Unfortunately, junk mail is a fact of life. Gone are the days when you only get correspondence from friends and loved ones. Now that your name, address, and other information are on mailing lists all over the place and data brokers have sold it to countless others, you probably get tons of pieces of junk mail daily.
Thankfully, there are some things you can do to stop it or at least reduce the volume.
Register with the DMA (Direct Mailing Association)
to check out the Direct Mailing Association, where you can opt-out of certain mailing lists. If you have ever visited one of those home shows and signed up for a “raffle” or “free gift,” your name was added to a mailing list, and often the junk mail you receive comes from stuff like that.
Be very careful before giving out your personal mailing address to anyone. Before signing up for the chance at a prize or free gift, determine whether it is worth getting years of junk mail for something you may not even win.
Call Junk Mail Organizations and Opt-Out
You can also read the fine print on the bottom of the pieces of junk mail. They are supposed to include a phone number or address where you can contact them to remove your name from their mailings. Of course, this may take a lot of time, and you may waste countless hours on the phone, but if you reduce your junk mail even by a percentage, it will be worth it.
A lot of the junk mail we receive comes in the form of offers. Some of these are legitimate offers from insurance and credit card companies that do a pre-approval check of your credit before extending the offer for you to open up a line of credit with them or apply for a credit card. These are often called “pre-approved” offers and come from banks and credit card companies.
However, be warned that some of these offers are fraudulent or misleading. They may look as convincing as legitimate offers, but they may have high-interest rates or other hidden terms that you would do better to avoid.
You can go online at www.optoutprescreen.com
to temporarily or permanently opt-out of receiving prescreened offers.
CatalogChoice is a reputable service that can help you eliminate the amount of paper junk mail you receive. Their website boasts of satisfied customers who have reduced their volume of junk mail just by signing up. The service was promoted on CNN, PBS, The Early Show, WSJ, and The New York Times.
CatalogChoice is a non-profit organization, and it’s free and easy to sign up and create an account. Junk mail is not good for the environment, and they are trying to help by eliminating and reducing the amount of junk mail received each year.
Contact the charities that you donate to and ask them to send you one mailing per year, and you will make a donation. Ask them to remove you from all other mailings. A good deal of junk mail comes from charities looking for donations throughout the year.
Tips to Avoid More Junk Mail
Below are some other ways you can avoid getting new junk mail and hopefully also reduce the volume you get now.
Another tip to get rid of junk mail is trying an app like PaperKarma. You can install it on your cell phone and start controlling the amount of paper junk mail you get instantly.
You can also write “Return to Sender” using a black sharpie on junk mail and have the post office return the mail. The sender may remove you from the list to save the cost of printing and postage. If they think your address is invalid, you may be removed that way.
Contact Valpak at the address below and ask them to remove your name and address from their list. These localized coupon bundles are a huge waste of natural resources, and they are sent out a few times a year. If you aren’t interested in using any of them, get off the list.
1 Valpak Ave. N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33716
Contact the data brokers below to also have your information purged from their files:
Valassis Direct Mail, Inc.
PO Box 249
Windsor, CT 06095
1-800-437-0479, between 8:30 and 5:00 EST
Unsubscribe from their RetailMeNot publication here:
Epsilon Data Services
Abacus Cooperative Databases
Send an email with “remove” in the subject line and your full name, including middle initial and address in the message. If you changed your address over the past six months, include your previous address as well.