Pat Kennedy - Your Washington, DC Real Estate Connection


I'm Really Starting to Resent Having to Shred Junk Mail! So I'm Getting Even!

 Last night, I sifted through bags of junk mail, and a lot of it was the stuff you're not supposed to throw in the trash - you know, credit card solicitations and offers to lower your mortgage interest rate.  

Identity thieves could be skulking around my back alley right now trying to be me!  Yikes!

Now, I do have a shredder.  The confetti holder part of it was full.  When i tried to empty it into a trash bag, most of the contents spilled onto the rug.


So, instead of shredding all of the solicitations for credit, I simply took the business reply envelopes, inserted the stuff they mailed me, sealed the envelopes, and sent the stuff back to them.

It was easier than shredding and each one took about thirty seconds to handle - my shredder is slower than that.

I'm not sure how much the mortgage people and credit card companies have to pay every time someone uses a business reply envelope - I think it's a couple of bucks.  And if everyone started to do what I did, might it discourage the junkers?

Just maybe! 

Comment balloon 18 commentsPatricia Kennedy • November 08 2007 06:55PM


I have been doing this for years...glad to hear there are others out there doing it too.  Do you think we will make a difference?  Save a tree?
Posted by Gail Gladstone, Brokering Success (Gladstone Group & Long Island Business Brokerage) almost 13 years ago
Patricia - Great idea, I never thought of that!  That will show them!
Posted by Sal Poliandro - NJ Bergen County Realtor, Broker Associate (RE/MAX Properties) almost 13 years ago

I like it!!! Count me in, from this moment on that"s what I'll be doing. And I'm sure it helps the federal gov't, this is the post office.

Scott R Turner Sr

Posted by Scott R. Turner, Everything We Touch Turns to SOLD!! (CENTURY 21 Broadhurst) almost 13 years ago

WOW!!!! Never thought of that.  Great idea!!  I think I am going to send one company the other's application and let them figure that one out.

I got tired of shredding, so I just put it into a box and take it to the local mail box center.  They will shred it all for a couple of bucks.


Posted by Eric Blum, Franchise Partner - 1-800-GOT-JUNK? (1-800-GOT-JUNK?) almost 13 years ago
My junk mail seldom makes it to my desk. I pass a fire starter on the way from the mailbox. I think I will take up your technique.
Posted by David Spencer, Show Me real estate in Kansas City (Keller Williams Northland) almost 13 years ago
You should see me when I pick up mail at my office. I walk down the hallway throwing pieces in trashcans as I pass!  I love the idea of just shoving it all back at them!
Posted by Josette Skilling (Keller Williams Capital Properties) almost 13 years ago
Hit them where it hurts - in the pocketbook. If the costs for returns exceeds the profits they make, they'll soon stop.
Posted by Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS (Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International) almost 13 years ago
that is a wonderful idea and I think I am also going to start doing just that! thanks for the idea!!!! I love it!
Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) almost 13 years ago

I am starting this Friday!  I am soooo over all the shredding!

The first time I emptied my shredder - I made a HUGE mess - now I just line the inside with a trask bag..

Posted by James Downing - Metro DC Houses Team REALTORS®, CRS, GRI, ABR,MRP, MilRes, When Looking to Buy or Sell - Make the Right Move (Real Living | At Home) almost 13 years ago
That's evil............I like it too!  I like Eric Blum's idea...switching the contents from one company to another.  Nice post....saves the poor shredder and electricity too and maybe a tree or two.  Nice post Patricia.
Posted by Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375, Real Estate Services You can Trust! (Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions") almost 13 years ago
Patricia ~ Great idea!  I'm going to start doing that.  Maybe when they have to pay for it, they will think twice before sending it out.
Posted by Kathy Passarette, L.I. Staging/Decorating (Creative Home Expressions) almost 13 years ago
Hello Pat, As of October I started burning junk mail. I do this through out the fall/winter season,. On the other hand I farm my areas, so I'm going to assume my mail outs are going in the same direction. Any suggestions on how to replace my way of marketing?
Posted by Maria Couto, Realtor with "Results That "MOVE" You' (RE/MAX Premier) almost 13 years ago
Patricia- I love that idea! I will have to start doing that! That is a great way to get back because I do not like wasting time. Katerina
Posted by Katerina Gasset, Get It Done For Me Virtual Services (Get It Done For Me Virtual Services ) almost 13 years ago
I love it.  I now have to try this.  LOL :-), I sure needed a laugh.
Posted by Gary Miljour, Mortgage Originator NMLS Licensed in AZ and NC (American Financial Network, Inc. NMLS#207208) almost 13 years ago
I love the idea and am going to start doing the same thing.  Let's get them!  LOL.
Posted by Cynthia Tilghman, Realtor® Onslow County NC Home Specialist (Kingsbridge Realty, Inc) almost 13 years ago

Now, let me put a new twist on this my friend. If someone takes these envelopes they can still apply for credit as you. (NOT GOOD) So, what do I do that is even meaner than you? I shred the the documents inside then stuff the envelope with the shreded docs and send it back.

I'm pretty sure that is even more annoying to them and protects me a little more. (EVIL GRIN)


Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) almost 13 years ago

You, like me, probably get those checks that allow you to pull money from your credit card.  I've always shredded those to keep someone from pulling them out of the trash and using them.

I like your idea.  But what happens if they just toss it in the trash instead of shredding it?

Posted by Dan Forbes almost 13 years ago
Patricia, I'm surprised I never ever thought about this great idea!  Todd's idea above is even more fun (and evil -- hahahahahahahaha)
Posted by Brian Block, Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate (RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President) almost 13 years ago