Friday, July 27, 2007

Crate&Barrel Full o' Catalogues

I like getting catalogues.

Yes, I know that they're tree killers.

But I still like looking through them. Paging through a catalogue, you can find all kinds of stuff your wouldn't realize you "needed" if you were doing purposeful shopping online.

I like getting catalogues.

The people in my building get a lot of catalogues.

There are six units in this building, and - conservatively - each of the units gets a good 8, 10, 12 catalogues each week. More in the fall. More and more as the run-up to Christmas gets into full swing.

The people who used to live in my building get a lot of catalogues, too.

And this building has a pretty sizable alumni association because, although it's a condo building, we're the only owners who live here. The others are renters. Pretty much the only people who can afford the rent here are newly minted MBA buddies who stay until one of them decides to get married, and empty nesters who are seeing if they like living in the city before they buy anything.  Few of our renters last more than a year or two.

No one sends a change of address notice to a catalogue. At least no one who's ever lived here.

That means a lot of catalogues.

The other day we got an awful lot of Crate&Barrel catalogues.

In addition to six for people who actually live here, we got catalogues for Connie S, Mariana B, John O, Megan C, David Z, Leon S, Conan L, and Lowell C. Most of these folks are long gone.

David Z and Megan C got married. Conan L did, too. Connie S never actually lived here, her boyfriend, Keith G did, but he's gone. Mariana B's husband had a business reversal, so they could not longer afford their pied a terre here. Leon S's parents own a unit in the building, but he doesn't live here. I have no recall of Lowell C.

John O moved to Washington about 10 years ago. It was a relief to see him go. He was OCD, and would bang around in the middle of the night, slamming in and out of the communal laundry room to wash a dish towel or a pair of socks.

I don't know why I haven't noticed all the Crate&Barrel catalogues that must have been coming here over the years since these folks have left. But I did this week.


Maybe catalogue companies should institute a three-strikes policy. They can send you three catalogues, but if you never order anything, you're taken off the list.

Crate&Barrel was very gracious when I called to cancel all the catalogues. I cancelled mine, too. I'm trying to go a bit greener, and if I want to buy something at C&B, I have two within walking distance.

NOTE TO MARKETERS: We're not customers if we never buy anything. We may not even be prospects if we don't bite after years of catalogue bombardment.

NOTE TO Crate&Barrel: Stop asking people who shop in your stores to sign up for a catalogue. And when someone hasn't ordered anything in 5 or 6 years: dump them from your catalogue rolls. Thanks.

1 comment:

John Whiteside said...

When I lived in DC I used to get mail for a small business that operated out of the house. Lots of it. Almost daily. For the four years I owned the house.

I eventually did some hunting online and discovered that the business (& the former owner of my house who ran it) moved to California more than 10 years before I bought the house). Still, the mail came.

The best part - the most persistent mailer was an outfit selling... mailing lists. I wonder if their address data was as good on the lists they sold as on the ones they used themselves?