Accessories are an important part to any clothing line. Getting custom pins manufactured is an easy way to add more options for your customers. My friend Greg from Miles to Go has been selling pins on his own site Pin Game Strong and recently started offering them to other artists. Here are a few questions I asked him about making pins.
Why sell pins?
I’d begun making them for miles to go and after a few friends asked me for assistance getting them made, I saw the need. There’s a lot of fear with blindly sending money overseas and hoping for the best. I’d made a great relationship with my manufacturer and after making over 10k pins, I felt really comfortable offering it up as a service publicly and not just through word of mouth. I’ve been making merchandise since 2001 for other brands and for miles to go, so it’s a natural thing for me to get into. I heard too many horror stories from friends about their experiences manufacturing overseas and knew I could help.
How well do pins sell on your own website?
I sell a ton of them online, both on my main site and through my etsy shop. They also kill for me in my retail stores. My first pins I made had only 100 of each made and I quickly saw that the reorder needed to be much higher. First 100 were gone in about a week.
Typical retail prices to charge for pins?
Most people charge $10 for a pin. I happen to charge $8, but that’s partly because I wholesale them for $4 to stores. There’s great margins in there. If you get 500 pins that cost you $1 apiece and sell for $10, you’re in a great spot with to take the chance. Pins are having their moment right now.
What designs work best on pins?
Simple and clean work best with bold lines. It needs to be able to be read or recognized at a very small size, much like a logo. Tiny lines and details don’t make the best pins. I learned that the hard way and focus on the simplicity now. If you print out your design at home at size and it’s hard to read, it’ll be even harder once it’s made into a metal mold with enamel in it.
Greg Ker has run Miles to Go since 2007.
Now has helps companies manufacture pins through pingamestrong.com