6-3 Six-Step Process

6-3.1 Step 1: Examine Mailpiece for Products

6-3.1.1 Process

Examine the mailpiece to determine if it is a product. Consider the following two conditions and proceed as follows:

  1. If the mailpiece is a product or contains a product, go to step 2.
  2. If the mailpiece is not a product and does not contain a product, the content-based restrictions for products do not apply. You must next determine whether the mailpiece contains any advertising (discussed in steps 3 through 6). Skip step 2 and go to step 3.

6-3.1.2 Restrictions and Provisions

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.

6-3.1.3 Front-End and Back-End Premiums

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

6-3.1.4 Organization-Produced Material

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).

6-3.1.5 Publications

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