If you want to get rich, invent a better mousetrap. Apparently, the same thing is true for office supplies.

If you’re frustrated with the way your stapler, post-it note, or thumbtack operates, invent a new one.

Then go online and enter a Staples contest for inventors called InventionQuest. Winners of the contest get $25,000 and up to an 8 percent royalty. While that sounds like a lot, 8 percent on a $3 item is only 24 cents. Sell 100,000 units, and now you’re talking some serious cash.

But competition is steep. Last year, some 14,000 inventors entered InventionQuest. Of those, just 10 got the opportunity to present their ideas during the finals round in New York.

Staples, the office supply giant, runs the contest in order to find the next generation of office supply products, particularly those it can sell under its own “Staples” brand.

Sign up at

With practical, informative consumer advice, I’m Ilyce Glink, News-Talk 750 WSB