Sep 22, 2008

Reduce junk mail and spending with Catalog Choice

A while back, I read several articles on eliminating the delivery of catalogs with The system is simple - you register and fill out a form, then Catalog Choice forwards your request to discontinue delivery of the catalog to the merchant. It takes a few weeks for the request to kick in - you can't even re-submit your request for 10 weeks.

But the fabulous thing is, it works! For most catalogs, anyway. A few of the catalogs I submitted are listed as "not participating," apparently meaning they won't accept an opt-out request from Catalog Choice. Catalog Choice does provide a number I can use to call each merchant, but I haven't bothered yet.

Even with the handful of catalogs that won't honor my request, I've noticed a marked difference in our mailbox. There's a lot less mail, which translates into a lot less shredding. I don't waste nearly as much time tearing out labels and flipping through the pages out of curiosity.

And I'm less tempted to spend money, too. There's a good article about the impact of advertising on spending at Get Rich Slowly, and it applies perfectly to this situation. Perusing catalogs would make me think about all the things I could or might find handy, especially at a sale price. But if I never see the items at all, I'll never think to buy them. So eliminating catalogs eliminates a lot of temptation.

If you haven't sign up with Catalog Choice yet, I encourage you to do so. It'll eliminate stress and clutter from your life.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this info. I have gotten a few catalogs recently from companies I haven't bought anything from, but which I thought of as typically house-wifey catalogs that my mom used to get - and I was shocked at some of the adult-only type products they had in them. I guess that has all gotten much more mainstream than I imagined. So I can't wait to ask them to not send me any more!


Unknown said...

Also be sure to sign the petition for a a national Do Not Mail Registry at This will apply to all junk mail-- credit card offers, coupons, ads, fliers, and catalogs.

This is a 20th century business practice that will not help us meet the challenges of the 21st.

Will Craven
Do Not Mail Campaign

Anonymous said...

I hate junk mail with a passion. In this election year we have been hit many many times from different people asking for donations. I admit to being a bit of a jerk. I took their 'request' and sent it back to them in their postage paid envelope asking to be removed from their list. I have done this 2 times. So far neither of them have called me or sent me more 'requests' to donate.

Anonymous said...

I happen to be one of the owners of MyJunkTree and as a new company I search the web to see if we are getting any visibility out there and I post n relevant Blogs.

We launched the company because we were tired of all the junk mail we were receiving and we personally did not want to bounce all over the web to contact all the different companies to stop it all. First and foremost we wanted to let people choose what they wanted to let come to their home knowing that some people really do like some of the coupons and catalogs. So our clients choose what they want stopped.

We also had to provide a service that is different than the other services out there, so here is what we offer:

1. We have a database of over 1300 catalogs that you can choose to stop.
2. We have over a 4000 charities/Non-Profits that you can stop solicitations from.
3. Stop the delivery of the national phone directories.
4. Stop the delivery of the weekly coupons.
5. Stop the general credit card offers as well as the ones from your own major bank.
6. Stop the miscellaneous junk mail from the data brokers.
7. You can register on the National Do Not Call Registry from the website.
8. You can order your no strings attached free annual credit report right from the website.
9. We plant trees with every new membership.

And, yes we are a paid service and yes you can do everything that we do for free, if you want to do all the research and spend the time contacting the companies yourself it can easily be done. We have just done all of the legwork for our clients and feel there is value in the service we provide. So check out MyJunkTree and make difference in your mailbox.

Chief Family Officer said...

@Jennifer - Glad to help! Whenever I get a catalog I don't want anymore, I take it to the computer with me (it helps if you can provide the customer number and source code printed on the label). That way, I don't forget!