What is meant by roadside delivery?

Free delivery - what does that mean?

In online trading and shipping of all kinds of goods, transport costs are incurred. It is common for the buyer and seller to agree on the payment of these additional fees. As a rule, this is done via an appropriately designed offer that the buyer accepts. The Shipping addition "free domicile". What is behind this meaning? What does this term include and what does not?

The term: free delivery

The designation "free house" is a franking. This clarifies about the assumption of costs. In the case of a delivery, the term describes that the seller pays for the transport. The addition "free" declares that the recipient does not have to pay anything. "House" describes the storage location, the delivery address. This means: With this designation, the seller bears all additional fees and costs incurred for delivery to the agreed address. The opposite of this franking would be "unfree". In this case, the recipient bears the transport costs.

Very important: The term "free domicile" is not defined by law. In the event of a dispute, courts will therefore clarify what this must include. It is not only a question of the general understanding that the delivery is free of charge for the recipient. Rather, the sender's terms of contract or delivery terms play a role in resolving disputes.

The only thing that is relatively clear is that the cost of transport lies with the seller. In addition, however, it has not been conclusively clarified to where the goods are to be brought. Usually it can be assumed that "Free domicile" means to the front door. This includes unloading and setting down at the front door. However, there is no further transport to the apartment door (for example in apartment buildings) or placing in a building below. Especially with bulky and heavy goods, this can be a problem for the recipient, similar to a delivery "free curbside". A good alternative in such cases is an agreement on delivery "free to the point of use". Because this includes the dropping at a certain, desired point.

Advantage of free delivery

The shipping suffix "free domicile" is a good compromise and is widely used. The sender or supplier drops the goods in a customer-friendly manner at the front door or hands them over there. This saves time and costs. The customer, on the other hand, can in most cases use the goods independently as desired and is happy about the free delivery.

Disadvantage with free delivery

If the goods are heavy or bulky, however, this means a great deal of strength for both the supplier and the recipient. The supplier would like to just park on the street and the recipient would like to have carried the goods to a desired location. However, the recipient would have liked to take the delivery to a specific location. In addition, there may be legal problems due to the passing on of the transport risk (see below).

Collection free of charge

Every now and then it comes to one Collection of goods "free domicile". In principle, only the transport route is reversed here. The collector bears the costs. The delivering partner makes the goods available from the doorstep. In the case of heavy or very large goods, it makes sense to precisely clarify the transfer point.

Attention: Transfer of the transport risk

An important point for delivery "free domicile" is the assumption of the transport risk. While the sender bears the costs, he does not necessarily assume the risk of damage and loss. According to the general legal opinion, this is transferred to the recipient after delivery.

What does that mean in concrete terms? If the goods are damaged during transport, the seller is no longer liable after dispatch. Since the recipient bears the risk, he must now contact the supplier. However, the courts see the place of jurisdiction at the seat of the recipient. In the event of a dispute, the local judiciary at the addressee's place of residence is responsible.

By shifting the transport risk, there may be a liability gap. Because Transport companies usually limit the amount of coverage for damage in their terms and conditions (Exception possibly negligence). Depending on the value of the goods, in the event of a damaged or lost delivery "free domicile", the transfer of the transport risk to the recipient can therefore be quite disadvantageous for the recipient.


"Free domicile" is a popular franking. However, depending on the type of goods, there are alternatives that may be a better choice in individual cases:

  • Delivery "free curbside" to the roadside in front of the front door can reduce the effort for the supplier and thus the overall costs. Disadvantage: The recipient often receives goods that are difficult to move in this way.
  • Delivery "free point of use" to a desired location includes transport to an apartment or to a specific location. This increases the transport costs for the sender, but the recipient receives the goods precisely placed.