Making and selling keychains is one of the easiest ways to get into the custom merch game. Here’s how to start your own keychain business!
If you haven’t considered a custom keychain business, you should. There are a ton of reasons why, but the biggest one (and the one you probably are going to be the most excited about) is that keychains are a MASSIVE moneymaker in today’s market. According to Trends and Tactics, personalized and customizable keychains are a $31.6 billion industry!
This isn’t just a one-time burst of interest in keychains, though. Keychains are one of those items that are always needed and wanted. They never go out of style!
Where Can I Start Selling my Keychains?
Keychains are easy to store and ship, and you can basically sell them on any digital platform (or over the counter at a brick-and-mortar location). You can start selling your keychains on Etsy, or use a social media platform like Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok. If you want to go the social media route, be sure to pick a date and time, and go LIVE consistently, so your followers know what to expect. If you want to go a more traditional route, it’s easy to create your own Shopify or Wix store, and sell keychains straight from your website!
Custom keychains are a great merch item because the markup potential is extremely impressive. Keychains usually sell for around $10 to $20. When you consider that you can buy 200 keychains beginning anywhere from $1.10 to $1.99 each (depending on the style of keychain), then it’s obvious just how much cash you can make with custom keychains!
What Kind of Keychains Should You Sell?
This is a great question, but before you can figure out what kind of keychains you should sell, you should figure out your niche. Are you going to have an aquatic keychain brand, where you only sell aquatic-related keychains, like sea animals, scuba divers, or coral reefs? Maybe you’ll have a pop culture-themed brand that showcases designs inspired by the latest hot movies, TV shows, and songs? Maybe you’ll focus on sports or video games.
Regardless, after you decide on your niche, you can decide if you want to do metal keychains, PVC keychains, or embroidered keychains. Maybe you want to sell all three types—each offers its own benefits and appeal.
Make Your Keychains Retail Ready
Making your keychains retail-ready is the key to being able to sell them for a higher price. The best way to make them retail-ready is by adding packaging. Our most common packaging choices include a velvet pouch, velvet box, or acrylic box. That said, the eventual choice is up to you!
I Don’t Want to Make My Own Custom Keychains!
That’s a good thing! You should leave it to the experts. The best choice is to do the design yourself, then let a professional craft your keychain. That way you can ensure the quality is top-tier! You’ll need to find a reputable custom keychain company to work with, however. Here are some features to look for when researching:
Pricing shouldn’t be too high, but also shouldn’t be rock-bottom. That’s a sign that the company is too good to be true, and another factor in the manufacturing process is going to suffer because of it, such as the turnaround time or the product quality. Gather pricing from at least five different companies, so you can get an idea of the average cost.
Rapid Turnaround Time
You need to get your business off the ground, so you can’t wait too long for your product to be made. Make sure the turnaround time is reasonable, but also ensure that the manufacturer you choose will update you throughout the process.
You don’t want to be in the dark about the status of your custom keychain order. Make sure the company you work with is available to answer any of your questions at any point in the process, from design to manufacturing to shipping.
You want to make sure the company you are working with provides the best quality on the market. Quality is far more important than anything else if you want to get your keychain business off the ground. For a fee, most companies will let you order a sample so that you can preview your product before you order in bulk. If you aren’t in a rush to receive your order, we highly recommend this.
The company you decide to work with should have special options available. Special options truly make your keychains one of a kind, beating out the competitors, and they allow you to sell them for a higher price.
Choose a company that is offering a special, so that you can maximize your savings. Companies like The/Studio almost always offer promotions of one kind or another, so if you keep an eye out, you can SAVE BIG on your first order. Keychains are pretty cheap, as far as custom merch goes. But they aren’t free, so taking advantage of these discounts is a smart move.
In any case, you could go do all that research, but you can look no further than The/Studio! We are up for the task and check every box above and then some. Work with one of our Creative Specialists if you need a bit of help, or get started designing your own keychains through our Create Tool!