Consumers Don't Like Spam, But Buy From It

from the say-it-isn't-so! dept

I’m not sure I believe this, but it’s the first time I’ve heard about any studies that claim to state the number of people who buy products advertised in spam. According to this article, 8% of people out there admit to being gullible suckers who will buy something pitched to them via spam. Of course, plenty of questions can be raised about the study. What are they considering spam? Do they consider the emails that they signed up for as spam? If so, then the 8% doesn’t seem as strange. Update: And according to another study (or perhaps a different reading of the same one?) 30% of people buy stuff from spam. That can’t be right.

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Comments on “Consumers Don't Like Spam, But Buy From It”

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Bob says:

Supply side/demand side

While it certainly makes sense to focus on supply side restriction to reduce spam, just as in any other transaction, it’s necessary to consider the other actors.

Individuals who purchase from spam are the entire justification for the spam — if no one bought, there would be no profit in sending it.

So, my not-so-modest proposal is to blacklist anyone who can be demonstrated to have purchased in response to a spam email. No more email of any kind for them. This is directly analogous to locking up drug buyers (with the slight legal issue that the purchase from spam itself is legal).

Maybe it would be possible to include an appropriate restriction in ISP terms of service, just as there are anti-spam sending restrictions in many TOS. By itself, this would have no effect, but it establishes a basis for action.

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