Paper is Evil: Cut Junk Mail Off at the Source

stack of messy papers

Okay, here are some tricks to stopping the junk mail from hitting your mailbox in the first place.

  • Credit card offers: you can opt out for 5 years or permanently at OptOutPrescreen.com. You can also choose to opt back into offers should you change your mind in the future.
  • Alternatively, you can call 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) if you prefer to cancel over the phone.
  • Direct Marketing Association: This is an association of over 5000 companies that sell directly to consumers (usually through your mailbox) instead of through retail stores. To take your name off the main mailing list, go to the DMA Website. It does cost $1 to be removed from the list.
  • If you’d rather not spend the buck, you can contact each company directly and ask to be removed from their mailing list. Any more than 2 of those requests via snail mail is going to cost you more than a dollar in postage (not to mention the time involved).
  • Turns out there are entities called List Brokers, and they collect information from any and all public records, then sell those lists. Here are 4 of the big companies:
Metromail Corporation
List Maintenance
901 West Bond
Lincoln, Nebraska 68521

R.L. Polk & Co. / Name Deletion File
List Compilation Development
26955 Northwestern Highway
Southfield, Michigan 48034-4716

Database America
Compilation Department
470 Chestnut Ridge Road
Woodcliff, New Jersey 07677

Acxiom U.S.
To request an opt-out form be mailed to you, call 877-774-2094 or complete the request at Acxiom U.S’s website. Fill out the form they send and mail it back.

  • Getting too many catalogs from companies you’ve never heard of? There’s a new site called Catalog Choice that you can register with and they’ll get your name removed from specific mailings. If they don’t have a particular catalog on the list, you can suggest one. Their FAQ section is very nice.
  • Well, you’ve got quite a homework assignment now, don’t you? πŸ˜€ If you finish all those and want more, there’s plenty out there. I was especially impressed with an MSNBC story on the topic and they listed several more tips and resources.

Earnest Parenting: help with getting organized.

The editor-in-chief of Earnest Parenting, Amy is the mother of two sets of twin boys. Yes, they drive her crazy, but they also make her laugh occasionally. Amy enjoys writing, quilting, reading, and working on her burgeoning cyber empire.

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  • Karen (Karooch from Scraps of Mind) November 6, 2007, 10:06 pm

    This is great information Amy. I only wish it applied to Australia too.
    I think it would be useful for lots of others too so I’ve given this article a Stumble

    Reply
  • Amy November 7, 2007, 12:31 pm

    Karen, thanks so much! I’m sorry that the address info is only useful for Americans. On the other hand, the thought of a company being big enough to market globally is a bit scary. πŸ™‚

    Interestingly (and totally coincidentally…must be the Christmas season mailings that brings out the junk mail hater in all of us), there was a similar article posted on Lifehacker about junk mail, and it has an Aussie address. I just Googled junk mail Australia and found this link: http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2008/10/cut_down_on_junk_mail/
    Let me know if it helps!

    Reply
  • paul August 26, 2008, 8:52 pm

    this is great information that i haven’t seen before. thanks for sharing it – amazing that we even have to work to get off those lists, but i understand.

    Reply
  • Amy August 27, 2008, 12:38 am

    Hi Paul, thanks for stopping by. Good luck getting off the lists! You’ll enjoy the lower volume of paper that comes in the mail.

    Reply