old 09-15-05, 11:02 AM   #2
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My only bad experience on Ebay was a NOS Campy wheel that came via US Postal. Despite very thorough & protective packing by the seller, it arrived badly tacoed & gouged on the rim. Package was in very bad shap & appeared to have been run over by a large truck! Only thing salvaged was the hub & since wheel was irreplaceable, ins $ didn't help much. Also, I only got the U.S. Postal "shrug" when I complained as he handed the package over the counter. I wouldn't ship a brick via the Postal Service
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Old 09-15-05, 01:45 PM   #3
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I just received a kids bike via US parcel post. The keyword is sloooooooooooooooooooooooooooow. Took much longer than UPS or Fedex. Bike arrived in good condition, but that was mainly due to good packing.
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Old 09-15-05, 02:36 PM   #4
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My father worked for the US Postal Service for thirty years before he retired. When I asked him what happened to the packages under his care, he had a wierd twinkle in his eyes and told me he liked to dance (actually dance) on the piles of boxes coming through.

He told me when I shipped packages through the USPS, just to make sure to:

1. Use the strongest cardboard shipping container available (don't skimp on this).
2. Place secure labels with destination and return addresses clearly labeled TO and FROM in the right location. If desired, cover labels with strong Clear tape.
3. Place a written tag with both addresses attached to the bike inside the box. My father said that alot of undelivered packages are ones that came apart and the employee could not trace it's rightful owner.
4. Pack with newspapers, foam, bubbles etc to cushion and secure parts inside the box carefully. Anything that is suspisious will be inspected and possible loss of parts could happen.
5. In the post 9/11 world, expect the package to be opened and take percautions.
6. Since you are shipping through other countries, contact customs as well as the Post Office. Rules and regulations change constantly and not knowing these regulations is no excuse!

I have been following my dad's advice for a very long time. While I never shipped a bike, I shipped many other things and never had a problem.

Last edited by folder fanatic; 09-15-05 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 09-16-05, 01:10 AM   #5
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I don't know how the other shipping companies work, but at the USPS, things have changed. We used to do a lot of manual loading/unloading of parcels. Most parcels and sacks are now placed in large 36" to 54" cardboard boxes to be processed by mechanization and only see human hands at the pickup and destination sites. Before large packages would be loaded in a truck and then other mail would be loaded on top of them to fill up a railvan (maybe 9 feet tall). Now, the procedure is different. A bicyle box is too large to fit on the mechanization so it would be sorted by hand. It would be placed on a pallet, and I am assuming on its side (even with markings that say "This side up") with other heavy objects on top of it. The load will only be about 3 feet tall, a big improvement from the past. Myself, I would ship it with the movers. Good luck CZ on your move.
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Old 09-16-05, 08:20 AM   #6
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Outashape. I read of some controversy about USPS insurance not being worth a darn.? Story in LA Times said only like 25% of insurance claims are honored. How could that be? Stuff atop bike boxes are not good for spokes..
Most economical is to send it with shippers, but three months without bikes. Good to hear from you..Seems have not been seeing many replies from you in an given thread. Be in Michigan on way east to NYC airport..Think will have 1 or 2 bikes with me.
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Old 09-16-05, 11:16 AM   #7
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Where most people go wrong regarding insurance and shipping damage is they do not follow the published guidelines for packaging their stuff. If you don't pack according the carriers standards they WILL deny your claim unless (perhaps) the box is totally obliterated.

The first thing to do is check the USPS website for packaging guidelines. Chances are they will recommend you have 2-3 inches of foam padding all around the bike. I would also make liberal use of bubble wrap around the frame and separately around each wheel. Be sure to bubble wrap any protruding parts like derailleurs. This means that you cannot use the typical bike box to hold your bike. You need to get, or build a larger box. You might even want to use two boxes with padding between the two. It will cost more to ship since you have to buy larger boxes, and the package will weigh more. But, if your bike does get damaged, which is less likely, you stand a better chance of getting reimbursed. More padding is better than less.

Most bikes shipped from manufacturers do not meet the published guidelines so don't use that as an example. I expect that manufacturers play the odds and figure that they save more in the long run on reduced shipping costs than they eat in losses.
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