24 January 2013
Buying Filofax or Organisers on Ebay
However, if you aren't very experienced at buying on Ebay it is very easy to get caught out, especially with organiser products.
Firstly understand how the auction process works. Refer to the on-line help on the site for this, they do differ depending on which site you are using. On Ebay there is also a 'Buy It Now' button on some items.
Be careful to study the advert in great detail. Look at the description and the photos. Do the photos tie up with the description. Does the internal view look right?
I've seen a few 'Personal' Organisers that were in fact Pocket size, more recently an 'A6 Filofax' Filofax don't make A6 size organisers... again this was a Pocket.
And here is a classic example spotted by one of our keen readers!
A5..... no... look at the rings... that is a pocket. And if it was A5 then the price of £80 is a bit of a stretch for an A5 Finsbury... but for a Pocket?
Why are there so many mistakes when all Filofax organisers have their details stamped in the inside of the cover? Well I suspect in most cases the seller is not an expert in Filofax or any other organisers. Take a look at the other items they are selling or have sold, this often gives you a clue. You are most probably more of an expert because you are reading Philofaxy.
Also be careful with other makers size conventions. Aspinal of London have a 'Compact A5 size' which in fact is Personal size paper in Filofax terms, but they call it 'Compact A5' because the organiser it self is just slightly smaller than A5 paper.
The word 'Vintage' is often attached to many Filofax Organisers on Ebay if they don't appear to be from the current range... now in car terms a Vintage Car is one built between 1919 and 1930. Filofax came out in 1921.... should Vintage Filofax be only applied up to say 1999? You decide, but don't think you are getting something that is old just because the seller has added the word 'Vintage' to the description!.
Then you get oddities, the same company selling on Amazon and Ebay, but different prices! You might recall the A5 punch I discovered on Amazon as an alternative to the KW Trio. Well the same company that is selling on Amazon also sells it on Ebay for a cheaper price.
'They want how much for that Filofax organiser????!!!!' Yes another issue with inexperienced Ebay sellers is they get some rather grand ideas about prices.
How about an A5 Siena for £450.00.... on Buy It Now. When it was pointed out to them that their price was way far 'North' of the retail price they reduced it to £399.00 I didn't bother to send them another email... clearly they never understood where the decimal point should go! In the end it disappeared and reappeared at a little more sensible price... still too high in my book, but they will find that out soon enough... when it doesn't sell....it didn't and it has disappeared before the end of the auction.
So how much should you pay? Do your research and see what the current price is from all sources: Filofax website, City Organiser, Philofaxy Ad-spot, and past completed prices on Ebay. Don't forget to allow for the cost of postage and some of the sellers will inflate that amount too....
Once you have decided on how much you should pay for your target organiser, stick to your maximum price and don't go over the top of that price.
We sometimes see bid prices higher than the retail price... A5 Osterley for £205 plus postage... when the same item can be got for £175 from City Organiser... I know where I would be spending my money... not on Ebay.
Never be afraid to ask for a second opinion on an item you see for sale on Ebay or another auction site.
That is the big advantage of the Philofaxy community on the blog, on Facebook, on Twitter etc. We can all pool our experience and help each other. Share a link and ask for opinions, people will give you honest answers too. Is it what the seller says it is, is the price right etc.
Thanks and acknowledgements to Tracy for spotting several of the items mentioned in this post.