Uline: the company that won’t give up

I’d guess it was twelve years ago when I ordered a set of fifty cardboard CD carriers, suitable for shipping CD’s or DVD’s in the mail. I did it because every now and then a client wanted a bunch of backup data sent to them. Over the years, I used about half of the boxes, and eventually bandwidth and storage caught up and it became easier to ship huge files and backups via the web.

The company I ordered them from is called Uline. They have a massive paper catalog that weighs in with over 600 pages, showing all of their packaging materials (cardboard CD carriers are somewhere in there). For some reason I can’t fathom, they send me the catalog roughly four times a year. Today I found the latest one in the mailbox.


As with all the others, it went straight into the recycling bin. I really don’t understand why (1) they use a paper catalog at all, since it’s far easier to search for things like this on a web site, and (2) they continue to send me an arguably expensive mailing every three months for twelve years. Sure, if I’d ordered from them every few months, or even more than once, I could understand they’d like to keep in touch. But I placed one order twelve years ago, and that’s it.

One wonders how they justify the cost of these mailings, comparing the price to send me almost fifty of them over the course of more than a decade against the $16 or whatever I spent on my original order…