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Old 01-06-07, 05:33 PM   #1
slopvehicle
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the wildy varying cost of shipping a bike

Last time I shipped a bike, I got substantially different quotes for the exact same package (a complete track bike packed in a bike box):

FedEx / Kinkos (attempt 1): $89
The UPS Store: $120
FedEx / Kinkos (attempt 2): $21!


Furthermore, my dad ships his bike via UPS pickup from work and says it never costs him over $30. Do the "retail" locations for UPS / FedEx inflate their prices? Is it cheaper if you have a commerical account with the shipping services and request pickup?

(The UPS Store insisted that since there was a ~one inch "bulge" in my box (padding material inside...), it had to be shipped as an oversized package and they had to charge by dimensions rather than weight. WTF!)

As to why FedEx asked for nearly $70 less the second time around, I'm clueless.

What's the cheapest way to ship a bike?
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Old 01-06-07, 08:09 PM   #2
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I use FedEx for pretty much everything. Our company lets us set up a personal account (tied to a MC/VISA) but takes advantage of their rates, which are about 40% off of retail. I've shipped a digital piano (100 lbs, 72" long X 24" X 14"), for $75. For UPS, they'd charge at least twice that.
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Old 01-07-07, 12:33 AM   #3
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Boy, do I see this on eBay. Sellers charging anywhere from $25 to $120 to ship a bike. I've asked a few of them, mostly non-professional sellers, why their charges were up in the $100 range and they said that this was the quote they received from some shipper.

When I've used FedEx to ship large packages in the weight range of a bike, the charge has never been anywhere near $100. I've always shipped directly from the FedEx office.

Likewise for when I've used UPS.

When someone is selling a bike for $1200, a $75 charge isn't that big a deal. But I've seen $40 bikes with $80 shipping charges.
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Old 01-07-07, 01:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
Boy, do I see this on eBay. Sellers charging anywhere from $25 to $120 to ship a bike. I've asked a few of them, mostly non-professional sellers, why their charges were up in the $100 range and they said that this was the quote they received from some shipper.

When I've used FedEx to ship large packages in the weight range of a bike, the charge has never been anywhere near $100. I've always shipped directly from the FedEx office.

Likewise for when I've used UPS.

When someone is selling a bike for $1200, a $75 charge isn't that big a deal. But I've seen $40 bikes with $80 shipping charges.
Are you implying they are trying to get some extra money, or just not familiar with shipping process?
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Old 01-07-07, 03:39 PM   #5
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I don't know. Knowing eBay, there is probably some of both.

I know some sellers there are highly unethical when it comes to shipping costs, because eBay takes a percentage of the selling price, not the shipping. So I've seen literally hundreds of items for sale for a cost of 1 cent or 1 dollar, with shipping fees of $30, $40, or $80 bucks, even if the item only weighs a couple of pounds. eBay polices the auctions for these abusers.

So I suspect some bike sellers are supplimenting the price they are getting by keeping part of the shipping fee. But others are using poor methods to ship and may well be paying $100 to ship a bike.
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Old 01-08-07, 10:25 AM   #6
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Some shippers charge by "dimensional weight" which is loosely based on whether length + width + depth exceeds some predetermined total, rather than actual weight of your package. A bike packed in a standard bike box or shipping container almost always exceeds the carrier's standard dimensions, so I suspect it is up to someone's discretion (the carrier's agent, *not* the person shipping the package) whether the quote is based on actual weight or "dimensional weight"
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Old 01-08-07, 11:31 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
When I've used FedEx to ship large packages in the weight range of a bike, the charge has never been anywhere near $100. I've always shipped directly from the FedEx office.
My xbox360 broke the other day and im shipping back to texas from chicago to get repaired. Went to fedex/ kinkos, boxed up my xbox360, package was 9 lbs, took it to the front asked how much 2nd day shipping was... 146$ Walked out and took it to the local Post Office instead

Fedex prices are all over the map, and it would be very very easy to get a 150$+ quote there for shipping a bike in the US, and not know any better.
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