Shipping a bicycle can be an intimidating task, but fortunately there are services that will do the hard work for you. Of course, you can also do it yourself. In any case, we’ll go over the packing and shipping of bicycles below. There are generally three ways to do it.
Take pictures of the packing process! This is very important. You’ll want these pictures in case a buyer reports that an item you shipped has been damaged. With the pictures, you’ll be able to prove that the bicycle was not damaged in your possession. Make sure there is something in each picture that proves the picture was taken during the packing process and not at some other time.
- The “Do It Yourself” Method
This method is right for you if you are comfortable with disassembling your bicycle and packing it securely in a bike box for shipment via air or some other method. Bikes have components that are a bit awkward on an individual level. Take the frame, for example. It probably won’t fit nicely in a normal moving box. Be sure to get a bike box (search Google for bike boxes or call a local bike shop) when shipping a bicycle.
If you are packing the bike yourself in an appropriate container (bike box or otherwise), take the time to wrap and secure the components. You’ll want to wrap the frame in some protective covering or foam and eventually remove the wheels and make sure they’re snug in the container. Unsure of exactly how to do this? Check out some of these YouTube videos…
Once you are done packing the bike, it’s up to you to arrange the shipping. You can do this by contacting carriers like freight companies, airlines, or your typical FedEx, UPS, etc. delivery services.
- The “Do part of it Yourself” Method
This method involves using a service like bikeflights.com, shipbikes.com, or highcountryshipping.com to arrange for the shipping of the bicycle. You are still responsible for packing the bike and ensuring all of the components are secure so that the bike will not get damaged in transit.
Once the bike is packed, you can typically choose to either drop the box off at a carrier’s location or schedule a pickup at your home or apartment. The carrier will take it from there and will deliver the bike to the recipient’s location. Make sure you inquire about any insurance that is provided or that may be necessary.
- The “Have someone else do it” Method
This is as simple as calling up your local bike shop and asking them if they’ll disassemble the bike and ship it for you. Many will do this service for a reasonable fee. The nice thing about local bike shops is that they will almost always have a bike box available to use for shipping. They also have the requisite knowledge about how to properly disassemble and pack your bicycle, so there’s a good chance that the whole process will go off without a hitch.
Shipping isn’t free, so be sure to include your shipping method on your listing and the cost for shipping, depending on how you plan to do that. Be transparent with the buyer and answer any questions they might have with regard to packing/shipping.