Catalogs are often generously illustrated, many of them in color, and are therefore expensive to produce. To avoid the cost of reprinting each time prices change, adjustments are made in the percentage of trade discount allowed. The following are the marks of a well-prepared catalog.
- It will contain an index to the different classes of goods.
- It will include attractively prepared illustrations, preferably in color.
- It will contain written descriptions of the items and explain the meanings of technical terms used.
- It will set out the conditions of sale, delivery and payment.
By supplying information to customers the catalog performs much the same function as the commercial traveler and may lessen the need for frequent visits. Where goods are standardized, the catalog is often replaced by a Prices Current—a periodical list showing prices prevailing on the date of issue. It represents the approximate prices at which the supplier is prepared to sell. It must not be confused with a Price List—a list of prices, usually of manufactured goods, intended to remain in force for a period of time, and representing the actual prices at which the supplier is prepared to sell. Suppliers receive many routine requests for catalogs and price lists and, unless the writer seeks information not already included, it is often sufficient to send a catalog under cover of a “With Compliments” slip, as in the following examples.
Routine requests for catalogs not requiring written replies EXAMPLE
Will you please send me a copy of your catalog and price list of portable transistor sets and copies of any descriptive leaflets that I could pass to prospective customers.