Yellow Pages or Highway Robbery?
August 18, 2010 6:34 PM   Subscribe

Is it important to be in the Yellow Pages anymore?

My wife and I just bought a local yarn store. We cater to both locals and tourists. Our customers are mostly young enough that we assume most are computer-literate.

I have used the Yellow Pages only once in the last 3 years (when we were looking for a roofer to stop an active leak). It seems like it still makes sense for some businesses. But I'm not sure it makes sense for us. Just the one-line listing costs 60 bucks a month. We're easy to find on the web. Anyone have any data or anecdotes to help us decide whether to cancel next year's listing?
posted by rikschell to Work & Money (55 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My last yellow pages got delivered on trash/recycling day. I never even brought it inside the house. I haven't used one in ten years. I'm 49 years old if that helps.
posted by fixedgear at 6:38 PM on August 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

They're trying to sell you the service -- make them prove to you that it's worth $60 a month (I'd be amazed). Make them show you the ROI. Or get them to bring the price down enough that it's worth it, or give you a money back guarantee. They need you more than you need them. You have the leverage.
posted by sharding at 6:42 PM on August 18, 2010 [3 favorites]

I should say, some of this will depend on the nature of your business. For some businesses, getting one additional customer per month would pay for the listing. For others, it would take tens or even hundreds of additional customers per month. How many average sales does it take for you to make $60 of profit? How likely do you think it is that the yellow pages will send you more than that many additional customers every month?
posted by sharding at 6:45 PM on August 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

i am 36 years old and a knitter/crafter/sewer. i never look in the yellow pages for your type of business because i don't expect to find anything there. if i need something for my craft, i look on line, always, and most of the time, i buy it online. however, there are two local yarn stores that i frequent in times of creative passion, and i check online before i go to see their hours and specials and to remind me of what they carry, just so i don't waste a trip.
posted by lakersfan1222 at 6:46 PM on August 18, 2010

The only time I've used the yellow pages in the last 5 years was when my computer broke and I was trying to find a computer repair person. And I had to go next door to get a yellow pages (from my retired next door neighbour who doesn't have a computer) because I always put mine in the paper recycling as soon as I get it.

I found my local crafts store on the internet. (London UK if that makes a difference...)
posted by finding.perdita at 6:46 PM on August 18, 2010

Data would have to come from your peculiar experience, or that of the people who owned the store before you. Me, I do check the yellow pages, and hover near fixedgear's age.

Check with the businesses around you. If you find them listed, ask the owners if they have stats on its effectiveness. Ask your customers where they heard of you. If the customers all say, what are yellow pages? time to drop it. If not, keep a tab of how much they spend on you. Ditto phone calls asking about your hours and such.

Might also be worth checking if you have competition locally that is not in the yellow pages and do some sneaky spy stuff to get their take on things.

(Does "easy to find on the web" mean you have a web site that responds to googling Asheville yarn, or just some third party references?)
posted by IndigoJones at 6:46 PM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

unless you are in a very small town, i can't imagine that it is worth it. and even then, $60/month sounds pretty ridiculous to me. since we opened our art supply store a couple of years ago (in los angeles), we have felt absolutely no need to be listed in the yellow pages. do make sure you claim your google places listing and keep the information there up-to-date. (and yelp, foursquare, etc.)

the same thing goes for all of the rinky-dink online yellow pages companies that you will be getting constant calls from. the number of those idiots out there preying on small businesses is stomach-churning.
posted by jimw at 6:48 PM on August 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

From the other view I'm a 35 year old crafter and I always look for craft/yarn stores that I want to visit in person in the yellow pages. Most stores have some sort of odd name that I may not remember. Having them all listed under one section in the yellow pages makes them easier to find than on the web I find and I always think of the paper pages before the internet.
posted by kanata at 6:52 PM on August 18, 2010

you could put that $60 per month into a cool business card with some useful info on it....just a thought. i keep that stuff in my sewing box...
posted by lakersfan1222 at 6:52 PM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

caveat i do live in a smallish 20,000 person town and am surrounded by other such towns that I travel to shop. Large cities prolly do not apply.
posted by kanata at 6:53 PM on August 18, 2010

rikschell: We cater to both locals and tourists.

I consider myself pretty computer literate -- but the only time I've used the yellow pages recently is when I've been in a hotel as a tourist. So there's that to consider.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:59 PM on August 18, 2010 [3 favorites]

I would say yes, only because I'm a software developer and know that 95%1 of the stuff you find on the internet is through Google, and the top 95%2 of those results will be from spam-y sites that generate quasi-sensible listings from large, publicly available listings of information like… say… The Yellow Pages!

If you want to get your info harvested to increase the likelihood of it being found online, it still pays to advertise. That said, I'd go for the absolute cheapest listing offer they have.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:02 PM on August 18, 2010 [6 favorites]

I use the yellow pages to prop up the broken leg on my sofa. It's handy free paper.

Honestly, if you ask the internet who uses the yellow pages I think the answer will be pretty predictable - almost no-one.

You need to start to collect data on people as they come in the store. Just politely ask them "How did you out about us?" at the checkout. That's a nice start.
posted by flyscan at 7:03 PM on August 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

1 Not entirely unreasonably number completely pulled from my ass.
2 Ibid.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:03 PM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

I never use the yellow pages. Neither do my parents. My grandparents do occasionally. I'm 25 and am the only one who buys yarn.
posted by elpea at 7:06 PM on August 18, 2010

fixedgear: "My last yellow pages got delivered on trash/recycling day. I never even brought it inside the house. I haven't used one in ten years. I'm 49 years old if that helps."

I didn't even realize until I read this that it was completely true of me as well. I'm 43 - though abnormally fond of the Internet. If your customers are indeed computer literate, I doubt they're using it either. The youngest of your customers may not even know what "yellow pages" are.

It's a technology as marked for death as were adding machines. It's worth something to be in it - since the old ladies who seem likeliest to use it are probably good yarn customers. But that something is a lot less than they're telling you.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:10 PM on August 18, 2010

My employer (a small-time airline that services a lot of smaller locations) gets a TON of complaints that we're not in the yellow pages.

Depending on your market segment, there's some value there.
posted by Rendus at 7:16 PM on August 18, 2010

The most time I spent thinking about or looking at the Yellow Pages in the last 10 years was the little bit of time we spent at the .kobayashi. house this past winter trying to figure out how to get them to stop delivering the danged thing already. Just like at fixedgear's house, mine goes straight from the porch to the recycle bin.
posted by .kobayashi. at 7:19 PM on August 18, 2010

I have one in my car. No iPhone yet.
posted by Wordwoman at 7:19 PM on August 18, 2010

Dead tree yellow pages? Bah. I suggest this marketing plan:

1) have an attractive but simple website that indicates where you are, what you sell, your store hours, and your phone number. If you're having a sale or other promotion, make sure that's on your web site. Keep your web site up to date. Set it up with WordPress and write regular blog entries that are of interest to your customers.

2) get your business listed on Google Maps, with a link to your website

3) get your business listed on Yelp, with a link to your website

4) make sure your storefront is attractive and inviting

Bonus exercises:

1) find out what it costs to get included in tourist brochures that get handed out at the local hotels or visitors' center

2) SEO your web site a little. Write (or hire) articles relevant to your desired customers. Figure out what they're searching for online, and make sure the articles include those keywords. Go out to any related blogs and post insightful comments, linking back to the articles on your web page. You want to rank well for "yarn store " and other relevant keywords on the major search engines. You may get close to top position automatically just by getting a Google Maps listing, if there isn't a lot of yarn store competition in town. :)

3) Get customer email addresses so that you can send them a newsletter with coupons for your store, craft project ideas they might like, etc. You can ask people for them when they come into the store, and/or put an "opt-in" box on your web site. Always offer something in return for someone's email address, like instructions for a nice knitting project, or a buyer's guide to yarn, or something like that. Use a service like aweber or mailchimp to manage your email marketing list.

posted by brain at 7:29 PM on August 18, 2010 [5 favorites]

I say you ask your customers. When i think yard, I think knitters. And when I think knitters, I think young hip knitters and older traditional knitters. Maybe you can bring in more of the older crowd with the yellow pages?
posted by BlahLaLa at 7:30 PM on August 18, 2010

I live in a smallish town and do sometimes use the Yellow Pages. Many of the businesses in my area don't have easy-to-find web presences, so for things in town I will now look in the Yellow Pages first. (Before I moved here a few years ago, I would have looked online first.) Especially for things like restaurant reservations, pizza delivery and the like. If it were cheaper I would say you should definitely keep the listing - but $60/mo, I don't know.

If you don't keep your ad in the yellow pages, I suggest printing up magnets (or the like) with your phone number, so your older customers who don't have the instinct to go online can have it ready to hand.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:32 PM on August 18, 2010

MetaFilter is a poor sample to ask about Yellow Pages use.
posted by k8t at 7:39 PM on August 18, 2010 [15 favorites]

Yarn store? What is your average customer age? I would guess 60. Anyone older than 35 will be using the yellow pages first and the internet second.
posted by JJ86 at 7:43 PM on August 18, 2010

This would be a better question to ask other businesses in your immediate area -- not necessarily businesses that are similar to yours, just ones with a similar demographic. Asking on the internet is going to, by default, get you the answers of internet savvy people.

That said, from what I know of knitters in general, while you might miss out on some of the older generation of customers, most young knitters are very, very well connected and internet savvy. If you don't already have one, you might be better off cultivating a Ravelry group and letting your fans evangelize your business for free.

On the subject of Ravelry, have you asked other LYS owners there? There's at least one large group of owners on Rav, and they could probably offer some guidance.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:44 PM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

Since moving to a smaller city (just under 100,000), I have honestly used the local yellow pages more times in the past year than I did in the previous 10 years. But that is because so few businesses here have any sort or web presence. If you have a website that is easy to find on BinYahGoogle then I would just dump the Yellow.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 7:46 PM on August 18, 2010

Perhaps to state the obvious but you're in danger of a skewed response here. Mefites by definition are internet-centric. If you did decide to go ahead it would be interesting to ask every customer who phoned how they found you. Better still if $60 buys you a display ad say '5% off if you mention this ad' etc.

Having said all that I have to count myself amongst those who have to look for the Yellow Pages on those rare occassions I want it.

ps - At least in New Zealand (where I live) there's an option to have an entry on the Yellow Pages website. For some business sectors these seem to have suprisingly (to me) good search engine visibility.
posted by southof40 at 7:54 PM on August 18, 2010

I don't have the Yellow Pages in my house nowadays [age: 35] but I am a devoted Yellow Pages user when I travel; I usually like my vacations internet-free, and go after what I want in town via the Yellow Pages, to the point where it did not even occur to me until this post that somewhere might not be listed, and, secondarily, by the little brochures in hotels (I know; dreadful sucker. Not the restaurants, I swear, just the curiousities). If you skip the Yellow Pages, perhaps you could concentrate on hustling some pamphlets into the local hotels and bed and breakfasts.
posted by kmennie at 7:57 PM on August 18, 2010

Wait. A one line listing costs money?? Can you double check with a representative for the phone company (NOT THE YELLOW PAGE REP) if you do get a one line listing with your phone service. With Verizon business you were listed in the yellow pages just by having a business line. Rules may have changed but worth checking out.
posted by beccaj at 7:58 PM on August 18, 2010

My gut instinct says don't bother. However, I don't know what your demographic is like. Perhaps I'm way too internet addicted. Do you know how many calls you get via the Yellow Pages? Any?

Maybe you can perform an experiment. Get a Google Voice number or two*, make it as painless as possible to call these numbers (turn off preauthentication etc), and make sure it works. You now have a system to monitor advertisement performance with. If you get a lot of calls to the number in the Yellow Pages, you have your answer. If not, you still have your answer.

* I have no idea if this violates Google's ToS.
posted by pwnguin at 7:59 PM on August 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

Mine go from my doorstep right into the recycle bin as well. If I were looking for a plumber, I might use one but for something like a niche craft supply, I would go to the Googles.
posted by jamaro at 8:00 PM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

Does your Yellow pages ad tie to a web ad? Many do, but it will cost more. If it has in the past ask for analytics. A company I worked for in the past found great differences in what traffic they said clicked thru to our web site and what we recorded as visitors. Negotiations I have had with Yellow Pages/Dex listing sites in the past are pretty hard sell, but they will bargain rather than lose your business.

That being said, with a strong web presence and and occasional print ads in local papers (support your fellow local businesses!) should keep local knitters aware of you.

And the most internet savvy people I know are over 40. I can't think of anyone I know in their fifties or sixties that are not using internet searches first before print sources.
posted by readery at 8:13 PM on August 18, 2010

(Is this "one line" of advertising space, or just the name and number? I thought what beccaj mentions, that the very basic listing is free.)
posted by kmennie at 8:21 PM on August 18, 2010

I think it depends on your core clientele. $60/month is a lot to pay for a service if you're not sure that it's increasing your sales! If you say that you're mostly getting young people, a website and internet advertising is probably sufficient. I'm not a knitter, but I wouldn't think to use the phone book to find a crafting type store. Mostly because I wouldn't think I would find a list of yarn stores in the phone book. However, plumbers, electricians, contractors, and many others in the service industry absolutely should be in the yellow pages. You definitely shouldn't assume that everyone has the internet or that everyone who has the internet uses it effectively.. or knows how to use it at all (believe me, some of the questions I've gotten from older neighbors and family friends make me wonder why they even bother having it!). I know many people in their 50s+ (including my mom, aunts, grandparents, and their friends -- all in similar age range) who rely on phone books to contact those sorts of businesses, especially in an emergency. I'm 29, and I DO use the yellow pages fairly regularly. I just pulled out the phone book to find a doctor. When I did a very general online search for the specific sort of doctor I wanted in the region I was hoping to find a specialist in, I got a cluttered page of information that was totally useless. But, after getting names from the phone book, I did use the internet to get further information about the doctors I had found in the phone book. The thing about the internet is that sometimes it's hard to find exactly what you want. So, I guess I'm saying that neither mode of information is superior to the other, and both have their usefulness.

Before you cancel your listing, why don't you create a survey form to fill out in your store. You know, the 'how did you learn about us?' variety.. You can offer a coupon or a small prize drawing to entice people to fill out the form (or not!). That way, you can ask your customers directly if they do use the internet and anything else that might influence the sort of business you provide. If you don't want to go to all that bother, just make a point of asking people who come in how they found you and any other big questions you would have put on a survey. You should be able to figure out how worthwhile phone book representation is based on that alone.
posted by Mael Oui at 8:39 PM on August 18, 2010

I have used the Yellow Pages (the actual phone company yellow pages, not the endless other ones) twice this week to the tune of about $500 in business.
I am about as "internet-savvy" as they come.

In my opinion, if $600* is not a budget-breaker, you'd be foolish to ignore the yellow pages.
However, the only way to know is to ask your customers.

Perhaps a small sign:
"Where did you hear about us? Drop your answer here for a free ball of yarn" or whatever.

* I would negotiate a better rate if at all possible.
posted by madajb at 8:45 PM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oh god yes. Look, I'm a knitter, and a relatively hip and modern one (if I do say so myself). But let us admit, just amongst ourselves, that many (most?) knitters are older and technologically challenged.

Put it this way: as you are no doubt aware, there are 50 million knitters in North America. And yet Ravelry has only about 830,000 users.

We knitters who use the internet to breathe fail to understand that only about 1 in 50 knitters are internet savvy. Those other 49 knitters are going to be looking you up in the yellow pages. If you're not there, then you'll lose their sale.
posted by ErikaB at 9:05 PM on August 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

used it yesterday ... for the first time in long months (maybe years). But it was essential. Doctor's appointment in the midst of a vacation (still ongoing) on which I've decided to ditch my laptop for a while. And all my relevant info's on the desktop, and I didn't back that up ... but I remembered the Doctor's name, so I let my fingers do some walking (quicker than dial-up Google).
posted by philip-random at 10:12 PM on August 18, 2010

I have a hard time imagining people coming to your town and then looking for yarn in the yellow pages. But if you're in a location with no visibility, in a town big enough that people don't know every store, then maybe.
posted by zippy at 12:10 AM on August 19, 2010

I work for one of the oldest florist shops in town. I used to work for a prominent real estate company. Neither one feels the yellow pages are worth it.

Now, since you are a brand new business, you might want to consider it-but since I have been told advertising in the Yellow Pages is expensive you might want to concentrate your advertising dollar elsewhere.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:59 AM on August 19, 2010

I'm over 55, enough of a knitter that I look for yarn stores if I'm traveling, and I'd never even think to look in the yellow pages. My older relatives probably would, but they're not the kind of people who would ever think to go to a yarn store on a trip. I think you're looking for tourists with an ad - the local knitters already know about your shop. I think the people who are going to seek out a yarn store are online. I've seen yellow pages in hotel rooms that were so far out of date that I wouldn't believe anything I read in one without checking it online.

But as a lot of people have said, this is a biased group, and I'm in it. Maybe it makes sense to try the yellow pages, especially if your competitors are in there; I don't know. But I worked for one of the yellow pages companies for a few months, and the running joke among the salespeople was that we could use all those printing presses to print money instead, but it wouldn't be as profitable. You can absolutely get better rates. They'll do anything to get you to take out the first ad, on the assumption that once you're signed up, you'll automatically renew. Many, many places do. And they'll just send you the renewal bill with the regular rates.

It may not be that easy - these are professional salespeople with a lot of experience negotiating, but my memory is that they have a lot of leeway in rates, especially for new advertisers. And remember that the ad doesn't cost them anything. I'd offer something like $100 for the year and tell them that if it works out well you'll renew it. And have in mind the top amount you'll go up to. Just saying no to anything higher than you want is a negotiating tip I picked up watching Pawn Stars.

Good luck with your store. That's a brave thing to do.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 5:01 AM on August 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

Two things.

First, you're asking one of the most web-savvy audiences in the world whether or not they use the Yellow Pages. The answers you're getting are predictably in line with what one would expect. Sort of an "If it's not on the Internet, why would I want it?" mentality. Just because MeFites don't use the Yellow Pages very much doesn't mean that lots and lots of other people don't. The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".

Second, there's a really, really easy way to tell how effective your Yellow Pages ad is, or, for that matter, any advertising you do: set up a dedicated phone line and keep track of how many calls you're getting. I know that commercial telecom is expensive, but most businesses have more than one phone line anyways. Just keep track of how many people call on the line you've listed in your ads.
posted by valkyryn at 5:35 AM on August 19, 2010

How can they charge monthly? Don't they print once a year? I mean, if you pay for two months only, do they personally go around and rip your listing out of each book?
posted by GaelFC at 5:44 AM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

I still use the Yellow Pages.
A lot of the stuff I used it for is simply easier to find by quickly thumbing through a book, than it is from jumping online. This is especially true when one is trying to find small, local businesses which do not have a web presence. Yes, they do exist. I recently found the mother of all appliance parts shops (one of those classic places that are run by some old guy and are packed to the rafters with enough parts to rebuild your washing machine) through the Yellow Pages. Repeated Googling never revealed the existence of the place. Similarly, when looking for, say, an electrician, it's way easier to scan a couple of pages of ads than it is to sift through whatever you can dig-up using the web. The YP ads are guaranteed to be local businesses and the ads provide some extra information about the businesses.

YP's big downside is, of course, the cost of placing an ad in their books. The pricing is way too high.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:48 AM on August 19, 2010

Sometimes I use the Yellow Pages to keep from digging through all the trash that Google throws at me whenever I try to search for something generic like "yarn [mytown]" because I don't want to know about "yarn [every town within 200 miles of here except my town + online options]" and not every place I can buy yarn will be listed online if I don't know their name.

For example, there are two actual yarns stores in this town, and Google lists neither of them until the second page, even though my town name is in the search... But one of them is in the yellow pages, and one of them I know by word of mouth.

That's why I still use the yellow pages when I want to find something local - and I'm 43.
posted by patheral at 6:21 AM on August 19, 2010

Nthng placement of all yellow-page directory-type books immediately into recycling bin. I just. don't. use them, EVER. If there was a way to put myself on a do-not-provide list for all such books forever, I would.

Smart phones and the internet make them irrelevant, IMO, to the audience you seek.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 6:47 AM on August 19, 2010

Forgot to add that my usual need is "where is this place?", which I can get instantly online via Google maps or whatever, and this is not part of any yellow-pages service (unless you pay a lot more for a big ad with a map).

Just an address is not enough information in today's world. People are less and less inclined to forgive the need to take the extra step to Google an address from a book.

If you are not an habitue of that world, needing to find a yarn store is often in response to a very specific circumstance. I think the person in that situation is FAR more likely to run to the computer or their phone than a big clunky book.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 6:53 AM on August 19, 2010

When you looked for a roofer, why did you check the Yellow Pages? Because no one was listed online? That says less about the Yellow Pages and more about the roofer. Wouldn't you have preferred to find one online, so you could read reviews and compare to other roofers?

You should also check the Asheville demographics to see where the greatest potential for sales growth will be. I've heard it is a younger town, and growing.

Just because someone is a store regular doesn't mean they'll buy the most yarn, maybe someone starting out will spend money on other items to get setup. Who starts knitting and at what age do they pick it up?

Finally, tourists won't necessarily have access to a Yellow Pages directory - chances are they're mostly from coming in after walking by.
posted by infinitefloatingbrains at 7:42 AM on August 19, 2010

I am one of the most tech saavy people at work and I am in my 40s. About a year ago I had a contest with a 20y/o colleague who doesn't get the yellow pages. She would look online for a business and I would use the yellow pages which was sitting on my desk. I think I had found it by the time she was typing the search into Google. She was still searching for the right combination of keywords 5 minutes later.

The funny thing is I look in my yellow pages and see about 8 listed businesses for skateboard paraphenalia under the Skateboard listing. If the logic that nobody under 30 uses the yellow pages is true then those would be the first businesses not to list. Google actually lists less.

Computers can make our lives easier when trying to calculate pi to the 1,000th place but not for everything. I keep plenty of paper reference books on my desk.
posted by JJ86 at 7:58 AM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Lot of extrapolating from personal habits here. Maybe not so useful.

Here's some (no doubt utterly unbiased) studies and suggestions on yellow pages in general. (At least one chiropractors seem to have it in for them)

Google yellow pages ROI and see what you find. Good luck
posted by IndigoJones at 8:13 AM on August 19, 2010

One more note - if you do go with a yellow pages ad, as well as trying for much better rates than they're offering, be sure to carefully read the agreement you'll have to sign. It will no doubt auto-renew the ad. Be sure that what you have to do to not have the ad auto-renew isn't something like cancelling it in person between 1:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. exactly 97 days from the last full moon.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 9:22 AM on August 19, 2010

That says less about the Yellow Pages and more about the roofer. Wouldn't you have preferred to find one online, so you could read reviews and compare to other roofers?

What reviews? Just because a roofer might have a website does not mean that, magically, there are reviews a-plenty for one to rummage through. This is one of the big misconceptions about the web. And when there are reviews, they tend to consist of two or three anonymous reviews on some odd, sketchy site that comes with no provenance whatsoever. Unless you happen to belong to Angie's List (or something similar) there really aren't reliable review sites for everything you might need.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:55 AM on August 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

I use the (phone company) yellow pages every so often, primarily to locate local businesses like automotive and industrial services that still don't have much (if any) web presence.

If you run a business, be aware that the term "yellow pages" isn't copyrighted, and numerous entities other than the phone company will try to sell you an ad in their own scammy "yellow pages".
posted by zombiedance at 1:28 PM on August 19, 2010

I signed the Davis Bike Collective up for $35 telephone service, and we got our one line in the yellow pages for free.

My guess is that most of our phone calls come from daviswiki (our localwiki), because we were getting phone calls immediately after we got our telephone - before anyone could have gotten the yellow pages, and before we had put the phone number on our website. I get the impression from the calls we receive that the only other source of telephone calls for us is the business cards we distribute to people who come by the shop.
posted by aniola at 6:23 PM on August 19, 2010

What are these "Yellow" pages you speak of?

Seriously... I haven't used a phone book in YEARS. If I had to guess, I'd say the last time I used one was in the late 90s. In fact, I remember a time before google when I was already finding phone numbers for local businesses online.

I'm definitely someone who picks up the phone to call a local business first, especially if they aren't in easy walking distance... but I find businesses by googling them.

Make sure you have a website with excellent text info, not to mention appropriate meta data.
posted by 2oh1 at 10:10 PM on August 19, 2010

FWIW, kataclysm and I cancelled our cable & internet subscription several years ago... and we still almost never use the phonebook. The only thing I can remember trying to look up in it is numbers for the local movie theaters.
posted by FlyingMonkey at 11:41 AM on September 15, 2010

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