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Author Topic: How to properly ship wheels and tires  (Read 5678 times)

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Offline Sly Bob

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How to properly ship wheels and tires
« on: February 07, 2010, 06:32:10 PM »
I am purchasing from a friend on the forums, a set of wheels. When we were talking about shipping it occurred to us that neither of us know the proper way to ship a set of wheels. Thank to Google I found this. It does a pretty good job describing the process. There aren't my words, I just copy and pasted from another forum.
______________________________________________________________

How to properly package and ship tires and rims

Very simple, actually...(this is my methodology since I have no access to binding tools or other more professional shipping tools or methods like TireRack...YMMV). I'm not a professional nor do I do this on the side. I just have bought and sold more than my share of BMW and Audi wheels and tires over the past few years :-)

1) First and foremost - those babies deserve a MAJOR wash and wax! Your buyer wants nothing more than the ability to bolt on their shiny new wheels and tires as soon as he/she gets home and finds them sitting in the driveway. Scrub 'em up! Add some value! To clean the wheels (front and back), I spray on liberal amounts of WD40, allow to soak for 10-15 minutes, then follow with a heavy duty wheel-safe cleaner and stiff brush (for the backs) and warm soapy (Dawn) water with a soft cloth for the wheel faces. (Don't let the wheels lie unprotected on their faces...you WILL scratch something you don't want to scratch, namely a rim or painted surface.) Let them dry completely. Do NOT use rubber/tire protectant! You need to be able to attach tape to the tires. I follow with a cleaner wax (Meguiars is a good choice) on the wheels to remove the remaining road grime and put a nice protective finish on the wheels, front and back. Make sure everything is dry and clean before you start to wrap them up.

Note: If the wheels and tires are shipped together, and they weigh less than 50 lbs apiece, you can ship two bundled together with FedEx or UPS; anything over 50 lbs will have to ship separately. Shipping two bundled together is slightly less expensive (10%-20%), if you can do it. I would imagine that no BMW X5 wheel/tire combo will weigh less than 50 lbs, IMHO.

Key Concept: Your goal is to protect the soft parts, i.e. the painted or otherwise finished soft metal wheel. Your other goal is to keep everything that is being shipped together in one piece. Tires don't get damaged in transit. Wheels do. Focus your efforts here and your buyer will be glad you did (and so will you).

2a) (This is for attaching two wheels/tires together and shipping together.) Position both units face to face (to protect the wheels), placing one or two pieces of circular-cut cardboard or bubble wrap between the wheel faces to protect them during transit. Tape or otherwise attach the two units together using shipping tape, a shipping fastening attachment tool or other device. Make sure you go all the way around to ensure the two wheels/tires are well attached to one another. Go to Step #3.

2b) (This is for shipping one wheel/tire.) Affix a circular-cut piece of thick cardboard or a piece of bubble wrap to the wheel face (cut it about 1"-2" larger than the diameter of the wheel to allow it to ride slightly above the face of the wheel to avoid making marks on the wheel...a good wax job beforehand will help out tremendously here.) Cover the wheel with the cardboard/bubble wrap and attach it to the tire using heavy 3M or other quality shipping tape. Go to Step #3.

3) I use a Saran Wrap-like material to wrap up a single wheel/tire or to wrap and bind up a wheel/tire combo. I bought a roll of this stuff at Staples or Office Max last summer when I moved. I think a roll of 200'x18" costs $20...a bargain at twice the price, if you ask me. It is GREAT for wrapping up stuff and it pretty much just sticks to itself, and this it does very well. Don't be afraid to pull it tightly across the tires! It will make it stick better. I start by tightly wrapping the tread a time or two (it will stick to itself). I then cut it off and start wrapping around the wheel and tire, from top to bottom then bottom to top, making sure to make it tight and get several revolutions (at least 2x) around the wheel and tire or wheel/tire combo. When you're done, the entire wheel and tire or wheel/tire combo should be complete covered tightly and securely with the wrapping material. NO LOOSE EDGES ALLOWED! (See next bullet point.)

4) Finally, when I'm done with the wrap, I run tape over the treadface, then again in a cross pattern around the wheel and tire or wheel/tire combo to make sure the plastic wrap won't come loose or unwrapped.

5) Using your IBM PC (or other compatible :-) print out address labels, using a large font and including both ship-to address as well as a return address.

6) Attach these labels to the tread side of the tire or to the cardboard-covered wheelface with lots of tape so it is clear where they are going and also so they don't come loose. (After chasing a set of ContiContactSport2 takeoffs I bought for my former A6 2.7T across the Pacific Northwest for a month last year, I can tell you this is something you do NOT want to do in your spare time.)

7) Take to your shipper of choice. IME, a UPS or FedEx walkup customer counter is going to save you money over going to a third-party shipper (the local bookstore, Mailboxes Etc., Etc.). If you can ship from work, then all the better ;-) For comparison purposes, a set of X5 19" wheels and Michelin/Bridgestone tires at approximately 70 lbs each will cost about $150 +/- $25 shipped pretty much anywhere in the continental USA. From WV to Dallas TX it costs $158; LA to WV costs around $160; WV to MA costs about $130 via UPS or FedEx Ground service.

8) If you have done everything to the best of your ability, and with a little luck during the shipping process, your wheels and tires will arrive in pretty much the same shape as you sent them. And then you will have folks like Kevin (see thread) who are pleased with the way their new wheels and tires arrived safe and sound! This takes time! Plan on about 60-90 minutes per wheel/tire. Quality doesn't come cheap!

Good luck, and hope this is of some use.
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Offline G8TR

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Re: How to properly ship wheels and tires
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2010, 06:49:44 PM »
There is always the Post Office and parcel post mail. I have shipped and received several sets of wheels, never had a problem with them going USPS.  :2c:

Offline Sly Bob

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Re: How to properly ship wheels and tires
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2010, 07:47:13 PM »
Thanks G8TR. I like to use USPS for lots of things especially when I ship here to Canada. Here's another post from another forum.
__________________________________________________

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 mail 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.

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 form their. If you don't have a daily 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. Distro 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 :censor: s - 55 pounds a piece. You will need four boxes, one for each wheel. You can get these from a mover (uhaul sells boxes) http://store.uhaul.com/product_detail.aspx?id=2793
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 someones 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 YOU ARE SHIPPING WHEELS!!! 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 imaginary 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!
« Last Edit: February 07, 2010, 08:44:33 PM by Sly Bob »
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Offline snaponbob

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Re: How to properly ship wheels and tires
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2010, 09:22:16 PM »
Wheels and tires can ship in different manners. Wheels WITH mounted tires are a different issue. Which are you doing?

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Offline Sly Bob

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Re: How to properly ship wheels and tires
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2010, 09:54:06 PM »
The wheels Bob, will be shipped without tires.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2010, 10:46:02 PM by Sly Bob »
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Offline Treeman

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Re: How to properly ship wheels and tires
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2010, 11:00:46 PM »
Wheels and tires can ship in different manners. Wheels WITH mounted tires are a different issue. Which are you doing?

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Offline Uranium-238

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Re: How to properly ship wheels and tires
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2010, 11:38:14 PM »
All the cool people have laptops, made posting during the game quite simple...

:cheers:
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Offline Sol Asylum

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Re: How to properly ship wheels and tires
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2010, 01:19:22 AM »
Could The Who have sounded worse?  No lip syncing going on there thats for sure.
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Offline Sly Bob

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Re: How to properly ship wheels and tires
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2010, 08:23:41 AM »
Try to stay on topic folks.  :D  I'd be interested to hear how you would ship them Bob.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2010, 10:20:48 AM by Sly Bob »
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Offline snaponbob

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Re: How to properly ship wheels and tires
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2010, 10:02:10 AM »
I keep the boxes that wheels come in. Makes the process easier. First choice domestic is UPS. A little more money, but they simply are the best. USPS is cheaper and getting a bit better.

For UPS I just use their web site to generate the shipment and check the box that creates a pick up. For a few dollars the brown truck shows up and away the stuff goes.

For tires I ship them the way I get them - labels taped to the tires. Simple.

I haven't shipped wheel/tire combos, but would attach (tape) cardboard to the pretty side of the wheels with the label attached.
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Offline Critterman

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Re: How to properly ship wheels and tires
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2010, 10:27:05 AM »
When I got my tires and wheels from T/R,  they came 2 to a bundle,  fronts togethere with 2 pieces of cardboard inbetween, and carboard on the outside, wrapped and bundled with shipping binding
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Offline Sly Bob

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Re: How to properly ship wheels and tires
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2010, 10:48:49 AM »
You can get 1000 feet of plastic wrap at u-Haul for $21.80. That and a little cardboard...  :D  We don't have the original boxes but boxes of some sort would give extra protection.

Two to a bundle would be good as long as you don't go over the maximum weight allowed which isn't likely with wheels.

Thanks guys!
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Offline spicy3480

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Re: How to properly ship wheels and tires
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2010, 01:37:36 PM »
I am shipping rims only...no tires on it, so I am a little hesitant on the cardboard and plastic method, as I don't think plastic wrap will protect the outer frame of the wheel. 
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Offline Sly Bob

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Re: How to properly ship wheels and tires
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2010, 01:43:24 PM »
Maybe wrap'em as John mentioned, throw them 2 at a time into one of these boxes from u-Haul and wrap the bejeesus out of them again?

http://store.uhaul.com/product_detail.aspx?id=2753

That plastic wrap at u-Haul is available from 5 to 20 inches wide. For 1000 feet at 20 inch wide it's the $21.80. They also have 5", 10" and 15" rolls starting at $5.95.

http://store.uhaul.com/master_product_detail.aspx?id=102

Didn't mean to sound like an ad for u-Haul.  :D
« Last Edit: February 08, 2010, 01:50:45 PM by Sly Bob »
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Offline DeepBlueGXP

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Re: How to properly ship wheels and tires
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2010, 03:33:14 PM »
The tire/wheels that were shipped from Tirerack came in two sets with the face of the rims together with cardboard and wraped like Sly Bob posted.

Offline G8TR

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Re: How to properly ship wheels and tires
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2010, 06:11:27 PM »
I shipped wheels from here in Florida to Idaho using just cardboard boxes and bubble wrap. I even built the boxes myself, using boxes that I re-cut from ones I bought at U-Haul. They arrived with no damage, front to front, as Joe said. :2c:

 

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