Free notebook worth £4.75 !


I bought Ideal Home magazine last week to do some research for a client. With my marketing support Girl Friday head on, I’d been asked to write a blog for a furniture company and wanted a bit of background on the piece.

I could have bought any number of interior magazines, in fact I was quite shocked by how out of touch I’d become in such a short space of time when it comes to the genre. Having always been an Elle Decoration devotee it was a no brainer to consider any other title but shock of all shock, there was none in the shop!

So I returned to ye truste olde faithful – Ideal Home…….not least because it came in a plastic bag – so free gift central….I read the cover

Of course this then not only satisfied my need to buy a glossy on interiors but also provided me with the sort of free gift that I’m never going to turn down – stationery! Oh be still my beating heart AND worth £4.75.

It measures 12cm x 15cm and contains plain paper. It has an elastic ribbon like a travel journal so I expected an inside rear cover little pocket for bills and stuff but sadly not to be. It has a dainty, retro feel, a little bit 1950’s maybe in design, a putty colour with tiny white dots, a 1970’s aqua blue/green spine and a centrally placed shield bearing the word NOTEBOOK, just in case you were in any doubt.

I am appalled by the statement WORTH £4.75.


I am inviting venom by stating this but I credit my business with selling very good quality stationery so am irked somewhat when someone is giving something away FOC as worth £4.75 when, in my humble estimation, I might give you £1.75 if I’m really pushed.

The plain paper is probably 80gsm but feels like 50 or 60. The cover is flimsy and easily scuffed. Yes it’s a beautiful colour but how does it become worth that value? I am no stranger to the old adage that something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

These are A6, designed by Spain’s darling designer, Jordi Labanda, and retail from me at £3.99 each. They contain 140 leaves of paper, divided into  four sections. Each section is colour edged to help you sort your thoughts. They are spiral bound, the cover is heavy duty thick, screen printed board in full colour.

These are also by Jordi Labanda with similar content structure but the cover is thick, screen printed polypropylene and they retail at £4.25 each, also A6 size.

Agatha Ruiz de la Prada – A5, so bigger, so understandably slightly more expensive…£5.50 each but again with a polypropylene cover.

The point I’m making is not to sound like a bitter old hag but I just wonder where this seemingly notional value of £4.75 for the Ideal Home notebook came from? I’ve looked on the website detailed on the back of the notebook but can’t find anything to suggest it’s there. I’ve looked at pieces on making your home office delightful which cites notebooks in the search but to no avail.

Newroomsonline strives to source products that are design oriented but above all merit the cost.

That’s not to say that I think shoppers will find our products cheaper than anyone else. It does not escape me that Orla Kiely, Barbara Wiggins and Pantone stationery come in at a premium but you are paying for design as well as materials.

Orla Kiely A5 notebook £9.75

Barbara Wiggins notebooks £29.99

My question therefore must be – is an item really deemed ‘worth’ anything if you can’t find it on sale anywhere? Or is it just a delightful free gift….the cost of which is covered by the price of the magazine?



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