Pin Trading & Collecting as a Family!
By: Anthony Barnasconi
In my last blog post, we talked about getting started in pin trading and collecting and I got some great feedback from that article. That article was strictly from the adult perspective and for people with an income that would allow them to get started. I was visiting a friend and his family for the 4th of July and we were sitting on his patio talking about their upcoming Disney World trip in September and we starting talking about pins. His young daughters have gotten into the hobby, partly because of me, and partly because of some great experiences they have had trading in the parks. After that evening and conversation, I thought it appropriate to talk a little about those of you who have families and how you can become involved in the hobby as a family rather easily and without much cost.
If your children would like to get started in the pin trading hobby, I recommend starting out with Disney starter sets (comes with lanyard and pins!), or booster pin packs. This is an inexpensive way to get your children starter in the pin trading hobby. The official Disney Store is a great place to buy pin sets before your vacation. Also, booster pin packs can be found on eBay, but be careful of scrapper pins! Remember, if the price is too good to be true, then it probably is. Here is an example of a booster pin set from the Disney Store:
Once you have your initial pins, have your kids check to see if there are any pins in that lot they may want to keep, the ones they don’t want to keep can be used as traders in the parks. So now that you have established your traders, you are ready to hit the parks and start looking for pins. Remember, the only people in the park who MUST trade with you are cast members, however I have not found a lot of guests who would turn down the chance to at least think about a reasonable trade. Teach your children proper pin trading etiquette. Ask politely to see a guest or CM pins. Make sure they ask to make a trade, “Would you be willing to trade (my pin) for (your pin)” as opposed to just saying “I want that one”. If they say no, that’s fair enough and move on looking for the next trade. It is also great for your kids to trade with other children. Kids are really incredible people and the memories they make on a Disney vacation aren’t always from an attraction or character. I know my friends girls have pins that they have traded with other kids in the parks that are far from valuable, but just to have them show me a pin and say “I traded this in Tomorrowland with a girl I met in the park” is pretty darn cool. Scoop in the Magic Kingdom is great to trade with. He has a lot of great pins including Artist Proofs, Limited Edition pins and just neat stuff on his lanyards. He loves to trade with anyone and it’s a great way for your kids to maybe get some of the shyness out and make a trade for a more valuable pin. Scoop is usually available on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom a few times a day. Another great place for trading pins is your resort. ALL resorts have a cork board with pin traders, usually in the gift shop or lobby area. Just ask a cast member to see the pin traders board and your kids can take one and replace it with one of their traders. Downtown Disney…AKA soon to be Disney Springs…is also a great place to trade. As we talked about last time, the pin traders shop there is second to none on property and there are usually people around to trade with most of the time.
For the adults, and I know I have done this myself numerous times, do not be afraid to trade with the younger generation. Make sure their parents are with them and you have their permission to trade with their child. If you see something you like, ask to trade with them. Maybe it is something you don’t even need or really like, but just the fact that an adult, someone children can learn from, trading with them in the proper manner, can do wonders. Trade them something nice. Don’t try to rip them off. Believe me I have seen pin traders try to take advantage of someone just starting out or who doesn’t know exactly what pin they have. Trading a nice or valuable pin with a young pin trader is just plain the right thing to do and it keeps the next generation of pin traders interested in the hobby.
After a day in the parks, and some good pin trading, what do you do? My friend and his family lay out their newly traded for pins at the end of each day. Maybe around the pool or after dinner or just before calling it a night. They look through their new pins and the ones their girls want to keep get put away to bring home. If they traded for something that isn’t a must keep, it goes on the traders lanyard to take with them to the next park tomorrow. It is a pretty simple process, but keeps everything straight and best of all, keeps the whole family involved. My friend and his wife are just as into it as his girls.
Last, and certainly not least, as an adult, whether it is your children or just pin trading friends you know who have kids, get involved with them. Give them some pins that you have duplicates or you would consider traders. I gave my friends girls the whole set of Epcot Countries pins from a few years ago and just to see their faces light up was really memorable. Help them out, teach them about the value of pins, not so much as ooh this one is really expensive, but wow I really like that Ariel pin. Help them collect the pins they really like. The true value of a pin is what it means to the child, not how much it costs or if it is limited edition etc.
Until next time…Happy Pin Trading!!!
-Disney Pins Blog