Why Are Enamel Pins So Expensive?

Written by Robin Brown on February 23, 2021
Enamel pins are often perceived as expensive due to the need for creating molds as part of the production process. The initial cost of producing the mold is the primary contributor to the overall expense. However, the unit price can be significantly reduced when producing enamel pins in bulk quantities.

For instance, upon researching the pricing of soft enamel pins, I discovered that the cost per pin is approximately $2.49 for a batch of 100 units. Conversely, if you were to purchase just one pin individually, it could cost over $100. This considerable price difference can be attributed to various factors that influence enamel pin pricing.

In this post, I will provide a comprehensive breakdown of these factors affecting enamel pin pricing. The first section will focus on the key elements that influence pricing, such as the creation of molds, the type of metal used, and the pin's size.

The second section will jump into the different types of enamel pins and their respective prices. You will gain insights into soft enamel pins and hard enamel pins, along with their unique characteristics and pricing details.

Let's explore the world of enamel pins to gain a better understanding of why they are priced the way they are.
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1. How The Pricing of Enamel Pins Work

The primary factor that influences the pricing of enamel pins is the creation of the mold. Manufacturers must create a specific mold for each pin design. Whether they produce a single pin or a larger quantity, the cost of the mold remains the same. As a result, when ordering a smaller number of pins, the price per pin increases since the mold cost is divided among fewer units.

To illustrate this, let's consider an example. The average cost of a standard enamel pin mold is approximately $50. If you were to order just one pin, you would need to cover the minimum cost of $50 to account for the mold. Additionally, the manufacturer would also charge you for the manufacturing, design, and shipping costs associated with that particular pin.

Meanwhile, manufacturers consider various factors such as mold creation, design, production, and shipping when determining the final price for each enamel pin.
how the pricing of enamel pins work
In total, you’re looking at $100 for just 1 enamel pin!

Now, let's consider the alternative scenario and explore the benefits of ordering a larger quantity of enamel pins.

Suppose you decide to order 100 enamel pins. If the cost of the mold is $50, each pin would have a mold cost of $0.50. However, in addition to the mold cost, the manufacturer will still charge you for the manufacturing, design, and shipping expenses associated with producing these pins.

Taking all these factors into account, the total cost per enamel pin would be approximately $2.50.

As you can see, by ordering in larger quantities, the price per enamel pin significantly drops from the previous $100 to the current $2.50. This demonstrates the importance of bulk buying when it comes to enamel pins. The goal is to distribute the mold cost over a greater number of pins, thus reducing the unit cost.

To further emphasize this point, let's consider an even larger order of 10,000 units of soft enamel pins. In this case, the price per pin would decrease drastically to approximately $0.53. Bulk buying proves to be a game-changer in terms of cost savings.

Therefore, it becomes evident that purchasing enamel pins in multiples of 100 or larger quantities is a wise approach to bring down the unit cost. By spreading the mold cost over a greater number of pins, you can obtain a more affordable price per enamel pin.

2. Different Sizes of Enamel Pins

enamel pins size image
Enamel pins come in many sizes. The standard size is 1-inch. You’ll have the option to purchase enamel pins ranging from 0.75 to 2 inches.

As you’ve guessed by now, the price of each pin increases as you jump sizes.

So, a 1-inch soft enamel pin will cost $2.49 per pin whereas, its 2-inch counterpart costs $3.14 per pin when you order 100 units.

3. The Metal Used to Make Enamel Pins

metal enamel pins image
The metal used for creating enamel pins is a lesser factor that affects pricing, but still worth noting.

Enamel pins get made using a variety of metals like aluminium, brass, copper, or iron.

Iron is the cheapest and most durable of the lot. Hence, it’s the most preferred metal of choice for making enamel pins.

4. Different Types of Enamel Pins

Wait, there’s more!

Now that I’ve covered the physical aspects of enamel pin pricing, it’s important to acquaint you with the various type of said pins out there.

I’ll be going through the variations from least to most expensive in terms of their 1-inch prices for 100 units.

● Soft Enamel Pin

soft enamel pins image
I’ve mentioned soft enamel pins before, which happens to be the cheapest variation in the enamel pin family.

These are die-struck out of iron, copper or brass. It has raised metal edges to create a textured finish. Also, the paint is dried in the air, saving a step of labour.

Standard 1-inch soft enamel pins cost $2.49 per pin (100 units).
soft enamel pins price imageStart a soft enamel pins design

● Offset Printed Pin

offset printed pin image
Offset printed pins are metallic with a design printed on the metal. But it’s not colour-filled or stamped. These are absolutely great if you love vivid colours with tiny details!

Standard 1-inch offset printed pins cost $2.64 per pin (100 units).
offset printed pins price imageStart a offset printed pins design

● Hard enamel pin

hard enamel pins image
The hard enamel pin is also die-struck out of iron, copper or brass. The key difference with the soft counterpart is that hard pins get toughened by heat. It’s eventually polished to give a smooth finish, unlike the textured finish of soft enamel pins.

Standard 1-inch hard enamel pins cost $2.77 per pin (100 units).
hard enamel pins price imageStart a hard enamel pins design

● Die cast pin

Die cast pin image
These are made from zinc alloy and contain many inner cutouts which add to its uniqueness and cost. You’ll have the option of choosing soft or hard enamel coloring for die cast pins.

Standard 1-inch die cast pins cost $2.97 per pin (100 units).
Die cast pin price imageStart a die cast enamel pins design

5. Final verdict: Please buy enamel pins in bulk!

enamel pins bulk factors price
Congratulations if you’ve made it this far!

Now you know everything about why enamel pins are so expensive. So, the next time you’re out shopping for them, please follow these tips:

Firstly, the mould used for making enamel pins is the most significant factor that contributes to its pricing. I highly recommend buying in 100 units or more to spread the cost over many pins and lower the unit price.

Secondly, please consider the size of each pin as well since price increases as you move up from 0.75 to 2 inches.

Finally, enamel pin pricing also differs as you go through the variations. Just to remind you again, in ascending order of unit price for 100 units:

Soft enamel ($2.49), offset printed ($2.64), hard enamel ($2.77), and die cast pins ($2.97).

If you’re a first-timer, I suggest going for the most popular and cheap option: soft enamel pins.

Well, that about wraps it up for explaining to you why enamel pins are so expensive. Be sure to check back here for more great content. Bye!

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Article written by Robin Brown
Robin Brown is part of the content team at Vivipins where he develops resources to help customers start and grow their own businesses.
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