Filofax FAQ Part 2


How often are binders discontinued?

  • binders are often seasonal and available for a year or two only. BUT, being discontinued does not mean they are taken off the shelves immediately. They are sold until the available stock runs out – which can take years.


What is the deal with VAT when buying from Europe?

  • VAT is Value Added Tax and is called things like GST (general sales tax) or just Sales Tax in other countries.
  • If you live in any of the 28 European Union Countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom) you pay VAT at point of purchase and not when it enters your country.
  • If you live outside the EU, you do not pay VAT at point of purchase but you may be liable for customs and import duty upon entry into your country.
  • The VAT rate is as high as 27% in certain EU countries.


What is the difference between £ and €?

  • The British Pound, Pound Sterling, £, or GBP is the currency in the United Kingdom
  • The € or Euro is the single currency of countries in the Eurozone
  • Not all EU countries use the Euro – quite a few of them still use their original currency


Why do people sell Filofaxes at such high prices? It’s so rude!

  • The really high prices on eBay and similar sites are (as I mentioned last week) often due to the retailer running out of stock and not wanting to take down the auction. They keep the ad running, set the price screamingly high to put off potential buyers, avoid relisting fees, and drop the price when the product comes in again.
  • The other prices are set by supply and demand. In essence, WE set the prices by paying them. If they sell at high prices, the price stays high. If no one pays those prices, they drop. If people were all patient, ready to wait for a lower price, it would come along. But alas, these days we are all into instant gratification (myself included) so the thought of waiting months for a good price is not a good one.


Are there fake Filofaxes?

  • Not that I know of. Filofax has never been faked like Louis Vuitton, Rolex or Mulberry. It is a different demographic and the kind of product that does not inspire millions of fakes – not even in the glory days.
  • The most you would find would be a generic brand organizer being sold as a ‘Filofax’ – usually with the word Filofax being used as a generic term for organizer – similar to these words.
  • You do sometimes find Filofaxes without the embossing or the f on the spine – these could be factory seconds* or samples (pre-production examples used by sales representatives to show to retailers)


* Factory Seconds 

items which, through minor fault of manufacture, are sold to the public for a reduced rate, rather than being discarded. Such goods are often resold at this lower rate after failing the factory’s quality inspection, being returned to the manufacturer’s factory by the original retailer, or (less frequently) being returned to the retailer or wholesaler by the customer.

The amount of damage or fault in the manufacture which may constitute an item being resold as a second varies widely; in clothing, for example, it may simply refer to a single pulled thread or mis-sewn seam, whereas in a set of items (such as crockery) it may mean there is one piece missing from the set. Generally, an item is listed as a factory second will have failed quality inspection for cosmetic, rather than functional, reasons. Such items are often heavily discounted, but may not have as all-encompassing a warranty or guarantee as a full-quality item (for example, the product may be non-returnable).

Discount stores often rely on the sale of factory seconds as a major part of their trade.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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