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For Sale - Wheels / Tires Includes wheels, tires, bolts, and other related components.

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Old Jan 15, 2009, 07:15 PM   #1
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How to properly package and ship tires and wheels.

Tried searching to see in the forum for any tips on shipping wheels and had no luck. I started searching on other websites and found this. I am not sure if this is the proper section. Mods I am sorry if it is please relocate it.

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.

Click the image to open in full size.


ANOTHER HOW TO ON WHEEL/TIRE SHIPPING
How To: Ship wheels and tires.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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 bastards - 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 edited by Alex Rodriguez; Jan 17, 2009 at 02:52 PM.
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 07:34 PM   #2
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nice write up...this should be a sticky
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 07:53 PM   #3
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Yeah, most people have their wheels forsale because we all know money talks but, the part of shipping still gets us in that iffy mode. I can say this much we can use this as a guide , everthing is pretty much done in steps for a easy transaction.
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 07:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
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nice write up...this should be a sticky
For sure. I have seen finishes scuffed right off of BBS SE wheels do to improper packing. Great post.
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 07:59 PM   #5
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great job on the thread.....sticky this!!!
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 08:01 PM   #6
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another key with anything honestly is just make sure its tight.....i have saw lights packed in tons of bubble wrap arrive all scuffed up due to the bubble wrap being loose and the light bouncing around in the stuff . Also, same goes for cardboard on the face of the wheels.... i ship out tons of stuff and wheels and tires. always ship them seperately .....with my account i save 2 bucks sending them together and you have chance of getting seperated and one getting lost. but be sure that cardboard can't move around and scuff up the rims
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 08:51 PM   #7
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mmmhmmm.. deff should be a sticky!!
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 10:53 PM   #8
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cant you just put them inside the wheel boxes like the ones they have for 22 in rims or something so that the tires can fit as well ?
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Old Jan 16, 2009, 02:28 AM   #9
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great info thanks
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Old Jan 16, 2009, 10:30 AM   #10
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A majority of the wheel cleaners OTC use an acid or some combination of acids(hydroflouric typically marketed in chrome wheel cleaners) to free brake dust from the wheels. This would be periodically OK for wheels that are clearcoated BUT if the clear is cracked or compromised that acid will work its way under it and start to etch the finish underneath.
Acid based cleaners are cheap and easy to make but sometimes are unnecessary. All of times they are marketed as ALL WHEEL cleaners but then read the fine print on the bottle and you will see recommended restrictions.

I would be weary about using a stiff brush on wheels. On wheels that are clearcoated generally that clear isnt super thick so scratching it may lead to problems(see previous paragraph) And be careful everyone with what wheel cleaners you choose. Soft natural brushes are safest choice, especially with delicate wheels.

For those with anodized or non cleared non coated wheels you also need to be careful of wheel cleaners your wheels are just as at risk of a wheel with a compromised clear.

For those who use tar removers - Some of these tar removers use something called xylene. Xylene if left on long enough will actually start to soften the clearcoat on coated wheels. WD40 while probably isn't recommended to spray liberally on wheels it is an effective tar remover, and needs only a little bit of dwelling time. That being said, I don't know the long term effects of it on wheels, BUT it DOES have water repellent properties so keep that in mind when you try to 'rinse' it off, make sure its all off just to be safe.
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Old Jan 16, 2009, 01:46 PM   #11
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Old Jan 16, 2009, 04:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revvin9k View Post
For sure. I have seen finishes scuffed right off of BBS SE wheels do to improper packing. Great post.
I wonder who's wheels those were
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Old Jan 17, 2009, 11:20 AM   #13
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definitely sticky worthy
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Old Jan 18, 2009, 09:47 AM   #14
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the second part is amazing. thanks for the info so much. should save me an arm and a leg !!!!
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Old Jan 19, 2009, 11:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 03EvolutionBlaK View Post
the second part is amazing. thanks for the info so much. should save me an arm and a leg !!!!
I did a quote for UPS ground using the same locations, sizes, weights, pick-up/drop-off scenario's he described. I got a quote of $181.56 to ship 4 identical boxes of 18x18x10 at 60lbs each from Indianapolis, IN to Sacramento, CA being picked up by UPS driver through a daily pickup and shipped to a commercial address...a bit higher then $56.
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Old Jan 19, 2009, 11:45 AM
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