Catalogs: How to Manage Fluctuating Prices Due to Tariffs

In light of the recent news about the potential imposition of additional tariffs on Chinese goods imported to the USA, the subject of price fluctuations and the effect on the Promotional Product Industry has been escalated in priority. These price fluctuations lead to market uncertainty, and stress for both distributors and suppliers in many aspects of business.

As suppliers begin planning and designing their holiday and 2020 catalogs, this topic and the challenges around tariffs are extremely relevant. Catalogs and pricing have become a headache for everyone involved in producing, selling and buying promotional products.

Many suppliers have opted not to put pricing into their catalogs – especially their hard copy, printed catalogs – that cannot be updated or changed once that ink hits the paper. This is causing a lot of frustration for the distributors who are pounding the streets selling products.  An unpriced catalog can leave the reader frustrated that there are no pointers or guidelines as to the price points of products, and this in turn opens the door for increased phone calls, emails and miscommunication, all of which are productivity drains. It also increases the time to close a deal and decreases the likelihood of piquing interest with a customer.

Catalogs are increasingly being distributed online, and ZOOMcatalog continues working with suppliers to provide innovative solutions for keeping pricing up to date in their digital ZOOMcatalogs, reducing frustration and time to sale.

Over the past decade we have seen suppliers move from or supplement traditional print catalogs with ZOOMcatalogs because it allows them to change and update their pricing “on the fly” and keep abreast of costs incurred by the unforeseen price fluctuations seen in the Promotional Product Industry. ZOOMcatalogs are easy to update and republish online, and URL’s remain the same, so if a catalog has been shared yesterday, and it is updated and opened today, the new pricing is immediately available.   


Here are different ways you can address tariffs and fluctuating prices in your ZOOMcatalogs:

  1. Rather than including exact pricing, list a price range, or a “starting at” price point for each product.
  2. Update the catalog with new pricing on an on-going basis by submitting an updated PDF to ZOOMcatalog. Turnaround for the update is one to three business days.
  3. Link products inside the ZOOMcatalog to an online pricing sheet that is kept updated. This price sheet can be on a web page or a PDF. The pricing sheet will be linked to products in the ZOOMcatalo,g with a button to “click to view pricing”. This solution is best for suppliers with more frequent price fluctuations.
  4. Link products inside the ZOOMcatalog to the corresponding product page on the supplier website. While this is a quick solution, it may not be ideal for ZOOMcustom catalogs, when distributors want to present the catalog as their own and not send their customers to the supplier website.
  5. COMING SOON: Pricing pop ups inside your catalog will display current pricing derived from your data (PromoStandards, website or spreadsheet).

Another important tip is to include a disclaimer on all pages of your catalog that pricing is subject to change.

Interested in learning more about how ZOOMcatalog can help you address fluctuating prices in your catalogs? Click here to contact us or email us at