The Trade Sample

strap

Trade samples are interesting things. I have several in my collection of die-cast vehicles. They were given to my father as attention-grabbers by the agencies that sold Caterpillar and Euclid earth-moving equipment in Western Canada in the 1960’s. I’ve got a Cat grader and bulldozer and  Euclid TC 12 tractor by Corgi Toys in England.

They are great souvenirs of my childhood, but I doubt that they sealed any deals. Euclid did supply a couple of TC 12’s for the Brazeau Dam construction in 1960, but the mechanics found them to be a nightmare to fix and they didn’t last. Cats did most of the bulldozing.

The reason I remember this is the sight of a box of camera straps at a recent secondhand camera market. They were brightly coloured and well made – still in their boxes and eminently desirable in a flashy sort of way…except for the fact that the seller had failed to take the sticker off each box: ” Trade Sample Only. Not For Sale ”

I daresay he came by them legally, and they would have been just as good once taken out of the pack… but leaving the sticker on there ensured that anyone contemplating them would get the impression that they were being done like a dinner.

A lesson in there for me. Next time I go to the markets and try to sell live teller mines or human remains I must make sure that any incriminating or revealing signs are taken off the packaging. No-one likes to buy a bargain if they think someone else is making a killing with it.

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