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Goods that have not been ordered are delivered - what to do?

You haven't actually ordered anything, but then suddenly this personally addressed parcel comes with a book, magazine or other commodity. Of course, the invoice is not long in coming and asks you to pay for the goods that have not been ordered within a set deadline. What to do?

Do I have to pay for goods that have not been ordered?

Don't worry: if you have received a package with goods that you never ordered, you do not have to pay for it. Because just because goods that have not been ordered arrive at your premises, there is no sales contract that obliges you to pay. This applies regardless of what the entrepreneur claims in the accompanying or subsequent letters.

But: If you react to the dispatch of the goods that have not been ordered, for example by contacting the sender and saying thank you, the offer from the entrepreneur can be considered accepted - and you undertake to pay. This can also apply, for example, to ironically meant “Thank you” emails.

Do I have to return goods that I have not ordered?

Even if the seller exerts pressure with e-mails or letters, you do not have to send back goods that have not been ordered. In principle, you may keep the item that has not been ordered and use it as if it belonged to you. If you don't need the goods, you can simply dispose of them.

It is also possible to send them back to the seller at the company's expense. However, especially with dubious companies, you have to expect to be left with the return costs.

What exceptions are there for goods that have not been ordered?

If the goods were obviously sent to the wrong recipient, the entrepreneur can request the goods to be returned. You should therefore check carefully whether the parcel is actually addressed to you. You should only accept parcels to foreign recipients (e.g. neighbors) if this has been agreed with the right recipients.

Another exceptional case: the seller mistakenly assumed an order. For example, if you have previously ordered a product from him and it is then delivered twice.

In both cases you have to return the goods if requested by the dealer. Make sure to clarify with the sender in writing by letter or e-mail that he will pay you the costs for packaging and postage in advance if he would like to have the goods returned from you. Otherwise you can offer that the goods can be picked up from you.

Already paid - will I get my money back?

You have not received the goods that you have ordered, have paid the invoice first and then want to get out of the matter? Unfortunately, now it's getting difficult. It has not yet been clarified in court whether the mere payment of the goods leads to the conclusion of a contract.

In general, however, the following applies: In the case of so-called distance sales contracts, i.e. sales contracts that were not concluded on site but, for example, over the Internet or over the phone, you usually have a right of withdrawal for two weeks from the conclusion of the contract. You can find more information about your right of withdrawal here.

The safest way is therefore always not to react to the dispatch of goods that have not been ordered.

Who bears the burden of proof for goods that have not been ordered?

In the event of a legal dispute, the entrepreneur must prove that he has concluded a contract with you. So he has to prove that you ordered from him. The same applies to goods delivered (in error) to the wrong recipient. Here, too, the burden of proof lies with the seller.