First off I would like to preface this with the following statements. These are personel opinions and general agreed concepts but not hard and solid rules. If any of this information helps any of you then my time fighting with my inept typing abilities is worth it. Please feel free to comment and or cross post to anywhere you feel needed within the DPF forum. While I have been trading for a few yrs, I am not an expert, however having been active in both Event and local trading, as well as having had a previous experience in like fields, I offer these suggestions to whomever my find them usefull. Pin Trading --Trade set up or guides Almost all pin trading is usually broken into three basic catagories-- Edition Size, Pin for Pin, or Dollar Amount. It is usually a good idea when dealing with a trader for the first time to either know or ask<it isnt rude, you are about to enter into a negotiation for a trade, the value of which can be sizeable, isnt it common sense to know at least the ground rules before you start?> Ok, so you establish the catagory of the trade,either by stating so in your offer to the tradee or in response to trade offer. This is a standard either online or in person, some folks it will depend on which pin is being considered, some will offer blankets of only trading one way, some people may be open to mulitple means of trading, I will attempt<as an aging blonde male may type> to explain most. Communication is of course the key to making a trade work, as well as a bit of old fashioned horse sense about trading in general. Be patient, Be ready to listen, and most important understand that if both parties try, this is a win win for everyone! Trade means both sides get something they wanted!!!!! Ok so are going to attempt in person trading guidlines first, a bit trickier then the old online trade, but also a bit more rewarding!! The Pin Trading Event -Local or National WOW!!!! This ballroom is packed with tables!!Look at all the Pins!! Deep breath, adjust pin bag strap, walk in!! At most local and Disney PTN there are similar set ups, Rows of tables are occupied by traders with books, boards and of course pin bags!! They usually face one side of the table to allow the tradees to walk the room and view from one side while the traders sit on the other, be aware in the midst of folks turning it can be confusing as to which side is which. On one side of the room is usaully a few displays set up by either the sponsor group or Disney, this may or may not include limited or suprise release pins for the event, new releases of LEs available to target markets<ie new Princess or Chip and Dale> pins or previews of upcoming releases. AT WDW they also have a small concession stand. We approach our first trader and establish how they trade, This trader says her pins are pin for pin. She is basically saying that she will look at our pins, and if she finds one that she wants we may trade for any pin she has!!<these are best trades in my opinion because each person understands its one pin, and if the value to you is worth it, the cost cannot always be measured in pennies or quantity!!>We offer her our pin book and she finds a pin she wants, Now it is up to us to peruse her pins and see if she has any we want! She does, while not a HG, she has a pin we have been wanting and so a trade is concluded!!! Each trader walks away with something they wanted and each feels they got a good deal! Trading at its best. Our next trader says he only trades by Edition size, namely he tries to match edition levels to trades. This means a few different things. First it is usually considered a faux paus to offer a open editon pin for one of his LE.<This rule is exempt I have found, if the pin you refer to is very old, very rare , or very wanted! Then like all trades,it reverts to the traders want to obtain your pin and your desire to obtain whatever pin they have.> So we know already that some of our pins will not even be considered because they are not LEs, its ok!! We have a page or two of LEs seperated in our book, so we direct him to those pages and he peruses the pins!!! We are again in luck!! He finds an LE 1000 that he wants in our book, Horay! Now we are free to peruse his bags and search for an LE we might like, We find one BUT <dont you hate that word!> he tells us its a LE 750 and he cant trade straight up becuase the edition levels are to far apart, its unfair to him in his eyes. Ok heres where the horse trader comes in, Do we offer him a second pin, an enticement? If the pin he is offering us is worth it to us, why not? It cant hurt, it will let him know that you understand his system and are willing to work with him. Its good trading sense. It basically says, hey Im trying to work this out so we both get something we want. Are you willing to work to? Now a trader of any sense will consider this, Only if you have nothing else at all that they want will you get an automatic no, most times you will be asked to review your pins again, Ok hand him back the bag and let him look!!He spots a medium to hard to find rack pin and knows he can trade that and so asks you to throw that one in? OF course!! Excellenty done, we just negotiated for our first real"worked " for it trade. Now we stop to have a drink of water cuz all that talking is tough!! Our next trader says they trade by pin cost. We look at thier pins and find a wonderfull jumbo size pin that we HAVE TO HAVE!! Now what ?? Well first we offer the trader any combo of pins that we have that they may want! Le, Racks, whatever!!! We try this tactic becuase we know we dont have any pins that singularly equal the jumbos cost, Lets say its a 35 dollar jumbo for topic. This trader goes through our bag and finds one rack pin and two LEs that he will take for it, The dollar amount for each pin is calulated and added together. In our case, 8$ for the rack pin and 13$ each for the Les. That gives us a grand total of 34$ ,Excellent this should be enough to seal the deal with our trader. He sits back and thinks for a minute or two<some would say he is judging if he can do this, others will say hes got gas from the fast food hes being forced to eat to stay at his table for 5 hours!!> Finally he agrees to the trade!!! Splendid, while some say a tad tougher to succesfully complete as a new trader<mostly due to limit of pins or kind of pins> this type of trade is mostly rewarding becuase the pin obtained is usually a "not going to find again"type or one of "last to complete my set" kind. These are the basic kinds of trades we will encounter throughout the room, as we go from one trader to the next, we do encounter the trader who is having a bad night, he is surly and no matter what we have, its not good enough to trade with him, Its ok, we know it happens and that all of us have bad days. Maybe someone will offer him a snickers bar or a event release limited pin. We also find that dancing in the isles trader, who just made her night by getting her HG from a long time friend and is ready to trade anything and everything becuased her nite is complete already!! We continue around the room, and make some notations about what we see that seems to make others trading easier and plan to do for ourselves for next time. > Have a good attitude!-- Then like all trades,it reverts to the traders want to obtain your pin and your desire to obtain whatever pin they have. If you are willing to work with a trader there is no reason both of you dont come away happy!! > Pins organized-- even if its only by LE level, or Character- pins with an order are easier to go through for everyone, you and the potential tradee! > Dont just look for pins for you--Keep an eye out for pins you dont want, but know you can trade away.<Ie I dont collect Tinks, but if I find one that I think is worthwhile, I will always offer for it, because some Tink fans will have what I do want!> > Know your pins-The more knowledgeable you are about the pins in your book, the better a trader you are, not everyone knows everything about every pin, part of our hobby is sharing art and knowledge, besides how does the trader you are dealing with know that you are offering him a Cast exclusive LE 500 retired pin if you dont know it!?<Research time?> > Expect to hear No--While we all do not like to hear it, it is a fact, You will not have something that everyone wants. This is unavoidable. Obviously the more pins you have the more chances you have to trade! > Bring your DPF card backs for trades-- We all like to take as good a care of our pins as possible, before you go make sure you have both pin backs and cards for trades<even if you reuse your old ones just for the trades you aquire that night> > Bring a communiction ledger, Vistaprint cards, or even print out of your id name and contact info. Many of the traders you will be meeting may become traders to deal with after the event too, make sure you have a way to stay in contact It could pay off big later if they find one of your HTF or HGs or you get one for them, Imagine the choices you might have just for paying attention. > Pins released that night are usually low LE numbers they are worth getting for trading that night or later almost always<budget permitting!> Lastly have fun, these pin trading events give us all a chance to socialize with others of our hobby. To meet faces we have only spoken to online or through email. To learn what pins are coming out,<and add to the never ending list of wants>to maybe make that in person trade with that long time trading friend. To make new friends, often the bond of pin trading is one that keeps friends close although thousands of miles and many months seperate our meetings. Think of it as a family gathering, the room is full of cousins, each one sharing this fantastic hobby that we all love.