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Was this useful and will it help you buy/sell tires/wheels?

  • Yes! Never knew! Glad to save a couple hundred bucks and ship more easily!

    Votes: 4 57.1%
  • News to me, sounds reasonable - will give it a try.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Old news, behind the times buddy... get a blower and catch up ;>

    Votes: 3 42.9%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All,
So I've been buying/selling wheels for a bit now, and always scoffed at the enormous shipping costs. -eek- :eek:

So I did a little research, and I just wanted to share it with the rest of the Lotus community, because we are burning ourselves using the *standard* shipping methods to ship wheels/tires (250-350!!! :mad: ARG! The price of a wheel!)

These methods claim you can ship for < $100, full 60lbs+ wheel set.
I will be giving this a shot soon, for the buyer of my LSS wheels. :clap:

Two links I read, and I'll post excerpts from both:

#1 Ship Wheels Cheaply - How to ship a set of wheels on the cheap!

#2 How To Ship Car Wheels With Rims and Tires On


***

Excerpt #1

Have you ever seen one of those awesome deals on a slick set of wheels with tires on them – damn near brand new, no curb rash, 90% tread left on the tires – selling for about two thirds of what they are truly worth? You get all excited about it right? Start asking the seller if he will ship them to you because you live 1500 miles away. Then you get the shipping quote, $300.00! Man, now it’s not even worth it, you could get the same wheels brand new down the street at that price.

This begs the following questions:

Why do people charge so much to ship wheels?
Why do they charge even more when there are tires on the wheels?
How can I ship wheels for less than what UPS quotes me?

Let’s start at the root of the problem – The Carrier (typically UPS or Fed-Ex):
Most shipping companies will make you pay extra if they know you are shipping wheels. They justify the price increase by saying that an automobile wheel is odd shaped and easily damaged, they call it an insurance charge. They will charge you even more still if there are tires on these wheels because of added weight and the probability of a punctured tire. I’ve even had a sales representative at a UPS store tell me I need to remove the valve stems from the wheels before I could ship them. I never got an explanation as to why, but I’m sure it made no sense.

Because of the difficulties when trying to package and ship wheels/tires at carriers store, people tend to get discouraged. Most sellers will refuse to ship their wheels because of the hassle involved. Some will just jack the price way up to compensate for all the extra work involved. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Here is a step by step method for shipping wheels AND tires (with the valve stems still on them) for under $100.00 And just to further prove my point, I am going to make my example wheels a little heavier than normal. I’m also going to ship them a long distance, from Indianapolis to Sacramento. I will be using UPS to ship my imaginary wheels.

The first thing you need to do is secure a commercial address that has a daily pickup. This is a simple task. You can ship them from your place of work, which is what I do. Most businesses have a daily UPS or Fed-Ex pickup/drop off. You just hand the packages to your driver and he takes it from there. If you don’t have a daily pickup at your place of employment, bring your packages to the UPS distribution center closest to you. DO NOT BRING THEM TO A UPS/FED-EX STORE! If you do this, you will screw yourself and end up paying big money. Distribution centers have customer service buildings that will take your packages as long as they are 100% ready to go, this means sealed up and labeled. It will also help if your buyer has a commercial address they can pick the wheels up at. UPS charges less to ship to a commercial address than they do to a residential address.

Next, you need a UPS online account. Go to UPS.com to sign up. Also, you will need a place to print off your labels, so, if you don’t have a printer, head for the library!

Now that you got the particulars out of the way you are ready to package up some wheels and tires! Damn, these wheels are heavy bastards – 55 pounds a piece. You will need four boxes, one for each wheel. You can get these for FREE from a local tire store – They typically throw them away! Just make sure you get some that are close to the size of what you’re shipping. Also, you can buy them from a mover (uhaul sells boxes) U-Haul: Moving supplies: Medium Moving Box
for less than 3 bucks each. Staples and Office Max also sell boxes for around that same price. Make sure your wheels fit snugly inside the boxes, don’t pick huge boxes for your wheels. I am using 18x18x16 inch boxes. I am going to cut the height down to about 10 inches so my wheels fit more securely in the package. So far I have spent around $12.00 to package up my wheels. I just used old news paper to fill in the empty space inside my boxes. Also, don’t worry about deflating your tires all the way, just bring them down to about 10 psi.

Now that I’ve got my boxes all weighed and measured, I can get my labels printed off at UPS.com. Four boxes at 60 lbs a piece, and I am shipping them from Indianapolis IN, 46228 to Sacramento CA, 95843. I packaged them up myself and I am using UPS ground to get them there. My cost is $56.52 and it should only take 4-6 days for them to arrive at their destination.

It’s a little more if they are going to a residential address, but not much. About $64.53 to ship to someone’s home.

You can calculate your own shipment here:
https://wwwapps.ups.com/ctc/request?…&WT.svl=SubNav

Now I just print out my labels, secure them to the boxes with clear packaging tape, and either give them to my daily pick up or drop them off at a distribution center near me. Do not tell them that you are shipping wheels/tires! If the carrier finds out they are wheels and tires, they will hit you with a back charge.

I spent less than $70.00 to ship my wheels, and they were extremely heavy and going across the country!

I hope this helps some people out there when they sell or buy their next set of wheels. Remember, package your own wheels and tires, print your own labels, try to ship to a commercial address, and don’t tell the carrier what is in the box!

***

Excerpt #2

How To Ship Car Wheels With Rims and Tires On
Why Are You Shipping Car Wheels?

You are probably shipping your wheels because like me, you want to sell your stock wheels so you can get better custom wheels. Selling your stock wheels can be tricky because unless you are selling them at a garage sale, or on Craigslist, you will probably need to ship your wheels to the person who buys them from you. Selling car wheels on Craigslist can be sketchy. Beware of the low ballers and tire kickers out there looking to rip you off so they can resell them for what you wanted to sell them for. You can sell them yourself right from your cell phone (computer at home). Ebay and Car Forums are the best options to sell your car wheels. Why? Because it's a larger market where supply meets demand, and if you have stock wheels in good shape, someone around the country would want to get their hands on them.

How To Ship Wheels

Cut the Box In Half
Cut the Box In Half
Source: How to Ship Wheels
Cover Rims with Dish Foam

Tape the Dish Foam to the Wheel Face
Tape the Dish Foam to the Wheel Face
Source: How to Ship Wheels
DIY Shipping Car Wheels

In order to ship car wheels you will have to be savvy with simple automotive tasks like pulling the wheels off your car. If you are unsure how to safely perform this task you may find tutorials elsewhere on HubPages. If you are still unsure how to remove your car wheels, then you probably shouldn't attempt to do it.

In Order to Ship Car Wheels you will need the following items from Home Depot:

2 Medium Size Storage Boxes ($.69 each)
50 Sheets of Dish Foam (roll for $6.97)
1000 Feet Stretch Wrap ($4.97, 1000ft is the smallest size)
Packing Tape ($3.37 for a large roll, you only need 3ft of tape for 4 wheels)
1 Razor Blade with 3 replaceable blades ($1.98)
If you have any of this stuff at home, great!

After Your Trip To Home Depot

I'm assuming you are all jazzed up and ready to work on this project so that you can ship your car wheels today! Now that you are back from Home Dumpo (I mean Home Depot), follow the next 10 easy steps and you will be ready to print your shipping labels to send your fancy car wheels off to the highest bidder!

Step 1. Lay your medium sized Home Depot box out flat. Cut the box in half.

Step 2. Open up the box after cutting it in half, and lay the cleaned wheel on top. Cut the box around the wheel to form a protective cardboard circle.

Step 3. Place at least 2 sheets of dish foam on the face of wheel and tape the dish foam to the tire so it doesn't move around.


Place Cardboard Over Dish Foam

Secure cardboard partitions over dish foam protective layer
Secure cardboard partitions over dish foam protective layer
Source: How To Ship Wheels
Packing Wrap Over Cardboard Layer

Wrap cardboard cut-outs with 100% recyclable packing wrap. The tighter, the better.
Wrap cardboard cut-outs with 100% recyclable packing wrap. The tighter, the better.
Source: How to Ship Wheels
How to Properly Package Wheels for Shipping

Step 4. Secure the large circular cut-out piece of cardboard over the dish wrap to the face of the wheel. Cut excess material into partitions that will be used for back of wheel

Step 5. Use packing tape to secure the excess partitions in place for the back of wheel.

Step 6. Use 100% recyclable packing wrap to wrap the wheels and tires any way you want to. The tighter the packing wrap, the more secure & protected the wheel will be in transit.

Step 7. Repeat process three more times for your other wheels.

Step 8. Check out ShipNex Worldwide Express for the most cost effective shipping rates for car wheels. ShipNex is a shipping broker so your wheels will still be shipped via UPS, and quite magically you will pay less for shipping than if you went through UPS.

Step 9. Print shipping labels from ShipNex, attach to wheels & tires.

Step 10. Request pickup for $6 or drop off at the UPS store (ShipNex prints out a UPS label).

***

---> I hope these two quick articles are of value to the LT community.
I'm sure there are other links / explanations, but these two seem accurate, well thought out, and articulate the details well.

We should all be trying to save each other shipping costs, it's better for all of us!
~I618033

 

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I wanted to add my $.02 on this. I wish everyone good luck BUT I think his example quote could be off. Maybe it's just my experiences though.

I sell a lot of stuff online. I have a corporate UPS and FEDEX account and I have access to daily pickups from both companies. Weight and overall size (length + width + height) of the package is all that matters. From Detroit to Dallas, 1 factory Ford 16" spare wheel and tire weighing about 40lbs cost me $45.70. Just a 22" Nitto tire (still heavy maybe 30lbs) with no wheel was $33.14 to the Midwest.

Granted these are all cheaper than the $300 that some people have been quoted.

And yes we all buy lighter, smaller wheels and tires for our Lotus but a set of 4 for around $65 seems optimistic.

The article is right about corporate drop offs over retail stores being less hassle.

Also, there is a simpler method of packaging that some people might find helpful. Tape a piece of round cardboard 1-2" larger than the wheel (not the tire) over front and back. If you have access to a 3ft wide plastic wrap (pallet wrapping) you can wrap the tire and wheel like Saran Wrap on a dish. 5-10 layers of the Saran Wrap over the whole assembly and slap a label on it. In fact the UPS/FEDEX drivers (I've talked to a few) appreciate it more because they can roll them off the truck. Plus you save the weight and size of the box. If it's tires only, you can tape 2 together and then wrap them if you can get under UPS/FEDEX weight limit.

Just my $.02 from my experiences. I haven't shipped a set of Lotus sized wheels and tires, maybe they are that much cheaper but I'm skeptical of the number.

EDIT - exact shipping prices inserted.
 

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Distance may matter, too - this was for about 600 miles. I'm sure coast-to-coast would be a lot more. It was around $100 for UPS anyways, which is far from $250. If the seller claims shipping is $250, pay the shipping yourself and email him the shipping labels. That's what my buyer (a member on here) did with me.


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When Swinglo sent me the set of '08 SC wheels and tires, FedEx was the cheapest I could find. Illinois to Massachusetts (~1,000 miles) was $140 by Fedex Ground, each box insured for $500, commercial delivery location, residential pickup. Lowest I could get UPS at the time was $200. Just ran the numbers through NEX (shipnex.com) and they quote $113 for a 1 week ground delivery. Same packages from CA to MA quote at $191. Can't get insurance over $100 quoted online though; may raise the cost some. (25x25x10 @ 55lbs x2, 24x24x9 @ 45lbs x2)
 

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I think we over-shot the weight estimate, just to make sure it wasn't too low and cause a delay once they processed it. That and the '08 Elise SC wheels and tires are HEAVY. :) FWIW someone had also suggested strapping all 4 to a pallet and shipping them that way, but the freight estimates were anywhere from $300-$600. Definitely don't want to do that unless you know someone with a freight company!
 

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Greyhound shipping is by far the cheapest option, if both buyer and seller can get to a bus depot.

Greyhound Shipping

Also, the tip about not needing to box them works great. Cardboard discs to protect the wheels and then shrinkwrap or a bunch of packing tape and you're good to go.
 

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Greyhound is very inexpensive.

To use them, you must ship with enough insurance that the item can be repurchased new for the buyer OR have agreement in advance from the buyer that they are OK with the shipment never arriving (obviously refunding their payment).

Greyhound will likely lose your shipment and you may get the item back after a long delay or you may never get it.

They also don't notify you reliably when the shipment arrives, or will tell you it arrived, but then not have it when you go down to pick it up. I have asked if I could go back and look for my item and actually found a friend's roll cage back there! Sadly, he had already gone the insurance route by then.

So don't ship any difficult to obtain items through them.
 

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Huh, we've used them a number of times without trouble. They are especially popular with the large scale radio control airplane crowd for shipping big fragile model airplanes.
 

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Greyhound is very inexpensive.

To use them, you must ship with enough insurance that the item can be repurchased new for the buyer OR have agreement in advance from the buyer that they are OK with the shipment never arriving (obviously refunding their payment).

Greyhound will likely lose your shipment and you may get the item back after a long delay or you may never get it.

They also don't notify you reliably when the shipment arrives, or will tell you it arrived, but then not have it when you go down to pick it up. I have asked if I could go back and look for my item and actually found a friend's roll cage back there! Sadly, he had already gone the insurance route by then.

So don't ship any difficult to obtain items through them.
I've done the Greyhound shipping thing before for Lotus parts with no issues.

I'd like to point out, American Airlines has a cargo division in most airports. Just go to the ticket counter, ask them about AA cargo, and they'll point you in the correct direction. It is airport to airport, you must have it packaged already, but it is extremely cheap, and insurance is cheap. I shipped an Esprit glass top from Chicago to Tulsa with $1600 insurance for, IIRC, around $50.
 

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Plus you save the weight and size of the box. If it's tires only, you can tape 2 together and then wrap them if you can get under UPS/FEDEX weight limit.
BTW, if you do this, make sure they are strapped together and that there is a label on each. If they become separated, one will be delivered and you will be screwed.

My boss in the 80's had me strap 20 panasonic dot matrix printers ($500 ea) together in bundles of 2 for a school. They got all 10 boxes, but several had "lost" printer #2. They would accept no loss claims for these. Sent/delivered as expected.
 
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