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Q: question pertaining to giving away small items ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: question pertaining to giving away small items
Category: Business and Money > Advertising and Marketing
Asked by: curiousme25-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 21 Mar 2006 22:45 PST
Expires: 20 Apr 2006 23:45 PDT
Question ID: 710397
I was wondering what the laws if any are there for giving away stuff
for promotional purposes for an indivual self starting website. For
example.. if i have a new website and i want to gain exposure and
promote my site by giving away small items (sent by mail to them) item
cost is less than a dollar and market value less than 10 dollars. I
would cover the cost to mail to them too. what are the rules/laws
pertaining to that if any within the USA? Can i just go ahead and do
that or would i need to do anything esp if its just a small website.
Please let me know if you need any clarifications. Thanks
Subject: Re: question pertaining to giving away small items
Answered By: cynthia-ga on 22 Mar 2006 11:30 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi curiousme25,

It's perfectly legal to give things away, as long as the item itself
is legal, and you are not using the USPS to mail a prohibited item.
Another area you will want to avoid is pirated (copied) music and
software. I'd like to point out though, that FREE has to mean FREE. It
must be 100% unconditionally FREE.

Here's the USPS list of prohibited items that can NOT be sent through the mail:

Standard USPS Prohibitions

Here's a discussion about a givaway:

Is this legal to give away?

These next links cover Advertising and Promotions:

Current Advertising Regulations and the Internet
This covers all aspects of advertising and the Internet.

Online Games and Giveaways,4621,311824,00.html
This page discusses sweepstakes, lotteries and contests. You are not
doing any of the three by simply mailing a "gift" but this will give
you an idea of the rules of promotions.

Misleading advertisements

Advertising and Marketing on the Internet: Rules of the Road

Please remember that this is not legal advice, a quick call to an
attorney can confirm my findings.


Search strategy used at Google:
promotion items "legal to give away"
Advertising Regulations Internet

Request for Answer Clarification by curiousme25-ga on 27 Mar 2006 21:12 PST
So since is it completely going to be free .. including even postage.
All they would have to do is to ask their friends (refer) someone to
join the site too and then they will recieve the item. That is
completely okay right?

Clarification of Answer by cynthia-ga on 28 Mar 2006 17:12 PST
Absolutely, yes, that is ok.
curiousme25-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thanks for your help!

Subject: Re: question pertaining to giving away small items
From: research_help-ga on 22 Mar 2006 06:10 PST
If you want to mail a promotional item, as long as the item is not
prohibited from being mailed, there is no legal reason why you can't
mail them to whoever you want.  I get items in the mail such as
cleaners, magnets, diapers, etc all the time.  Items that may be
prohibited from the mail are things like explosives, flammable
liquids, chemicals, etc and I'm sure you can get a list of these from
the US Postal Service.
Subject: Re: question pertaining to giving away small items
From: tr1234-ga on 22 Mar 2006 10:03 PST
Added to the above comment, I suspect that you don't really have to
worry too much about the value of the items you're giving away (from a
"is-it-permissible-to-give-this-away" point-of-view; obvsiouly, you
want to keep an eye on what your promotional efforts cost you) unless
you're (1) lobbying a government official or (2) in some industry that
monitors such giveaways (such as magazine circulation where, say, a
"free gift" with subscription cannot be excessively valued in
comparison with the subscription being sold, lest those who audit
magazine circulation chose to not count such subscriptions toward the
magazine's official circulation.)

It doesn't seem that those are applicable to the situation, so as was
commented earlier, provided your material is permissible to send, I
can't see why you wouldn't be allowed to send it...

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