Pin maker: How to find the right lapel pin manufacturer [in 2019]

You have got the perfect lapel pin design. And now it is time to choose the RIGHT Pin Manufacturer.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know on how to find the Right lapel pin manufacturer.

Let’s get started…  

CONTENTS

TIP 1

Choose The Manufacturer With The Best User-Experience

TIP 2

Choose the Pin Manufacturers with Live Chat System

TIP 3

Choose An Enamel Pin Company That Does Not Charge A Mold Fee

TIP 4

Choose The Pin Company That Has Third-Party Reviews

TIP 5

Choose The Company That Has A Guaranteed Delivery Time

TIP 6

Should I Work With A Factory Directly or Just Buy From A PIN TRADER?

4 Important things that you need to know before finding the right lapel pin maker

#1 Know the pin style you need

What is the difference between an enamel pin and an offset-printing printed pin? What about the difference between soft enamel or hard enamel?

 

Soft enamel vs. Hard enamel pin

A.) Durable

Hard enamel is more durable than soft enamel. [The color of a hard enamel pin won’t fade and will last up to fifty years]

In other words, Soft enamel is soft and hard enamel is hard.

B.) Surface

Hard enamel surface is flat.  Software enamel surface is 3D surface.

C.) Popular

Soft enamel is much more popular than hard enamel. As most of the people like 3D surface (‘bumpy’ feel), this material works to better express the “detail” of the pin and the design.

D.) Cost

Hard enamel tends to be a bit more expensive than soft enamel.

Offset printed lapel pin

The manufacturing process of an offset-printed pin is much more simple when compared to an enamel pin.

First, a very high precision color printer is used to print your design on the base metal.

Then, epoxy resin is used to coat and cover the pin.

The advantages?

Offset-printed pins work to preserve the original design, and ensure that it will not be distorted; even color gradients and shades will be easily visible on the surface of the pin.

They are also very thin and lightweight, making them an ideal choice for customers.

Conclusion: 

(Enamel pins are of better quality than printed pins. For classic and durable pins, hard enamel is the best bet, otherwise soft enamel will do. Printed lapels are affordable, lightweight, and effective where graphical details are required)

#2 What is the best size for your Pin?

Theoretically, you can choose any size for your pin. 95% of pins range in size from 0.50” to 2.00”

But what is the most suitable size for your design?

View the most standard pin sizes for different types of pins below,

Service Pins – range from 0.75” to 1.25”.

Sports Trading Pinrange from 1.5” to 2.0”

Company or Organization Pin – Average size is 1”

University or School Pinsrange from 0.75” to 1.0”.

The final size would be defined by your design and your own requirements.

If you’re still unsure of what size you should order, you can always ask for a recommendation from your enamel pin manufacturer.

View our detailed sizing chart below:

#3 How many colors can I use in my pin’s design?

The colors that you choose for your pins are obviously an important factor.

If your pin is 3D CAST or Die Struck, you would no need to take into consideration the quantity of color throughout the pin.

In addition, if your pin is enamel or offset-printed, you would also need to consider color quantity.

And most importantly, the more colors included in your design, the more expensive it’ll be to manufacture your pin.

As per our experience,

80% of design use 3-5 color,

10% use 1-2 color,

5% use 6-8 color,

5% use more than 8 color

While the amount of color in your design should be heavily considered for both enamel and offset-printed pins, plating color is a bit different.

a) Plating color

The plating color is the color that is used to plate the base metal.

It is the same color that will be visible on the edges of your pin.

Plating can be done with metallic colors like gold, silver, bronze, and copper.  These metals are the most common colors that manufacturers use for plating.

While talking about 3D casted and die struck pins, 50% of manufacturers use antique gold, antique silver, or antique copper.

b) Enamel Color

This is the color that will make the majority of your pin design visible.

A variety of colors can be chosen according to the Pantone system.

NOTE:

Sometimes, the color that you see on your screen when designing your pin may not be the exact color on the actual pin. We call that phenomenon “color difference.

So, knowing your designs’ Pantone color is important.

Do you have any idea what your designs’ Pantone color is?

Don’t worry, most enamel pin makers will advise you of Pantone color when they give you the approval file.

The bottom line?

Do not overcrowd your pin with too many of your favorite colors.

Instead, choose several colors that match well and best to represent you or your organization.

#4 How many pins should I order this time?

The number of pins that you order will greatly determine the price per pin.

Simply put, the more you order, the better price you will get.

And for unit price, 3000 PCS order will be much cheaper than 100 pcs.

So, if you’re sure that you will repeat your order [THIS design] another time, buy as much as you can.

.

Now that you know the basics, let’s look into some tips on just how you can find the best pin manufacturer

Tip #1:

Choose The Manufacturer With The Best User-Experience

An enamel pin maker with a good user-experience will save you both time and money.

How?

Online ordering system! Within minutes, you can upload your design, approve it, and order your custom pins.

Lets compare the online ordering system to the traditional ordering process:

[Send inquiry –> Wait for a quote –> Change Design –> Quote change –> Compare price — > Confirm order –> Payment]

The traditional ordering process contributes to a waste of at least two working days to confirm the order. For urgent orders that need to be processed immediately, the traditional ordering process is a nightmare.

Furthermore,

Because manufacturers that use an online ordering system require less staff or sales representatives on their website, they can save up to 10% on costs, with those savings ultimately trickling down to your cost as a customer.

That is why, most of the time, the companies that offer online ordering systems have better prices than normal suppliers.

Tip #2:

Choose the Pin Manufacturers with Live Chat System

While you want to change your order or design, will you write an email or just call the pin supplier?

And why choose company have  Live chat system?

In short, Live chat system is The Faster Problem Resolutions.

Think about this;

You need to change the design of your pin urgently.

What do you do?

Send an email or Call the manufacturer directly?

Neither!

Just click the live chat icon, send them your new design, and then complete your order.

If you mail the supplier, you would need to wait 12 hours or even 2 days to have their responds.

And if you just call the supplier,  you can not upload your design by phone, have to use email again.

For this reason, you would prefer Live chat system.

Conclusion:

Choose the company who can contact by phone, email and Live Chat. 

Tip #3:

Choose An Enamel Pin Company That Does Not Charge A Mold Fee

Some custom pin manufacturer need mold fee.

Some company no need.

But, is it reasonable to pay mold fee?

And why some company do not asked for mold fee?

This chapter will tell you all about mold fee.

In fact, most pin companies typically charge a mold fee, especially for custom-shaped pins.

In fact, there are even manufacturers who require exceptionally high mold fees for the custom-shaped pins:

How come some companies don’t require a mold fee?

And even for custom-shaped pins?

Simple!

They add the cost to the unit price!

Manufacturers do this because they can make it look like their mold fee is either nonexistent or lower than other manufacturers or suppliers.

And they see this method as more effective because they don’t have to explain the mold fee to their customers.

Bonus:

Regardless if your pin supplier or manufacturer requires a mold fee or not, if you repeat order for your previous design, you may not be required to pay the fee a second time.

Send a message to the supplier:

“Hey, can I have a discount for this order? As I am a returning customer and you don’t need to open a new mold, right?”

Trust me; you will definitely get a better discount because you’re now a repeat buyer. 

Tip #4:

Choose The Pin Company That Has Third-Party Reviews

In today’s day and age, it is hard to find a trusted enamel pin company directly.

Every company claims that they are the trusted one.

But how do you prove that?

Third-party customer review.

First-Party Reviews vs Third-Party Reviews
First-Party Reviews: The reviews collected and presented on the store or supplier own website.

Which means site owner can edit the reviews, they would tend to delete or hide bad review or create the fake good review.

Third-Party Reviews: Reviews that are collected and presented on a third-party website, such as a directory listing, a social media profile, or a third-party review platform.

The site owner cannot edit, hide, or delete reviews on a third-party website.

For obvious reasons, these types of reviews are much more trustworthy.

From these reviews, you can get a better idea of each specific pin company.

A) You can more accurately gauge the user-experience of the website.

B) You can inquire about customer service.

C) You can read up on the company’s communication and delivery processes.

Conclusion:

Many trusted suppliers do not utilize third-party reviews.

In these cases, you can verify their business practices through sales representatives, history, local reputation, and so on.

But remember, third-party reviews give you a fast and positive signal towards verifying a good supplier.

Tip #5:

Choose The Company That Has A Guaranteed Delivery Time.

Most of the time, you’ll customize a lapel pin for an event, and hope that it is delivered on time before your scheduled event.

But very few companies actually give you a guaranteed delivery time.

Why? Because:

A) The pins are custom-made. They cannot sell these customized pins to other customers.

B) Delays happen quite often. There are so many processes that go into crafting a customized pin, including design, file confirmation, stamping, polishing, plating, enamel, etc.

And most of the time, the pin will be sent from overseas, there is also the custom issue, sometimes it can clear custom fast, sometimes more slowly.  You will know why it is imported from overseas in tip 6.

And holiday, power cut, hurricane, that will also make delay happen.

That is why most of the custom lapel pin manufacturer dare not to give you a guarantee.

The solution is that you can order the pin several days in advance to ensure it arrives on time.

But how many days would you need to order your pins in advance?

3 days? 7 days? 15 days?

You dislike guesswork. You need a SIMPLE GUARANTEE.

 

How come other companies can give you a guaranteed delivery time?

a) They can manage their production process quite well. Most of the time, they have their own factory.

If they offer you a 10-day delivery guarantee, the truth is that they can deliver earlier than 10 days.

b) They care about their brand; customer satisfactionis more important than losing money.

Conclusion:

A delivery guarantee represents great confidence for this pin maker.

Working with this kind of supplier will certainly make your order process easier.

Tip #6:

Should I Work With A Factory Directly or Just Buy From A PIN TRADER?

Of couse, all of us want to work with the factory directly.  Middle man means extra cost.

But you do not know that it is hard to find a good lapel pin factory directly.

This chapter will tell you the truth of pin supplier.

And why it is hard to find pin factory in local.

Why sometimes you can just use pin trader too.

The truth is that 95% of lapel pins are produced overseas [Most are from China].

Thanks to new technology, we now have the Auto Enamel Pin machine, which saves tons of work in one of the most complicated processes.

But, it is still a 19-step process to produce a single enamel pin.

And you can see that the unit price for a Pin is below 1$ for a bulk order.

So,

It is not effective to make pins locally.  

[And that is why we’ve invested in a factory in China.]

Most of the big names that you see in this niche simply import from Asia. These businesses are PIN TRADERs or PIN Wholesalers.

Yes, you would need to pay extra $$$ to them.

Is it worth it?

Definitely!

With their help, the production process becomes much more efficient.

A)You will not meet the language barrier

Some of the sales representatives in pin factories can write and speak very nice English.

But most sales representatives are just like Jack.

It is not too difficult to understand Jack, but misunderstandings occur more frequently than you would think.

And if you want to call them, most of the time, Jack cannot understand you well enough and cannot express himself well enough.

B) You don’t need to filter through 20 suppliers to find the right pin company.

You can get many quotations from overseas easily; some prices are low, and others are high. And all of them claim that they are the best.

But which is the right one?

Who can give you the right suggestion for your design?

Who can produce the pin exactly as you require it?

Who can make your pin with the best quality?

Who can deliver your pin on time?

Who is positive and truly cares about your design and business?

You will not know that until you receive your order!

A little risk, right?

But the pin trader knows this because they have contacted many, many pin manufacturers before. Talk to them in trade shows, visit their factory, and work with them for a period before deciding which one is right for you.

Remember, ordering from pin traders will bring less risk and an easier process.

Conclusion:

If you don’t order pins very often, like several times per year, it is okay to order from pin traders or pin wholesalers.

If you customize pins every day or many times per month, you would need more effort to source the right pin manufacturer.

Working with them directly will save you tons of money, as it is your business.

PS:

Do you need a new pin factory as a partner? Or do you want to find one as a backup?

You are more than welcome to contact us and test our company to see whether or not we can be the right one. Remember, we’re a risk-free option!  

Want to order your custom pins now?

Custom lapel pin in minute with online ordering system

Fair price, fast-turnaround with 5 star guarantee.

Need a new pin manufacturer as a partner?

It is welcome to contact us, test our company, to see whether we can be the right one. Risk-free.

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