As per the stats, demand for promotional pens in the United States is skyrocketing considering they are an incredibly cost-effective way to market your brand. However, most Americans purchase promotional pens from local vendors. While it’s easy to procure good from local vendors, but sometimes we can get the same products at a significantly lower cost from China. If you plan on wholesale promotional pens for advertising your brand and have an order of $1000 or more, buying from China is worth considering.
Wholesale promotional pens from Chinese pen suppliers have a lot of benefits in addition to lower costs. You can browse a wide range of options from ballpoint pen supplier or custom pen makers.
Wondering about the quality of the pen? Well, don’t worry, China is a major exporter of promotional pens and supplies pens all around the world. Therefore, you won’t have to compromise with the quality or your budget.
Now if you are apprehensive to the idea because you consider importing troublesome, stressing and risky, fret not. We’ve got you all covered. Here’s a comprehensive guide that will teach you everything you need to know about purchasing gift pens from China. Read on.
1. Four main types of China pens
China supplies pens all around the world. Chances are the pen you are using right now was also manufactured in China. Now, if you are considering wholesale pens from China, it’s important to know your options since there are different types of pens available on the market. Furthermore, each type comes in various styles.
In order to learn more about the types of Chinese pens, I spent two weeks doing some research in the Yiwu market. In the end, I concluded that there are four types of promotional pens.
a. Plastic Pen
plastic ad pen
Plastic pens are the most common type of promotional pens. They further include plastic ballpoint pens and plastic fountain pens. These are ideal for promotional and gift giving purposes and are widely used for advertising.
The price of the advertising pens ranges between $0.03 – $0.09. The price range signifies the difference in the quality of a pen’s shell and the core. Since the price of these advertising pens is low, MOQ will be relatively high. Generally, you’ll be required to place an order of at least over1,000 pens. Some pen suppliers have higher MOQ and may need an order of more than 3,000 or 5,000 pens.
b. Metal Pen
The metal pens are also famous for promotional gifting purposes. These are generally made from copper or aluminium and hence are pricier as compared to the plastic pens. Naturally, the quality of metal pens is also better than plastic pens.
Looking further, Aluminium pens are relatively cheaper than the copper ones. Typically, metal pens range from $0.15 – $1.5.
Ordinary metal pens
Ordinary metal pens
Ordinary metal pens’ price can be purchased at $0.15 – $0.37, and are ideal for use as an advertising gift. The MOQ of the metal pen will be smaller than the plastic advertising pen, usually around 1000 pens.
business metal pen
business metal pen
Business gift pens are usually high-end metal pens and often come with an attractive gift box packaging. You may also have the option to choose gift boxes or purchase them without the gift packing. The price of business gift pen (without gift box) is usually $0.74-$1.5, while the price of gift box is generally around $0.22 – $0.44. Purchasing this kind of pen will have a higher purchase cost, suitable for gifting on high-end occasions. The MOQ is probably between 300-500pens.
c. The creative pen
As the name suggests, the creative pens have a unique appearance and come in a wide assortment of styles. Usually, creative pens that are made of plastic are more appealing in appearance. Most creative pens made of metal add feature some kind of decoration on the pen cover.
For this kind of pen, the price of plastic material and metal material will be different significantly. While the price of plastic pen won’t exceed $0.15 commonly, the price of plastic creative pen ranges between $0.04 – $0.09. Furthermore, the price of metal creative pens is between $0.59 – $0.74.
The MOQ for creative pens also vary. If you need to customize the logo, the MOQ of the plastic creative pen is around 3000 pens, and the creative metal pen is around 500 pens. If you don’t need to customize, there may be no cap on MOQ.
d. Capacitive pen
The capacitive pen is also called a touch pen, and this pen also makes a good choice as a gift pen. The price is usually $0.03 – $0.07 and the MOQ is 1000 pens. The manufacturers of capacitive pens are mostly in Shenzhen, Dongguan, and Shantou.
2. Customized pens
Most of the importers who procure promotional pens from China have custom requirements. You can easily get your logo printed on the pen or change the color of the shell for the pen you like. Additionally, you can get a pattern printed on the pen or even choose the type of refill, ballpoint or signature, as per your preference. All the four types of gift pens described above can be customized as per your requirements.
About custom pen with logos and patterns
There are usually three ways to process logos and patterns. One is laser engraving, the other is silk screen printing, and the third is thermal transfer printing. If you have some understanding of the processing method, you can provide reasonable customization requirements to the supplier according to your own needs.
- Laser: For engraving logos on metal pens, you can’t choose logo colour. The logo colour is determined by the material of the pen. The logo colour on the copper pen is golden, and the logo colour on the aluminium pen is silver.
- Silk screen: This is used to print a simple logo on a plastic pen. You can choose the colour of the logo.
- Thermal transfer: used to print complex patterns on the pen, the MOQ of this processing method will be larger, around 5000 pens.
silk screen printing
thermal transfer printing
If you want to purchasing creative pens, it’s essential to understand that not all the creative pens can be customized. Some pens can’t add logos. For example, a pen with an outer layer of textile material, like the ones in the picture below cannot be customized with a logo.
About the location of the logo
There are usually four locations where you can get the logo printed. You can choose the appropriate location to print the logo based on the length or shape of your logo or slogan.
the location of logo
About the price of custom promotional pen
Usually, the printing fee of the advertising pen is fixed and will not change depending on the quantity you purchase. Unless you purchasing a large number of pens, more than 10,000, the printing fee will be calculated on a per-unit basis.
The printing fee of different suppliers are different, and the general printing fee ranges between $15 – $22. So, if you want to print a logo, I suggest you purchase more quantity, as it will be more cost-effective.
Look at this way; you purchase 1000 pens, each costing $0.05. You further want to customize these 1000 pens for which you’ll be charged $15. The additional printing cost will increase the cost of each pen by $0.125, which is 1/3 of the actual price of the pen. Therefore, customizing pens is always more cost-effective on big orders. Although, the cost of customized pens will still be cheaper than if purchased from your home country.
The charge for laser engraving logo on the metal pen is different from silk screen printing. The printing cost is calculated on a per-unit basis and is usually more than $0.015/ pen. Touch pen engraving logo usually cost higher.
One thing to note here is that the price of a custom logo for a creative pen will be higher than other pens. Plastic creative pen printing logo need more $0.05/ pen, also need print plate fee $29.4. Less than 1000 metal creative pens require an additional fee of $22.
3. Where are China pens produced?
Fenshui Town, Tonglu County, Hangzhou, Zhejiang
Tonglu is the first place that comes up when speaking of the origin of the Chinese pens. Before 1994, pens were not manufactured in Tonglu. It was a ball-point pen manufacturer that inadvertently discovered that a small bamboo in the local area was particularly suitable for making ballpoint pens. Since then, the pen industry in Tonglu has developed rapidly, and the pens produced in here are distributed throughout the country and the world.
The quality of pens produced by Tonglu manufacturers is relatively good, and the price is comparatively advantageous, which is recognized by the industry. Tonglu Fenshui is famous for producing plastic ballpoint pens, and there are many other producers of neutral pens.
Wengang Town, Jinxian County, Nanchang, Jiangxi
Wengang Town is a famous hometown of writing brush, with a history of more than 1,600 years. After several years of development, the production scale of the pen industry in Wengang Town has gradually expanded and the industry has gradually matured. It not only produces a wide range of writing brushs, but also offers various pens such as oil brushes, pencils, pens, and neutral pens.
For promotional pens, Jinxian has many producers of metal ballpoint pens. Unlike Jinxian, Tonglu is mostly producing plastic ballpoint pens. In terms of price and quality, there isn’t a big difference between the two production sites. They all have good quality and competitive price.
In addition to these two places, of course, there are several pen manufacturers in other places as well. Yiwu also has some factories that produce pens. However, the pens of Yiwu’s pen factory usually have great differences in the quality and are difficult to identify. The Middle Eastern importers mostly prefer the pens produced in Yiwu.
If you are willing to compromise on the quality for the lower price, then you can go with Yiwu’s pen suppliers. Otherwise, I suggest you find Tonglu or Jinxian’s pen supplier. The pens here are more likely to meet your requirements.
4. Find pen suppliers in Yiwu market
While visiting a Chinese pen factory is a good idea if you are looking for reliable suppliers, but you may also want to consider going to the pen market to find pen suppliers. Yiwu is in close proximity to both Tonglu and Jinxian and you can easily find good pen suppliers here.
If it’s your first time wholesale promotional pens from China, Yiwu market is the best place to start. You will gain a lot after going around the Yiwu pen market for a few laps and talking to a couple of pen suppliers.
Yiwu pen market has a lot of pen suppliers, and are very convenient to find because they are all in the same place. The gift pen suppliers can easily be found on the first floor of the third district of Yiwu market, between 51 and 63 gates.
You’d better look at a few stores before placing an order because many suppliers will have the same style of the pen, but the prices may vary. You can compare the price and quality of different pen suppliers and pick the pen supplier that meets your requirements.
There are a wide variety of pens in a pen supplier store. Basically, any pens you want can be found here.
The pens of Yiwu pen market are basically produced by the manufacturers of Tonglu, so the quality and price of the pens here should be desirable. Plus, Yiwu market has five districts, offering a wide assortment of products. If you want to browse some other products while purchasing pens, Yiwu market is the ideal place. (If you want to get more information about Yiwu market, then you can read this article).
Take note: If you are not familiar with the Yiwu market or are visiting China for the first time, then you must find a professional sourcing agent to take you to the market or find a factory. Even if you don’t want to come to China for purchase, a good sourcing agent can help you solve all the problems between sourcing to transport. (If you are looking for a professional sourcing agent, you can read this article for reference)
Wholesale Promotional pens from China Online
Of course, if you come to China to purchase only these pens, it will take a lot of time and money. So, unless you have some other important business in China, it’s not advisable to visit China personally for wholesale pens. Instead, you can find a pen supplier on the internet and get the order delivered to your doorsteps.
If you search for promotional pen suppliers on google, you will quickly find many wholesale promotional pen suppliers and a link to their website. While browsing the internet, you will stumble upon various pen suppliers from China as several other countries.
However, since you already know Chinese promotional pens are available at the most competitive prices and also offer multiple customization options, it’s natural to prefer Chinese suppliers.
If you are still doubtful, here’s a cost comparison for purchasing from China and purchasing from outside China.
Figure 1: Three US promotional pen websites
Figure 2: The promotional pen on alibaba.com
Let me take the promotional pen that is circled as an example. The styles of the pens circled on different websites are similar, but the price difference is relatively large.
One thing to note is that the price on Alibaba is not the real price, you need to point in and communicate with the supplier to know the actual cost.
The price of this promotional pen on Alibaba is $0.08, and the average custom price on the US website is $0.4. If you want to purchase 3000 promotional pens, the G.W. is about 39kg.
- US websites are basically free of shipping costs.
The cost of purchasing on the US website is $0.4*3000=$1200
- Assuming that the custom logo fee for China pen supplier is $22. From China to the United States are generally express, so there is no need to pay customs duties. And the fee of express delivery from China to the United States is about $6.32/kg
The cost of purchasing from China is $0.08*3000+$22+$6.33*39=$508.6
With just 3,000 pens, the cost of purchasing in the US is nearly increasing by $700 than China. If you are purchasing from China every time, it will save you a lot of money.
So, quickly replace your current pen supplier and try to wholesale pens from China. If you don’t know how to do so, you can find a professional sourcing agent to help you solve all the problems from source to transportation.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment!