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Old 02-25-2012, 06:49 PM   #1
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Default Convertible top shipping

After searching online and here on the forums, I am looking for some sound advice.

I am looking into buying a new convertible top assembly (frame and all) for my NA miata, and I am looking for the best way to ship it when I find it. I am hoping to get a top with a glass window, so that is a worry.

Here is the question: what do you all recommend as packing and for a carrier? Should I have the shipper wrap it in an insane amount of bubble wrap and pray that USPS doesn't decide to play baseball with it? Have one of my many servants go pick it up and hand deliver it to me (kidding)?

In all seriousness, what do you all recommend?

Last edited by Alameda; 02-26-2012 at 11:26 AM. Reason: grammar
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Old 02-25-2012, 07:02 PM   #2
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My first choice would be to have the servant carry it on his back while riding atop a unicorn.

My second choice is the same, except with a zebra. As cool as they look, it truly boggles the mind why the Plains Zebra have never been domesticated.

In all seriousness, a Miata top is surprisingly lightweight and compact when folded up, and not especially delicate. I would imagine that any of the common Pak-n-Ship stores would be able to easily accommodate it in a cardboard container and ship it via UPS / FedEx ground.
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Old 02-25-2012, 07:17 PM   #3
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Awesome, thanks for the reply. I got a little worried after reading viper's thread "USPS is #1" https://www.miataturbo.net/showthrea...t=63771&page=2
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Old 02-25-2012, 07:50 PM   #4
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It's just his time of the month.

There is a 1 in n chance that anything which you ship via any parcel service will be lost or destroyed. The value of n diminishes at a rate inversely proportional to the rarity or value of the item. NB tops are both cheap and plentiful, thus ensuring a large value of n and a relatively high chance of success.

Kitty:

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Old 02-25-2012, 07:56 PM   #5
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I like you. And your thinking. I thought I should share this as a thank you:

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Old 02-25-2012, 10:16 PM   #6
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anyone know if it's possible to get a prepaid label and just stick it on a Miata? imagine the face of the UPS dude who comes to pick it up
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:33 PM   #7
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I'm pretty sure that a Miata exceeds both 150 lbs and 165 inches length + girth, which excludes it from regular parcel service.

The cheapest option for shipping a Miata via UPS would be as LTL (less-than-truckload) Freight. It'd be class 125, and according to UPS's calculator, it would cost $4,809 to ship an NA from here in Beautiful San Diego to the aѕѕhole of Florida (Miami), plus whatever costs you incur palletizing or crating it and getting a palletized / crated Miata into and out of a freight terminal.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:37 PM   #8
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These are all wonderful ideas. I was actually going to ship my miata cross country, but after reading about how unregulated the industry was and how much it would cost (about $1000), I decided to put that money into the car and drive it the 30 hours back home.

I wasn't keen on paying 1/3 the price of the car just to ship it lol.
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Old 02-26-2012, 12:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
I'm pretty sure that a Miata exceeds both 150 lbs and 165 inches length + girth, which excludes it from regular parcel service.

The cheapest option for shipping a Miata via UPS would be as LTL (less-than-truckload) Freight. It'd be class 125, and according to UPS's calculator, it would cost $4,809 to ship an NA from here in Beautiful San Diego to the aѕѕhole of Florida (Miami), plus whatever costs you incur palletizing or crating it and getting a palletized / crated Miata into and out of a freight terminal.
so for more than I could have bought your car for, I could have had it sent to my doorstep, eh?
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Old 02-26-2012, 12:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alameda View Post
These are all wonderful ideas.
Seriously?

I was trying to be as ludicrous as possible in response to Pusha, who has kind of a reputation around these parts.

That said, I've shipped three cars through various auto transport services, and never had any problems. Costs have typically been in the $600-$800 range for nearly coast-to-coast service.
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Old 02-26-2012, 01:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Seriously?

I was trying to be as ludicrous as possible in response to Pusha, who has kind of a reputation around these parts.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
That said, I've shipped three cars through various auto transport services, and never had any problems. Costs have typically been in the $600-$800 range for nearly coast-to-coast service.
Was this for an open trailer? A family friend shipped a couple Lambos out west for a photoshoot last month and it was roughly $1,800 a car.
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Old 02-26-2012, 01:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Seriously?

I was trying to be as ludicrous as possible in response to Pusha, who has kind of a reputation around these parts.
Remember that you DID post in response to Pushy, Joe.
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Seriously?

I was trying to be as ludicrous as possible in response to Pusha, who has kind of a reputation around these parts.

That said, I've shipped three cars through various auto transport services, and never had any problems. Costs have typically been in the $600-$800 range for nearly coast-to-coast service.
Yeah, I was totally not being sarcastic about a shipment cost that was over a thousand dollars more than what I bought my car for

Regarding the shipping though, I was quoted at 700 dollars back in the summer. I think diesel prices are what really are driving the price up at the moment. compare that with the 120 dollar plane ticket and two nights of hotels I am going to be in, it comes out to be a wash anyways. I figure Ill take the girlfriend with me and make a trip out of it, should be fun.
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:10 AM   #14
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the miata top with glass window will fit in a box that is about 4 inches thick by 20 inches wide (I'm guessing) by about 4 feet long. Or so that's how the aftermarket top suppliers do it.
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:17 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by y8s View Post
the miata top with glass window will fit in a box that is about 4 inches thick by 20 inches wide (I'm guessing) by about 4 feet long. Or so that's how the aftermarket top suppliers do it.

Is that including the frame? I would think not, but I have not been around my miata in about 6 months.
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Old 02-26-2012, 01:02 PM   #16
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No, the frame will make it larger in all three dimensions, but not by as much as you might expect. When folded up, the complete frame assembly is surprisingly compact. I don't have accurate measurements available, but the first time I removed the complete top assembly from my car, I was really surprised at how easy it was to carry around.

It will probably require that the shipper (or shipper's agent) create a custom box to fit around it, but this is something that any competent pak-n-ship store should have no problem with.
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Old 02-26-2012, 01:07 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
No, the frame will make it larger in all three dimensions, but not by as much as you might expect. When folded up, the complete frame assembly is surprisingly compact. I don't have accurate measurements available, but the first time I removed the complete top assembly from my car, I was really surprised at how easy it was to carry around.

It will probably require that the shipper (or shipper's agent) create a custom box to fit around it, but this is something that any competent pak-n-ship store should have no problem with.
That's good to know. I figured that it would be a bit bigger and heavier. Hopefully I can get away with under 100 or 150 dollars in shipping, let's see.

Now if I could just get the guy to respond to me on the forum, I would be in business.
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Old 02-26-2012, 01:47 PM   #18
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The sort top frame isn't that heavy (50 pounds?), but it's rather bulky. If you could find a box for a flat screen TV it would probably work.
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Old 02-26-2012, 01:51 PM   #19
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The sort top frame isn't that heavy (50 pounds?), but it's rather bulky. If you could find a box for a flat screen TV it would probably work.
Yeah, I wash thinking along those lines. Just have to be sure to use lots of bubble wrap and packing peanuts =)
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:33 PM   #20
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I sent a glass window top through the mail (Canada post + USPS) to MD I think? This is without the frame, ie less protected and it made it fine.

It was in a box ~= 4"X2'X3.75' with a bunch of bubble wrap and cost $40.
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