HOW PINS ARE DELIVERED
Let’s talk all about packaging! I'm going to dive in to a bag that I need to package, just to show you how I process and package everything. When you get your pins, they will be packaged in individual plastic baggies inside a larger plastic bag. Then they will be covered in either styrofoam or packaging material and in a very heavy cardboard box.
When it’s time to take them out of the bags, because I'm impatient, I use scissors to cut them out and then recycle the plastic. I also take them out and keep the bags intact to reuse for other purposes, like to package locking backs when people order them, to hold the chains in necklace packaging, etc.
When you're taking the clutches off, if you have two per pin, or even one per pin for like a hundred, it gets a little crazy and your little fingers will hurt so bad. So just use pliers! Little jewelry pliers will make it so much easier and it'll go so much faster. Considering it's kind of the most boring part of pins, faster is better.
So, I’ve taken all the pins out of their baggies but, what am I going to put them on? I have to get a backing card. There are lots of options of backing cards, but business cards are pretty standard. Most pin makers use business cards as their backing cards because they are inexpensive, you can get any design you want on them, and they look really professional. Vista Print is a great option because always have coupons.
For the content of the backing card I always include my shop name, website and info on the back. I think it’s always important to have your Instagram handle because Instagram is the biggest social media platform for pin makers. Something to think about when you're designing backing cards is to be aware of what’s on the back. Make sure the clutches aren't covering anything, and that they don't push through any vital information.
Some artists go all out, and design different backing cards for different pins and it looks awesome. I, unfortunately, don't have the time to do that so I stick to a standard card for all my pins. The first backing cards I designed were a custom size, 2.5” x 3.5”, and I used compostable plastic for plastic sleeves.
I use CatPrint.com for this custom size because they offer different finishes, round the corners and many different custom options. Vista Print does custom work too and there are lots of other online and local printers who can help you figure out exactly what you want.
PACKING YOUR ORDERS
Let’s talk about how to package your pins for protection in shipping! There are lots of different options for packing and it’s all up to personal preference and the kind of experience you want your customers to have when they open their mail. Some shop owners just toss the pin in, by itself, without any plastic sleeve. Others like to wrap pins in bubble wrap to keep them safe or keep them from scratching. I like to just put my pins in a compostable plastic bags because it keeps the pin safe from scratches and it keeps water out. I think it just protects the pin really well and looks a little bit more finished.
So you've got everything packaged and now for shipping! I like to use padded bubble mailers from a local place in Austin got EcoBox. You want to pack things as flat as possible for the post office, so if you have multiple pins, you want to slide them in and sandwich them a little bit so the package is as flat as possible to make it easy to go through the machines at the post office.
I like plastic ones because I used kraft envelopes for a long time, but if it's raining they get wet and damaged. They can also tear in the sorting machines, and damage the actual pins, but I’ve not had any problems with the plastic at all. I’m on the lookout for shipping envelopes that are biodegradable, or made from recycled material. When I find one that’s a good alternative, I’ll let you know!
The envelopes I use work well with the labels from my Dymo 4XL and makes my packages look professional. I love getting pink and sparkly packages in the mail, but those are another cost, and I am kind of cheap. I like the packaging on the pin to look cute, and I like to include a couple of extra goodies in there, but I think shipping envelopes need to be as simple as possible for the mail. I just want it to get where it needs to go!
Okay, so today we learned about how your pins come delivered, how to put them in their packaging, how to package them to ship, and all that good stuff. I hope it was helpful!