Hi! I’m looking for a little insight on the process of selling and shipping bikes to international customers. Any tips, or advise on this would be much appreciated! I know each country does this differently, but I am currently trying to navigate this for a couple potential customers in Europe, and more specifically Germany. Thanks for the help in advance!
Is this purchasing and shipping from the US to Germany? And what are you shipping, parts or entire bikes?
It would be shipping from the US to Germany and would be either a frame or complete bike.
We use both FedEx and DHL for shipping. FedEx is expensive but DHL is more expensive. Shipping charges are based on weight of the shipment, value of the package, and destination. Both shipways have easy to follow online shipping process. You will need to state: country of origin and harmonize code. You can see this information on top of every PMW online order sales receipt, “Bicycle Frame Building Components Manufactured in the USA Harmonized Code: 8714.91.9000”. As for importer charges, it’s usually the importer’s responsibility to cover that with their government’s import offices. There are estimated tax calculators online, if you’re interested. Always get shipping insurance.
ooh, I think there’s a different harmonize code for a complete bike. I gave you the one for bike parts. You’ll have to check the internet for that one. The code does matter because the taxes/fees are partly based on it.
Thanks for the info Coco! This is very helpful to get me started.
I believe @Neuhaus_Metalworks shipped one to a customer in Europe. I remember it being very expensive…
From a broader perspective, I find it so annoying that different countries make it so hard to get interact with each other. We just want to ride bikes!
Cyprus, that was a little over a year ago and it cost $1800 to ship. I’m not sure what the destination fees were. If you ship with BikeFlights they charge all of the fees up front which can save the customer from getting an undesirable surprise but they also refuse to adjust the fees if the destination country has a trade agreement with the US for domestically made products.
You can go through shipstation if you have a PayPal account. It’s very cheap, but there is zero customer service whatsoever so if there’s a problem or damage it can be a pain to resolve.
I am shipping bikes from Switzerland to the US sometimes. I remove the fork and wheels and for a touring bike it’s around 300-500 USD.
But minimum twice a year I do fly to the US and take 2 bikes with me. From the US I use Fedex to send it to the final address of the customer. Sometimes I meet them too. Always I bring PMW parts back
Last autum I visited Phily Bike show and brought one bike with me and back the Stay Slayer from Joe.
I always compare prices with
One hot tip I learned the hard way after UPS all but vaporized a bike heading international:
Take pictures of EVERYTHING that is going in the box immediately before, during, and after packing. Take pictures of the item packed securely in the box. Take pictures of the box from all angles. Keep all these photos until the box is delivered and confirmed as all fine and dandy.
Basically, if something ever happens in transit, you need enough to prove that it wasn’t already like that when it went in the box.
THIS!!! As the shipper, you have to file the claim and prove the transit company was at fault, even if you did purchase protection/insurance.