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How to Stop Getting Unwanted Mail

Updated on December 9, 2014

Stop Direct Mail From Cluttering Your Mailbox

Catalog Choice, Paper Karma, DMA Choice and Yellow Pages Opt Out are all free service that allows you to decide what gets in your mailbox. PaperKarma estimates that "Each US household receives about 850 pieces of unwanted mail per year." Use these services to reduce your mailbox clutter, while helping save natural resources. I have used Catalog Choice to get off more than 15 different catalog mailing lists. We still get the catalogs we want - want we actually order from every catalog company (maybe not each catalog) that mails to us.

Use multiple services to get the maximum reduction in junk mail.

How Does Catalog Choice Work

It's easy to reduce unwanted junk catalogs

Step 1: Sign up

Fill out the Catalog Choice online registration form using your name and primary mailing address. Your contact information will only be used for the purpose of honoring your mail preference.

Step 2: Find your catalogs

Find and set mail preferences for your catalogs, using the Catalog Choice search facilities. They then contact the catalog providers on your behalf, requesting that your preference be honored.

Step 3: See the results

It can take at least twelve weeks to process your request, after which time your mail preference should be in effect.

Results will vary depending on whether the company is actively participating in our service. All Participating Companies have pledged to honor your requests within 12 weeks. If you do continue to receive catalogs you requested not to, you can return to let them know, and they will follow up with the merchant.

Catalog Choice is designed for your continued use. Upon receipt of additional unwanted catalogs, return to set a mail preference for them. As a registered user, you'll also discover additional features related to managing catalogs at multiple addresses, adding new catalogs to our database, recording personal notes, and "going paperless".

Catalogs You Can Stop Delivery On

This is just a sample of the Catalogs I have stopped

  • 6 months ago - The Container Store confirmed your request
  • 8 months ago - We sent your request to Performance Bicycle
  • 9 months ago - Exposures confirmed your request
  • Wine Country Gift Baskets confirmed your request
  • Wine Country Gift Baskets confirmed your request
  • Wine Country Gift Baskets received your request (home address)
  • Wine Country Gift Baskets received your request (work address)
  • Eddie Bauer confirmed your request
  • Hammacher Schlemmer confirmed your request
  • Eddie Bauer received your request

Unfortunately, some companies are not "respectful" and will not accept opt-out requests directly from Catalog Choice (or Paperkarma). In these cases, these services will let you know that hey were unsuccessful and, if possible, will give you directions to file the request directly with the mailer.

Catalog Choice - Good Morning America

The mission of Catalog Choice is to reduce the number of repeat and unwanted catalog mailings, and to promote the adoption of sustainable industry best practices. They aim to accomplish this by freely providing the Catalog Choice Mail Preference Service to both consumers and businesses. Consumers can indicate their mail preference for catalogs, and sign up for Email news, and businesses can receive the lists in a secure manner so that they can efficiently honor the requests.

Direct Mail Poll

About your mail, do you get:

See results

Help Others to Reduce Wasted Catalogs

Take a Photo and Opt Out!

Screen Capture of Web Site
Screen Capture of Web Site

PaperKarma Stops Direct Mail

PaperKarma is a mobile application started by a couple of folks who detest unsolicited paper mail. Their mission is to help you take control of your home or business mailbox and to receive what and only what you want.

  1. Download the free Paper Karma App for iPhone or for the Android
  2. Complete Free Signup
  3. Take Photos of unwanted direct mail using your mobile device
  4. PaperKarma uses your photos to notify mailers that you are not interested

While people complain about Direct Mailers, as it turns out, most businesses don't like wasting money. If you say you don't want the mail - they don't want to waste their money mailing to you!

I've used Paper Karma to stop

  • AARP flyers to my deceased parents
  • AARP flyers for prior residents of my address
  • Unwanted Coupon Books
  • Fliers for retirement services
  • Credit Card Offers

If you can take a picture of it, PaperKarma will try to stop it!

Screen Capture of Web Site
Screen Capture of Web Site

Stop Phone Book Delivery

If you don't want those big heavy phone books, than sign on and ask not to get them at Yellow Pages Opt Out. I used this service 3 years ago and we no longer get any of the phone books. We see them dropped off on other driveways - but not land with a loud thump on our driveway.

Catalog Choice on the Today Show

DMA Choice - Choose Not to Receive Direct Mail

DMA Choice is a free service run by the Direct Marketing Association and it will help you get off the mailing list of their members.

Some folks will say, why give my name to the "evil" mailers, but realize that the "evil" direct mailers don't belong to DMA - they won't pay dues money to an association.

The companies that belong to DMA are established businesses. They make lots of money through direct mail, but they are also smart and don't want to waste money mailing to folks who don't want to hear from them.

For every caalong they don't mail to you - they will spend the same money mailing to somebody else and that person might be a real customer!

© 2010 Edit Photos

Thoughts, Comments? - How are you reducing junk mail?

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      Bcookjr 7 years ago

      A great service. My family has used this to stop dozens of unwanted catalogs.