4 Reasons to Send Back Junk Mail

You probably receive those “preapproved credit offers” in the mail like everybody else who has not opted-out.  So what can you do about those?  You can do the obvious: opt-out; or you can do like me and have a little fun.  All of those scams offers come with an envelope that says “Postage will be paid by addressee.”  That means sticking that envelope in the mailbox is going to cost the company sending the junk.  But is that rude or unethical?  Here are a few reasons why I consider it a good thing to do.

Less Profit to Junk Mailers

Every envelope you send back is going to cost the junk mailers.  It may not cost them a lot, but my goal is to make their return on investment lower.  Do you really want companies who annoy you to thrive?

Change the Junk Mailers’ Minds

The junk mailers will continue to send out the junk as long as they earn more money than they invest.  If enough people send back the junk, then the cost to the companies may outweigh the earnings they get from gullible people who sign up.
If their advertising campaign has a budget, then every envelope you send back is one less envelope sent out in that campaign.

Be Robin Hood

The junk mailers obviously have a surplus of money.  The USPS is running short on money.  It’s quite easy to move that money without even breaking the law.

Give Americans Jobs

The addresses on the business reply envelopes are in the United States.  Guess who will be opening the envelope.  An American who is paid to open envelopes and process the forms.  Should he be unhappy about opening an empty envelope?  No, he got paid.
Can the jobs at the USPS be outsourced?  No, it’s Americans who are sitting there sorting through the mail and driving it around.  They are paid to do that by the postage that was paid by the junk mailers.

How to Do It?

My method is to remove my name, address, all barcodes, and unique numbers.  That way they can’t remove me from their junk list, so I can continue to reduce their return on investment.  I write a letter to them on the back of one of the papers telling them that I hate their business practice of annoying people.  (Never write any threats because that could get you in trouble.)  Then I stuff everything, including the outer envelope, into the business reply envelope, seal it, and stick it in the mailbox.
Be aware that you cannot use the business reply envelope as a label for another parcel.  You can put whatever you want inside the envelope (within the USPS regulations, such as no feces).  Some people say that it costs the junk mailers more when the envelope is rigid and when it weighs more.  Get creative.  Roofing shingles are a good candidate.