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Cost to Professionally Pack a Bike

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Cost to Professionally Pack a Bike

Old 05-04-23, 09:25 AM
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Cost to Professionally Pack a Bike

Well, I think the time has come to sell off most of my 'keepers'. I have packed and shipped a few bikes in the past but I have about 10 bikes to sell and don't feel up to the task nor competent enough since they are some pretty nice bikes. I am trying to decide whether it is worth it to have a bike shop do the job or just sell them locally. The cost of shipping bikes has gone up a tremendous amount and to add the cost of packing to that cost I don't know whether that would be something people would want to pay. I know that costs to professionally pack a bike varies by city but I am curious what people are paying to have their bikes packed by a bike shop. Also, if anyone has a recommendation for a bike packer in Minneapolis/St. Paul that would be great. Thanks.
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Old 05-04-23, 09:49 AM
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...I am in a similar situation, and after some CL ads that drew mostly "Is this still available ?" spam and a few tire kickers, have decided to resort to e-bay over the next year, as my new hobby. The market demographic for these has definitely shrunk, and like you and me, a lot of them simply have an oversupply of bicycles. So I am subscribing to your thread. Bike Flights now sells their own packing and shipping boxes. They are not cheap, but my guess is that they are pretty secure. The other thing I have always done in the past, besides using bubble wrap, is to insert dummy axles in the fork and dropouts as extra insurance against crush injury.

But I haven't done this in a few years, so am subscribing to this thread in order to learn what people with more current experience have to say. My impression is that a bike I used to ship for $60 via Bike Flights will now run a couple of hundred dollars. Which is why that's usually the shipping cost you see mentioned on e-bay listings.
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Old 05-04-23, 09:51 AM
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My local shop quoted me $60. I am near Philadelphia. They use one of their old boxes but as the seller, I am responsible for shipping. I create my own shipping label, work out all the logistics and they attach the label and UPS/FedEx picks up at their location. Between the actual shipping cost, insurance etc. plus a fee if you are not willing/able to do it yourself has me, doing local sales.

On that front, I have had a 1974 Raleigh International, all original, in really nice shape with 2 Campagnolo wheel sets and not gotten 1 inquiry. It is listed on CL and FB Marketplace.

I have enjoyed buying cool old bikes, checking them out, re-habbing cleaning and "flipping" them for a return on my expense or at at times a small/proft/loss. I have shipped 100+ bikes over the years and with the cost of shipping and the lack of interest I think this portion of the hobby is done for me.

I am taking what I have to a local swap and hoping to move it to new homes that way.

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Old 05-04-23, 10:37 AM
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The economics of distance selling has abruptly changed.
a shop maybe in the future might see a pack to ship service job as a filler, right now it is a burden still even if the cost has gone up.
There is higher margin repair work still coming in the door.
this volume might ebb this year.
Shimano has forecast a steep decline in profits and turnover this year from bike business.

the rise of the corporate owned stores has changed the dynamic also.

As many here do their own work, there is an insulation to these influences.

it does point to selling parts a la carte, easier shipping and less risk.
frame sets also are not cheap to send but cheaper than a whole bike.

wheels and rims already have endured this change.

a way around? If possible set up a merchant account with UPS or FedEx, pretty sure you need a business address. I have handed parts boxes to my business neighbor, they weigh and ship, a much better deal time and money wise than me visiting a depot. I avoid the branded "stores" - no value there.
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Old 05-04-23, 11:15 AM
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Biggest take away for me has always been insurance, it is a must, an absolute bargain and has saved my azz many, many times.

No brainer IMO.

Always as a buyer and all but a requirement as a seller unless the buyer refuses and signs off on it.
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Old 05-04-23, 11:20 AM
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And as far as I am concerned, shops are usually not an option to pack, never used one on my end and have never had any pack job by them been ok when it got to me nor had them cooperate with input which I get but then it gets here and is a miracle it survived.
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Old 05-04-23, 11:35 AM
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My experience with shop-packed bikes has been…mixed. Everything from a job done with as much attention paid to detail and doing it right as I would have done, to everything tossed in a box in pieces and taped shut. Which should not be much of a surprise since that’s pretty much how new bikes arrive at a dealer these days, albeit in boxes designed for the task with insulation bits meant to be as small as possible while maintaining optimum functionality. So first thing I’d do is make sure you know who (as in, which specific person) is doing the packing and how well they do the job.

And thinking this through further, there’s no magic about having it done by a bike shop. You could easily teach someone- a retiree, a high school kid- to do the job the way you wanted it done, and pay them a fair wage to do it. My local corporate owned bike shop still gives away boxes and home centers still sell tubing insulation and zip ties.

With regard to shipping, did a little research and compared the cost paid by my former employer through their high volume discount account vs. pirateship and BikeFlights. The cost was…pretty darn close. But yeah, everything has gone way up since they went to a combination of dimension and weight costing.
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Old 05-04-23, 11:53 AM
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it really sucks that we have to get old, just when we are starting to get interesting! i'll be selling most of my bikes this year as well incase i cack it and don't want my wife to be stuck with them.
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Old 05-04-23, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by cocoabeachcrab
... i'll be selling most of my bikes this year as well incase i cack it and don't want my wife to be stuck with them.
...I'm thinking of it more like a five year plan. Otherwise I might panic.
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Old 05-04-23, 01:55 PM
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This is the second thread on packing i have seen and the discussion on the high cost of shipping putting off a prospective buyer.
As painful as this is, the vintage bikes that are worth shipping to a new prospective owner will need to be discounted to account for the extra shipping, i have done this IOW on deals lets talk price including shipping, which cant be finalized till we pack it up and weigh and measure.. i weigh the pieces loosely in the box and add a few pounds for packing, that way i'm using the box dimensions and a pretty close approximate weight, and after i'm done if the shipping is within 20 dollars i just eat the difference..heck i once ate $50.00.

The danger here is if we wait too long the buyers will totally dry up and these bikes are going to be worth a lot less... sad facts IMO.
The days of shipping mid tier bikes worth $150 bucks for $60 are over.

personally with 12 bikes 7 built and 5 to build iv'e stopped buying unless its something really special to me or local..

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Old 05-04-23, 02:31 PM
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Maybe we need to start an "underground railroad" as a substitute for shipping.
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Old 05-04-23, 03:01 PM
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Well a post over on the Steel is Real FB page from buyer trashing a seller for stuff I see as really minor just emphasizes to me how much I am unwilling to think about shipping a bike. Reality is, sometimes things go wrong. Don' want my rep ever compromised if something goes wrong despite my best efforts.

Hence, I'll stick to losing money on local sales.

That despite seeing enough well packed bikes come into me that I feel like I could do a real good job at packing one.
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Old 05-04-23, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie
Maybe we need to start an "underground railroad" as a substitute for shipping.
...I could send a boxcar to Portland, with a bunch of orphan bikes from NorCal.
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Old 05-04-23, 07:44 PM
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When I start to seriously downsize, bikes will be given away to worthy recipients. Shipping paid.
Line starts to the left…
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Old 05-04-23, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by rjhammett
Well, I think the time has come to sell off most of my 'keepers'. I have packed and shipped a few bikes in the past but I have about 10 bikes to sell and don't feel up to the task nor competent enough since they are some pretty nice bikes. I am trying to decide whether it is worth it to have a bike shop do the job or just sell them locally. The cost of shipping bikes has gone up a tremendous amount and to add the cost of packing to that cost I don't know whether that would be something people would want to pay. I know that costs to professionally pack a bike varies by city but I am curious what people are paying to have their bikes packed by a bike shop. Also, if anyone has a recommendation for a bike packer in Minneapolis/St. Paul that would be great. Thanks.
Got any 63cm ones?
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Old 05-04-23, 08:05 PM
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I do have some 63cm bikes however, I need to decide whether I want to endure the hassle of shipping which I am kind of leaning against. If I do decide to ship I will purchase a membership to sell on BF and post them here.

Originally Posted by tendency
Got any 63cm ones?
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Old 05-04-23, 08:10 PM
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Iíve had quite a few bikes (maybe a dozen) packed up by a shop. Only one was a problem. The chainring had cut through the bottom of the box. I emailed a photo to the shop and they refunded the $125 packing charge. I have purchased fewer bikes due to shipping costs. I have paid $90-$150 for packing, then $120-$200 for shipping. Itís just been the cost of acquiring some of the bikes I wanted. Itís certainly tough to eat that cost. I have generally let a seller pick a shop they know, or is near them. I then call the shop and try to express how important it is that the bike be packed well. With sellers, I try to get a sense of whether they have experience packing up a bike.

The economics of selling is tough. eBay works, but you end up paying ~15% in fees. Local classifieds do not reach a large audience. Selling here has its challenges as well. Thereís no one answer, but making a plan is a start!
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Old 05-05-23, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by cocoabeachcrab
it really sucks that we have to get old, just when we are starting to get interesting! i'll be selling most of my bikes this year as well incase i cack it and don't want my wife to be stuck with them.
I've made contact with the Halifax bike co-op to bring a truck in the event of my sudden demise.
So many bikes, so little time.
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Old 05-05-23, 01:21 PM
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You made my day! Thanks for that.

Originally Posted by cocoabeachcrab
it really sucks that we have to get old, just when we are starting to get interesting! i'll be selling most of my bikes this year as well incase i cack it and don't want my wife to be stuck with them.
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Old 05-05-23, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by rjhammett
... I have about 10 bikes to sell ... they are some pretty nice bikes. I am trying to decide whether it is worth it to have a bike shop do the job or just sell them locally.
10 bikes plus all the excess parts you have (you know you do, don't deny it) makes you a one man swap meet.

Find a local swap meet (my local high school hosts one) and do some local advertising. Maybe go more than once, allowing time for word of mouth advertising.
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Old 05-05-23, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by jamesdak
Well a post over on the Steel is Real FB page from buyer trashing a seller for stuff I see as really minor just emphasizes to me how much I am unwilling to think about shipping a bike. Reality is, sometimes things go wrong. Don' want my rep ever compromised if something goes wrong despite my best efforts.
I saw that too. My take it was a heavily damaged box which caused the new owner to get their knickers in a twist when the "damage" to the bike could as well happened when he let it fall over. None of the new owner's complaints couldn't be fixed in 10 minutes. **** happens. I saw it on a t shirt once. Get over it.
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Old 05-05-23, 02:59 PM
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I got a regular bike box from the LBS for free. 54x31x8. I cut it down to 51x31x8 to have a proper fit to the bike. Came with some packing materials, I used some, pitched the rest. I bought 8 pipe insulators, zip ties and a 3 Musketeers bar from Home Depot for $27. I used 7 pipe insulators, half of the zip ties and ate the candy bar while packing. Took me 90 minutes. Figure someone who knows what to do can do it in under 60 minutes. But I charge nothing for labor. My LBS shop rate is $120/hour, billed in 15-minute increments. I can't image them charging less than $105 to pack a bike. No more than $150.

As I wrote in another thread. Chicago to Buffalo is $56 for shipping. Chicago to Toronto is $103. $500 insurance.

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Old 05-05-23, 03:10 PM
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DIY type here, free box's and packaging from a shop.

Quotes from 2 shops $50 to $70.

I use Pirate Ship for shipper.
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Old 05-08-23, 05:38 PM
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I was offered free boxes and packing materials from the local shop in upstate NY. Trek shop quoted $80 for breakdown/packing - local shop quoted $60 for breakdown/packing. Shop in San Pedro, CA If I remember correctly quoted $75. As others have said shipping seems to be affected more by box size than anything else, the smaller you can get the box the better.
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Old 05-08-23, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by iab
I got a regular bike box from the LBS for free. 54x31x8. I cut it down to 51x31x8 to have a proper fit to the bike. Came with some packing materials, I used some, pitched the rest. I bought 8 pipe insulators, zip ties and a 3 Musketeers bar from Home Depot for $27. I used 7 pipe insulators, half of the zip ties and ate the candy bar while packing. Took me 90 minutes. Figure someone who knows what to do can do it in under 60 minutes. But I charge nothing for labor. My LBS shop rate is $120/hour, billed in 15-minute increments. I can't image them charging less than $105 to pack a bike. No more than $150.

As I wrote in another thread. Chicago to Buffalo is $56 for shipping. Chicago to Toronto is $103. $500 insurance.

the 3 musketeers bar was the critical purchase
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