When people ask me what I sell and I say paperclips, the reactions that I get are quite interesting: It can be a total conversation stopper that leads to utter embarrassment and not knowing how to respond to the answer I have provided, or it can result in an exaggerated enthusiasm brought about by the disbelief that the person in front of them actually makes a living out of selling an item so small and relatively insignificant that it can be used either to hold paper together or pulled apart to be used to reset almost any electronic gadget.

After amusing myself for some time about their reaction, I then expand to explain that it is not the ubiquitous  wiro paperclip, that has been used by generations, but a flat based metal paperclip that is branded in up to four colours. I can see the relief on their faces that they are not talking to some kind of 'anorak' and perhaps there is more in this than first thought.

In fact, I can reveal that about 75 million branded promotional paper clips were sold last year worldwide and that because we find that once  companies and various types of organisations have used the clips, they very rarely stop ordering them.  Because there are so many unique promotional paperclips in circulation, this has led to many people collecting as many different ones as possible.  We are continuously inundated with requests for samples from collectors, especially in Europe.  As quantities vary per order, there are some short production run branded paperclips that have a very high trade value and if some recognised multinational company changes its corporate identity, then a paper clip printed with the previous logo will have a high rated trade value.  We expect this collectable aspect to grow as more and more people see the opportunity to build their own collection.  The fact that there is no easy way to acquire so many different types of branded promotional clips makes the whole task that much more challenging.  Perhaps even, the collecting of uniquely printed paperclips will take over from stamp collecting!!!

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