Thursday, August 12, 2010

Commercial Grade Staplers

As I was doing my usual jaunt across the internet looking for the new, the exciting, and the hottest trends in office supplies I found a new blurb about how the great state of Washington has been over paying for office supplies for the last four and a half years with their contract with Office Depot.  The state's General Administration says that they haven't been over paying and blurb from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reads:
"What they're saying is a (commercial-grade) stapler ... should get the same discount as a (regular) stapler," said GA spokesman Steve Valandra.
Now, I know a thing or two about staplers and I have seen my fair share of them come through my office and the desks around me.  Now I have spent some time in government offices and sat in front of and behind a government desk or two and I know the paper work they see isn't that much different than the paper the rest of us in the business world see.  You get a stack of papers that are related and you want to attach them together, so you staple them, no big deal.  Now for the sake of argument, lets throw out the cheap kiddie staplers with iMac colors and the big poppa industrial electric staplers and focus on a narrow subset of staplers, hand operated professional-looking desk staplers.

For around $3 you can get yourself a fairly standard looking economical stapler with no frills.  It is made with high-impact plastic, but it is still mostly plastic.  Add another buck and you can get yourself an all metal Swingline stapler if that's a little more your style.  There is a good collection of staplers in various shapes and sizes as you get even more expensive that go by names like "Executive Staplers" and "Contemporary Staplers." A good quality commercial desk stapler will cost you around $8, but if you buy in bulk you can get them for even cheaper, and I would hope that the whole state of Washington would buy staplers in quantity equal to or greater than 24. Office Depot sells that stapler for... well you can see what they sell it for, and if the reviews on Amazon are to believed, there isn't any reason anybody would want or need any other more expensive stapler.

So yes, while we, the general public, do understand that there is a difference between the cheap plastic stapler you buy for your kids to staple together their riveting 13 page dissertation on the Kittens Inspired By Kittens video for their 3rd grade teacher and a nice all metal commercial desk stapler, there is also a large difference between what you pay for that same stapler at a place like Office Depot or Staples and what you might pay for it at a Discount Office Supply website.


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