In case you don't want to take my word for it that giving the catalog away for free to your customers is the way to go, here's a testimonial from an SU Demo:
I just wanted to let you know a result from your discussions on giving away the Stampin' Up catalog. You are right on target on that…Sunday, I signed a new recruit up that came to me by word of mouth, because I had given a catalog away. I was at a craft show almost a year ago and gave away a few catalogs there along with the wording you suggested, that I would call in a few days to see if there was anything they needed. My new recruit's sister was one of those girls. Sunday, my new recruit gal said, "you hooked my sister when you gave her the catalog." She said when she started talking to her sister recently about signing up with Stampin' Up, the sister said she should call me as I had made such a good impression on her (almost a year ago because I gave her a catalog!) That is the kind of public relations I want!
Thanks for all the good advice. Keep it coming.