Ordering custom enamel pins is easy. The 4 steps are: design your artwork, decide how many you need, decide when you need them, and find an enamel pin company. It really is that easy. You may have questions about one or two of those steps, and that’s ok, but keep reading and you will find the answers to those questions and become comfortable within no time. Becoming a custom enamel pin pro is just about taking the first step. It really is a journey, and along the way you will learn tips and tricks that expand your knowledge and help each order of pins get easier and easier.
Before we start, there is one question you should consider, should I order from China or from a USA pin company? This question really relates to step number 4 listed above and is often the scary part of ordering custom pins. The question is raised upfront because really the pros and cons are addressed throughout each step so it is good to begin thinking about the question. The reality is 95% of all pins are made in China so regardless if you go direct or through a USA pin company the pins will be made in China.
Artwork is important because it defines everything about your pins and gives a template for the pin manufacturer to follow.
The next obvious question is, do I have to draw my own artwork? The answer is NO.
Every pin company has graphic designers on staff and their job is to take your idea and turn it into artwork. All you have to do is have the idea. Now the more information you have the easier it is for the graphic designer, but even if you said I have no ideas, the pin company will ask you a few questions to generate an idea. Now that’s easy.
It gets even better. Artwork is FREE, even if you don’t purchase the design. Pin companies understand most people are not artists, but if they want to sell pins, they have to show people what their pin would look like. Pin companies know that once you see your artwork you are more likely to buy, so it keeps them in business. Now if you have artwork, all the better, the pin company will take what you have and make it manufacturable. There are technical aspects to custom enamel pin artwork that are required for production. Custom pins ultimately require a vector file made in Adobe Illustrator, that is why letting the pin company do the work is best and easiest.
So now the pros and cons of a China vs USA company. A direct China company will prepare an artwork proof. The cons are culture and speed. Culturally they think and experience things differently so their interpretations will be much different than expected. Eventually they will get it but in the process it just naturally takes longer.
This is an obvious step, but it still needs to be mentioned as many people come without a clear idea. It is important to understand that because molds and setup costs are involved in making custom pins minimum quantities apply. The minimum order is typically 100 pins, but you can order any amount above 100 even in odd numbers like 125 or 215, etc.
Some companies will produce a minimum of 50 pins, but the reality is it may be cheaper to just produce 100. Sometimes people want only one pin. While this is possible it is not very reasonable as the cost will be $50 to $100 to cover all the mold and setup costs.
So now the pros and cons of China vs USA company. It is true China will typically offer a cheaper price but that comes with drawbacks as mentioned elsewhere. The thing to remember is that the price quoted will not include shipping charges and customs and duties. You need to make sure all costs are included; the difference may not be as significant. It boils down to choice: comfort or price.
The next obvious question is when do you need your custom enamel pins? Custom enamel pins typically take 12 days to manufacture and then 2 days to ship. So, it is preferred that you have 2 weeks to work with from the date you place and pay for your order. If there is no deadline that is even better.
So now the pros and cons of China vs USA company. Whether you order direct from China or a USA pin company the delivery time is the same. USA pin companies have well established relationships with the China companies so they get preferential treatment in getting their orders processed and delivered on time. If you are an individual ordering a single order, your order is more likely to be delayed if the factory experiences and issues.
This is the hardest step, and the step that scares most people away. Most custom enamel pins are made in China or the Middle East. You can try to find a China company on your own, but there are still a lot of uncertainties and less recourse if things go wrong. It is much simpler to find a US pin company that specializes in having custom enamel pins made in China. You might ask the question: Will I pay more if I use a USA pin company? To be honest you might pay a little more. But here is a trick. If you are reselling your pins, mention that to the USA pin company and they may offer you wholesale pricing. Wholesale pricing will be very similar to China pricing. So, you get the best of both worlds. You get a USA company for the artwork process, the customer service, the product guarantee, and a price that is very competitive with going direct to China.
In the end, the decision is yours. The purpose of this post is to help you see that the process is not difficult. If you have ever wanted to create a custom enamel pin – give it a try, the process is easy.