How to find catalogs you like

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stack of catalogs
There's a catalog for almost everything
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If you know how to find catalogs you like, you won't be hanging at the malls!

With the ever-increasing price of gas, and the ever-shrinking size of our free time, catalog shopping keeps getting more and more attractive.

But whether you prefer online catalogs, or the portability of paper catalogs, it can be hard to know how to find catalogs that carry the things you want to buy.

But with a few tips, you can find all kinds of catalogs, and take shopping home. So grab your fuzzy slippers, put the kettle on for tea, and curl up on the couch. You're about to go shopping!

Start with catalog portals

Yes, of course I'm starting here! That's because a site like is a great way to find new catalogs for all kinds of things, from clothing to kitchenware to musical instruments.

And while some of the brand names are familiar (like Neiman-Marcus and Orvis), many of them are smaller companies or niche catalogs that cater to very specific interests (like stylish canes and walking sticks.)

Talk to people who share your interest

If you have a hobby or profession and wonder how to find catalogs that focus on your needs, one of the best places to start is with other people who share that interest. Ask at meetings. Put the question out there on websites and blogs. There may even be a Meetup or LinkedIn group that matches your shopping needs -- those are great places to ask the question.

The more narrow and specific your interests, the more likely the word-of-mouth method will work best for you.

Find magazines that relate to your interest, then check the ads

Most themed magazines include ads from businesses that cater to fans or practitioners. And that's true whether your passion is garden fairies or tax accounting.

Some magazines scatter the ads throughout the publication, while others cluster them together in the back, so be sure to look through the whole issue. And because different advertisers may appear in different issues, you may want to buy several copies, or even subscribe.

Attend conferences and special events

Most conferences and gatherings include a vendor area, and that can be a wonderful place to find new catalogs about your interests. Even if there aren't any catalogs in sight, talk to the vendors -- the might have online catalogs or paper ones only available by mail.

Keep your eyes open in waiting rooms

I know this probably sounds silly, but some of the best catalogs I've found first came to my attention in waiting rooms. Amid the outdated magazines, there are usually a few catalogs. For me, the gift catalogs and clothing catalogs have been the big finds. For others, it could be sports catalogs or business supply catalogs.

Don't worry if the catalogs you find this way are out-of-date. You can always copy down the website, e-mail address or telephone number and use that information to request the most recent version.

If all else fails, do a web search

Searching for a couple of words that describe what you want, plus the word "catalog" or "free catalog" will probably yield a lot of useless results. But among those, you might just find a couple of real catalogs offering exactly what you want and need.

Happy shopping! Oh, and your tea is ready!

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