Buying trading pins online is much easier compared to visiting each pin store and browsing through the merchandise. Websites allow the buyer to see what’s available and instruct the manufacturer on what he wants to purchase even without going to the physical shop. Although online purchasing of trading pins is already a simple task, there are some guidelines to make the process even more convenient.
Decide whether you want a customized or stock pin. Pin manufacturers provide a variety of pins but they sometimes offer customization services. If you want a pre-made pin, you can usually see them on the website but they may have other options that are not included in their site – ask about these. When you want to make your own pin, check what they offer. Different manufacturers have their own ways of making pins that result into particular styles. See whether these are okay with you; if not, either ask the manufacturer if they can make your pin in the way you want, or look for somebody else who can.
Have a design. If you want a customized pin, you need to send an illustration or photo of it. Usually, if the pins are to be used by many people, the design will have to be agreed upon by an assigned group. If this is so, you need to set a meeting for this. When the decision is entirely upon you, it may be wise to ask for suggestions from others to get good ideas and avoid missing important details. An artist may also be helpful for styling concepts – these may be provided by the manufacturer or hired elsewhere.
Select your pin type. The way the pin is made influences how it appears. With your design in mind, evaluate the available pin types. They have varying levels of detail and color. For example:
- Cloisonné. This is a style that has metallic contouring and solid patches of color.
- Photo Etched. Photo etching is related to cloisonné but it involves a thinner metal.
- The printed method allows for color gradients and details. This does not have metal lines, though.
- Die struck. A purely metallic pin without inks or paints. The design is engraved upon the metal, which can come in different tints and finishes.
You may ask whether there are other styling methods aside from the ones given above. Be sure to know what the finished product looks like.
Get to know if extra features are available. Some manufacturers offer additional detailing on the trading pins such as dangling extensions, blinking parts, rotating pins, and chain links. These have additional charges so know how much they are priced at before including them in your main design.
Specify the pin size. Pins can be made in varying dimensions. Websites often give the common sizes that they are able to make the pins in, but they may or may not make them in the specific size that you want the pins to have. Ask if they can copy your specifications accurately; if not, you need to make adjustments.
Give your order amount. Pin websites give specific order amounts such as 10, 100, 1000 and so on. If you are ordering an amount not given on the list, say 250 or 990, ask whether they can produce the specific number you gave to avoid inconveniences.
Know when the trading pins are expected to arrive. The estimated times of completion are usually given and these vary according to the type of pin, the level of complexity, and the number of pins ordered. If an estimate is not provided, inquire for it.