Thursday, June 04, 2009

Thanks for selling my information, Yahoo

About a year and a half ago, a friend and I decided to start a tshirt business on a whim. Our plan was to sell hyper-targeted tshirts to folks using Facebook's self-service ad platform. Our target market was management consultants, a market which we sized to be about $500 in annual revenue (if we achieved 100% marketshare) and we would have negative gross margins. Seemed like an inspired idea!

That very morning, we bought the domain and set up a store using Yahoo Stores to power our ecommerce site. Within 3 hours of thinking up the idea, we had our business up and running; 8020 tshirts was born!

By the afternoon we lost interest in the idea; 8020 tshirts was dead! After letting the site sit around for a while, we cancelled the account with Yahoo Stores (after paying them about $150 bucks in fees). So this business only lasted about 3 hours and the only one who ever knew about it was Yahoo.

But why the heck do I get junk mail almost every week addressed to 8020 tshirts? Credit card applications, small busines banking promotions, all sorts of crap. It's rather annoying actually (and a constant reminder of our sad business failure!).

I can only assume that Yahoo sold our information to a mailing list company. That seems like a pretty low move. I could never see Google doing something as greedy and short-sighted as that.

What gives Yahoo?

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