Dog tags aren't just for soldiers or pets. Machines to make the dog tags can be found on sale from an increasing number of online vendors supplying those who want to start their own business. Dog tag embossers can be found at business offices, small and large factories, hospitals, pet stores, military bases, schools for fundraisers, museum gift shops, fairs, pet supply houses, Army surplus and large stores. The metal stamping machines that punch them out come from China, India, Taiwan and a half dozen U.S. manufacturers.
You can set up an online site that supplies custom tags in singles or quantities or purchase a portable model and follow the fair, festival and farmer's market circuit. Go online to comparison shop. A compact, automatic feed embosser designed to make cost effective, low to medium volume dog tags in office and small shop settings runs $9,750. Bigger machines range from a basic manual for $2,000 up to a fully automated, high-output machine for $20,000 to $100,000.
The manual models are the least expensive, but also the slowest, putting out a few dozen tags in an hour compared with 180 to 300 for the more expensive machines. Where you plan to use it will also be a factor; they can weigh 100 or more pounds. If you plan a home Internet business, the heavier, faster models may make sense. These also have extra options, more fonts and can emboss faster. If you will be going to fairs and fundraising events, then you will appreciate the lighter-weight portable models where speed on individual tags is important.
Besides the machine, you will need the anodized aluminum, copper, brass or stainless steel blanks or colored plastic blanks. As well, stock up a supply of bead chains, key rings and silencers to serve your customers at online sites.
Check your supplier for support provisions. You may need a consult on technical questions or to have a home repair done. The better sites offer both. "Dog tags are one of the few businesses the average person can set up in their home or apartment without spending a fortune," says dogtagmachines.com. This site offers telephone tech support and service people who cover the U.S.
Dog tags, once the provenance of the military, have come of age. They are popular with kids, the military, for luggage, dog collars, emergency medical information and fun. Once the embossing machine is purchased, supplies like the tags are not expensive, costing 30 to 60 cents each. Individuals and fundraising groups can set a machine up in a mall or weekend carnival and pay for the machine's cost quickly by making custom tags to order.