Monday, November 16, 2009

That Season

I can't believe that the <quote>Holiday Season<unquote> barrage has already started. My email box overfloweth with absolutely unwanted and unneeded ads and promos. It is not just the spam-a-lot and no-name crowds either. Some is from top level tier-one merchandisers. They are desperately flooding my email box and my snail mail box.

Just to pick on one, HP has started adding their <quote>Holiday Season Specials<unquote> to all the other email they send me. (The result of me  delusionally letting my name be added to a mailing list to garner some tech support info long ago. I suppose I will have to drag my poor frazzled mind through the underground maze that is the un-subscribe option.) I don't want a list of tech gizmos sorted by price. I really don't care what I can get for under $300. I'd just as soon gargle live fire ants.

I find it interesting how this blizzard of stuff starts coming earlier every year. It is also interesting how the various strata of retailers adapt and market. The class C merchants like Unknown-Products-You-Never-Heard-Of send tons of junk mail and catalogs urging you to come buy at their website (since they don't list all the products in the junk mailer because, heaven forbid, that costs $$$). Buried amidst that flood is the same thing from better known merchants like Brookstone. It is interesting that this level of marketeers no longer go for the "spam the universe" via email approach like they used to. In the middle, you find companies like Dell that sends both a blizzard of snail mail and enough email to border on spamming. Finally, you get the upper tier marketeers that email every email contact that they may have collected over the years but seem to avoid paper and U.S. Postal Service like the plague. Makes me think they may have done a cost of converted sales study and ...

Most of this stuff goes in the trash, usually before torturing human eyes. But you know what makes me sad? That the one such catalog I used to enjoy reading just to see what truly outrageous items would be pitched each year is no longer with us. I refer of course to that fun place of absolutely senseless consumerism: Sharper Image.

What now extinct harbinger of the season do you miss most? What new harbinger would you like to see cease to exist? Are you beginning to be bombarded with such materials yet? Inquiring minds want to know.


  1. I feel so bad but I don't even look to see who it belongs to. If it's a catalog, it's pitched immediately.

  2. I'm drowning in all that junk already. Like we need more to sort through each day. Love the comic about instantly shredding your junk mail :)

    Thanks for your kind advice and thoughtful comment on my post about finding that couple time :)

  3. What?! Sharper Image is gone? Oh I'm heart-broken now. That store was awesome. I couldn't afford a thing in there, but man almighty their stuff was cool.

  4. Fortunately, I use a dummy email account for online shopping so I don't get most of the sales emails.

    It is neat looking at the toy and gadget catalogs that arrive for the kids--makes me wish I was a child again and developing a Santa Wish list.


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