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How To Ship A Slot Car 101

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  • How To Ship A Slot Car 101

    I know many of us on here frequently but and sell slot cars, our little 'plastic gold'!! With this of course comes shipping the cars. I have recently sold off a few cars from my collection and had to do a lot of shipping. In the course of shipping the cars from destinations ranging from right here in NJ to as far away as New Zealand, Brazil and Thailand I have only had one of the 300 some odd cars returned due to damage.

    I just recently purchased a FLY A72 Porsche GT1 and it was loose in its plastic display case. It really bothers me as the buyer or seller when one of these cars is damaged due to shipping. Unfortunately, the 'screw' which holds the car to the base often comes loose and then the car will be damaged by banging around in the display case.

    What I like to do is use Saran wrap to keep the car affixed to the base. I take a length of Saran wrap approximately 18 inches long, cut it down the middle into two 18 inch long strips and use each one to go around the car and the base. I pull it fairly tightly, but not TOO tight, to keep the car securely in place. Exude caution if the car has an antenna, just go to the front or rear of the antenna. I then wrap the car in some thick paper, about 2+ feet long and 18 inches wide.

    The car can then be but directly into a tight cardboard box with no other padding. Unless someone really beats the hell out of the box and the plastic diplay case is cracked the car will be fine. You can use bubble wrap around the plastic display instead of the paper but no need for both.

    If you are shipping a 'boxed' car in a cardboard display box such as the FLY limited edition cars which do not have a plastic display case you MUST pad the inside of the display box. These cardboard display boxes are prone to crushing and the inside top of the display box comes into contact with the top of the car and damages the car. I had this happed to a FLY Steve McQueen SM3 Porsche Gulf 917. The box rubbed on the car and the Gulf Orange stripe on top of the car was damaged..... very frustrating!

    Using bubble wrap inside the display box will prevent the display box coming into contact with the car and will make sure it arrives safely. You must also pad the inside of the shipping box to ensure the somewhat fragile display box is not damaged in transit. Also make sure the shipping box is packed securely enough so that it cannot be crushed.

    I also write 'FRAGILE' and 'DO NOT STACK' on these packages. I have shipped a $900 FLY T2 Porsche GT1 overseas and it arrived as perfect as when it left my house.

    I hope this helps! No one likes to open up the box contain their new purchase (often purchased at an 'irreplaceable' great price!!) to find a car that has been damaged in shipping...

    Happy buying and shipping gents!

    (Sticky??)

  • #2
    Good points, Bill. Any case that can be opened should have some packing material inside of it, in case the car gets loose during shipping.

    Some cases can't be opened without changing the value of the car, ie NIB Slot.It and Ninco cars. The earliest Slot.Its didn't always come in shrink wrap, so it's no problem to open the box, and the car can be carefully packed. Ninco has a particular problem -- not only do they use the easily-broken T-screw, but they put a warranty seal on the box. When I ship a NIB Ninco, I always ask the buyer if they want me to break the seal in favor of safer packaging, or if they want me to leave the seal intact and risk the car getting banged around.

    When packing, no case lid or bottom should ever be pressed against one side of the shipping box. At the bare minimum, one layer of packing peanuts should be between the case and shipping box. and if there is only one layer on one side of the box, the opposite side of the box should be packed deeper so that there is some 'give' in the packaging.

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    • #3
      I only hope those who read this will take heed. Many times I've gotten cars where the screw has come loose in the case or the car was simply wrapped in butcher paper (knocking off many parts in shipping). It seems that some who sell don't care about how the car looks when it arrives as they sure are not going to return payment. I've even gotten cars where the mounting screw was so tight that it cracked the chassis. Much better to use many layers of bubble wrap or to fill the box with padding.

      Scott

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      • #4
        Since the Plastic case this has been a major issue.

        When I started the importation of fly and their Beautifully Packaged A1 and A2 Vipers I knew this Industry had a problem.

        Now the case was considered part of the Car, part of the value.

        Previously almost all cars came in cardboard boxes which if damaged in shipping did not bother most, that was it's job to protect the car till you took it out to race right?

        Now here comes boxes of 60 Fly cars from Spain and hey they rattle.

        In a box of 60 cars it was common to lose at least 20 cases to cars coming off and cracking the case. Worse still if it damaged the car as well. So a beautiful idea had become an enormous expense to Distribution, even if cases were replaced for free it was still like shipping air to get the replacement parts, plus the labor to repair inventory.

        We started at "A Day at the Races" to open each car, check for damage, replace broken cases, screw down and tape the screw and refit and tape the plastic bags around the case before shipping to dealers.

        As the cars got better detail ( heavier ) more problems appeared, the worse was probably the Trucks which were so heavy that almost all came off their bases.

        We then started to cling film down cars but as business grew this expense became too large to maintain.

        OK moving forward to today, at www.132slotcar.us we open almost all cars to protect them in transit. Why well one damaged car ( or case ) means the sale is no longer profitable. No profit no business, so although the time is expensive to ship a car, and have it damaged is even more of a loss.

        Shipping today on a single car is often 15% of the Retail value of the cars we sell so a return is a total loss business wise. We have to protect the product so the car can arrive in a Race-able condition, after all most of you race right?

        So on a Scalextric car as an example we remove the bubble wrap that each car comes in, inspect the case and car for damage. Remove the sleeve, fit a piece of cardboard under the rear axle ( on most models to protect the rear axle clips ) cling film ( shrink wrap ) either one band around the car ( old style box ) or along the car ( flip top box ) refit the sleeve, re-bubble wrap and pack in a box. We mostly use lightly crumpled paper as we have found this works best to protect the car and case. We then supply ( to most customers ) a writing tool ( pen ) so they can write to their friends about us. I know who writes anymore

        Seriously most of why I have written this is to ward what you should do once you receive a car with cling film holding down the car to keep it on it's base. Remove the cling film, then of course race/play with your car. Why ( remove the cling film ) well it can react with tampo printing over time, and actually remove or damage print and even paint.

        I hope this helps some who are shipping out that Racer car and then wondering why it arrives at it's new owner smashed to pieces, you can not rely on the screw to hold a car on it's base trust me on this I know.

        Slot.it and a few others have it right the lexan cover over the car saves me time and you damage, so we all win. The worse well I have to say Flyslot nothing has changed, NINCO are they dreaming thinking their car will stay on that key, and some Scalextric the stress of the car's weight cracking the chassis creating a return which is killing this Industry.

        WOW, so now back to packing, unpack, shim, wrap, pack ship.

        Avant Slot has a fair idea with 2 screws holding down their cars but still the lexan cover is better. Scaleauto has come up with a plastic cage designed to protect the car, not to be a collectible display case good idea.

        Personally all cars should come in a simple cardboard box to cut down on damage, and the sell display case to those who want to display their race cars. And of course this would create a huge market for those hard to find mints that some think are in the box. Me I never have found one.

        Now back to packing and shipping.

        www.scaleracing.com
        Last edited by Scaleracing; 07-09-2010, 09:21 AM.
        Alan Smith
        SCI Owner.
        www.scaleracing.com
        www.slotcarillustrated.com
        www.facebook.com/scaleracingcenter
        www.132slotcar.us

        1-253-255-1807

        Comment


        • #5
          wow, all this makes me glad that i don't buy/sell collectable cars. if i ever try to sell my cars, i don't think the buyer is going to notice the difference between my description: "missing mirrors, drivers head, 1/2 of the antenna, cracked spoiler, major scuffing on roof and hood" and what they actually receive: "missing mirrors, drivers head, 3/4 of the antenna, cracked spoiler, major scuffing on roof and hood"

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by boopiejones View Post
            wow, all this makes me glad that i don't buy/sell collectable cars. if i ever try to sell my cars, i don't think the buyer is going to notice the difference between my description: "missing mirrors, drivers head, 1/2 of the antenna, cracked spoiler, major scuffing on roof and hood" and what they actually receive: "missing mirrors, drivers head, 3/4 of the antenna, cracked spoiler, major scuffing on roof and hood"

            Boopie....have you been playing w/ my collection again????

            My cars are all drivers also but, having recently purchased from Bill (and others), it's nice when a car arrives in the condition described at sale. Bill's packaging rivaled ANY that I have received in my brief slot-career (aprox 100 cars and counting). It's always appreciated, when I spend my money, that the person shipping the product cares about it as much as I do.

            David

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            • #7
              Might add don't ship cars on their sides. Also tie down cars that are a higher base such as scx and Ninco. The way those two companies made their stands for the cars aren't the best and can come off and break, or scratch.

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              • #8
                I always like the cars as shipped by Alan, never have had a car damaged when packaged similarly.

                I have received a Fly truck once from someone else that came loose from the pith, talk about CARNAGE!! To the display case, not the truck! I think one windshield wiper came off but there were scratches and dents and paint on the display case with no visible damage to the truck.

                Cheers!
                Paul

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                • #9
                  The last one I revieved came packaged with a some newspaper balled up to "secure" the car. There was no screw in the base to help either. Needless to say it didn't work and the rear wing was snapped from the car along with another rear end piece. The car merrilly rolled around in it's case while it made it's way to my home. It was disappointing to say the least.

                  I have bought from Alan and from Bill and I have never worried about the security of the car in the case. Top notch packaging every time.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Bumping this as it needs to be read by anyone planning to ship a car.

                    This should be stickied in the Buy/Sell forum.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Bubble wrap...use CAUTION!!!

                      CAUTION when using bubble wrap that actually touches the car. I have purchased a few cars lately that were wrapped in bubble wrap. There are some types of bubble wrap that will leave an 'imprint' of the bubbles on the surface of the car. So please use caution if you are wrapping any cars directly with bubble wrap. Wrap the car in tissue paper and then bubble wrap.

                      The same thing occurs on the Rev/Mono cars that the company puts the small plastic film on the roof to protect the numbers. Remove the plastic and yuck! A damaged paint job. So if you have these as keepers or are buying them as keepers...keep that in mind. I've had two with this issue. Tissue paper is a much better choice for this.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Something changed in either the paint or the plastic wrap.

                        I have also seen issues with car held down with shrink wrap. I noted do not leave it on after arrival as after a long time it can damage the paint surface, well it takes about 2 weeks to do this so we now place tissue between the wrap and the car. This prevents the wrap marking the surface of the car.

                        If you have a car where the surface is marked we have found that automotive type polish or head light lens cleaner can bring back the factory shine. However this may be an issue on tampo printing so take care.

                        I still like the Slot.it lexan over bubble, and also the Scaleauto non collectible plastic cage where they tie wrap down cars. However where they hold a car down with a large screw can damage that area of the chassis something to look for.

                        Packaging and shipping is a real problem for Retail Stores and private shippers alike, we all want the goods to arrive in perfect condition so advise as given here is really helpful.

                        We also place a small piece of card under the rear axle on clip in bearing chassis to prevent axles being forced out during transit, as this can damage the rear axle clips in the chassis. I wish NINCO did this.

                        If you are shipping STOCK cars as package by manufacturers be aware it is not packaged well enough to prevent damage from most manufacturers, a little time and care and you can help your customer to get the car in good condition.

                        See you at the Races.
                        Alan Smith
                        SCI Owner.
                        www.scaleracing.com
                        www.slotcarillustrated.com
                        www.facebook.com/scaleracingcenter
                        www.132slotcar.us

                        1-253-255-1807

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bibbster View Post
                          CAUTION when using bubble wrap that actually touches the car. I have purchased a few cars lately that were wrapped in bubble wrap. There are some types of bubble wrap that will leave an 'imprint' of the bubbles on the surface of the car. So please use caution if you are wrapping any cars directly with bubble wrap. Wrap the car in tissue paper and then bubble wrap.

                          The same thing occurs on the Rev/Mono cars that the company puts the small plastic film on the roof to protect the numbers. Remove the plastic and yuck! A damaged paint job. So if you have these as keepers or are buying them as keepers...keep that in mind. I've had two with this issue. Tissue paper is a much better choice for this.
                          To remove little imperfections in the paint, try using some Tamiya polishing compound, they offer 3 different grades of the polishing compounds. From coarse to finish. works REAL good. Zmann

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks for the comments on the polishing, but as Alan said, some of these tampos are really delicate and thin, so even the lightest touch with polish can take them off in a hurry.

                            And welcome to SCI!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bibbster View Post
                              CAUTION when using bubble wrap that actually touches the car. I have purchased a few cars lately that were wrapped in bubble wrap. There are some types of bubble wrap that will leave an 'imprint' of the bubbles on the surface of the car.
                              As mentioned, that is true only if it is left on the car for several weeks. I've received a lot of cars so wrapped and have taken them out of the wrap immediately with no ill effects from the wrap. This includes cars sent from outside the country where two to three weeks is a normal shipping time.

                              Addendum: Just to clarify, I'm talking about bubble wrap, not shrink wrap. Haven't had any issues with sheet plastic wrap either. At least none that have been apparent. Still, not a bad idea to use tissue or toilet paper just to be sure.

                              Scott
                              Last edited by svanaken; 08-03-2011, 11:55 AM. Reason: addendum

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