Reviewed 1/7/00, 12:30 p.m., Netscape

ever heard of VWR Scientific Products? Me neither. But I’m not in the laboratory or scientific supplies business, so most of these Websites are going to be unfamiliar. At any rate, VWR’s home page, while uninspired, is easy to understand. There’s the standard logo and search function (the latter of which seems comprehensive), icons identifying sections (such as My VWR, Resource Center, and Shopping Basket), and rotating images that promote various products and special offers. On the left of the screen a flashing message says: “Placing an order? Login first.” VWR requires users to fill out a profile form before ordering; the profile allows users to view contract pricing or use previously saved shopping lists (a nice loyalty feature). Unfortunately, I need a VWR account number to do any of this….

I browse the general catalog anyway. Hmm – “adhesives-autoradiography” sounds interesting. Once there, I click on Ampules, which lists two types. The product pages offer a picture; a detailed description; a chart of specifications, measurements, and pricing; and a quantity box (wish I could test the ordering!).

In its Resource Center, VWR provides a network of technicians, scientific references, charts, brochures, and regulation information. The firm also offers an equipment repair service. If I needed lab stuff, I’d bookmark this.

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