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I need assistance with shipping a high-end bicycle frame from Europe to California. I was hoping to find a member in France, Germany, or possibly England that would be willing to help. I've only been able to locate this particular bicycle frame in Europe and due to manufacture restrictions, the retailers are not able to ship to the US. I have confirmation from one retailer that they will ship to France or Germany. There is a retailer in England that has the frame as well and I can inquire if they will ship to an address of a friend in England. Ideally it would be received at a secure location and then it would need to be shipped to me in California. I have a FedEx account and can assist with that end of it, but it would need to be taken to a FedEx location or I could possibly schedule a pickup.

If this is something you are able and willing to assist with, please reach out to me.

Thank you,


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Look at a service in Germany that you can have them ship to and then that service ships to you.  I was looking to do this with a large scale RC sailplane.  Forget the name of the service, but you create an account and then magic happens..   I think they were called myGermany.   should not be a problem as myGermany is set up to receive your frame.  What frame is it out of curiosity.


Have you ever used Give it a try. It allows you to arrange for the appropriate documents, shipping and pick-up of the item, all on-line, with major carriers. You get a discount too.

I recently sold a large item to a gentleman in Germany. He used Jumingo to arrange shipping via DHL. The driver came to my house and all I had to do was hand him the box. I had received a quote from DHL but it was significantly more expensive than the quote with the same carrier, same service, etc. 

@Dan A, thank you for your offer. It is appreciated.

And to everyone else that has offered up suggestions, thank you.

As of now Joules’ simple solution of having FedEx pick up the frame directly at the retailer is the best. One retailer said No but the other has agreed. Doing it this way has the added benefit of avoiding VAT if I can get the paperwork correct and produce an “Export SAD”. Thank you David for mentioning DHL. DHL has competitive prices and I may use them. My next move is to wire the funds to reserve the frame, it’s the last one in my size. Then I’ll start working on figuring out the shipping.  

Last edited by tsolo

Excellent news.  I have had good success with both FedEx and DHL from Europe to California.  Fedex handled a set of very expensive Gotti rims for me.  Only thing to be careful of is the customs piece.  Make sure your seller knows how to handle that piece with you when you scheduled the pickup.  The VAT should be no problem as that is like our sales tax and they should never charge you for it.

I've used MyGermany regularly---wow, what a life changer, their service has really opened up access to getting pieces and parts that I could just not have found in the US--no matter whether the seller couldn't/wouldn't sell outside the EU, or because the item I found was on Kleinanzeigen and (without an EU phone #) simply unavailable to get without their concierge service. They've been great.

Today I tried to wire the funds but struck-out at the bank. The retailer provided me with an IBAN number, but my bank is also requiring a SWIFT code. Another email sent and another day to wait on this. The shipping may turn out to be more than I expected. FedEx is currently quoting about $1500 to ship. DHL is around $650. Neither of them is estimating taxes and fees. I found who specialize in shipping bikes internationally. I've sent them an email with some details and asked about the Export SAD form that is being required by the retailer. is estimating through UPS to be about $550 and also itemize the taxes and fees for an estimated total of $838. As suggested, I also sent an email to MyGermany to see if they can handle the shipping and export documents.

Too bad it's not a seller on eBay Germany.  They work just like US eBay and you can use a credit card or PayPal account.  Can't you use a CC and just charge the thing.  As for shipping, they are getting you not on weight but on volume.   Let's hope MyGermany can do it at a cheaper rate.  I think I paid less than that for 4 wheels, but then that was a while ago and before shipping went nuts in terms of costs.   But as I say "if you gots to have it, you will pays whatever it costs"!

Last edited by panterapatt
…even, a lot of sellers just don’t want to ship internationally. Companies are often tied into their VAT and don’t have the accounting setup to sell outside the EU, or accommodating US sales tax over Ebay… And individuals just don’t need the hassle of it. I’ve been buying pre-war car parts, often in bits and pieces---and MyGermany allows enough free storage to consolidate a couple months local purchases and then a single shipment. And wow, I wish I had started during the Covid time (when every stupid little thing cost a minimum of 60 euros to ship internationally….I’ll forever consider DHL an acronym for “Die Hässigen Lügner” after 2 events where they lost pieces (one for 6 months) while meanwhile claiming they’d tried to deliver to the door…)---Lee

@Leea, Thanks for the heads-up on DHL. I'll keep that in mind.

I went to the UPS online shipping calculator and was surprised to find the rates very reasonable, in the $300-$400 range. If that holds true, that would be great. I called UPS today to get more information on the paperwork requirements to export and they provided me with a Commercial Invoice form to fill out and an example of a completed Invoice. About the only piece of information I'm missing at this point is the retailer's VAT number, which I have requested. Once I process the shipping order and have the tracking number I can start on the SAD form (Single Administrative Document). The SAD seems to be much the same information as what is on the Commercial Invoice so I should have a head start on that.

I was able to have the retailer send me a link to pay with my credit card. I pushed for that after I discovered that they do not have the frame in their possession. Supposedly it is at the distributer's warehouse. This retailer has what appears to be a good presence in multiple countries in Europe so what would be a red flag is orange-ish at this point. I processed the payment to reserve the frame and have crossed my fingers that they can produce it. Of course, they said that if there were any issues they would refund me. I have a lot of emails to forward off to the credit card company if I need to start a case, but my gut tells me I'm okay here. Time will tell.


Here is an update for anyone interested. The retailer ordered the frame from the distributor on Friday and received it on Monday. They sent me pictures of the factory box including the label with the model information and serial number as well as a picture of it removed from the box but still in the factory wrapping. Okay, orangish flag is now green, good to go!

I made a fillable PDF out of the commercial invoice form UPS provided so that I could complete it on the computer without having to print and scan. I had to do a little research on Incoterms (International Commercial Terms) for import and export and found a chart online which made the choice very clear and simple. I created an account online with UPS and created the shipping order. I followed the prompts and got to a point where I had to complete the export document (commercial invoice) online. Well, I already had this completed on my PDF so I was quickly able to copy the information over. I made it to the end and scheduled a pickup for the following day. The shipping cost was 283 Euros, not bad in my opinion to ship from Spain and, if it arrives on schedule be at my house in 2 days.

I sent the shipping label, commercial invoice, and instructions provided from UPS for the pickup to the retailer. The retailer confirmed that all was good and that they would be ready for UPS. In the meantime, I sent copies of my commercial invoice PDF, retail sales invoice, and a picture of my passport to UPS international shipping so that they could file them with my shipping order just in case there were any issues with the online documents and clearing Customs.

UPS picked up the frame on schedule. I have been watching the tracking closely as it moves from location to location. It is moving pretty quickly; it has to if it is going to be here in 2 days. It traveled through Spain and cleared Customs and then went to Germany. From Germany it went to Pennsylvania, it's in the US! Now it is somewhere between Pennsylvania and California. Pretty cool!


Last edited by tsolo

Gotta love it and glad it worked out for you.  I looked for a long out of production watch band and found it in the Netherlands.  Placed the order on a Sunday and it was in San Diego on the next Tuesday.   The logistics around the world is pretty amazing when you think about it as compared to the "13 days to get to the west coast by sailing ship of not that long ago".  Let's see the bike frame when you receive it!

All good here! UPS delivered the frame around 11:30am, earlier than expected. No complaints from me. The box had no major damage, another good sign. Opening the box I found the frame as previously pictured, perfectly wrapped in the factory wrapping. Very happy with that. I unwrapped it and it is perfect? Just what I wanted.

Big thanks to everyone for the ideas and support. Here are a couple pictures.

If you’re not sure, yes, that says 2.18 pounds frame and fork.


Images (2)
  • IMG_8069
  • IMG_8070
Last edited by tsolo

Thanks Mark, I contacted Bike Flights about this in the beginning. They were not able to handle the export. They could pick up and handle the shipping but due to this being a purchase and export the paperwork is more involved. It’s done now and was not too much of a hassle. I still need to get a SAD or DUA form from UPS for the retailer. The retailer told me that UPS should be able to provide this now that the shipment is complete.

I’m replacing a 2008 Cervelo R3SL. I was a Cat3 when I was racing. The Aethos seems to me to be in the same spirit of the R3. It is not ballooned out and all aero. I’m not after saving every last watt but and I love the feel of an ultra light climbing bike. light and snappy is what I like.


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