Personal Finance 

How to Be Removed From Catalog Lists

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Phone BooksWe get a lot of catalogs in the mail, probably around one a week, but I don’t think I’ve ever ordered a product from a catalog before (at least as far back as I can remember). 99.9% of the time, the catalog makes a one way trip into our recycling bin and the only one who benefits is the USPS. The other fraction of the a percent covers the times I flip through the little booklet and then I recycle it. I do most of my shopping online, where I can do a quick search for products I need, rather than browse for products I don’t need but might buy because they’re fun or cool.

That said, there’s really no reason to waste the paper and the shipping when I won’t even use it, so I’ve been slowly removing myself from catalog mailing lists. Some companies make it easier than others but these tips should help you get it done quickly.

Go Direct

The easiest way to get yourself removed is to contact the company directly. The first place to check is the catalog itself, many will have instructions on how to get yourself removed from the list. It’ll include your ID or customer number, so you can do it quickly with a phone call. If there are no instructions, go to the website. Many have a form on their website for catalog mailing list removal (Mrs. Fields, which I never recall ordering from, does this). Go to the website and search for “catalog” or “mailing list” to find the link to the removal. Finally, if you can’t find that or they don’t offer it, give them a call or contact them via email.

Catalog Choice

Catalog Choice is a free service that helps you reduce unwanted mail. You sign up for a free account and then you select which catalogs you no longer want to get. You simply search for the company, fill out a request, and Catalog Choice sends it on your behalf. They will update the “dashboard” with the status of that request. Finally, another great perk about this service is that it helps you opt out of phone book deliveries (we just got one last week, that went straight into the recycling bin).

Why not recommend Catalog Choice first and then go direct on the ones that aren’t covered by that service? If you only get a few catalogs, it’s easier to call the company directly and deal with them one on one. I don’t know much about Catalog Choice but do you really want to sign up for another account, that you’ll probably forget about, just to remove catalogs? I didn’t. I’m not extremely diligent about privacy but I like to keep as few accounts as reasonably necessary. (that said, I did sign up and it was very easy to use)

Save the Earth and cancel those catalogs you no longer want!

(Photo: bondidwhat)

{ 8 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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8 Responses to “How to Be Removed From Catalog Lists”

  1. billsnider says:

    Go to the industry website. The organization is called “Direct marketing Association”. Their removal website is

    You can get on their “Do Not Mail” and “Do Not Call”ist.

    Remember three things.

    First, not every marketer is a member of this organization. So you will continue to hear from non members.

    Second, member companies are not legally bound to remove you. There is trade pressure to do so, it is in every companies best interest to do so. But again, non binding.

    Third, companies own multiple catalogs. So if you buy from catalog A, you may get a mailing or a call from catalog B. It is a complex world out there.

    I worked in this industry. They don’t want to mail to non-buyers. It is a waste of their money and resources. So they are very anxious to remove you from their lists. These companies employ a lot of statisticians to do this.

    Bill Snider

  2. mannymacho says:

    Everytime we get the phone books (I think they send them about every 6 months or so) I feel like someone just came and dumped ten pounds of trash on our front porch. I’ll definitely be opting out of that service.

  3. skylog says:

    thank you jim, i really should have taken care of this sooner. i get so many catalogs it is somewhat overwhelming. the part that gets me is many, if not most of them, are from companies that i have never done business with.

  4. Mike C says:

    Good idea, i don’t think about it until I get the yellow books and then I just throw them out.

  5. Strebkr says:

    Phone books make great fire starters!

  6. zapeta says:

    Usually the first thing I do when I get a catalog is call the company to get off the list. I really hate when I buy something from a company and end up on their junk mail list forever.

  7. Shirley says:

    Although this instance is not a catalog, it IS postal spam.

    When I applied for a life insurance policy for our most recent grandchild I mistakingly put his name as an owner. When the policy came, I called and had it straightened out, but their mail-advertising branch evidently didn’t get the message and still thinks he is his own grandfather.

    I have sent their forms back (in their own postage paid envelopes) explaing that “a x-month old infant is not interested/eligible; please remove from mailing list” to no avail. The offers just keep coming and I just keep sending them back.

    Phone calls and emails to their customer service dept don’t seem to have helped either. Maybe it takes more than 6 months to be rectified?

  8. scdavid says:

    Thank Jim. Good advice. Like others I don’t think about them until I get them.

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