Defective copy

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Defective copy with stamp imprint

Defective copy is a term used in the book trade and describes a book that is no longer subject to fixed book prices due to a clear defect and is therefore sold cheaper in the modern antiquarian bookshop . These books are usually identified by a clearly visible stamp or a thick felt-tip pen line on the lower cut edge .

Damaged returns are defective copies that can be sold at reduced prices. Fake copies circumvent fixed prices by classifying and selling books with no actual defects as defective copies.

The defective copy differs from the defective copy in that the defect did not arise in the course of the manufacturing process, e.g. due to incorrect printing or binding , but only during storage and transport.

Quality of defective copies and junk

Various markings of discounted paperbacks on a digging table

Defective copies can still be in very good condition. Earlier were simply outdated or neuaufgelegte books from the publisher withdrawn from the market and these Remittenden then as defects copies sold at a loss . Recently, however, there were a number supreme court rulings on fixed book price law , which make it clear that otherwise publishing new books by "Mängelung" with stamp or marker pen does not automatically fall out of the book price. The publishers are therefore increasingly obliged to mark books as defective copies only when there are actually clearly visible and uncorrectable defects.

The main reasons for a practice deviating from this rule were the limited sales opportunities for books that have been in stores for a certain time. Since books can only be sold after 18 months due to the fixed book price, there are costs for storage up to this point in time - this makes premature sell-offs attractive for some publishers and sellers. The Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels admits that with such a practice, however, the customer's trust in the publisher could suffer and the sales figures of novelties would decline if customers expect the title to be sold prematurely and wait for it to be bought.


  • Erhard Schütz (Ed.): The book market book. The literary business in basic terms . 2nd revised edition. Rowohlt Taschenbuch, Reinbek 2010, ISBN 978-3-499-55672-2 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Defective copy  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations


  2. ^ Judgment of the Higher Regional Court Frankfurt 11 U 8/05