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?