An Introduction to Catalogue Shopping

Catalogue shopping has been around since the middle of the 19th century and has only grown in popularity. A lot of information is thrown around about catalogues – both positive and negative. To help you navigate through the world of catalogue shopping, we have put together this guide to answer all your questions. 

About Catalogue Shopping

First, let’s look at what catalogue shopping actually is. 

A catalogue store sells a vast selection of products from different brands all in one place. Often catalogue stores will not have physical shops, although some do like Argos, and you will order from them and get it delivered to your door from a warehouse. 

Many people use catalogues because of the credit options that they provide. Many catalogues will have payment options like buy now, pay later and pay in monthly or weekly instalments. Not only does this allow people to take control of their finances, but it also allows them to build up their credit scores. 

Many catalogues will accept people with all different credit scores, no matter how high or low it is, and if you prove you are reliable and trustworthy, they will raise your credit limit. 

How does catalogue shopping work?

Catalogue shopping is straightforward to navigate. Firstly, you must sign up for an account with a catalogue of your choice. All the details you insert must be accurate in order to be accepted and receive an appropriate credit limit. Once you are registered and know your credit limit, you can get shopping! Choose the items you want and go to the checkout.

Once you are on the checkout page, you will be presented with a few payment options. The options you have will vary from site to site, but here are the most popular options:

Buy now, pay later: this option allows you to not pay a thing for 12 months. By delaying the payments, you can decide when you are ready to pay. Often sites will ask you to pay compound interest, and the longer you delay payments, the higher the interest rate is. 

Pay monthly: this payment option will divide the purchase price across a few months, usually either 3, 6, 9 or 12 months. You will pay the instalments each month, and if you are timely with your payments, you will not have to pay interest. 

Pay weekly: by paying weekly, the purchase cost is divided across the number of weeks you decide on. The cost is usually less than paying monthly, but you will have to pay over a longer period of time. 

What are the benefits of catalogue shopping?

The benefits of catalogue shopping are amazing! One of the main benefits customers get from using credit catalogues is an increase in your credit score. If you are reliable and timely with payments, it will have a positive effect on your credit score. By having a high credit score, it is unlikely that you will be rejected from high-value credit purchases.

Additionally, catalogues can help you afford high-value products like smartphones, appliances, furniture and computers. Often, you will not even be expected to pay an upfront fee or interest. So, you can pay for the product in manageable instalments. 

Another great benefit of catalogue shopping is that you can do it from anywhere – whether you are commuting to work and on your or browsing on your laptop on the couch with a cup of tea. You do not have the stress of carrying bags between shops, transport fees and not being able to find what you want. 

What are the drawbacks of catalogue shopping?

There are a few drawbacks of catalogue shopping, but they are important to look at. One of the main drawbacks is not being able to try the items on. For example, if you purchase the wrong size you will have to return it to exchange it for a different size. Whilst you will end up with the item you want, the returns process could have been avoided if you tried on the item in-store.

Another drawback is that if you do not pay back the amount within the stated time, you will be asked to pay compound interest. The longer you do not pay for, the higher the interest is. However, this can be avoided if you stick to your repayment plan and do not spend more than you can afford. 

What are some of the top catalogue companies in the UK?

There are many brilliant catalogue companies in the UK, to just name a few: 


Studio is a great online catalogue that you can purchase a huge range of products from, such as clothing, technology, toys and much more. Studio offers a buy now, pay later option and spreads the cost over the course of a few months with no added interest. They offer a competitive credit limit, which is determined by a soft credit check. 


One of the most popular online catalogues is Very, which allows you to pay monthly or through a buy now pay later scheme. This catalogue sells almost everything you could think of, from technology to clothes to furniture at great prices with many offers available. A standard starting credit limit for Very is from £500, and this can increase over time if you are a reliable and loyal customer. 


Littlewoods is a great monthly catalogue that sells a huge range of products. They offer interest-free options if you pay off your purchase in under 12 months. Littlewoods also has the option to freeze payments if you are struggling to pay them back. 


Freemans is a specialist clothing catalogue with fantastic prices with 2 payment options. The first option is to buy now, pay later and the other option is to set up a Flexiway account. A Flexiway account allows you to spread payments over the course of a few months, and you do not have to pay any interest if you always pay on time.

Sunshine Mobile

Sunshine Mobile is a great choice if you want to purchase a mobile phone, as they do not run any credit checks. Their repayment options, such as paying weekly, monthly or buy now, pay later. 


Argos are specialists in appliances and technology. They run a soft credit check on you to determine your credit limit, which can be increased over time if you are reliable with payments. You can repay over the course of 3 or 6 months without interest. However, if you fail to pay it off within that time you will be charged compound interest, which is worked out from the day of your purchase. 


Next is a fashion and homeware specialist catalogue. You can purchase the products on a credit account or in-store with a Next credit card. There are different repayment plans available, many that do not ask you to pay interest. They offer a credit limit ranging between £200 to £1,500. 

JD Williams

JD Williams is a great clothing specialist catalogue for men, women and children. To determine your credit limit, they will run a soft credit check on you, and your limit will increase monthly. 


Kaleidoscope is a fashion and homeware specialist. They offer a Flexiway account, which allows you to pay off your purchases monthly. The credit limit they offer is between £100 to £1000. 

Fashion World

Fashion World sells a great range of plus-size women’s clothing and accessories, with a  huge selection of brands to choose from. You can spread the payments of your purchases over a period of time that suits you. 


Jacamo is a men’s clothing and accessories catalogue that sells from a large selection of brands in a variety of sizes (from medium to 5 extra large). Jacamo runs a soft credit check on you to determine your credit limit. If you are late with payments to Jacamo, you are charged an administration fee of £12 and compound interest. 


Curvissa specialises in plus-size women’s clothing, with a great selection of brands. The clothing is priced competitively, and they constantly have amazing offers. With orders over £100, you can repay over a period of 12 months. A typical starting credit limit is around £100.



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