Friday, July 11, 2008

Nordstrom, I'm voting you off the island

Nordstrom is a place that I'm officially declaring I won't shop at. OK, it's true that I can't really afford to shop there anyway (seriously...a Juicy Couture Baby 2 piece fleece set, on sale for $64.90, back up to $98 after the sale!?!?!?!? And girls jeans on sale for $86.90, back to $130 post sale!? Obviously somebody is buying this stuff, but man. I guess I'm cheaper than I thought!)

So anyway, I got this catalog because it was addressed to the woman who lived here 2 or 3 owners back. So I went on to catalog choice to opt out. Guess what? Nordstrom doesn't choose to participate in that program. So I called them and asked them to stop sending them, but it really irritates me that I had to take the time out of my day to do that - and then, of course, to complain about it here!

The irony is they are definitely trying to greenwash their customers, by putting a note on the back cover of the catalog stating how their catalog is 30% recycled content and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, but if they really wanted to help people be more eco-friendly, they'd make it easy for people to not get the catalog in the first place.

This is my first experience with a merchant not participating in catalog choice. For those of you who haven't found this little gem yet, go check it out. For those of you who are already using it to manage which catalogs you receive, have any other merchants refused your requests? How successful do you feel it's been in cutting down unwanted catalogs in your mailbox?

16 comments:

arduous said...

I was kinda irritated with Catalog Choice for a while because I felt like they weren't doing anything but ... I can't remember the last time I got a catalog. So it must be working. I think it takes a long time though. I signed up in November? So I think it took a good six months before the catalogs stopped.

Heather @ SGF said...

So far so good. We've really been happy with Catalog Choice. I really like the new feature they added where you can see who they've contacted and who has said they will take us off the list. We still get catalogs trickle in from time to time, but they are few and far between now. Yeah!

You know, I heard that some where in Europe (of course) - the Netherlands, maybe or one of the Scandinavian countries - that they have special stickers on their mailboxes. One of them is to opt out of bulk mail. How cool is that? Just put a sticker on your mailbox and they can't give you any junk. Makes me want to move. Well, that's not the only thing that makes me want to move, but you know... it's cool.

Beany said...

My experience is similar to that of arduous. I thought it was some scam or something (like putting me on a super refined database of customers who don't want these products). But I haven't received any of the older catalogs that are on my catalogchoice list for a few months now.

I've also called up companies (chatted with them online) and asked them to take me off their mailing list.

If there was only such a service for all the other random bits of paper that wind up in my mail box I'd be truly happy.

abbie said...

Hi there! I tried to find Victorias Secret on catalog choice to opt out- Don't tell my husband! But I couldn't find it.

Heather @ SGF said...

abbie - it's there. I remember when I used to buy a lot of their clothes. Their catalogs came about once a week. Geez!

equa yona(Big Bear) said...

We get TONS of charity mailings as well as join this that and the other save the planet group. We finally started using the postage free return mailers to ask them to take us off the list. They responded well when it cost them the postage. That may sound mean but this was after calling their 800 numbers in most cases.

Rapunzel said...

Thank you for the link, what a great service!

eco 'burban mom said...

I'm with Arduous - it took awhile for it to kick in, but now I receive very, very few catalogs. When I do, I run too my computer and add them to my Catalog Choice. I love it!

And, as the mom of 4 boys, I am SO with you on the cost of things at Nordstrom. I refuse, refuse, refuse to shop that way any longer as well. Good for you!

Melissa said...

arduous, I also noticed that it was pretty slow. I think it's actually the catalogs faults though because of how far in advance they print everything.

heather, that is so cool! and super simple! Why can't we do that here? I purposely don't take those stupid bulk mail store circulars out of my mailbox a lot of days. I keep hoping the mail lady will get the hint and stop leaving them but no luck yet ;-)

beany, that's funny I hadn't thought of that, but that would be a good challenge for the marketers - how to sell to people who are going out of their way to avoid buying stuff. Glad it's not a scam!

abbie, I've had a hard time finding a few catalogs on there. I find that the less of the name you type in, the better, especially with a name like Victoria's Secret (depending on whether or not they've indexed it with or without the apostrophe in there) So try just typing in the first few letters and see if it comes up that way.

equa yona, I hate to say it but the charities are some of the worst tree killers out there. I've called to be removed with mixed results. Maybe it's time to take it to the next level and try your tactic!

rapunzel, glad to help!

eco burban mom, I am the same way - every time one sneaks into the mailbox I run to add it to my choices right away!

Kathryn B. said...

I'm pretty sure Catalog Choice is legit (if slow). The organization that runs it is a hard-core environmental group in my metro area.

There are quite a few free junk mail reduction services that have recently jumped into the fray (and some paid ones, too).

Green Bean said...

I started out using Green Dimes which never did much good. I then got so used to calling or emailing places directly that I've rarely used Catalog Choice.

I'll say this though - do not ever ever every get your name on a Performance Bicycle list (or Guitar Center either for that matter) because you'll be receiving mailings from them until the day you die. I've Green Dimed them. I've Catalog Choiced them. I've emailed and called them both - dozens of times. I've even threatened them - saying I'd never let my husband shop at their stores again. No matter, next month I'll get another mailing from them.

Melissa said...

kathryn, I'm pretty sure they're legit too. I've heard of the paying services - haven't tried them though. Probably since I am pretty cheap. I have a link to one opt out over on the sidebar - the reason it's the only one I put is that it's the only one I've used. The problem with all of it is that I believe it works a lot like telemarketing - companies you have a prior business relationship with aren't considered junk mail anymore (so I still get tons of credit card offers from the bank we use and the airlines we have frequent flyer miles with, even though I've opted out).

green bean, isn't it amazing how tough it is to get off those lists sometimes? I still get tons of mail from Paul Hodes (my former congressman from NH), NH Public Radio, a Mexican restaurant in NH, and NH NARAL - and we've lived in California close to 18 months now!

Kathryn B. said...

green bean, Form 1500 is my "scorched earth" measure of last resort for the most hardened junk mailers. It's something to try if you're desperate.

Melissa said...

kathryn, I have heard of form 1500 but never used it...have you done it? what was the response?

Kathryn B. said...

I filed Form 1500 for Comcast, which kept sending their marketing postcards despite my request. Comcast sent me one more postcard, which I sent to the Form 1500 enforcement department of USPS. The USPS sent Comcast an enforcement notice, and I never heard from Comcast again. Yay!

Melissa said...

kathryn, that is very cool! I haven't gotten around to working on the postcards yet, still working on the actual envelopes that show up. Like equa yona said, charities can be the worst, and somehow I keep getting added to more of their lists!