Catalog Request Site Closes Down

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iCatalogInquiry.com, a catalog request Web site that launched in July, closed up shop last month because of an inability to continue advertising its service resulting from a lack of funds.


"We closed down on Christmas Eve, and then we forwarded the leads that night, and that's the end of that," said Jonathan Chavkin, who served as co-president with Budhi Prajogi of iCatalogInquiry.com Inc., Sherman Oaks, CA. "It slipped out from underneath before I could really establish any funding."


Chavkin and Prajogi launched the site in an effort to fill what they considered an untapped market: Web-based lead generation for print catalogers.


At least one other company, CatalogCity.com, Pacific Grove, CA, has been in the business of lead generation for print catalogers for three years.


In July, iCatalogInquiry sent direct mail kits touting the service to approximately 500 consumer catalogers, including L.L.Bean, Lands' End, Brylane, Chadwick's of Boston and Hammacher Schlemmer.


That month, the site -- which initially offered 50 product categories ranging from cigars to puzzles -- signed three catalogers to use the service. They were Basil Street Gallery of London, an art poster and replica cataloger; Design Toscano, a European home and garden art replica cataloger; and Sun Up Sun Down, a men's and women's exotic swimsuit catalog.


"It could have worked," Chavkin said. "We had about 100 catalogers before we closed."


Chavkin planned to list catalogs on the site at no cost through the end of last year.


"We want the catalog companies to understand the value of this offer first," Chavkin told DM News in July.


Beginning this month, the company planned to charge catalogers 35 cents per lead. Catalogers then would have been able to terminate their participation with 10 days' notice.

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