Why Are Enamel Pins So Expensive?

Written by Robin Brown on February 23, 2021
Enamel pins are expensive because you need to create a mold to make them. Once the mold is ready, you can produce 1 or 100 of them! Since the production of the mold itself is the costliest bit, bulk production of the pins can help lower the unit price.

Recently, I checked the price of soft enamel pins and found that it costs $2.49 per pin for 100 units. But, if I were to purchase just one pin, it would cost me over $100!

Yes, a single enamel pin the size of my thumb would cost 100 bucks. But, why is that?

In this post, I’ll be bringing you the know-how on why these enamel pins are so expensive. You’ll be getting a comprehensive breakdown of all the factors that affect enamel pin pricing.

In the first section, I’ll highlight what factors influence the pricing of enamel pins like the mould, the type of metal used, its size, etc.

The second section will cover the different types of pins and their current prices. You’ll get to know about soft and hard enamel pins along with their specifics.

So, let’s jump right in and see what enamel pins are all about!
look at image

1. How The Pricing of Enamel Pins Work

Most of the pricing has to do with the mould enamel pins are made on.

Manufacturers need to create a mould in order to make an enamel pin. Whether they make 1 pin or a 100, the cost of the mould is the same.  So, naturally, the fewer pins you order, the pricier it gets since the cost of the mould is being spread over fewer pins.

Let me show you an example.

A standard mould for an enamel pin costs about $50.  If you order 1 pin, you would pay a minimum of $50 to cover the mould’s cost.  Plus, the manufacturer will also charge you the manufacturing, designing and shipping costs of said pin.
how the pricing of enamel pins work
In total, you’re looking at $100 for just 1 enamel pin!

Now, let’s see the other side of the picture.

This time, let’s say you order 100 enamel pins. If the mould is worth $50, each pin would cost $0.50.  However, the manufacturer will still charge you manufacturing, designing and shipping costs associated with said pins.

But now, in total, you’d end up paying about $2.50 per enamel pin after adding these additional costs.

See how the price per enamel pin dropped from $100 to $2.50?

Its obvious people are not going to spend that much for one enamel pin. So, the trick is to order in multiples of 100 to bring the unit cost down. As I mentioned before, the idea is to spread the cost of the mould over many enamel pins.

If you were to order 10,000 units of soft enamel pins, the price would drastically come down to $0.53 per pin. The name of the game is bulk buying.

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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