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Shipping Costs

Old 01-30-10, 11:42 AM
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keelbolts
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Shipping Costs

It appears that I will soon be selling some frames and bicycles on the net. I'm trying to get a feel for shipping costs. When I look at bikes on ebay, listed shipping runs anywhere from $40 to over $100. I know it's a function of both weight & distance, but what has it cost you to ship a bike or frame in or out?
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Old 01-30-10, 11:47 AM
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Where I live my shipping costs are high. The plumbers foam tubing at my hardware store is not very cheap...A full 60CM frame took 15$ worth of the stuff...Plus high quality strapping tape 8$ a roll.

It depends on the cost of your actually shipping materials...I'd say 75$ is a good price. You will break even and possibly make some money on the shipping. If I were packing a complete bike I would charge 100$

The time taken do a good job is worth being paid a few bucks.
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Old 01-30-10, 12:08 PM
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I've always charged only what it costs to actually ship the frame out, or at least within $5. I guess thats why I can't make it in this high paced world of microwave ovens high speed internet access and ghosts, i'm too nice. Not that I have a problem with people charging a packing service, but $100 is overkill if you ask me. I would never even think about buying a bike from anyone if the shippings gonna be that much.

What it costs all depends on where its going, last frame I mailed within province costed 28$ for 1-2 day shipping, stuff to the US of A usually ends up around $35-40. I gave a complete bike to someone before and mailed it to em in canada for about $50, you can use greyhound for that.
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Old 01-30-10, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by divineAndbright View Post
Not that I have a problem with people charging a packing service, but $100 is overkill if you ask me. I would never even think about buying a bike from anyone if the shippings gonna be that much.
Not on a $200 bike, that's silliness but if you just spent $1000 for the Merckx or DeRosa wouldn't you want it to arrive safe and sound instead of bent? I would and would pay the $100 to make it happen.

I have shipped 1 frame I sold on ebay for $65 from CA to MD via Fedex. I spent about $15 on the pipe foam, cable ties and tape. Free box from LBS. Took about an hour to pack, 1/2 hour to drag it to Fedex. I would rather have sold it locally to avoid the hassle but I wanted top dollar so to the bay it went.

Next time I might just sell locally for a lower price if it's another frame that's not really special. With the ebay and paypal fees you sometimes end up with the same amount in your pocket without the time spent packing the bike/frame.

You guys that do it all the time probably have it down to a science, buy packing material in bulk, have it picked up and save money if you have an account, etc, so it may be more profitable as I kind of remember reading a thread about it.

Cheapest I have paid for shipping on a frame I bought was about $25. The fork was removed and attached to the frame, put in the smallest box possible and came from 60 miles away with Fedex. It kind of pissed me off because I wanted to pick it up but the seller would not answer my e mails.
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Old 01-30-10, 04:29 PM
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If you don't have one already sign up for a Fed Ex account. Fed Ex ground is cheaper than anyone I have found for shipping bikes or framesets. They also beat the post office price often on heavier boxes go across the country. I ship all larger or heavy items Fed Ex. All small items still go USPS priority mail usually.

For packing material I use pipe insulation in two sizes. The larger size for the three main tubes of the frame and the small size for the rear triangle. I can usually pack most frames with one large and one small size piece for around $5. I don't buy the high dollar tape and get 6 rolls from Meijer's for under $10. The only packing material I buy is the pipe insulation and the tape. I work at a LBS so I bring home boxes and packing material for my own use when selling stuff on Ebay, CL, bike forums, etc.

The price of shipping when doing a bike or frameset is almost always size. You get charged a dimensional weight depending on the size of the box. So often the box determines the price so you can pack the crap out of the bike/frameset and it doesn't cost any more. I try and ship framesets in the smallest box possible and will often take off the fork to get it into a smaller box. I have shipped a number of framesets from Michigan to various places on the east coast or midwest usually for $25 or under. The cheapest was a 64cm track frame went to NYC for only $11. But, if it goes out west it is a lot more expensive. The last frameset I shipped to California was almost $50.

If you don't have an accurate scale capable of weighing a boxed up bike get one. Using the online Fed Ex calculators are the best way to know shipping cost. The on line calculators I find to be fairly accurate for all the items I have shipped.
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Old 01-30-10, 05:08 PM
  #6  
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I always include a handling cost with my bicycles ($25.00) and for frames ($15.00) which really does not make sense when one learns where the money actually goes.

Though it takes about three hours to carefully pack a bike, I do not charge for the time. I do want to help cover the cost of a box, packing tape, tie-wraps, and gasoline to deliver the box to the shipping depot. But that is not the biggest cost that selling on-line has to present...

Ebay and Paypal take a pretty good bite out of every dollar. By the time I add up listing fees, picture fees and final value fees, Ebay will easily grab approximately 5% of the take. Then PayPal grabs another similar cut for the final value plus the cost to ship. Believe it or not, this adds up pretty fast.

As for the person who thinks that $100.00 is overkill for shipping, I tend to agree but that is the way things are today. Shipping costs shot up about a year and a half ago. I used to be able to ship a bike to California for less than a hundred dollars. Now, the price is closer to $140.00. And this is going to get worse.

There is nothing wrong with having a handling fee. Virtually everything you purchase these days has a handling fee built into the cost. And it will always be the consumer who bears the cost. My opinion,of course.
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Old 01-30-10, 06:02 PM
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In general I spend ~$8 on packaging materials for a frameset or complete bike. Frames can be shipped for $20-30 depending on location and complete bikes for $65-75. Keep in mind that I'm way down in Tampa and those are Tampa-Seattle prices.

A boxed frame is ~15lbs
A boxed bike is ~38lbs

Go to www.Fedex.com and get quote from your city to the furthest one you can think of. It'll either be Portland Maine, Seattle, Miami or San Diego. A complete bike box needs to be 130" or less. Use 54x8x30 for the dimensions.
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Old 01-30-10, 06:46 PM
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I ship frames for $17 coast to coast, Parcel Post, the most.
Over 58cm, I go Fed Ex because the box is too big, about $20 max.

I ship bikes in a cut-down box, Parcel Post, balloon charge OK, for about $38-$45.
I can also ship them Fed Ex for the same.

Buy a couple packages of single-edge razor blades, plenty of cheap packaging tape.
Make the box fit the item. Cushion well and send 'em.

Go to the Post Office or Fed Ex terminal.
Once they determine the rate, it's set in stone, even if they're wrong.
Same with UPS, but they're so high, I never go there any more.

Do NOT go to Fed Ex Kinko's or the UPS Store.
Do NOT print your lables at home. You are inviting audit and surcharges.

Get boxes from LBS and cut them down. Some flat-screen boxes work well, too.
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Old 01-30-10, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
In general I spend ~$8 on packaging materials for a frameset or complete bike. Frames can be shipped for $20-30 depending on location and complete bikes for $65-75. Keep in mind that I'm way down in Tampa and those are Tampa-Seattle prices.

A boxed frame is ~15lbs
A boxed bike is ~38lbs

Go to www.Fedex.com and get quote from your city to the furthest one you can think of. It'll either be Portland Maine, Seattle, Miami or San Diego. A complete bike box needs to be 130" or less. Use 54x8x30 for the dimensions.
+1

Fedex ground is the least expensive way and the single biggest factor on the price is the size of the box. Shipping a huge frame or bike is not a cost-effective proposition because it will exceed those dimensions.

Shipping quotes on ebay listings are all over the place (and not only for bikes). Some sellers add fees to "make up" for the ebay and paypal cut. IMHO (and not only mine) this is a bad business practice and these sellers get dinged with 1-2 stars on shipping (which results ultimately on having to pay more to ebay.) Also, I do not like the idea of having to pay a cent for packing time and material and the mysterious "handling" fee. That should be part of the cost of a sellers doing business on ebay. That's how I treat the people whom I sell to via ebay, that's how I expect to be treated. It is that simple.
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Old 01-31-10, 06:54 PM
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+1, E. I charge shipping, period.
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Old 07-08-10, 01:25 PM
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Bicycle Frame Box Dimensions

Does someone have the approximate dimensions of bicycle frame box for a 58cm Specialized Allez frame with fork? I am trying to get an idea of the shipping costs using fedex.com but I am not sure what dimensions to enter. The frame is coming from Colorado Springs to Los Angeles and the seller has quoted me $50, but I think he entered bicycle box dimensions not frame box dimensions. I am a graduate student so every dollar I can save counts. Thank You.
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Old 07-08-10, 01:29 PM
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I recently used ShipBikes.com. They contract with FedEx but are somehow able to get better rates than I was able to get quoted to me direct from fedex themselves.

Shipbikes.com even picked up the bike from my office free of charge.
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Old 07-08-10, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by rickdog81 View Post
Does someone have the approximate dimensions of bicycle frame box for a 58cm Specialized Allez frame with fork? I am trying to get an idea of the shipping costs using fedex.com but I am not sure what dimensions to enter. The frame is coming from Colorado Springs to Los Angeles and the seller has quoted me $50, but I think he entered bicycle box dimensions not frame box dimensions. I am a graduate student so every dollar I can save counts. Thank You.
You'll save a bit of size by removing the fork. and securing it to the downtube or such. I recently sent a 59cm frame from PA to Florida in an optimized box, and it cost me a little over $32.00.
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Old 07-08-10, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by rickdog81 View Post
Does someone have the approximate dimensions of bicycle frame box for a 58cm Specialized Allez frame with fork? I am trying to get an idea of the shipping costs using fedex.com but I am not sure what dimensions to enter. The frame is coming from Colorado Springs to Los Angeles and the seller has quoted me $50, but I think he entered bicycle box dimensions not frame box dimensions. I am a graduate student so every dollar I can save counts. Thank You.
54X29X8 gets you 128" L+G.
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Old 07-08-10, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by rickdog81 View Post
Does someone have the approximate dimensions of bicycle frame box for a 58cm Specialized Allez frame with fork? I am trying to get an idea of the shipping costs using fedex.com but I am not sure what dimensions to enter. The frame is coming from Colorado Springs to Los Angeles and the seller has quoted me $50, but I think he entered bicycle box dimensions not frame box dimensions. I am a graduate student so every dollar I can save counts. Thank You.
Frankly, when every dollar counts, I would look locally for a deal. $50 shipping charge is pretty reasonable.


The two breakpoints for Fed Ex are 108 inches and 130 inches. This is girth (circumference all the way around the box) plus length. Go measure a box at your local LBS. The ones I have seen were all over 108 inches, which means cutting it down quite a bit if you are shooting for 108 inches or less. And the bigger the frame, the tougher such an undertaking will be. And realize many bike shops receive frames that were shipped on a pallet, so the individual box is not handled much at all. When you ship one bicycle box, it gets handled a lot, so it better be well protected.

Here's a large frame (62cm) I recently shipped, ignore the seat post as it was removed prior to shipping. It is sitting on top of a Fuji bike box that measures 129 inches (one inch to spare).

The width of the box (thickness) was wider than required, at about 11 inches wide. so I could be cut down quite a bit (I probably could have shaved at least 6 inches off the box - 3 each side). Consider that standard vintage drop outs are at 126mm (inside measurement), that's 5 inches wide. So say the outside dimensions of the rear drop out are a little less than six inches. How much space for cushioning, packing material, etc., do you want around your frame?

I do not see the length or height changing much from this picture. Sure, I could have cut the top left corner and bottom right corner off at a diagonal, but my understanding on how they measure the box (they pick the biggest area for girth), the measurements would not have changed. Note, this is with the fork removed. Imagine the fork on this frame.




Here's the frame and fork, wrapped with $10 of foam insulation, a package of zip ties and quite a bit of tape. Both drop outs supported by 2 x 2 lumber. I added an additional piece of foam to protect the seat post lug area. Once wrapped in foam, that rear drop area measured almost 8 inches across. That left me with 1 1/2 inches clearance on each side. Shipping was not cheap (Fed Ex), but frame arrived save and sound.


Last edited by wrk101; 07-08-10 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 07-08-10, 03:01 PM
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And here's an $85 shipping job that I was the recipient of. Fragile sticker really helped. Those are the two sets of axle QR poking out the side of the box.



And here it is inside. Notice the total lack any pipe insulation or anything else protecting the frame. Notice the front wheel between the fork legs. Notice the box is speared by both fork drop outs and the double chainring. What you can't see is the seat and seat post floating loose (no packing) inside the box. The RD is removed, so the chain is left slapping the chainstays. And the rear wheel is removed, so there was nothing protecting the rear dropouts (that got smashed). Notice the total lack of any additional cardboard reinforcement in key areas.

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