Receiving unwanted catalogs in the mail just adds shopping temptation and clutter to your life. You rarely need to order more stuff, yet all those thick catalogs roll in to tempt you with their glossy photos. Even if you manage to resist looking at them, you still have to throw them away or recycle them, which is just one more thing to cram into an already-too-busy day. And the whole thing seems like such a waste when you stop to think about all of the trees and energy that went into printing, transporting, mailing and delivering junk mail that you didn't want in the first place. If you're sick of the whole process, you'll be happy to know there's a simple way to get those catalogs out of your mailbox for good.
How to Get off Catalog Mailing Lists in the US
Create an account at dmachoice.org. This is the Direct Marketing Association's consumer website. It allows you to unsubscribe from all catalogs, or to select just the catalogs that you'd like to unsubscribe from. You can also opt out of receiving magazine and credit card offers. Once you've entered your preferences, they'll contact the companies on your behalf to let them know. This process can take anywhere from 30 to 90 days, so you won't see an immediate reduction in your mailbox. If you're trying to stop the mail for a deceased relative, or someone that you care for, there are forms for that as well. Note that you'll need to pay a $2 registration fee when you set up your account. This fee will give you access to the site for 10 years.
If you're serious about getting off all catalog mailing lists you should also contact Epsilon at email@example.com to request that you be removed from their marketing database. Be sure to include your name and mailing information in the email. If you prefer, you can also mail your request to:
P.O. Box 1478
Broomfield, CO 80038
To remove a deceased relative from their catalog mailing lists, call (888) 780-3869, and provide their full name, address and date of death.
Epsilon maintains a marketing database, known as Abacus, that is used by nearly all product catalogs. Removing your name from their database will prevent you from receiving additional unsolicited catalogs in the future. Just know that it may also cause you to stop receiving catalogs that you enjoy receiving. It's an all or nothing opt out.
How to Get off Catalog Mailing Lists in Canada
Sign up for the Canadian Marketing Associations Do Not Contact Service at the-cma.org. This will remove you from all catalog lists for a period of six years. It takes about six weeks to take effect.
If you only wish to unsubscribe from specific catalogs, you should contact those companies directly, as this is an all-or-nothing deal. Unlike the U.S. service, you can't pick just a selection of catalogs to unsubscribe from. You won't get mailings from any of the members of the CMA. However, it won't stop unaddressed flyers sent to "Homeowner" or "Occupant."
How to Get off Catalog Mailing Lists in the UK
Set up a free account with the Mailing Preference Service. You'll continue to receive mail from any company that you've done business with in the past, but will be removed from further unsolicited mailings. It can take up to four months to stop the mailings, and you can register a complaint on the site if you continue to get mailings after that period. A handy feature is that you can register previous occupier names, your previous addresses and the details for someone who has died.
To put a stop to all catalog mailings, also send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org. This will remove you from the mailing list of any catalog company that uses their database.
To opt out of unaddressed mail (mail that has been sent to the occupant or homeowner), send an email to the DMA at email@example.com, expressing your desire to register for the Your Choice' Preference Service for Unaddressed Mail. You'll need to re-register every two years. If you prefer, the can also be contacted by mail at:
'Your Choice' Preference Scheme
Direct Marketing Association (UK) Ltd
70 Margaret Street
If you'd like to opt out of charity fundraising mailings, contact the Fundraising Preference Services to make your wishes known.