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How much does it cost to ship a bike from NY to CA?

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How much does it cost to ship a bike from NY to CA?

Old 06-14-15, 11:39 AM
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How much does it cost to ship a bike from NY to CA?

I plan to put the hybrid bike in a 53'x9'x28' bike container, shipping from NYC area to northern California. I entered the dimension, weight (30 lb), and estimated value ($800), the cost comes to be $98 for UPS, $91 for Fedex, $158 for USPS. From the forum, I gathered that shipping a bike should cost around $50-60. I also found websites like BikeFlights.com quote a total cost of $50 ($100 estimated value). I wish to minimize the cost. Have I done the Fedex estimates incorrectly, and are the bike shipping websites reliable?
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Old 06-14-15, 12:02 PM
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I shipped a bike with Bike Flights from New Hampshire to Arizona this spring with insurance $59,
bike arrived on time and in good condition.
Be sure to pak your bike well as couriers are rough on packages, all I can think of is the opening scene from Ace Venture Pet Detective
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2Q6_9A90cUk

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Old 06-14-15, 12:04 PM
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I don't think you entered the information correctly. When I tried getting estimates from UPS and FedEx they came out much higher due to the additional fees that are charged on oversized packages. When a package is oversized, the shipping charge is based on the volume/dimensions of the package not strictly on the weight. For instance, on a bike, you get charged the same rate as like a 70-80 pound package to the same address.

It's important to do the detailed rate quote which asks more questions, and not the short estimate which does not take into consideration the dimensions of the package. FedEx also has a disclaimer on their Website that says the actual shipping charge/s may be different when you get to the Customer Counter to drop the package, and you may be billed additional fees after the package is delivered. I have had several occasions when the credit card charge was double what I was told the shipping charge would be when dropping the package at the FedEx Customer Counter, I got the notice of the additional charges a week or two weeks after the packages had been delivered (from my credit card company).

The FedEx and UPS charge to deliver a bike about 70 miles from here (still in Southern CA), was almost $80. I sincerely doubt that either company will ship a bike (in a bike box)across country at standard Customer Counter Rates for $50-$60 or even $98.

I just went to the UPS Site and punched in Sacramento as the origin, and NYC as the destination with $800 as the value, delivery to a residential address and delivery confirmation. I got $111 for Ground Shipping in 5 days, $303 for 3-Day Air, and $426 for 2-Day Air. As the saying goes... "Your mileage may vary". This was lower than I expected.

Are you going to buy the necessary packaging materials and pack the bike yourself? Bike shops charge $60-$75 to supply the box and packaging materials and pack a bike for shipment around here. Remember that proper packaging is critical to the bike surviving the trip. How much experience do you have packing a bike for shipment? I'm guessing none.

Did you consider the cost of collecting the shipping fee from your Buyer? This can be another consideration when you sell a bike through say eBay. eBay and PayPal fees are going to add another 13-15% to your costs. If you charge the Buyer $100 for shipping, eBay and PayPal get at least $13 from you.

I used the box size you quoted 53 x9 x28, but that's pretty optimistic for a road bike with 700C wheels. Using that size box doesn't leave enough space for recommended amount of insulation (recommended by the shipping companies) to protect the bike in shipping. In the case of shipping damage, the shipping company will probably deny a claim based on inadequate/improper packaging.

Last edited by RoadGuy; 06-14-15 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 06-14-15, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by lucerne
I also found websites like BikeFlights.com quote a total cost of $50 ($100 estimated value). I wish to minimize the cost.
I just shipped what I (over)estimated to be 65 lbs. of touring bike and racks and box from Philly to Rapid City using Bikeflights.com. $57 each way with $1,500 in insurance. I like their service. Used them last year round trip from Philly to Missoula. Four-day service. If you know your dimensions, approximate weight and origin and destination zip codes, you can get a free on line quote using Bikefligts' web site.
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Old 06-14-15, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by RoadGuy
I used the box size you quoted 53 x9 x28, but that's pretty optimistic for a road bike with 700C wheels. Using that size box doesn't leave enough space for recommended amount of insulation (recommended by the shipping companies) to protect the bike in shipping.
Say what now?:

Crateworks Bike Boxes and Accessories: Pro XL-C Plastic Bike Box

I have shipped both large 700c touring and road bikes in the above with plenty of room for packing materials. In fact, I just shipped my 60cm LHT and front and rear racks to Rapid City. Twice I have shipped the same bike to Missoula with racks, stove and empty fuel bottle. No problemo.

His bike likely travelled half way around the world by boat, truck and maybe even train in a cardboard box.
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Old 06-14-15, 02:20 PM
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Ups charged me $90 to ship a frame from CA to NY. From what I have since learned , never ship bikes ups. USPS is the best option if it fits their restrictions than fed ex. Read about the magic size for girth of box which I believe is 108". It gets much more expensive when the box is over that so most people recommend cutting down your box as much as possible so you use the least amount of cardboard
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