Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Perils of Yellow Page Advertising in a World Where There Seems to be No Need for It

In the last few weeks, the store has received several dicey solicitations for yellow pages ads. They pretend that you are simply correcting listings, but the fine print says you are actually filling out a contract and will be billed accordingly. Sleaze-a-roo!

Many folks are foregoing traditional advertising sales. Why? Most folks can do a simple search and find our web site or one of our blogs, which all have our address, phone number, and emails. We've got a Google map listing and a spot on Yelp.

That said, the various companies who operate yellow page books and sites continue to operate. And based on how bad the information can be with our store, it frightens me regarding using them for anyone else.

One operator made us a mini chain. Several old Schwartz locations got listed as Boswell Books. On the other hand, the real Boswell Books on Downer Avenue stayed Schwartz.

Another operator decided to link my home number to the bookstore. That's probably because I registered the original LLC at my home address. Hurray! Our answering machine now suggests forwarding to our correct number, which is 414-332-1181.

Here's an amusing search on We are listed on the website, but so is Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop and my favorite, Terry W. Schwartz Bookshop.

Will you find us on No, you will not, though you will find multiple listings for the Panther Bookstore, and numerous ads for the Book of the Month Club. Just what you were looking for! Sadly, several of the stores on the list are out of business.

Let's try Through these listings, the best bookstore in town is obviously the Panther Bookstore at UWM. FYI, this store is not local, but owned by Nebraska Book Company. Harry W. Schwartz is listed, but no Boswell (or the other new bookstores that opened in their place). To even post a review, you need to open a yellowbook account, or participate in Facebook connect, which requires you to abide by Yellowbook's terms of service. What the heck is that? There's no further info--does that mean I put Yellowbook ads on my Facebook page?

At, I found our correct website ( on the Harry W. Schwartz listing. I'm going to try to fix this. Hey, it links back to superpages. What do you want to bet that I get solicited for an ad? Oh, it's even better, I can't fix a wrong listing without talking to an ad rep.

I could pay to fix all this stuff, but honestly, do you think it is worth it?

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