Frequently asked questions regarding BÜCHERSENDUNG (book) items

What can be sent as a Büchersendung (book) item?

Books, brochures, sheet music and maps weighing not more than 1,000g, provided they are not intended for commercial purposes.

What counts as "books" or "brochures" when it comes to Büchersendung (book) items?

"Books" and "brochures", for the purposes of BÜCHERSENDUNG (book) items, are printed on paper and have a binding or cover. The pages are connected together on one side. Brochures that are stapled or glued may be attached on the back side to a paper or cardboard cover. Dust jackets or wrappers around the printed work, including a band wrapped around the dust jacket, are also allowed. Books and brochures with attached or detachable CDs are permitted as well.

What counts as "sheet music" when it comes to Büchersendung (book) items?

"Sheet music", for the purposes of BÜCHERSENDUNG (book) items, corresponds to the common definition of sheet music and/or manuscript paper. The pages need not be bound.

What counts as a “map” when it comes to Büchersendung (book) items?

"Map", for the purposes of BÜCHERSENDUNG (book) items, corresponds to the common definition of the word "map". A map is a scaled-down two-dimensional representation of the earth's surface, interior or atmosphere, or of another celestial body or outer space, or any parts thereof, containing generalizations and explanations. Maps may be made of various materials such as plastic, canvas or cardboard. The map itself, i.e., the two-dimensional representation, must be the primary component of the BÜCHERSENDUNG (book) item and be intended to serve those purposes generally served by maps. Explanations, whether in word or pictures, may comprise up to 25% of the printed surface area. Photographs or postcards of actual landscapes are not allowed.

May Büchersendung (book) items contain advertising?

The main dispatch item may include blurbs/advertising on the cover as well as on four consecutive pages at the beginning and end of the work. Other printed matter such as catalogs, advertising flyers or other advertisements may also be included as inserts.

Are annual reports allowed?

For the purposes of BÜCHERSENDUNG (book) items, annual reports of commercial enterprises are considered to serve a commercial purpose and are therefore not allowed. The annual reports of public authorities, corporations, foundations, trusts and public institutions, however, are permitted, as are those of non-profit organizations and associations.

Are travel timetables allowed?

Schedules for public transport companies may be dispatched as a BÜCHERSENDUNG (book) item, but not schedules for commercial transport companies such as Deutsche Bahn, Lufthansa, etc.

Are programs of events allowed?

Event programs and course catalogs of non-commercial institutions may be sent as a BÜCHERSENDUNG (book) item.

Are calendars allowed?

Calendars and yearbooks containing nothing but a calendar are not allowed. Calendars may be sent as a BÜCHERSENDUNG (book) item, however, if they contain portions of texts (articles, etc., not merely photo captions or similar items) and if the outward appearance of the calendar is that of a book. They must, at any rate, be bound on the side; calendars bound at the top are not allowed.

Are workbooks allowed?

Workbooks and school notebooks containing large passages to be filled in by students may be sent as a BÜCHERSENDUNG (book) item. Pre-printed materials whose purpose is to gather information regarding individual characteristics in a manner similar to questionnaires, however, are not allowed.

Where can I get more information regarding Büchersendung (book) items?

In any Deutsche Post retail outlet or by calling our customer service telephone: +49 (0)228 4333112. For larger volumes, you may also call the business customer hotline: +49 (0)180 6 555555 (€0.20 per call from a German landline; no more than €0.60 per call from a German mobile network).

When is a Büchersendung (book) item said to serve a "commercial purpose"?

In principle, the main dispatch item may contain nothing that entices the reader to buy specific goods or services.
A commercial purpose is said to be present if, for example:

  • The printed work is published by a commercial company whose primary business is not publishing.
  • The content of the printed work deals exclusively or in large part with the products of a given company (or corporate group) or endorses their use.
  • The printed work is provided by a commercial company free of charge or for a nominal fee.
  • The work is an annual report of a commercial company.
  • The contents involve publications of non-commercial establishments within which affiliated commercial companies are advertised.

Price information or references to commercial companies or products in the work itself are allowed provided they have a clearly recognizable informative character and do not serve commercial purposes.

What may be attached to or included with a Büchersendung (book) item?

BÜCHERSENDUNG (book) items are intended exclusively for sending books, brochures, sheet music and maps. Of course, important factual information may also be included either as a loose insert or attached to the packaging. Examples of this type of information/enclosure include the following:

  • The invoice and/or delivery note regarding the contents of the item
  • A pre-printed payment form, which may also be fully filled out, with the invoice amount.
  • A return reply envelope or return label
  • A lending slip or book inventory card
  • Printed documents such as brochures or cards with general and interchangeable texts (e.g., "with best wishes for a good year") or general printed texts. These printed documents, however, may not be the main dispatch item.
  • Brief information describing the content, e.g., an internal label, the location and date of dispatch, or sender details and signature.

Addressed written communications (letters) may not be included in the enclosed printed documents. Examples here include the following:

  • Individual letter texts of all kinds, whether handwritten or printed
  • Texts with salutation (e.g., "Dear customer")
  • Texts with formulaic expressions of politeness (e.g. "yours sincerely")
  • Personal messages (e.g., "rest to follow").

In other words, any messages that can be viewed as a letter either owing to the individual contents or the outer form count as written communications (letters).

Printed corrections of misprints as well as corrections due to changes in legal regulations may still be included as loose sheets of paper. A dedication on a sheet of paper or a card may also be included.

Are supplemental deliveries for loose-leaf notebooks allowed?

Supplemental deliveries for loose-leaf works are allowed, provided the original work itself was allowed to be sent as a BÜCHSERSENDUNG (book) item. The loose pages of the supplemental deliveries need not be bound for dispatch.

What should be considered when sending a CD with a book or brochure?
  • The CD must be attached directly to the book or brochure. This means that the CD is attached with the option of detaching it later. There is also the option of using glue to adhere the CD directly onto the inside jacket cover or on any other page, either by gluing the entire surface or with dots of glue
  • The CD is subject to the same content criteria applicable to book and brochure items in which the CD is placed.
May I include a dedication?

The work may contain a dedication consisting of a brief phrase such as "In fond remembrance, the author". Brief quotations, etc., may also be added. The dedication may appear on a loose sheet of paper or a card.

How much does a Büchersendung (book) item cost?

For an overview of prices, dimensions and weights, please refer to the product description page for BÜCHERSENDUNG (book) items.

How large may a Büchersendung (book) item be, and is there a minimum size?

For an overview of prices, dimensions and weights, please refer to the product description page for BÜCHERSENDUNG (book) items.

What weight limits apply for Büchersendung (book) items?

For an overview of prices, dimensions and weights, please refer to the product description page for BÜCHERSENDUNG (book) items.

How do I post my Büchersendung (book) items?
  • Büchersendung (book) items must be clearly marked as such. Please print the word Büchersendung (book item) above the address.
  • Büchersendung (book) items must be posted unsealed
  • The internal packaging may be sealed if it is the manufacturer's packaging and the sender has consented to its opening for inspection purposes by making the note Darf zu Prüfzwecken durch die Post geöffnet werden (may be opened by Deutsche Post for inspection).
  • Büchersendung (book) items may be sealed if they contain at least 100 copies of the same kind of item when posted – i.e., items with the same format, the same weight class and the same sender – and the sender has consented to their opening for postal inspection purposes. Sealed Büchersendung (book) items must also be marked with Büchersendung/Entgelt gepr. (book item/postage verified).
What can I use to seal Büchersendung (book) items?

BÜCHERSENDUNG (book) items must be easy to open and reclose for inspection purposes when the posted volume is less than five items of the same kind. The following types of closures can be used for this purpose:

  • Inserted flaps
  • Brass fasteners
  • Unknotted string
  • Rubber bands
  • Nylon Velcro fasteners
  • Split pins
  • Adhesive or re-sealable closures (the adhesive must allow the envelope or package to be opened and resealed without causing significant damage to the envelope or wrapping).
  • Pull strips
  • Point-wise dotted adhesive (multiple points of adhesive or tape may also be used for larger items; the flap must always be on the inside so that it is easier to open without damage).
  • Closures that use perforation or corrugation but only if, for example, the flap created by opening the package can be glued shut or sealed in some other way that secures the contents adequately enough for transport of the package.

Please be sure to package the contents of your BÜCHERSENDUNG (book) items in such a way as to protect them against damage. The inner packaging may be sealed if the contents are factory-packaged (e.g., protective wrapping for books or gift wrap). The sender is then required to make the note: Darf zu Prüfzwecken durch die Post geöffnet werden (may be opened by Deutsche Post for inspection).

How quickly will my Büchersendung (book) item be delivered?

The items are generally delivered no later than four working days after posting.

How does delivery to a Packstation work?

Some Büchersendung (book) items are too large to fit into a recipient's mailbox. If this is the case and the recipient is not at home during the delivery attempt, the item will be handled in the same way as parcels, i.e., it will be left with a neighbor or deposited at a postal outlet. A notification card will be left to inform the recipient of their item's location. The more convenient option is to have these items delivered to a Packstation. Large-sized Büchersendung (book) items, just like parcels, can also be delivered directly to a Packstation in the recipient's vicinity at no extra cost. Delivery to a Packstation must be requested during the ordering process or indicated by the sender, and the service is only available for registered Packstation users. Additional information, including how you can offer your customers this service, is available here.

How are Büchersendung (book) items franked?

You can use nearly any of the commonly available forms of franking to frank your BÜCHERSENDUNG (book) items. For greater convenience, you can also use the pre-franked BÜCHERSENDUNG (book) item labels. Or you can post these items at a Deutsche Post retail outlet and have them franked there.

Where can I buy labels for BÜCHERSENDUNG (book) items?

These labels make sending your BÜCHERSENDUNG (book) items easier and can be ordered in our shop. Click here: Büchersendungs-Etiketten Maxi 12er Set (Maxi set of 12 Büchersendung labels)

Do you offer discounts for frequent book senders?

No. As of July 1, 2019, discounts are not generally offered to frequent senders of books or merchandise.