Rees claims to have had about 500 customers over the life of the business, which is not too bad considering the economics of the concern. Pencils cost about $3 a dozen. A hand sharpener is about $1.50. This is something like a [(500 x $15)/($125 for pencils + $1.50 for sharpening + $500 shipping)] 1,200 percent return on capital.
If only my margins were this high! As it happens, I have invested hundreds of dollars on sharpeners alone, and the protective tubes and sheathing I use cost about $1.50 per pencil.
Nevertheless, it is very gratifying to see the business press waking up to the fact that I am a businessman.