How to save hundreds on international shipping
September 1st 2021
It appears the word has gotten out about Flatbike. In the past six months, many of our bike deliveries have been international, from Ireland to Qatar, with some APO and FPO shipments in there as well.
We’re used to delivering components around the world, but shipping full-size folding bikes opens new challenges and new opportunities.
A quick intro to shipping CHANGE bikes
A CHANGE bike ships folded, in a rugged pasteboard box that’s 35″ x 14″ x 30″ (89 cm x 35 cm x 76 cm). That’s way shorter than other full-size bikes, but still not small, so these bikes typically ship by ground in North America, taking a week to go cross-country from our shop in the Seattle area to the East coast of US or Canada.
- Sales in the US include free shipping, and not even any tax unless you’re in Washington State.
- Sales in Canada include free shipping (saving you hundreds), but Customs is extra and will be assessed by the carrier (which may be UPS or FedEx).
APO and FPO have two types of shipping: packages below 108 dimensional inches ship by air; packages below 108″ ship by sea. All shipments are by US Postal Service. Flatbike components typically ship by air in a few days, and bikes ship by sea in about six weeks.
We may be able to help, both through discounted rates and a one-time coupon.
How it works: an example
Suppose you’ve found the perfect bike for you–the CHANGE 811 rugged hybrid. A folding bike so versatile that riders have purchased it for everything from river bikerafting in the US to dusty trail riding in hot and humid Qatar.
Problem is, international shipping of large packages is so expensive. So close, but out of reach…
Fortunately, as Flatbike has grown, we’ve become eligible for volume discounts on shipping that we can pass on to you. You can see the shipping rates from different couriers when a bike is in your shopping cart. In most cases, you can ship a bike via FedEx to your country for under $200. If not, send me an e-mail personally at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For example, shipping to from the US to Brazil can be expensive–$619.27 by UPS. But using our volume FedEx discount, it’s just $289.58. And then, if you really want to reduce the cost, send us an e-mail to let us know what you’re considering. We may be able to get that shipping down under $200 with a special coupon just for you. (The mail doesn’t even need to be in English. We corresponded entirely in Italian for a CHANGE 812 recently).
Once shipped, bikes usually take a week or less to arrive, if they’re in inventory. If they’re not in inventory, a quick mail can tell you when we expect to get them back in stock.
Why are these shipping around the world?
In a word, convenience. Every one of these bikes rides like a full-size bike (because it is one), but folds in half for storage and transport.
The CHANGE 811 rugged hybrid is designed for speed and comfort on all terrain. It weighs 27 lbs (12.25 kg), featuring 27.5″ wheels with 1.5″ tires and a light but rugged carbon fork. It is available in matte black and pine green (and arctic blue by special order).
It doesn’t matter where the roads go. With a CHANGE 812 folding off-road mountain bike, you’ve always got adventure in your trunk or apartment. In addition to the colors, 27.5″ wheels and internal cabling of the CHANGE 811, this bike features 2.2″ knobby tires, hydraulic brakes, and a FOX Performance air fork to handle even the roughest terrain.
If there were a complete opposite to the CHANGE 812, it would be the CHANGE 702 street hybrid, which shines on pavement. At just 23 lbs (10.5 kg), it’s one of our lightest bikes and easiest to carry up a flight up steps to an urban apartment. And yet, with 27 gears, it’s also a fabulous commuter bike, no matter what hill you face on your route.
If you’ve been looking at CHANGE bikes, maybe even zeroing in on a favorite if only you didn’t have to pay for international shipping, now is a great time to take a second look. Send an e-mail. Get a super-discounted international shipping rate. And see if you could be riding your own new CHANGE bike in as little as two weeks.
Happy riding, and great savings!
Bob Forgrave is president of Flatbike, an
ecommerce company offering full-size folding bikes
and kits to make any bike take up half the space.