One of the biggest problems is finding a reliable and fairly priced custom hard enamel pin factory with great customer service and quick turnaround times.
What is a fair price to pay? How long will it take to receive your pins? How about payment term? What do you do if something goes wrong or you get a faulty product?
Unless you have experience working with a manufacturer abroad (which most of us don’t), these are all totally normal questions to have, but don’t worry, it’s a pretty simple process once you have the right information.
To begin with, firstly, it’s important that we go through the basics of custom hard enamel pin manufacturing.
Currently, there are no hard enamel pin factories in North America or Europe, which means that most custom pins are manufactured in Asia (96% of factories are in China) and you’ll have to work with a factory directly.
These factories use big machinery and have the cost of creating a mold in order to produce a pin. This means that the minimum order most manufacturers will require from you is 100 units per pin design, sometimes 50, if you’re lucky but the price per pin will be high in that case since they incur the same costs as they would to produce 100.
The advantage of working with directly with a factory is that you’ll usually get the lowest prices in the market, compared to whole sale distributors or trading companies.
Good, now that you know the basics as above, here some more information that will help you work with a factory effectively:
What is a fair price to pay?
From experience, most custom enamel pin factories will usually charge you anywhere between $200 to $350 for 100 units of a simple, 1-2 inch hard enamel pin. Keep in mind, these prices will change depending to the specifics of the design (the more intricate your design is, the more expensive it’ll be), and I’m sure they’ll also vary with time, but overall, these are a decent estimation of standard prices in the current market.
How long will it take to receive your pin?
Turnaround time for a pin (how long it’ll take for you to receive them) starts from the moment you approve the production proof (the production-ready artwork a factory will send for approval before they begin production). The standard turnaround time in the industry is around 10 days rushed and 15-20 days for non-rushed. This includes production and shipping time.
How about payment term?
Make sure that the factory agrees to payment terms of 50% upfront and 50% once final production is approved. This means that they’ll only receive your full payment and ship your order once you have seen a photo or sample of your final produced pin and approve it.
What do you do if something goes wrong or you get a faulty product?
The above payment term will help you be able to ask your factory to correct any mistakes that might have happened during production before you’ve made the full payment. This way, you’ll know exactly what your pins are going to look like before they are shipped.
After you decide on the right factory, the production and communication process will be something like this:
Step 1: You send them the artwork file and all of your requirements for production.
Step 2: They will send you quotation, with turnaround time estimated, and will send you final production artwork proof for your approval.
Step 3: Once artwork proof and quotation are approved by you, you pay them 50% of the total costs to start production.
Step 4: The factory produces the pin.
Step 5: Once the pins are produced, they’ll send you a photo or sample of the final product for your approval.
Step 6: If you’re happy with the quality of the final product, you approve it for shipment and you pay them the final 50% of the total costs.
Step 7: They’ll give you a tracking number for your shipment and you’ll receive your pin.
Cool. You’ve made a custom hard enamel pin!