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2023 Enamel Pin Community Forum

Hi friends! Welcome to my very first blog post--I'm so happy you're here! I'm so stoked to be opening the community forum once again. Last year, I unexpectedly opened a can of worms when I posted on my Instagram stories asking how enamel pin makers could do better...there was a massive response that spanned over multiple days. However, at the end of it all, it really had me thinking. It was obvious that the community of pin collectors and makers on Instagram really had a lot to say about how the enamel pin market had changed since the massive shift in 2020 due to the pandemic. As we are half-way through 2023, I wanted to check in again with you all and see if the pin community as a whole has improved since last year. Please answer these polls in reference to the pin market spanning from 2022 through to today.

How do you feel the overall product quality has been when you buy pins?

  • It's gotten better

  • It's gotten worse

  • It's about the same

What have you noticed about pin artworks that have been posted?

  • They've gotten better

  • They've gotten worse

  • They're about the same

What do you think about B-grade/Flawed pin transparency?

  • Most makers show flaws, so I know what I'm buying

  • Most makers don't show flaws, so I'm disappointed when I buy

  • I haven't noticed a difference

How do you feel about makers posting updates on pre-ordered products?

  • They've gotten better about it. I see a lot more updates now

  • They've gotten worse. I don't like to pre-order anymore

  • I haven't noticed a difference. I'm hesitant to pre-order

What are your thoughts on makers using Pop Shop Live for new product drops?

  • I enjoy the community and live interactions--it's fun

  • I really don't like it. I don't have time & I feel excluded.

  • I don't care. I just want a chance to buy off their website.

What do you think of the pin community and pin-trading market?

  • It's gotten more enjoyable! I've had fun buying/trading pins

  • It's gotten worse. I have stopped/plan to stop collecting

  • 50% is awesome and fun and 50% is cut-throat and nasty

There are a lot of other topics that were covered last year, but it would be too much to list a poll for each one. Instead, I thought I'd just create some questions based off some responses I received from my Instagram stories from the last public forum. I'd like to then leave the floor open to you, the community, to respond to any of these questions in the comments below! You're also more than welcome to elaborate on any of the polls you voted on above. Lastly, whether you're a maker, a customer, or both, if you've noticed something that has developed in the pin community (good or bad) that you'd like to discuss, please share it with us!


How do you feel about makers using manufacturers that have been known to scam? Do you feel they have a responsibility to call them out or to warn others?


Do you feel confident supporting new small businesses/creators?


Now that Covid is less prominent, do you feel that customers are more or less understanding with shipping or manufacturing times?


Do you think makers have improved in the way they prepare for new product drops such as listing prices and other details beforehand?


Are you seeing customers attack makers if their pins sell out quickly?


Have you noticed any difference in Limited Edition pin quantities?


At what point do you think a maker has too many pre-orders open at once?


Have you seen any difference in the amount of niche art or characters being pinned?


Are scalpers still a big problem in the community? How do you think this can be avoided?


What are you wanting to see more or less of?


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Jun 18, 2023

1) Manufacturers: it is 100% the makers’ responsibility to be transparent about a bad manufacturer’s record and reliability. If a maker chooses to use a manu with known issues in those areas, they should make it clear to collectors why they chose the manu in spite of their record. Then collectors can make an informed decision before they pre-order.

2) New creators: I feel very confident buying from new creators, specifically in the Star Wars and Marvel fandoms. Many new creators are active collectors known to the community already, so it gives me confidence that they are legit and doing their best work. I am far less confident about new Disney creators, mostly because the community is so much larger…

Queen of Gondor
Queen of Gondor
Jun 18, 2023
Replying to

Thanks for all this input! I agree with a lot of what you mentioned here. One point I thought I might touch on is the topic of LE count. As a maker myself, I know how hard it can be to decide on the limited edition amount for a big pin. You don't want to make too many because what if they're not popular? You don't want to make too little and have people upset or miss out on more you're kind of stuck. That's why a lot of us do pre-orders to gauge how many we should make. It's unfortunate if/when we make a LE pin that only gains traction after we have already put them into production…


Jun 17, 2023

The Good:

1) Community

I enjoy this community and I’ve met some really great people through it — other collectors as well as makers. I’ve had some great conversations with people, and look forward to getting to know my new pin friends better. In addition to enjoying 1-on-1 interactions, I also enjoy things like PopShop shows, and fun traditions like annual coloring contests.

2) The Art

I’m into bigger, more expensive pins and would rather own a few grails than a huge collection of pins. I’m in awe of the artwork people are creating — both artists’ work and makers‘ translation of that art into incredible pins. That said, I know not everyone feels the same way: big LE pin…

Queen of Gondor
Queen of Gondor
Jun 18, 2023
Replying to

Thanks for weighing in! I'm happy to hear you've had some good social experiences with the community this year. On the other hand, I'm sorry that you have felt a push recently to take a break from pins. Though, I think that in the end, they are just pieces of metal and your mental health always comes first! I hope if/when the time is right and you decide to return to collecting that the pin community is better and there are more grails accessible to you!

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