Do you love collecting Disney pins? At one point, your collection at home may not feel sufficient anymore, and you will likely expand to trading after you’re done doing lanyards, shadowboxes, and scrapbooks. Well, the one recourse that you will surely love is pin trading – and everyone is into it! Here is our rundown of the best Disney pin trading tips and how to get the best experience as a casual trader.
Disney Pin Trading Tips
- Disney pins sell for $6 individually, so it might take a while before you can do any trading if you rely on the individually purchased ones. Look at it this way: the ones that you can buy can become rare when the time comes, so you can invest in them whenever you are in a Disney park. However, if you want to start trading the soonest, you either overspend at the park or do it as we do – we buy Disney pins in bulk so we can save money.
How do we do it? Simple: we go online on Amazon or eBay, and we purchase by bulk there. There is a consistent stream of online sellers who pack Disney pins by the hundreds and charge a fraction of the price. You can get a pack of 100 Disney pins for just $50 or even less.
Why are these pins so cheap, you may ask? Well, the pins that are mass sold online are often factory overruns, so basically, they have no real value when they are pulled out of the factories.
Somehow, these factory overruns or scrappers as the collectors call them, eventually find their way to the community through e-commerce platforms, and they are accepted for trading even if they were acquired for a much lower price.
Just to make sure that you are getting the real thing though, because there are a lot of fakes out there, look around for the sealed sets first. Prioritize buying sealed sets because these tend to be genuine. There will be imitations aplenty, but as long as you are careful about your purchases, this shouldn’t be a problem. In some trading communities, people are split about the issue of scrappers.
People say that scrappers shouldn’t be part of the trading ecosystem at all because some of them are made by non-Disney sources. We think the decision is really up to the consumers themselves. If they feel that the scrappers are good enough for trading, they can try. You can’t force trades anyway – if the other casual traders don’t like what you have, you can’t get new Disney pins from the other person.
- If you are serious about trading and collecting, you should learn what you can about Disney pins. Learn how they are released, and how they are circulated in the market. The rules of trading are a bit softer compared to baseball cards and NBA cards back in the day, but it’s still real hobby trading, and the hardcore traders are picky. In the beginning, it is going to be confusing because you will likely think that they are just pins, and they only differ visually. This is not true.
Disney pin differs not only in their external themes but also when and where they were released. There are also special pins that are distributed only to Disney Cast Members so you must get these pins from them if you want to have them. You won’t be able to purchase them because they are supplied only to specific people working in the Disney park.
This is how Disney controls the supply and value of collectible items. Hidden Mickey pins are easier to find, you can find them in gift shops, but you need to be patient if you want to complete an entire set. It is also a good idea to know how much your Disney pins are worth in actual dollars.
The reason for this is you wouldn’t want to trade away any pins that have a high dollar value or are so rare that you likely will not find them again even online. Serious trading entails knowledge of how the pins are released and their base value. Educate yourself and you will not lose out to other, more educated traders.
- Will you be able to find truly rare Disney pins while strolling around Disney parks? Not likely. But do not let this discourage you. Disney pin trading is done primarily for fun – you must have the right spirit for it. It is not likely to make you rich, so ease up and have fun while doing it.
Whenever you visit a park, it is always a good idea to touch base with the community and find out what people have been purchasing and trading. The social aspect is also educational, so feel free to ask the experienced traders how they’re doing and most importantly, where they hang out online to get more information and interact with likeminded people.
- When trading Disney pins in a park, always remember the proper etiquette. Since many casual traders are kids, do not approach the kids directly as this may get you in big trouble with the adults. Approach the adults first, ask simply if they would like to trade pins and if they do not say that they agree, leave. Don’t force them into trading because the etiquette is that people are not obliged to show their lanyards or scrapbook to anyone. They may have all their pins on display, but this doesn’t mean that other people can bother them all the time for a trade.
Disney Cast Members are instructed to oblige with trades at all times, except when they are being offered non-Disney pins. Don’t harass the employees either. Approach a Cast Member and ask if you can see their lanyard or Disney pins. They will hold out their lanyard to you, and you can scan their goods if you can make a trade.