Re: [CR]Re: eBay shipping charges

(Example: Component Manufacturers:Ideale)

From: <>
Date: Sat, 30 Oct 2004 16:27:58 EDT
Subject: Re: [CR]Re: eBay shipping charges

In a message dated 10/30/2004 9:03:22 AM PST, writes:

I wish I could ship a frame and fork for what some folks say they can...$20-$30...but I can't. How do you all do it?

I used to be able to ship bikes via UPS Ground Service without them measuring the bike box...only was billed actual weight. Now, they go by dimensional weight instead of actual weight and the cost is significantly higher, especially for what they consider "oversize" packages like bike boxes. Last frame and fork I shipped was $56+ to California, and that is by taking it directly to the UPS facilities and using the Customer Counter, not taking it to an "authorized shipper" where the cost is even greater.

Pipe insulation is $7 per pack and takes two packs to cover a frame and fork with every tube wrapped in closed cell pipe insulation, plus the cost of electrical tape, zip ties, dropout protectors, etc. That doesn't even take into account the time (an hour or so) to pack it and the drive to the UPS office.

I am very methodical and thorough with my packing. I first put a plastic dropout protector in the rear drop out and the front fork. I then wrap each tube of the frame, including the fork legs, in closed-cell pipe insulation and fasten them with zipties. I then wrap bubble wrap or pipe insulation around the seat tube and headtube opening, as well as around the bottom of the bottom bracket shell and front and rear dropouts. I also take the fork off and wrap it in some additional bubble wrap or packing to keep it from damaging either the fork or frame during transit.

It may seem like overkill, but I have yet to have a frame damaged and have received many comments on "best packing job ever". I also make sure I list the shipping charges in the auction so a buyer knows what they will be paying rather than listing the item and after the auction coming up with a figure higher than what they expected.

Again, I wish my costs on the shipping side were less, but they only continue to increase.

First of all, you should realize that a great majority of bikes can be---and
are quite frequently by major marques like Trek/Schwinn/Etc---shipped totally
devoid of any pipe insulation, duct tape, etc. On more than one ocassion, I
have used a broken off wooden spoon handle or similar sturdy object in frame
dropouts and it has worked just fine.
So while you have people claiming you have the "best packing job ever", you
are passing on unneeded costs that a great majority of bike shippers never do.
Not that your way is "wrong", but I have packed complete bikes/frames/etc.
using the "KISS" method (keep it simple stupid), and have only had one complaint
in literally an entire 30 year period; I kid you not.
Yes, UPS, USPS and others have been really reinforcing the oversized box rule
for a good year or so now, but you can even get around that if you take off
the Right side crank arm when shipping a complete bike.
Yeah, it takes me up to a full half hour to properly package a bike, and
drive it to the UPS or USPO, but then again, nobody at work has ever called me a
clock-watcher either.
I guess in the big picture kind of view, I always look at packaging a bike as
a favor I am doing a fellow bicyclist.
Sure there are fellow bicyclists out there that should be run over with a
Mack truck, but I also tend to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.
I just look forward to the day when they say, "hey thanks for the bike, I
really enjoy riding it, etc." Granted not all folks will get back to me and say
that, but enough do that make me feel good about my efforts.
Dave Anderson
Cut Bank MT