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Archive for the 'Post' Category

Unfrei

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Unfrei is a term used in the German postal system.  If something is sent unfrei it means that the recipient pays for the postage.

This is often indicated on the envelope as “Geb├╝hr bezahlt Empf├Ąnger”.  Some companies pre-print their envelopes with “Bitte freimachen, falls Briefmarke zur Hand” requesting that you put a stamp on the envelope, but that they will pay the postage anyway if you do not.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

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Die Zuschlagmarke

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Die Zuschlagmarke is a type of stamp that has two face values: one for the postage and another for a special cause, eg. 55+25

These sorts of stamps often appear before Christmas and include a small donation to a charity. In the above example 55 cents would be the postage for a letter and 25 cents would be the donation.

The donation is not allowed to be higher than half the value of the postage itself, although this has not always been the case and stamps used to be produced with values such as 12+38.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

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B├╝chersendung

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

B├╝chersendung is a way of sending books cheaply through the post. It also covers maps and sheet music, but there are restrictions on what counts as a book and what you are allowed to pack with it.

You can include a bill, or a bank transfer form, or a return envelope – but not a letter.

B├╝chersendung may be cheaper, but you are not allowed to seal the envelope when sending inland. Only when sending overseas is this allowed, and even then you have to write on the envelope that it may be opened for the contents to be checked.

If you are sending books to addresses overseas, this will almost be definitely be cheaper than sending the books normally. If you want to send a card with the book, it may be worth sending them separately!

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

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Nachnahme

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

If you order goods in Germany, eg. by telephone or on-line, then you have a number of different ways of paying for them.

Sending the goods Per Nachnahme means that, for a small fee, the goods are dispatched and you pay for them at the door. The postman collects the amount owed and this is transferred to the seller’s account.

The advantage is that the seller can send off the goods immediately, the disadvantage is that you have to have sufficient funds at home to pay for them.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

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Paket & P├Ąckchen

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

Paket and P├Ąckchen are two ways of sending parcels through the post.

You would use a P├Ąckchen if you are something relatively light, with little value or when you do not need proof of sending.

For more valuable and especially commercial goods, you should use a Paket as you have a receipt to show that you sent it, a tracking number to follow the parcel online and insurance. Obviously you need to make sure that the insurance offered is sufficient for the contents of the parcel.

Sending parcels overseas you also have the choice of P├Ąckchen and Paket, but also the choice of sending by land/sea or by airmail. Sending by air costs more and so it is woth considering whether it is really necessary to have the advantages of the Paket.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

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