Buttons, Badges & Pins - People Power Blog

Selling your button designs in stores can be a great way to launch your button business.  But buttons are a low cost item that can walk very easily if you have them in a jar or on a board.  Packaging buttons is a good way to go.  You can make sets of matching buttons and put them on a display card or 4 in a bag with a header card.  I will be writing a separate article about button packaging in due course.  Another way to ensure you don’t loose buttons to pilfering is sell them using a button vending machine.

These machines are traditional gumball machines converted to take capsules.  You can then add multiple buttons in a capsule or also put a special offer or a coupon code in the capsule.  People enjoy putting in a coin and turning the handle to see what they are going to get.  There is a nostalgia surrounding the gumball machines.  Everyone remembers them from their childhood.  Button vending machines work for you whilst you are somewhere else, maybe making or designing buttons, maybe at home tucked up in bed with a good book.  Put your button sales on Automatic!

Beaver Meridian Gumball Machine

Beaver Meridian Gumball Machine

Button Vending Machine

Button Vending Machine uses capsules

 

This is the flagship!  The Beaver Meridian Gumball Machine is a very cool retro style solid metal machine in bright red and designed like a globe.  I think it looks very cool.  As with all these machines there are some options for the coin mechanism.  You can go for a coin mechanism that takes a quarter, two quarters or even 4 quarters.  If your in Canada you can have a loonie or toonie coin mechanism.  You can even have 2 x $1 or 2 x $2.  All these machines also have the option for TOKENS or FREE VEND options.

Beaver Coin Mechanism

Coin Mechanism for a Beaver Meridian Gumball Machine

 

The above Button Vending Machine – Meridian is quite pricy ($600 – $800) and at 70 lbs it’s quite expensive to ship.  But there are other options:

Northern Beaver Vending Machine

Northern Beaver Vending Machine

The Northern Beaver takes 1″ or 2″ or 3″ capsules.  You can fit 3 1″ buttons or magnets in a 1″ acorn capsule.  You can fit 3 buttons or magnets up to 1-3/4″ in a 2″ acorn capsule.  The 3″ capsules are a quarter each so I find them a bit expensive but they do take a few 2-1/4″ buttons.  The 2″ acorn capsules are only 5 cents each, the 1″ acorn capsules go down to 3 cents each. I see more opportunity in those than the 3″ buttons.

Round Beaver Button Vending Machine

Round Beaver Button Vending Machine

The Round Beaver has all the coin mechanism options but is only available for 1″ vending capsules.  The stand is also an optional extra.  They sit nicely on the counter and come with fixtures for bolting down or attaching a security wire (as do all Beaver vending machines).  The Round Beaver you can pickup for around $150.

Marketing and promotion options using a Button Vending Machine.

Above I’m talking about selling buttons but there are also other uses.  These machines have interchangeable coin mechanisms.  Those coin mechanisms can have some interesting possibilities. The FREE VEND option is a coin mechanism that requires no coin.  Just turn the handle and out pops the capsule.  Why is this useful?

Think of putting a machine in a local venue like an art gallery or a café.  When someone turns the handle they get a free button and an ad.  That ad could lead potential clients to your store, your website or to your latest special offer.  A great way to get customers coming to you.

What about TOKEN VENDING?  Our mechanism takes a 0.984″ token which is a pretty standard token size.  You can get tokens personalised, stamped with your website or your logo.  You can send a token to your mailing list, give a token out at trade shows or even walk the streets and hand out your token.  It will bring people to your store or event.  Event and party organisers can use tokens to distribute “random” capsules that are a kind of lottery.  What about a party where you have to find the person with the matching button.  The Button Vending Machine keeps the mix random.

How do I promote my website or business with a Button Vending Machine.

Depends on your business ….. but let’s say you have a bicycle store for example.  Come up with 5 or 10 slogans about cycling.  I love my bike!  Cyclists do it better!  Watch for cyclists!  etc.  Make some cool designs, add a button or magnet business card so there are 2 buttons in the capsule.   Get a Button Vending Machine with a $1 mechanism and set it up in your cycle shop.  Your customers will like the slogan, buy the button and take home your business card for the fridge.  If it cost a $1 they will appreciate it – If you give them away we all know how many end up in the garbage!  Entertain your customers AND promote your business.  The $1 coins will pay for the buttons and the machine in no time.  This method can be adapted to almost ANY BUSINESS and it works.

 

 

You're thinking of getting some customized buttons made.  These maybe photo buttons with a text or buttons with your own design.  If you are looking to get 100 custom buttons and pins or even 250 custom made buttons it's not really worthwhile to rent. You might as well let someone else make the buttons for you. You can easily order custom buttons online with us at People Power Press or with Button-Designer from The Button Guy. 

But if you are thinking of making customized buttons, custom photo buttons or any custom buttons and pins in a quantity of maybe 500 or 1000 then renting a button maker could be a serious, easy custom button alternative.  This could save you a lot of $$$$.  Basically you supply the labor and the customized button design and we supply the machine and the button parts.  If you have lots of time, volunteers or workers with not enough to do renting a button maker could just be the way to get your custom pins buttons at a much better price. Here are some links:

Renting a Button Maker        Checkout pricing and details about renting!

Customized Buttons              Checkout customized buttons from People Power Press - We can customize for you!

Custom Photo Buttons          Checkout larger customized photo buttons and add text to your photo

Customized buttons online   Try the free online button designer and customize your own buttons and pins!

The great thing about buttons is the low cost of the button parts if you make them yourself.  If you are doing an event regularly every year then buy a button maker and you will find all kinds of occasions to get the button maker out.  With standard button parts at somewhere between 6 cents and 12 cents each you can have a lot of fun with a button maker for a very small amount of money!

Mike Gagnon: Super Hero Buttons

 

A friend of ours, Mike Gagnon helped out this year at FanExpo by drawing people as super hero's for their button.  It was a great sucess - people were lined up for the opportunity.  Mike is a freelance comic creator.  To see more of his fantastic work visit his website here.

custom buttons, rectangular buttons
 
custom bottle opener, bottle opener, dragon boat festival
 
LEGENDS in Our Own Minds: Dragon Boat Team Custom Buttons and Bottle Openers
 
LEGENDS in Our Own Minds is a dragon boat team that entered Thunder Bay's very first dragon boat festival in 1999 and have been paddling ever since.  Their team consists of members who want to have fun, sing karaoke and paddle in stroke and they even have a member who for the past ten years has traveled from Ireland to paddle with them.  This year, the LEGENDS came in 2nd place at the Thunder Bay Dragon Boat Festival, which is their best placing to date and pretty impressive for a team that practices "more at the bar than it does on the water". Their next competition will be the Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival in Superior, Wisconsin, USA on August 23rd.
Sounds like a fun team and hilarious buttons.  Keep having fun guys - I'm sure your bottle openers will come in handy!
 
Photo of the Legends in Our Own Minds Team!
Button Making, Fan Expo
People Power Press and Button Making in full swing at Toronto's 2013 Fan Expo
 
Button Making Supplies, Pin-back Button Parts
We brought plenty of Button Making Supplies to the event.  Pin-back Button Parts, Button Makers, Graphic Punches AND Button Vending Machines to show hundreds of Fan Expo attendees how to make buttons.         

fan expo, button maker, graphic punches
Our aim was to inform people of how buttons are made and what shapes and sizes are available.  We brought along many sizes of our Button Making Machines and Graphic Punches for people to try out.
 
Button Vending Machines, People Power Press
We also brought along our Button Vending Machines.
 
A Fan Expo attendee giving the Button Vending Machine a whirl.
 
Erin Cooper, Button Makers, People Power Press
People Power Press Button Makers getting Button Supplies ready to please the masses...
 
pre-cut circles for button making
Pre-cut Paper Circles ready to be drawn on for Button Making.
 
button vending machine
Our shop looked great - the button vending machines really spiced things up!
comic artist, fan expo
Comic Artist Mike Gagnon sat in with us drawing people as action heroes.
 
Button Making, Fan Expo
"I'm really into my work" - Button designing at Fan Expo
 
people power press, fan expo
Watching an aspiring button designer do his thing.
 
button making booth
The button-making booth is a smash at Fan Expo.
 
creative button making
Fan Expo attendees getting creative at the People Power Press booth.
 
Button Making Machine
One of our button making machines in action. Once this guy is pressed, there's no turning back.
 
fan expo, people power press
Just another day at the office? A really big office, full of fans, that is.
 
making buttons, fan expo
People of all ages were having fun making buttons and learning about the Button Making Process.  It was a great success.
 
Fan Expo 2013 Toronto, People Power Press
We'll see you again next year, Fan Expo!

I Hate Todd, Fundraising Buttons, Custom PackagingI Hate Todd Fundraising Buttons with Custom Packaging.

Local Toronto Band I Hate Todd is filming their first music video for their soon to be released single "Zombie Love" and they need Zombies (and crew).  For more information or to be a part of their video check them out on Facebook.  Plus a $5 donation gets you an exclusive, limited “zombie” edition I Hate Todd fundraising button with the proceeds helping toward funding the video.

Sounds like a great cause for getting your Zombie on!!

Website: www.ihatetodd.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/IHateToddmusic

Want to be in the "Zombie Love" video? : http://allevents.in/events/ZOMBIES-I-Hate-Todd-needs-YOU-for-a-music-video/463856917044462


button supplies

Pancho! taking a break with some Button Supplies at the People Power Press Button Factory.

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