Pin trading is a really fun experience to get involved in at the parks and makes for wonderful souvenirs for you to commemorate your trips and experiences for years to come. These are also collectible and earn value depending on the series and the collections that you have, so it is important to choose wisely and know what you are getting yourself into. There are thousands and thousands of different pins available for purchase and trade, so it may seem a bit overwhelming at first. With these tips and tricks you will be right on your way to being an ace pin trader:
7. Read up on pin trading.
There are many different tips and tricks out there to help you reach your pin trading goals. There is also the Guide to Pin Trading book that is sold in the parks that will help you in determining which pins are parts of particular collections. This book also has the approximate values and release information for the pins so that you can know exactly what you are looking for and what pins are valuable. You want to have a good idea of what to expect and what is out there before you begin so that you know what to keep your eyes peeled for. Use this as your research to determine what you want to collect so you have a plan and know what you are searching for when trading in the parks.
6. Buy trader pins before you go.
The least expensive pins in the parks are individually around $8-10 apiece, and around $5 a piece if you buy the starter parks with that have around 6 pins for $30. You can buy pins online for around $0.50 – $1 per pin from reputable companies on eBay, which will definitely make your collection more cost effective and save you a lot of money. You have to make sure that the pins are authentic Disney pins, so be sure to review all seller history, ratings and feedback so that you don’t risk buying junk pins that you won’t be able to trade with. Buying these large lots of pins for such a low price will absolutely boost your collection fast and give you lots of pins to work with when you are trading.
5. Get organized and ready to trade in the parks.
So you have done some reading and you have trader pins ready to go; now you have to get organized. You need to make sure that you have a way to separate your trader pins from your keeper pins so you can trade quickly and easily in the parks, and protect your collection. You don’t want to carry around a heavy pin binder that you may use to display your pins at home, but you also want to keep them safe from getting lost or possibly picked up. Many people wear the lanyards. You could do this with two lanyards and have your keeper lanyard and your trader lanyard so you can keep them separated. My husband and I have small kids, and we carry a diaper bag with various pockets we can easily access. We usually keep heavy duty Ziplocs with our traders in one and keepers in the other so that we can easily access them, keep them organized and keep them safe where we don’t risk them falling off or losing them. Determine the solution you think will work best for you based on your group and plan ahead.
4. Watch for cast members with pins, and trade with them.
Trading with cast members is our favorite way to trade. We love talking to cast members anyway, and the pins are great way to get them talking. Don’t be afraid or timid about asking to see their pins. They are wearing them for the purpose of trading with guests, so ask away. Cast members also have cast exclusive pins that you can only get from trading with cast members, so keep your eyes peeled! You will know it is a cast member exclusive as it will have a hidden Mickey on the front and will say “Hidden Mickey Pin” on the back of the pin. These are definitely ones you want to snatch up. You can only make 2 trades with each cast member, so choose wisely! Be mindful of when they may be working with other guests or doing other aspects of their job. Be prepared to wait patiently for your turn to look at their pins.
3. Check out various gifts shops and exclusive pin locations.
There are exclusive pins and event specific pins that are sold in the gift shops, if those are of interest for your collection. These are pins that you may not want to wait and try to find while trading, but go ahead and purchase since they are very specific to a particular event or experience. Pin Traders in Disney Springs is one of the best locations to shop for pins, pin trade and see what has recently been released. There are also many guests there that may be interested in trading, if you are willing and ready to take it to the next level of pin trading. If you love pins, you don’t want to miss out on what stores like this have to offer, too!
2. Check out pin boards and trade there, too.
Various resorts, restaurants, gift shops, etc. have pin boards up that you can trade with. These boards hold many, many pins, so there are a lot to look over and choose from for trading. Just like the cast member trades, they will make any trade you want with an authentic Disney pin. These boards are really popular, so you may have to wait in line to access them. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled because they are all over property and also may have cast exclusive pins and other limited pins for you to snatch up. Glance over each pin carefully but quickly. The board can get overwhelming, so try to look at the pins in some sort of order to help.
1. Join pin trading groups or trade with experienced traders.
There are different social media groups out there devoted to pin trading and offer tons of experience, tips and feedback. There are also groups at the Disney parks (particularly in Epcot) where guest traders are set up and will trade with you. They don’t HAVE to trade, so you have to have something that they are interested in to complete a trade. This is a way to meet other traders, learn from their experience and maybe even luck out and find something that you have been searching for!