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What’s in Your “Lost-Leader” Jar?


I created a “lost-leader” cup when I was working for an organization where people often needed pens and didn’t have the best of boundaries. This meant that occasionally pens I really liked went ghost, so I developed a system, which kept the pens I loved safe while dumping all the rejects on unsuspecting clients. I’ve touched on pen thieves, spoken to a real life and slightly unrepentant pen thief and even offered tips to avoiding becoming one of their victims. Now it’s time to talk about the pens you leave around as bait. Most of mine are heartbreakers I had hoped would become favorites, but they never quite lived up to the hype or the red/orange/yellow pens that often come in pen sets. I leave these pens out in plain sight and encourage visitors to take them. I even go so far as to bring a handful of lost-leader pens with me when I run errands and leave them at bookstores, medical offices – anywhere pens are being used and possibly stolen. What about you? How do you unload your cast offs?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 05/06/2011 11:13 pm

    I deliver pizza for a living, so I have to carry pens with me at work (so people can sign credit card slips). People tend to forget the pen was mine and keep it, so I keep the pens I wish to junk in the car. If someone swipes my pen, oh well, I’ll grab another. Or I give them to my friend’s older daughter, who is super artsy with just about anything. Either way.

  2. 05/07/2011 12:33 am

    I don’t have a pen jar per-se at work but I do keep a crappy pen in reach of any potential marauders. I only keep a fountain pen at work and I watch it like a hawk. Most people just don’t know what a fountain pen is and I don’t want them touching it.

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