Allow me a few minutes for a little holiday online shopping rant. On Monday, I did quite a bit of shopping online. I enjoy shopping online much more than going to stores. But, there’s one thing about the process that bothers me: the inevitable paper catalogs that will show up in the box with the shipment and in my mailbox a few weeks later.


Before I started using Catalog Choice, I spent a lot of time phoning catalog companies to get off their mailing lists. Once I discovered Catalog Choice, the task became simplified and much less time-consuming. I still find myself on their website frequently, opting out of catalogs that come out of the blue from a companies I’ve never ordered from. This rant isn’t directed at those companies.


This rant is directed at companies that have already been informed that I don’t want their catalogs but start sending them again after I’ve placed an online order.


Here it is.


I have purposely opted out of your catalog. Just because I ordered online from your company doesn’t mean I suddenly want to start receiving your catalog again. What it means is that I liked a product you were selling enough to buy it. It also means I was able to find your website easily, find the product I wanted, and place an order, all without the help of a catalog.


I’m a well-educated, intelligent, technically savvy woman, and I’ll be able to do it again without the help of something that comes in the mail. I do not appreciate having to tell you, again, that I don’t want your catalog. You are not my children. There’s no reason I should ever have to use the phrase “I shouldn’t have to tell you more than once…” with your company.


End rant.


Onto a serious question. Why can’t companies put an option during the online checkout process for opting out of any paper catalogs? They know you have access to their online website because (duh) you’re ordering online.


I know that part of the answer lies in the fact that they want their catalogs in our hands. Catalogs lead to temptation and temptation leads to unplanned buying.


Still, I’d like it to stop, and I’d like the companies to get this message.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

No catalogs. I mean it.
Tired of the slew of catalogs that come after you’ve placed an order online? You’re not the only one.