What’s the difference in purchasing merchandise from an online website, such as L.L.Bean (http://www.llbean.com), and purchasing from an online catalog? Actually, nothing. When you receive a catalog in the mail, if that company also has a website, which it very likely does, you can often purchase the same merchandise over its Internet site.
Some Internet retailers even re-create their paper catalogs online. You can flip through each page of the virtual catalog by clicking your mouse. These catalogs usually contain the exact pages you see in the paper catalog. For example, if you go to Coldwater Creek at http://www.coldwatercreek.com, you can access all of its mail order catalogs from its website (see Figure 3.7).
With Internet resources, you can search through catalogs even if you don’t have the paper version. An easy way to access online catalogs is by going to CyberCatalogs at http://www.cybercatalogs.com. You can search for a particular catalog or you can look for an item and CyberCatalogs will get you a list of catalogs available that sell that product.
Google Catalogs is another popular database of mail-order catalogs. It is immense in size and represents everything kind of catalog you can imagine. Google not only gives you the full color catalogs in just a click or two, but it also provides a link to the vendor’s website and the vendor’s telephone number. If you want to check it out, go to http://catalogs.google.com.
Figure 3.7 At Coldwater Creek you can flip through the pages of its catalog using your mouse.