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Suggestions for shipping a bike to the US

Aug. 11, 2020, 8:15 p.m.
Posts: 648
Joined: May 11, 2018

I have a guy who wants to buy my bike - yay.

He lives in Vermont.

Anyone have a good experience sending a bike to the US? Any suggestions for the best/not crazy expensive way to do this?

I will obviously be packaging it amazingly with zip ties and extra cardboard etc etc but I really don't need the bike dropped off the plane.

Aug. 11, 2020, 10:56 p.m.
Posts: 1160
Joined: Nov. 21, 2002

Canada Post. Especially if you can detach the rear triangle or even undo one of the attachment points and fold the rear tri over the front.

Aug. 11, 2020, 11:03 p.m.
Posts: 8
Joined: Jan. 23, 2014

I’ve used bike flights and it was an easy process.  You can get a quote by emailing them, box it, measure weight etc and they send you the shipping labels.  Then you just drop it off at UPS.   It was quite a bit cheaper than going direct to the shipping company as well.

Aug. 12, 2020, 6:50 a.m.
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug. 12, 2020

Given its awkward shape and size, you may find yourself in the middle of not knowing walmartone how to ship a bike! The truth is that packaging your bike for shipping can be a nerve-wracking process that requires planning, especially if you are doing it for the first time.


 Last edited by: Kathlyn on Aug. 16, 2020, 5:38 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Aug. 12, 2020, 9:17 a.m.
Posts: 421
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Posted by: UFO

Canada Post. Especially if you can detach the rear triangle or even undo one of the attachment points and fold the rear tri over the front.

I like Canada Post, but they have challenging maximum package dimensions. I have done it successfully for a frame, but not a complete bike. 

If the buyer is paying shipping ask them how they want the bike shipped. I've used all the major carriers [Canada Post, FEDEX, UPS, DHL, Greyhound, etc..] you can get lucky/unlucky with damage in shipment, but no way to tell in advance what will happen. Be aware that if you pay for insurance and the bike is not packed by the shipping company or someone they recognize as being acceptable than you are only getting $$ for a lost bike and they'll reject claims for damage since they will say it was not properly packed. If you pay for insurance read the fine print in advance to be sure it's worth your while.

Aug. 12, 2020, 8:38 p.m.
Posts: 648
Joined: May 11, 2018

Thanks for the suggestions.

I wouldn't think there would be any duties on a used bike but apparently that may not be the case?

Anyone ever have duties on used goods?

Aug. 12, 2020, 10:47 p.m.
Posts: 1160
Joined: Nov. 21, 2002

Ah yes I had assumed op was shipping  frame, not a complete bike. A traditional bike box is not accepted by Canada Post as the dimensions are too big. 

Regarding duty, used bikes ARE NOT exempt, at least not coming into Canada. Duty can be charged on complete bikes and built wheels, whether new or used. Tax can be charged on anything new or used.

I've heard that US duty and tax exemptions for used bikes/parts are significantly more lax than us in Canada, but I don't know what the official regulations are. I've sold and shipped a couple of Chromags down to the US and the buyers had no tax or duty issues either time.

Aug. 12, 2020, 10:56 p.m.
Posts: 648
Joined: May 11, 2018

Posted by: UFO

Ah yes I had assumed op was shipping  frame, not a complete bike. A traditional bike box is not accepted by Canada Post as the dimensions are too big. 

Regarding duty, used bikes ARE NOT exempt, at least not coming into Canada. Duty can be charged on complete bikes and built wheels, whether new or used. Tax can be charged on anything new or used.

I've heard that US duty and tax exemptions for used bikes/parts are significantly more lax than us in Canada, but I don't know what the official regulations are. I've sold and shipped a couple of Chromags down to the US and the buyers had no tax or duty issues either time.

Thanks, that's really helpful. Bikeflights looks good.

Funny thing, I used the quote page to get a price and claimed the bike was being shipped for a vacation - they want 100 usd for that! I can carry it on a plane but if I shop it they tax it? Weird. 

I put down a used bike sale and they say the taxes will be figured out later. Hopefully not too much.

Aug. 13, 2020, 6:14 a.m.
Posts: 421
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Any duties or taxes charged will be based on the declared value you give to the shipping company. That will also determine how much you can insure the bike for if you were to purchase insurance. In my experience buying/selling bikes across the border I have never been charged duty, but always been charged sales tax as the receiver. I would expect the same to be true going the other way. There is often a brokerage fee on top of the sales tax. I have always left those charges up to the buyer to pay when shipping bikes and not tried to estimate it or deal with it on their behalf.

If the buyer is well versed in buying stuff from outside the US he/she shouldn't have any issues. If they are unfamiliar with that process they can get a nasty shock when the bike arrives and it costs a lot more than expected.

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