Catalogs are being damaged so frequently in the mail that one company has turned the problem into a new business venture.
“A recent project involving a national catalog brand showed that 23 percent of the catalogs received by our field agents arrived in poor condition,” a US Monitor press release said recently.
The company is now offering to tell its clients not only when their catalogs are delivered to customers but also whether those catalogs are “received torn, creased, smudged, wrinkled, stained or with water damage.”
The U.S. Postal Service’s Flat Sequencing System earned the nickname “Flats Shredding System” from postal workers because of its propensity to mangle magazines, catalogs, and other flat mail. In its early days, FSS generated plenty of complaints from mailers about damaged pieces.
The huge machines have been tweaked to reduce torn covers, “flyouts”, and other such problems. Still, shifting catalogs from traditional carrier-route bundles to FSS seems likely to cause more damage, especially for thin, flimsy copies.