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Ship your bike

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Have you sold your old Road Bike, Gravel Bike, MTB etc.? Then the only thing left to do is to ship it. However, there are a few obstacles to overcome: You have to find the right packaging, partially dismantle the bike and pack it in such a way that no part is damaged. Once this is done, the search begins for a transport company that will deliver your bicycle reliably and safely to its destination in the shortest possible time. But where can you find a suitable box? What is the right transport company? Will your bike be collected from your home or do you have to deliver it yourself to the collection station? How much will shipping cost you and what are the costs?

In this article we answer all your questions about bicycle shipping. And we show you why you can save yourself a lot of trouble if you sell your bike with buycycle. 

How do I ship my bike?

In Germany or Europe, a bicycle can be shipped without any problems. However, you usually have to take care of the packaging, the right service provider and a smooth process yourself. The following steps must be taken into account:

1. Select service provider

Bicycles are anything but convenient to ship and fall under bulky goods for many parcel services and transport companies. The dimensions of the strap must be taken into account, because many transport companies use the strap dimensions to determine whether or not the bike is a permissible size for transport. Therefore, you should find out in advance which regulations exist for permissible sizes with different providers before you buy the packaging. Basically, you have the choice between well-known parcel services such as DHL, Hermes and Co. or forwarding agencies. There are differences not only in the permissible dimensions, but also in the price. You can find a detailed overview of possible transport companies here.

2. Get packaging

When shipping your bike, you also have to take care of the right packaging. You have various options for this:

  • With providers such as Paket AG, packaging can be ordered online to your home. Large platforms such as Amazon also offer bicycle packaging. Cardboard boxes for bicycle shipping cost at least €25 on Amazon. The additional costs for the packaging should be considered in addition to the shipping costs. You should also take the delivery time for the cardboard box into account when you tell the buyer when they can expect the bike to be delivered.  
  • Alternatively, before you spend money on new cardboard boxes, you can ask at a bike shop for old, remaining cardboard boxes. After all, it doesn't cost anything to ask, and if you're lucky, neither do the cardboard boxes.

Buying packages at the post office, on the other hand, is not an option, as the special dimensions for a bicycle shipment are not offered. Theoretically, it is also possible to send a bicycle with Deutsche Bahn via the luggage service. However, this is not recommended, as the luggage service is only intended for travel and not for the exchange of goods, so that trouble can quickly arise. Important: It doesn't matter whether you use a special provider for parcels or Amazon: Usually only the packages themselves are offered. However, in order to stabilise the bike in the box and protect the high-quality components, the frame and the wheels, you need additional materials such as bubble wrap or foam around the bike frame, regardless of the transport company. You can get such materials at a DIY store, for example. You can also order some of them online. For a better hold, you can fix the bubble wrap or foam with cable ties.

 

3. Pack a bike

The cardboard box is bought, now it's time to pack it. How you proceed always depends on the size of the bike. We give you a brief overview of the correct procedure:

  • E-bikes, cargo bikes and particularly large bikes in general must be completely dismantled. This means removing the rear and front wheels, the rear derailleur, the handlebars and, in the case of an e-bike, possibly also the battery.
  • With "normal" bikes, i.e. racing bikes, mountain bikes, city bikes, etc., it is usually sufficient to remove the front wheel and fold down the handlebars or, if necessary, remove them.
  • Regardless of whether it is a large e-bike or a normal bike, the following applies to all bikes: Small parts such as pedals, bike baskets and bike computers should always be removed and packed separately and securely. Use protective materials such as bubble wrap, foam or separate small cardboard boxes to ensure that the high-quality components are not damaged during transport.

Need more information? You can find a detailed description of how to pack your bike in our blog article.

 

4. Bring the bicycle to the forwarding agent or logistics service provider or have it collected.

Your bike has been professionally dismantled and safely packed? Then it can now be shipped! In the past, most logistics service providers picked up bikes at home and brought them to the new owner. Unfortunately, those days are over: Today, DHL, UPS, Hermes and Co. no longer pick up the bikes, so you have to bring them to the drop-off station yourself. Of course, this usually involves a certain amount of effort due to the size and weight of the package; after all, it can be a challenge to transport a bicycle in a normal car. So you can't rely on logistics service providers to pick up your bike from the comfort of your own home. In fact, however, some transport companies still offer home collection of bicycles. However, due to the large number of forwarding companies, you must check the respective pick-up times carefully. In other words, will the transport company arrive at a clearly defined time or, more generously, "between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m."? Depending on the information provided by the shipping company, you may be quite inflexible, as you have to be there when they pick up your packed bike. You also have to assess the quality of the respective shipping company: What are the delivery times like, what do customers say about their experience, how does the transport company handle the bikes? When you hand your bike over to someone else, you want to make sure that it arrives at the new owner in the same condition as you packed it. So before you hand your bike over to the next best shipping company, take the time to research a really good service provider, especially in terms of bike shipping, or to benefit from the experience of the buycycle team.

Bicycle shipping with DHL, UPS, Hermes and Co. - Which provider is the right one?

You want to send your bike with one of the big logistics service providers? For private customers, however, it is relatively difficult to send bicycles via Germany's largest shipping and transport companies such as DHL, Hermes, Cargo International and UPS, because, as already explained, they do not offer pick-up from home. Therefore, you have to deliver your bike directly to a collection point of the respective transport company, which is complicated due to the bulky nature of the cardboard packaging. If you want to send an e-bike, there is also the problem of the heavy weight of the bike. So transporting a bicycle to a parcel service is usually quite complicated. Even if the large transport companies are your first choice for other goods shipments, they are less suitable for uncomplicated bicycle shipments.

But would you rather use a freight forwarder?

You don't want the hassle of taking your bike to a pick-up station? In addition to the large transport companies, you can also choose a forwarding company, such as GO or Emons, which will pick up the bikes directly from your home. However, as already described, there are big differences in the quality of the delivery. That is, how long a delivery takes, how reliable the collection and delivery is and how well deadlines are met. It is also important to know how susceptible the bike and the bike frame are to damage, because not all employees of a shipping company handle packages as carefully as you would like as a sender or recipient. We at buycycle have also noticed that there are big differences between the various transport companies. We have had good experiences with GO, for example. 

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How much does bicycle shipping cost?

The costs for bicycle shipping vary and usually cannot be given as a flat rate. However, some providers have a shipping calculator that you can use to calculate your individual shipping costs. There are some important factors that influence the price:

  • Insurance value: Although shipping is always cheaper without insurance, it is not recommended to send your bike uninsured. If something goes wrong, for example if the bike doesn't arrive at its destination or is damaged, this falls back on you as the sender and you are stuck with the costs. Therefore, you should not save in the wrong place and take out insurance. As a general rule, the higher the value of the insured item, the higher the associated costs. With expensive racing bikes or e-bikes, this can add up to a large block of costs. Most transport companies offer different insurance classes for bicycle shipping depending on the value of the bike, so you can estimate in advance what shipping your bike will cost you in terms of insurance.
  • Pick-up: If the service provider offers a pick-up service, you can sometimes choose to bring the bike to the pick-up station or have it picked up directly from your front door. Home collection usually costs extra, but it saves you a lot of work.
  • Package size: Of course, a bicycle box is always bulky. Nevertheless, there can be differences in the girth, and extra surcharges may be added for particularly large cardboard boxes, for example for an e-bike. This depends on the requirements of the respective transport company.
  • Weight of the package: Similar to the size applies to the weight of the package. It is very likely that shipping a heavy e-bike will cost more than shipping a light carbon road bike.
  • Delivery time: As with other parcels, you should expect a few days delivery time for bicycle shipping. Overnight deliveries are sometimes possible, but usually cost extra, similar to Amazon Next Day Deliveries.
  • National or international shipping: Bicycle shipping within a country is of course cheaper than shipping across national borders. With some providers, only national shipping is possible. However, this should not be too much of an obstacle, as you will certainly easily find a buyer for your bike within your country.

So there are many factors involved when it comes to the cost of shipping a bicycle. This makes it difficult to give a general price. Nevertheless, we can give you a small indication: Basically, you pay between €70 and €120 for fully insured shipping within Germany with collection - exceptions prove the rule. Bicycle shipping is therefore a very expensive undertaking and it is only understandable that you want the process to be as smooth as possible for your money. No matter how much you search for a good shipping company, no one can give you a guarantee of safe shipping, apart from customer reviews, and the rather high costs remain in any case.

To make things easier for you in terms of costs, organisation and security, buycycle offers you a simple and secure solution for all these inconveniences!

Want to ship your bike safely and conveniently? It's easy with buycycle.com

With buycycle, the buyer can decide whether he or she wants to pick up the bike himself or herself or choose to have it shipped. As a seller, you are thus relieved of an important decision, including considerations and research. In addition, you don't have to go to the trouble of comparing different providers: At buycycle, you send your bike with a shipping company that we cooperate with. In other words, a shipping company that we trust and know that your bike will be in good hands. And it gets even easier: There are no additional costs or surcharges, because the bike sale at buycycle is free of charge - the shipping costs are paid by the buyer (if no collection is chosen).

We at buycycle take almost everything off your hands. We send you the packaging material, i.e. cardboard boxes, as well as additional materials for the protection of small parts, various components, wheels etc. to your home. This way you also save the money for ordering a cardboard box. To avoid damage, the cardboard box we send you is perfectly tailored to bikes and e-bikes. To protect the environment, we use as little plastic as possible. We therefore do not use foam and only use bubble wrap, which offers your bike just as much protection. Of course, transport insurance gives you the additional security that the shipment will go smoothly.  All you have to do is pack your bike properly - of course, instructions are included. Our partner forwarding agent will then come to your home at your desired time with a time window of one hour and pick up the packed bike. You don't have to print out a shipping note yourself. With our partner shipping company, we guarantee short delivery times for bicycle shipments: On average, it only takes one working day for your bicycle to arrive at its destination. So the buyer doesn't have to wait long for riding pleasure with the new "old" piece of jewellery. If you're impatient, you and the buyer can use the shipment tracking function to find out where the bike box with the bike is at any time. As you've seen, shipping a bike is a time-consuming and sometimes quite expensive undertaking. With buycycle you save time and money and can be sure that your bike arrives at the buyer's in the same condition as you packed it. And if something does go wrong, buycycle will take care of the problem and get a replacement from the shipping company.

You want to make someone else happy with your "old" bike? The buycycle team is always on hand to answer any questions you may have about selling your bike and to make shipping your bike as uncomplicated and convenient as possible.

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