Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Catalog Overload

This is the stack of catalogs that cluttered our mail box in December.

Nearly a foot and a half of wasted paper !   A quick Google search says that there were 12.5 billion - with a B - mailed in the US last year.   I looked at very few of the catalogs in this stack, but the research says consumers spend at least 30 minutes with each catalog they receive.  It costs $47 + catalog dollars to get one order , so clearly they lost some serious money on me.  Since many of us - up to 50%- shop online, seems that paper catalogs are a bit of a marketing dinosaur, and yet they must work because they keep coming!

Sometimes I wonder what marketing research went into the catalogs I receive.  Pretty sure it has more to do with mailing lists being sold and that some of the companies send yet another catalog with every order.  Another reason to love Amazon - no catalogs included with purchases.

Most of the catalogs go to the recycling bin, better than the landfill, but a serious waste.  I save some to use as under- paper for gluing projects.   A few are interesting enough for a flip - through.

These  cute mice may make it into an art project.

Tea is an interesting company - global fashion for little kiddos.  I've bookmarked their site, but don't need a catalog.

I do save a few catalogs because of the artwork or quality of the paper.  Olive and Cocoa has great illustrations, and the covers are heavy weight matte card stock.

I  love to go into Dean and Deluca whenever I get the chance, but never have ordered from their catalog, yet get one regularly.

Who doesn't love Garnet Hill, but the catalog is useful only for artwork.

The Scrabble tile letters found a way onto a quick journal page.

Last year I went though the stack of catalogs and spent an afternoon unsubscribing.  It's not an easy process - sometimes you can fill out on on-line opt-out form, other companies require a phone call.   Apparently all that effort was wasted since I didn't see any decrease in the number of catalogs in my mail.

This year  I'm trying  Direct Mail's opt-out program.  You complete a short form, identifying what types of mail you don't want to receive and theoretically the mailings stop.  Of course I wonder if providing my address and email just means I'll get MORE, but we'll see.

But if I didn't get all these catalogs, I would have missed this one from Kaufman Mercantile:

with its carefully curated,  items made from "abundantly available resources" .  Think Restoration hardware for small, everyday items like this dustpan, made in Austria from natural materials.  A steal at $69.00 and currently SOLD OUT.  To be fair, they do have some lovely things, but I never considered a dustpan a splurge purchase.

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