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A: When you contact a pin manufacturer, you just need to have a little bit of an idea of how you’d like your team pin to look. The two most common types for baseball trading are soft enamel, which is thicker and more solid. It has almost a 3D texture when you run your finger across it. Each individual color is separated by metal so it creates a very classic and cool affect. Production time takes longer – 25 to 30 days. They say 14 business days, but with delivery you can expect around 30 days from ordering to delivery.
-longer production time
-a little more expensive
The second type is offset printed or photo etched. These have a solid metal pinback and the design is printed directly onto the metal and covered with a polyurethane or epoxy dome to give it a finished effect. They’re not as heavy as the soft enamel pins, but on the positive side, they are a little less expensive and have a much faster production time – usually about a week. And you can do more design details and effects than on soft enamel.
-shorter production time
-more design details available
For the design itself……
You just need to provide a little information like the details you’d want on your pin, a copy of your logo or a link to a team web page and any written information you want on the pin such players’ names, numbers, age division, maybe the name of the tournament you’re attending. It’s really up to you.
A: As long as you’re not in a time crunch, you should never settle for a pin design that you’re not happy with. One of the services that people really like about my pin company in particular, is that we generally start off offering several different design styles that you can choose from and we’re happy to continue adjusting it to make it perfect for you. If a company gives you a hard time about changes and it’s not because you’re short on time, you should just contact another vendor.
Q: If our team is going to a big tourney like Cooperstown, how many pins should we order? Is there a per-player recommendation?
A: Cooperstown is hands-down the largest baseball pin trading event ever. We get a ton of orders for teams going to Cooperstown and the minimum seems to be 1,000 pins. The most common is 1,200. Some teams order in excess of 1,500. Remember, you’re going to be trading amongst hundreds of teams with 12 players each. And this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most players. If you’re making the trek to Cooperstown, my personal recommendation is to go all out. When you separate the cost by player, ordering a few more hundred pins usually works out to only $10 or $15 more per kid. If you can afford it, I believe it’s worth it.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Cooperstown Dreams Park hosts 104 teams per week.
A: 1.75 inches seems to be the most common size ordered. However, there are sizes smaller and larger, normally starting at 1.25 inches up to around 3 inches. Pins over 2 inches in size increase dramatically in cost.
A: All pins are made with an iron back plating. You can order different thicknesses to ensure that your pin is very sturdy .08 mm is the thinnest and 2 mm generally the thickest. Remember this is solid metal so increasing the thickness will cost slightly more but will dramatically affect the shipping cost due to the extra weight.
A: An order of 100 very high quality pins will usually cost $250 to $300, depending on the shape and size. For smaller quantities, the cost per pin is very high because the most expensive part is the metal mold which tends to cost about 60 to $120 to produce, depending on the pin’s size and shape.
Ordering 500 pins will usually run about $700 to $800. Whereas 1,000 pins will be around a $1,000 to $1,200. With higher quantities, the price per pin is actually very inexpensive, but the initial mold fee and shipping costs, due to the weight, are very expensive. This is off-set when you order higher quantities.
A: First off, look for one that has a design style you like and can relate to. Secondly, word-of-mouth recommendation is probably the best reference you could have. Placing your order well ahead of time with any pin vendor will probably reduce any and all problems. Here’s a design I did for a Texas team that has a spinner feature on it.
A: I keep on touching on this, but the easiest way to remedy all problems is to order well in advance. Most companies will be happy to replace any damaged or incorrect pins provided you have the time before your tournament or event. The most likely case if there is an error, is that they will offer you a credit if you don’t have enough time to receive corrected pins by the date of your tournament.
A: The first thing to keep in mind is your budget. Also keep in mind, when you want add-on features like blinkers, sliders, danglers, spinners, even glitter adds to production time. I keep stressing the importance of not waiting until the last minute to order. That’s probably the biggest thing to remember. Generally, each tournament will provide some guidelines on how many pins to bring for trading. But there’s really no wrong answers as long as you have some pins and can participate. It gives everyone a chance to enjoy the fun.