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How do you handle the high cost of shipping a bike?

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How do you handle the high cost of shipping a bike?

Old 03-04-07, 08:58 AM
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jberenyi
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How do you handle the high cost of shipping a bike?

I sold my bike to a guy in Ohio and figured it would cost about the same as last year when I sold another complete bike. Last year the cost was a total of $96 to Texas from Utah. Granted Texas is closer than Ohio but I still can't believe how much it has gone up! Here is the breakdown to ship my bike through the local bike shop:

Bike box - $50
Labor to pack - $50
UPS charge - $65

I think what bugs me is that the bike shop wants to charge me $50 for a box that they didn't have to pay for. They take their Trek Madone's out of the boxes and re-use them for this purpose. How do you guys handle your shipping costs?
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Old 03-04-07, 09:00 AM
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Find a new LBS, if they charge you $50 for a box. Hell, I'll sell you a box for $40.



...you just have to pay me to ship it there.
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Old 03-04-07, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by ElJamoquio
Find a new LBS, if they charge you $50 for a box. Hell, I'll sell you a box for $40.



...you just have to pay me to ship it there.
I hear ya. That ticks me off that I have to pay $50 for a used box!! I agree with you about looking elsewhere. I think I will take my future business elsewhere as well.
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Old 03-04-07, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by jberenyi
I hear ya. That ticks me off that I have to pay $50 for a used box!! I agree with you about looking elsewhere. I think I will take my future business elsewhere as well.
Pull one out of the dumpster after hours. The shops around me will give you one if you ask nicely (esp. this time of year when they are getting new floor bikes in and have plenty to spare). $50 for a box is robbery.
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Old 03-04-07, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by jberenyi
I sold my bike to a guy in Ohio and figured it would cost about the same as last year when I sold another complete bike. Last year the cost was a total of $96 to Texas from Utah. Granted Texas is closer than Ohio but I still can't believe how much it has gone up! Here is the breakdown to ship my bike through the local bike shop:

Bike box - $50
Labor to pack - $50
UPS charge - $65

I think what bugs me is that the bike shop wants to charge me $50 for a box that they didn't have to pay for. They take their Trek Madone's out of the boxes and re-use them for this purpose. How do you guys handle your shipping costs?
That's WAAAAYYY too much to charge for shipping. Follow these steps for a successful shipment without overpaying:
  1. Go to your friendly neighborhood LBS and politely ask for a box. Ask if they have any smaller boxes that they're throwing out (this will be your extra packing material in case anything shifts).
  2. Break down the smaller boxes
  3. Break down your bike and pack in the large bike box.
  4. Insert packing material to insure nothing shifts.
  5. Tape up box and head to your friendly neighborhood Office Max with a DHL dropoff.

Depending on weight and how much you intend to insure the bike for (highly recommended) the total cost should be no more than your time to get the boxes, pack the bike, run the package to the DHL dropoff, and $45...
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Old 03-04-07, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by barba
Pull one out of the dumpster after hours. The shops around me will give you one if you ask nicely (esp. this time of year when they are getting new floor bikes in and have plenty to spare). $50 for a box is robbery.

What makes matters worse is that I already told the buyer the shipping price and we locked in at $100. Then when I went down to the bike shop to setup the arrangements low and behold the price went up to $165! I told the buyer this and he is very upset...justifiably so. I emailed him and said this is bullsh*#. I'm going to another bike shop.
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Old 03-04-07, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by 14max
That's WAAAAYYY too much to charge for shipping. Follow these steps for a successful shipment without overpaying:
  1. Go to your friendly neighborhood LBS and politely ask for a box. Ask if they have any smaller boxes that they're throwing out (this will be your extra packing material in case anything shifts).
  2. Break down the smaller boxes
  3. Break down your bike and pack in the large bike box.
  4. Insert packing material to insure nothing shifts.
  5. Tape up box and head to your friendly neighborhood Office Max with a DHL dropoff.

Depending on weight and how much you intend to insure the bike for (highly recommended) the total cost should be no more than your time to get the boxes, pack the bike, run the package to the DHL dropoff, and $45...

Is there anything special about how to arrange the bike for packing. Like removing the bars etc.?
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Old 03-04-07, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by jberenyi
Is there anything special about how to arrange the bike for packing. Like removing the bars etc.?
As long as everything fits in the box and nothing is bouncing around, you're fine. Like someone said before, broken down small boxes take up the extra room in the box nicely. Zip ties are also pretty useful. And just to be safe, put something between the dropouts to avoid it being smushed.
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Old 03-04-07, 09:28 AM
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You also might try a local "box & ship" store. They usually have the boxes and daily pickups by UPS & FedEx. And should be cheaper than your LBS.
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Old 03-04-07, 09:33 AM
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find a bike store that will give you one, all my local shops will give em for free, usually they'll throw in a fork spacer if i need. learn how to pack a bike yourself. get some pipe insulation and a couple extra pieces of cardboard. use fed ex, they're much cheaper than ups.
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Old 03-04-07, 09:40 AM
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What happened to the days when an LBS would give away bike boxes?
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Old 03-04-07, 09:43 AM
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I ship a couple of large boxes each week through out the United States and the cheapest shipping carrier presently is DHL Express ground service through Office Max Stores. Most Office Max Stores are drop off locations for DHL and Office Max offers this service at a very low cost compared to UPS or Fed Ex. It's a way of getting people in their stores. The last couple bikes I shipped with DHL were under $32.00 shipped from the Midwest to the west coast. The last bike frame I shipped was under $10.00 shipped to North Carolina. If you have a Office Max store in your area it would be worth your time checking their DHL shipping prices.
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Old 03-04-07, 10:33 AM
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Bike box free from a good LBS.

Packing free, do it yourself.

Shipping less then $65 even for an oversized bike, don't go to a UPS store, do it cheaper online
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Old 03-04-07, 10:41 AM
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yea, I agree, pack it yourself.
I've shipped bikes with fedex ground for way cheap.
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Old 03-04-07, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by R900
Bike box free from a good LBS.

Packing free, do it yourself.

Shipping less then $65 even for an oversized bike, don't go to a UPS store, do it cheaper online

Shipped two bikes (at different times) from Florida to California.

$45 first time and $46 second time....both Fedex. Both arrived ok and people were happy.
Spent a little extra time packing, tie wraps ,bubble wrap,foam,etc. Got packing from LBS
dumpster and other store dumpsters (I don't mind picking from them). Everything was clean.
Was well worth it! I pack it and spend time on it like I would want someone to do for me
if I was getting a bike. I have received 3 bikes in the mail. 1 was packed by an individual
and was the most awesome packing job I have ever seen! I was very happy. The other 2 were packed
by one of those packing stores...........disgusting! Parts of the bikes were exposed upon arrival.
Hardly any packing material, stuff rubbing,etc...I was pissed!!
PACK IT LIKE IT'S YOURS!
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Old 03-04-07, 11:15 AM
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Support your LBS, dude.. LBS owners gotta eat

Sounds like some crap the shops around here would pull... which is why I dont frequent the shops around here.
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Old 03-04-07, 01:42 PM
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Yeah...those costs are way out of line. I have a high-end retail shop pack my bikes for me. The $30 they charge includes the box - any LBS is gonna have a lot of boxes because, well, their retail bike inventory comes in the boxes. They get them for free.

Change to another LBS. Ask them to use the smallest box possible. A 51x20x8 size boxed bike shipped Utah to Ohio FedEx will be less than $40. Don't use UPS - they are 2x more expensive, and their UPS stores often pad the measurements to bump you into more expensive over size rate. Take it to a Kinkos FedEx and make sure they take exact mesurements. Total cost with LBS packing should be less than $70 shipped FedEx insured.

True story: last year at UPS store a bike box measured exactly 1/2 inch over size. That rounded to an inch, and the quote was $175 shipped KY to Oregon. I asked them if they could forgive the 1/2 inch. Manager/owner was there and she sais no. I tried to discuss with her and she just blew me off and started working with another customer after rolling her eyes and making me feel like a low life worthless customer. The teenager behind counter came to my rescue. He proceeded to cut end of box off and then retaped in on, effectively reducing size by about 3 inches. New price was $35 !!!! Next day I filed a complaint with UPS. I went back in a few days later to tell her. She said she could care less, and she had FIRED the helpful teen. I have never given ANY UPS store my business after that.
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Old 03-04-07, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by jberenyi
Is there anything special about how to arrange the bike for packing. Like removing the bars etc.?
Remove bars, seat, post, pedals, front wheel and front brake. Spin fork to face back, Put spacer in fork ends, attach front wheel to frame, put padding between ALL loose parts (including the front wheel and frame) put in bike box.

I got a box free and send a bike from Chicago to Miami via FedEx ground (online account, bills your credit card) for $25.
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Old 03-04-07, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by markwebb
She said she could care less, and she had FIRED the helpful teen. I have never given ANY UPS store my business after that.
+1 on UPS=terrible. I've had great luck with DHL; but haven't tried shipping a bike yet.
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Old 03-04-07, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by jberenyi
I sold my bike to a guy in Ohio and figured it would cost about the same as last year when I sold another complete bike. Last year the cost was a total of $96 to Texas from Utah. Granted Texas is closer than Ohio but I still can't believe how much it has gone up! Here is the breakdown to ship my bike through the local bike shop:

Bike box - $50
Labor to pack - $50
UPS charge - $65

I think what bugs me is that the bike shop wants to charge me $50 for a box that they didn't have to pay for. They take their Trek Madone's out of the boxes and re-use them for this purpose. How do you guys handle your shipping costs?
The most I spent on shipping bikes was $45 from the east to the west coast. I use FEDEX as its rates are better than UPS. The key to shipping bicycles is getting the right box. I usually get mine free from the LBS. Make sure the box's girth is no more than 130" (L + 2(H + W)). The box I use is usually around 51 x 10 x 29. If the girth is more than 130", you get charged using their oversize rates which may be double. The weight is a non-factor in determining the shipping costs.

As far as packing the bike, its really not that difficult. Just google it as there are many sites that tell you how to diassemble a bike and get it readdy for shipping.
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Old 03-04-07, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by R900
Bike box free from a good LBS.

Packing free, do it yourself.

Shipping less then $65 even for an oversized bike, don't go to a UPS store, do it cheaper online
But many don't know how to pack a bicycle for shipment. The best way is to zip tie the frame to a heavy cardboard divider such that the boundary of the frame will never interface with the box. I just sent off a nice frame in a large Canondale cardboard box via UPS. It was only a steel frame and CF fork. I deliberately shipped it in a a big bike box for safety....but man did I pay. I believe it was $67 to ship UPS Ground...just a frame....and not even a full bike! Apparently the size of the box matters more then the weight.
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Old 03-04-07, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by jberenyi

Bike box - $0
Labor to pack - $0
UPS charge - $65
If you are even remotely resourceful, you should be able to change it to this.
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Old 03-04-07, 07:14 PM
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i know a guy who works at REI & he says that they have a thing where they will box & ship a bike anywhere in the u.s. for $35
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Old 03-04-07, 07:56 PM
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The price is way too high. Find another LBS or pack yourself. But whoever does the packing make absolutely sure it's done well. Read and follow the directions from others on this thread. I learned the hard way. I just recieved a bike that turned out to be heavily damaged in shipping. Paint scratched thru to the metal on the down tube and seat tube. The rear deraileur is probably shot, but worse, the deraileur hanger and rear dropout was bent out of line. I got an estimate to have all the repairs done: about $500!!!! Do not try to pin your extra costs onto the buyer..that sucks. Just get it done right. It shouldn't be more than about $65 total.
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Old 03-04-07, 07:59 PM
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You could ride the bike there, that would be cheap.

Not sure of any cheaper way to ship, I would just call your local shippers and go with the lowest price. If your really want to make sure the bike arrives with little chance of damage, then cover the frame and fork tubes and even the handlebar with good old cheap foam pipe insulation you can get a Home Depot for $2 for a 6 foot section, then just cut to fit. Wrap the pedals, seat and other loose items with bubble wrap so that they won't bounce around during shipping and damage something.

It does seem absurd to charge $50 for a used box some LBS got for free.
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