Hillary Mendelsohn

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  1. What is thepurplebook®?

    thepurplebook is the definitive guide to online shopping. This printed, paperback guide includes hundreds of hard-to-find and unique online retailers that sell everything from pie to throw-back football jerseys. thepurplebook team spends every day visiting the more than 100,000 online shops to provide people with a list of the very best the Web has to offer. In addition to an overview of the site’s products, a listing in thepurplebook includes the shop’s phone number (which is the hardest thing to find on an online shop’s site), cost to ship and shipping terms, whether or not gift cards can be purchased, whether or not the shop offers gift-wrapping service, and the site’s level of user-friendliness.

  2. Who is Hillary Mendelsohn?

    Hillary Mendelsohn is the author and founder of thepurplebook. The idea came to her back in 2000 as she scrolled through hundreds of search results while shopping online. Overwhelmed by the number of results listed and unsatisfied by the sites “recommended” by the search engine, Hillary began researching what became the “definitive guide” to online shopping: thepurplebook.

  3. What makes Hillary Mendelsohn an expert in online shopping?

    “The most ironic thing about creating this guide to online shopping is that I do most of my research offline,” Hillary explained. Hillary spends each day pouring over magazines and newspapers, searching for cool new products and Web sites to include in thepurplebook. When she finds a product she likes, she goes backward from there, locating the retailer and finding out if there is an online shop. If there is an online shop, she investigates the site thoroughly and reports back on its features, products, terms, etc. Hillary is a regular contributor to In Style and Practical eCommerce magazines. She has been featured as the online shopping expert on The Today Show and 20/20, as well as dozens of magazines and newspapers, such as Entrepreneur; Reader’s Digest; Redbook; Real Simple; TIME; “O,” The Oprah magazine; USA Today; US News & World Report; and The Washington Post, to name a few.

  4. How many different versions of thepurplebook are there?

    There are currently four versions: thepurplebook (annually updated general guide to online shopping), thepurplebook Wedding Edition, thepurplebook Green Edition, and thepurplebook Baby Edition.

  5. Where can people buy a copy of thepurplebook?

    People can purchase thepurplebook and its specialized versions online at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, BooksAMillion.com, and Powells.com. Retailers include Barnes & Noble, Border's Books, Brentanos, Costco, and Waldenbooks.

  6. How much does thepurplebook cost?

    thepurplebook retails at $21.99; thepurplebook green is $11.95; thepurplebook wedding is $10.95, and thepurplebook baby is $9.95.

  7. How often is thepurplebook updated?

    Thepurplebook is updated annually.

  8. Does thepurplebook contain information on every Web site out there?

    No. Hillary Mendelsohn takes great pride in providing people with the most definitive guide to online shopping, which means she finds the great sites you won’t normally find in a standard Internet search. Internet marketing and search term purchasing make it harder and harder for smaller retailers that offer high-quality and unique items to get the attention they deserve from search engines. Hillary looks for the best of the best in online shopping, not the retailers that just happen to show up first in an Internet search.

  9. Can I view thepurplebook online?

    No. People can view archived data from previous editions of thepurplebook for free at www.thepurplebook.com. However, this information is not updated and does not include Hillary’s more recent additions to the guide. You must buy the printed book for that.

  10. How do online shops get listed in thepurplebook?

    Hillary decides which online shops are listed in thepurplebook. She and her team research products and Web sites tirelessly, picking out the coolest, most unique retailers to include. Each year, those listed are reviewed for things like customer service and quality. If a retailer no longer meets thepurplebook’s high standard, it is removed. Hillary also takes suggestions from visitors to thepurplebook’s Web site: www.thepurplebook.com.

  11. Can business owners pay to be listed in thepurplebook?

    No. Inclusion in the book is based solely on thepurplebook team’s selection. In fact, thepurplebook does not accept any free merchandise from any retailers unless that retailer is already listed in the book. In other words, free gifts won’t buy a shop’s way into the guide, either.

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