The turnaround time for customized enamel pins will depend on many factors, but generally, you should expect to wait 2-4 weeks for an average order of pins.
What is the turnaround time for custom enamel pins? When determining wait time between the moment you hit “submit” on an order of pins and when they are dropped off on your doorstep, there are many considerations. The number of pins, colors, complexity, and materials will all play a part in determining the turnaround time.
Some companies offer “rush” orders, which usually have a completion time of 48 hours for a low number of basic pins without any complex elements. However, these rush orders rarely consider the actual shipping time, so even though the site says that your pins will be done in 48 hours, they might not actually arrive in the mail until weeks later. The average wait time is two weeks to a month for non-rush orders.
There are quite a few process factors that go into creating an enamel pin. The factory that you choose is going to be a determining factor as well. Most average-sized companies that make pins do not have the workforce to create large bulk orders if the following factors are involved.
Because enamel paint needs to dry between the application of various color layers, it can take significantly longer to produce a bulk order of pins if there are many colors chosen. Most manufacturer sites have several paints for their basic pin models, varying from three to six depending on the company. If you are in a hurry, the fewer colors you have on it, the better.
Pins are stamped, colored, and plated by hand, so a bulk order of complex images will cause a delay in the production. Fewer colors will help decrease this risk, but you want to keep logos or messages simple to allow for quick completion times. Most pin printers will have guidelines for keeping things simple (e.g., size and detail recommendations, etc.).
For obvious reasons, if you order 500 pins and expect to have a quick turnaround time, they will not be completed as quickly as 100 or 50 pins would. If you have a large event in the near future that requires many pins, you will not want to wait until the last minute to order them. However, if you absolutely must order a large number of pins with very little turnaround time, then go to a larger manufacturer as they can more likely accommodate such an order though the cost will be substantial.
Even if the pins are completed quickly, they still need to be sent, make the journey from the factory where they are stamped and painted, and arrive at your location. This can be one of the lengthiest parts of the entire process since it can be quite challenging to predict mailing delays. Even if you pay extra for overnight or priority mail, it might still get delayed, especially if the factory is located out of your country.
If you get die-struck enamel pins, then each one will need to be monitored by hand at the factory, which causes a significant delay overall. However, there are alternatives. For example, you can get offset printed pins quicker because they can be created relatively quickly though some limitations exist.
Some companies offer “rush” delivery on their orders; however, they also usually have a certain minimum order, which can be anywhere from fifty to two hundred pins though the average is one hundred minimum. You want to remember that the rush process does not consider shipping time, so even if your pins are completed within one or two days, that does not mean they will arrive within that time frame. When in doubt, it is best to reach out directly to the company that you would like to order from to get their rush delivery details and information.
On top of the additional fee for the rush job, you will also have express shipping fees and the pins’ original cost. You can expect to pay between $300 and $700 depending on the number of pins and their features. Even when paying that amount, it still might be a week or more before they arrive.
If at all possible, it is much more cost-effective to simply plan ahead and make sure you give yourself plenty of wiggle room in terms of arrival time for any events. It can certainly be worth it if you need them for a special occasion and did not have enough advanced warning to order them ahead of time.
Most of the time, you will get your order within a month of placing it; however, this can increase if you order from out of the country and go with standard shipping. Some orders may get delayed at borders for a period that can significantly hinder their arrival. In 2020, the postal services around the world have been affected by Covid-19, so most orders that are sent standard shipping will take slightly longer though there is no way to determine the length of delay if there is one.
For specific events that you need to have pins for, it might be worth it to purchase a faster mailing delivery or go with a private mailing option, which can skip any delays caused by government issues. When everything works perfectly (e.g., no processing or mailing delays), orders can sometimes arrive as early as two weeks after the order date. If you have time constraints, it is best to communicate these with the manufacturing company at the onset.
With Covid-19 and the current internal reshuffling of the American postal system, there are many shipping delays currently in effect, and that is expected to continue until well into 2021. Private shipping companies might be the best alternative for a quicker delivery.