It’s amazing how bad some of the email data sets must be on the marketplace for those that are buying email addresses to SPAM (and that is what you’re doing).
We’ve worked on many sites for over 10 years, and sometimes email addresses are decommissioned. There are a lot of reasons that this can occur, and one reason for some of the oldest email addresses is due to spam, particularly with generic email addresses, such as firstname.lastname@example.org, etc. Really old email addresses eventually can get so much spam that they’re no longer useful at all.
When that time comes, we usually set up the email address to automatically dump into a special spam email folder and delete. An email goes out that the email address doesn’t exist to the sender. Every once in a while we check the spamfolder, just to make sure nothing interesting is ending up there.
It’s surprising how many emails are sent to email addresses that haven’t existed anywhere in nearly 10 years. These email addresses were spidered back in the early 2000s and then just have been sold and sold and shared and traded and sold some more with no effort to verify that they even deliver, let alone whether the person would want the sales effort. It’s ridiculous. What’s really ridiculous is that these aren’t spams from shady businesses necessarily, but from regular companies that have bought into a desperate premise. It seems relatively low-cost.
And probably almost no value. Buyer beware.