Below is copy of a header from a recently received email. I understand most of it, but have no idea what the Precedence: Junk statement means. Any ideas?

I ought to mention that I have been firing off emails to an internet seller about not receiving my goods and keep receiving auto-answer messages from them, all with this mysterious statement. It's a fact that they are treating my emails to them as junk (i,.e. by sending automated rather than human-written replies), but what does the Precedence statement do?

I should be fascinated and grateful to learn more - over to you, you clever Daniwebbers!

Thanks, Ghislaine

Return-Path: <>
Received: from by mailstore
for id 1LMlPM-4GAVbs-04-DQV;
Tue, 13 Jan 2009 15:42:24 +0000
Received: from [] (
by with lmtp id 1LMlPM-4GAVbs-04
for; Tue, 13 Jan 2009 15:42:24 +0000
Received: from [] (
by with esmtp id 1LMlPM-0005KY-B7
for; Tue, 13 Jan 2009 15:42:24 +0000
Received: (qmail 32618 invoked by uid 1000); 13 Jan 2009 15:42:03 -0000
Message-ID: <>
Date: 13 Jan 2009 08:42:03 -0700
Precedence: junk
to: "yyy" <> etc etc etc

Me again, feeling somewhat sheepish, as I have found an answer of sorts, from the website (Finnish, I suspect) which deals with RFCs and other Internet standards. I quote:

Sometimes used as a (a) priority value which can influence transmission speed and delivery. Common values are "bulk" and "first-class". Other uses is to (b) control automatic replies like delivery status reports and vacation notices and to (c) control return-of-content facilities, and to (d) stop mailing list loops.

Non-standard, controversial, widely used. Because it is used for so many different purposes, there is a risk that creator and user of this header mean different things.

So, in a way, my instinct was right and those bad people at are surely using that attribute to shunt replies into some kind of junk folder (i.e. controlling return-of-content) which they look at only now and then.

Sorry to have posted prematurely, and for answering my own question. However, if you can give me further information on this fascinating subject, I should be delighted to receive it.

Regards, Ghislaine

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