Publication 417, Nonprofit USPS Marketing Mail Eligibility: Nonprofit and Other Qualified Organizations > 6 Content-Based Restrictions > 6-3 Six-Step Process
Examine the mailpiece to determine if it is a product. Consider the following two conditions and proceed as follows:
Under the law, the restrictions on mailing products at the nonprofit prices have an extremely broad reach. These restrictions can apply to merchandise, publications (such as books), and some periodical publications. For a discussion about the general provisions for mailing a product as well as the specific provision for mailing a periodical publication, see step 2.
A front-end premium is an item that an organization mails with a solicitation requesting a donation. A back-end premium is an item that an organization mails in return for a donation previously made to the organization.
Even though these premiums are usually connected with a donation to the authorized organization, they must be treated like any other product to determine eligibility for mailing at the nonprofit prices.
Examples: Product Rules Apply
The product rules consider material produced by the authorized organization as well as material produced by third parties, including other persons or organizations (whether for-profit or nonprofit organizations).
A publication is considered a product if it is sold or has a listed price or represented value. The following examples can help you determine when printed matter is considered a product.
Example: Product Rules Apply
Examples: Product Rules Do Not Apply