Beginner Guidlines for Pin Trading Events- A Suggestion or Two?


Grown Ups Please, ACT GROWN
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I would like to suggest that disney publish a pamphlet of this and pass it out at every PTN! hahaha. Very well written stuff there Lucan444!!

I hope all the newer coolectors take a good read on this because it will help cut down on heartaches when trades dont go as planned because as Lucan said..there are 3 dimensions to a trade..a lot of us started off with LE sizes and thought it was fair..and as you gain experience all 3 factors play a huge roll in a trade at times!

best of luck to everyone at their first PTE or PTN!!

Bob & Cat


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Darryl, can I just follow you around the pin event and watch you work? I loved the article and it was very helpful even though I'm not new. It's nice to be reminded about things now and again. And when you see me following you about - don't panic - I'm learning from the master.


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thank you so much for the information. It's taking some time to get through
all the info on the forums, but an invaluable tool for a brand new collector

caw caw rawr

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Thank you! I don't live near enough to a park to attend PTN's but one day I hope to. I'm always intimidated by trading and this helped take some of the mystery out of it. Thank you!


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As a newbie, I am trying to make my way through all the helpful guides on the forums and found this one to be one of the most helpful! Even though I don't live close enough to attend a pin trading event, this explains a lot to me for online trading as well. Like swim2sea, I wish I could follow you around and watch you work! You seem to be doing pretty well for an "aging blonde guy". :drool:


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yes for several reasons,
A> you can trade older or HTF rack pins for LEs
B>you can trade rack for rack
C> you can learn more about pintrading in general
D> you can see for yourself, some of the pins that you only see pics of, many of which are 10x more impressive in person<pinpics uses drawings for alot of pins till actual pics of pins are posted and even than the detail and color do not equal the pin in real life!>
E>you can meet folks who can help you with your collections in the future<NETWORKING>
F>You may be able to purchase a few LE that are only available at the PTN,these pins almost always make great traders!!

Please do not feel that becuase you do not have any LE that a PTN is not worth it, In my very egotistical opinion that is where some of the best trading can be done,
I hope this helps some!!!


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How would you go about trading a sought after pin, like a Rapunzel PTD? It's a little more than a typical LE PTD, so how do you make an honest trade for something like that?


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You could try the multi pin approach, or as has worked for many a trader, ask the person what they want for it, then try to get that pin,
pleading sometimes works, offering to sell first born children only works on those without kids of their own<just a note for future>,

All trading does resort to this fact,

The value of the pin is only as valuable as you are willing to trade for it,!!!

If I have an LE 100 that I think is worth x, but you who want it only think its worth Y, Y is all you can and will offer, regardless If I think its fair, you as the seeker determine its value, if no one agrees with me that the pin is worth x, I will never trade it, and never get whatever I want, however if you think its worth x you will offer x. Simple,

Yes the person who owns the pin may think they have the uber pin of a lifetime, but its not worth anything if they insist on holding out for only what they see is fair, unless both parties agree, one person will continue without the pin and one will have a pin that isnt worth as much as they may think, or hope its wanted.

Please reread the above article as well, it does list several different approaches to trading , any of which may work depending on your approach to the trader who has what you want, your attitude and your willingness to give them what they want,

Trade usually means equal exchange but only if the parties involve can reach an agreement, thats why diplomats get such big bucks btw!!!


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Thanks for the advice. I was speaking in the reverse-- I being the one with the pin. I just want to be able to trade it for some pins I want. Hopefully I can make a good trade with it!


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This guide is absolutely wonderful and should be a must-read for all new pin traders. As a person that's new to pin trading, I agree that it can be somewhat intimidating trying to negotiate a trade with the "veterans", especially when a lot of us feel that our pins aren't "good/rare enough".

For me, I felt somewhat intimidated just looking through people's trade books outside The Little Green Man Store in DLR because I didn't feel like I had anything to offer that they wouldn't already have. I did meet some very nice people though that were willing to trade with me and I left feeling so happy. The point won't know if people will agree to your trades if you don't give it a try.


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Thanks for this guide!!! I'm guessing Imwont ever make it to any event like this, but if I ever do I want to be sure to do it right!


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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,
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.

Thank you for this. I really feel like this will help me in the future. I am starting to collect more and more valuable pins and plan on making it to events.


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Hi there! I've gone to Disneyland at least once a year, and have had my first annual pass for the past two years! I always see people hanging around and trading pins. I've always been sort of intrigued by it, and now I've decided to finally try and get involved! :)
I am a newbie to pin trading, and recently bought a lot of 50 pins for about $20 from someone I now know is a bad dealer (sold me a bag of scrappers, counterfeits, etc). I won't be trading these in the parks, but I was wondering if there was a seller or two you guys knew of that sold the pins for cheaper. I don't really want to pay $80 for a handful of pins straight from DL.

So my question is: Do you guys know of anyone online that sells lots or close to lots of real pins for (at least slightly) less?

Any help is greatly appreciated! I admire all of you traders and am excited to start trading :hsd:
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