Buying vs Trading

Wander Trico

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Hello

I'm still fairly new to pin collecting and I had a question. Do you think it's better to just buy the pins you want? Or buy traders and then trade for the pins you want? I've never traded with anyone, but it sounds like most people just trade for hidden mickeys or OE pins. Older pin or LE pin trades don't happen very often. But maybe I'm wrong and these kinds of trades happen all the time. idk. If it is better to trade, what's an effective way to get traders? Disney pins ain't cheap lol.
 

TheMickeyMouseRules

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Everyone finds there own way in this hobby... there is absolutely no right or wrong, but since you asked... here is my 2 cents. :)

I buy pins (for the most part) directly from Disney (or a licensed Disney source) at cost. The pins I purchase either become part of my collection or I trade them. I try to avoid buying pins from other sources with any great frequency (the mark up in the secondary market is routinely too rich for my budget.)

Bottom line for me is... I have gained some absolutely amazing pins by trading with some absolutely amazing traders. Many have been limited edition pins. I just counted the pins I call my grails (~75 pins are grails.)
- 59 of the 75 to be ones I gained through trade.
- 9 grails were purchased directly from the original source (primarily DSSH, DLR and Acme.)
- 7 were purchased in the secondary market (sources are auction site as well as DPF members who have sold pins on the forum)

To paraphrase another trader (you know who you are): Anyone can buy a pin. It takes a lot more skill/effort/patience to trade for it. And my addition: Its the trading which makes this hobby fun for me! :cheshire:
 

TheMickeyMouseRules

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Oh and access to traders? Depends on where you are. If you are near a park... WDW/DLR. If you are in SoCal... DSSH releases (usually 2X/month). If not near these... watch for online at cost opportunities (DSSH periodically has online releases.) Other sources: Disney Store (in store and online), Hot Topic, Box Lunch, Game Stop.
 

maiarebecca

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If there is a pin you want and you can get it at a fair price, then it’s silly to buy something else for the same price just to make the extra step to trade... however... personally I find trading to be a lot of fun, so I try to buy a mix of traders and keepers. The best ways to get good traders are to buy something at cost that you think will be popular later and sell out, or to buy a bunch of pins at a discount from someone trying to get out of the hobby. That way you might spend $20 on a pin which you can later trade for the $50 pin you want, instead of having to buy the $50 pin you want outright. I also, personally, love trading in general, so I like to have a lot of weird and random pins and desirable pins to bring with me to events. But that can get expensive so dip your toes in first and see what makes the most sense for you! You’ll find people who only trade and collect open edition, and you’ll find people who only trade and collect hard to find pins, and most are a mix. But it’s more common to see OE traders simply because there are more of them out there!
 

Wander Trico

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Thanks TheMickeyMouseRules. I live in Arizona, so it's kind of close to Disneyland. Your profile says you live in New Mexico, but you purchase directly from Disney? You go to Disneyland a lot? Or is there some closer Disney shop I'm not aware of? I was thinking about purchasing from the Disney shop website, but it's frustrating how one pin will come to $20 when you add shipping, yet you can find the same pin on ebay for like $10 with free shipping. Of course, buying from the Disney website comes with peace of mind knowing with 100% certainty that you're buying an authentic pin. So I suppose that counts for something.

Thanks maiarebecca. I bet any mystery pack or booster set with the princesses sell out fast, so I see why it would be smart to buy those as traders.
 

pincrazy

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This is a tough question to answer because it's usually personal. Although we are all after the "high" of attaining a pin we're looking for, it can be neverending, and different for each of us.:p
For me it started just collecting DLR pins for memories, which means they're commemorative, holidays with dates, attraction/park anniversaries, and highly not desired by traders (I didn't realize till later). So I was advised to get LE pins, which every month there's a bunch and not all are wants either.
I've learned to buy pins you want/like, because most likely you'll own it for awhile, depending on who/what your collection is, some are more desirable over others.
Most of us all started with CM trading at the park either off the lanyards or boards for hidden Mickeys. Even to this day most traders still try to get the current ones either by trading or buying.

I learned if you buy traders for traders sake, you'll most likely end up with a heavy pin trading bag and frustration. It's hard to guess which pins everyone wants, UNLESS You're a Disney cast member and have multiple ways of attaining low LE pins. DSSH has been a good source for us other than park/store pins.
This is a hobby for most of us on the forum, and we try to help each other out. If you check the sales/wanted section you'll find opportunities to get park/event pickups being offered.

As mentioned above the best is picking up at cost, and attending DLR pin trading nights or DSSH release.
The problem most of us have in trading is having the right pin: hard to find/get pins which usually means LE/LR pins(mystery box pins) or older pins(7+ years?).
And there's moments when it just all works out!:stitch:
Hope this helps:p
 

Mcgilligan

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Hello,

I recommend buying what you like. You will be surprised how many pins you liked (keepers) eventually become traders.

I do not live near Disneyland but I have a supply of traders that I have purchased over the years, some from Disneyland others from the disney website (it’s name has changed 2-3 times over the years). The disney website has sales occasionally. You can get some great deals here. They also release a variety of pins some of which are LE. Now the pins they release today may not be someone’s grail today or tomorrow (or ever), but if you enjoy them that is the most important thing (I still have a LE Mayor from NBC that no one has even asked about, at least I liked him)

I do not think most of us should buy expensive traders with the hope of trading for one of our grails(if you know someone who is willing to trade x for y, then it may work). Several of us have a low LE trader (this is subjective I would place this at LE 100 or lower) that has been in our pin bag for way too long.

I also trade for pins I want to keep but also for potential traders. Whenever I go to a pin event I usually get a few pins that will end up in my trading bag.

Some of our fellow traders on this site sometimes sell traders. I usually buy these to use in Disneyland.

Starting can feel overwhelming. It takes time. Enjoy it!
Good luck!
 

gargress

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Both buying and trading are great depending on how passionate/patient you are about a specific pin. Most of my LE trades are from online traders. I'd also buy LEs at the Disney Character Warehouse in Orlando. In-park trading I reserve for HMs and other OEs. Now that I live so far from any Disney Parks, online trading and buying are my main sources for Disney pin fun.

Happy pin trading/buying!

Sent from my H3223 using Tapatalk
 

Wander Trico

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This is a tough question to answer because it's usually personal. Although we are all after the "high" of attaining a pin we're looking for, it can be neverending, and different for each of us.:p
For me it started just collecting DLR pins for memories, which means they're commemorative, holidays with dates, attraction/park anniversaries, and highly not desired by traders (I didn't realize till later). So I was advised to get LE pins, which every month there's a bunch and not all are wants either.
I've learned to buy pins you want/like, because most likely you'll own it for awhile, depending on who/what your collection is, some are more desirable over others.
Most of us all started with CM trading at the park either off the lanyards or boards for hidden Mickeys. Even to this day most traders still try to get the current ones either by trading or buying.

I learned if you buy traders for traders sake, you'll most likely end up with a heavy pin trading bag and frustration. It's hard to guess which pins everyone wants, UNLESS You're a Disney cast member and have multiple ways of attaining low LE pins. DSSH has been a good source for us other than park/store pins.
This is a hobby for most of us on the forum, and we try to help each other out. If you check the sales/wanted section you'll find opportunities to get park/event pickups being offered.

As mentioned above the best is picking up at cost, and attending DLR pin trading nights or DSSH release.
The problem most of us have in trading is having the right pin: hard to find/get pins which usually means LE/LR pins(mystery box pins) or older pins(7+ years?).
And there's moments when it just all works out!:stitch:
Hope this helps:p

I see... Don't buy for traders sake, just buy the pins you like... I feel if I do that then I'll just have no traders, not really a pin trader so much as a pin collector. But as long as my collection is something I like then that's fine. haha. I don't live near a disney park, so I'll have to wait until things go on sale. Sounds like to trade, you have to have lots of patience to find the right trade partner. But it sounds like fun too when you finally trade for the pin you been wanting. Thanks for the tips. =)
 

Wander Trico

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Hello,

I recommend buying what you like. You will be surprised how many pins you liked (keepers) eventually become traders.

I do not live near Disneyland but I have a supply of traders that I have purchased over the years, some from Disneyland others from the disney website (it’s name has changed 2-3 times over the years). The disney website has sales occasionally. You can get some great deals here. They also release a variety of pins some of which are LE. Now the pins they release today may not be someone’s grail today or tomorrow (or ever), but if you enjoy them that is the most important thing (I still have a LE Mayor from NBC that no one has even asked about, at least I liked him)

I do not think most of us should buy expensive traders with the hope of trading for one of our grails(if you know someone who is willing to trade x for y, then it may work). Several of us have a low LE trader (this is subjective I would place this at LE 100 or lower) that has been in our pin bag for way too long.

I also trade for pins I want to keep but also for potential traders. Whenever I go to a pin event I usually get a few pins that will end up in my trading bag.

Some of our fellow traders on this site sometimes sell traders. I usually buy these to use in Disneyland.

Starting can feel overwhelming. It takes time. Enjoy it!
Good luck!

Buy the pins you want. OK.
The mayor from Nightmare Before Christmas? That sounds like it would be a cool pin. He's got 2 different faces, so I can see them adding a spinner to the pin. No one else thinks he's cool? Well, as long as you like it, then I guess that's all that matters.

Yeah, buying expensive traders sounds like a waste. Buy stuff while it's on sale is what I'm getting from others.
Those mystery packs seem like fun. Are they good traders tho? Or do people prefer things like hidden mickeys?
 

Wander Trico

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Both buying and trading are great depending on how passionate/patient you are about a specific pin. Most of my LE trades are from online traders. I'd also buy LEs at the Disney Character Warehouse in Orlando. In-park trading I reserve for HMs and other OEs. Now that I live so far from any Disney Parks, online trading and buying are my main sources for Disney pin fun.

Happy pin trading/buying!

Sent from my H3223 using Tapatalk

Yeah I think I'll have to rely on online trading and buying since I'm not near the parks. Sounds like trading requires a lot more patience than just buying.
I started out by buying a lot, but I ended up with a number of fakes. Felt really disappointed and discouraged. Hopefully taking a different route of acquiring pins will get me more authentic ones.
 

gargress

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Yeah I think I'll have to rely on online trading and buying since I'm not near the parks. Sounds like trading requires a lot more patience than just buying.
I started out by buying a lot, but I ended up with a number of fakes. Felt really disappointed and discouraged. Hopefully taking a different route of acquiring pins will get me more authentic ones.
Accidentally buying fakes is the worst. I fell into that trap too when I started out. No more giant random pin lots for me. Close-up photos of fronts and backs with flawless reviews or I don't buy eBay pins. At least now there's more legit pin buying options on a budget like BoxLunch and Mondo.

Sent from my H3223 using Tapatalk
 

pincrazy

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I see... Don't buy for traders sake, just buy the pins you like... I feel if I do that then I'll just have no traders, not really a pin trader so much as a pin collector. But as long as my collection is something I like then that's fine. haha. I don't live near a disney park, so I'll have to wait until things go on sale. Sounds like to trade, you have to have lots of patience to find the right trade partner. But it sounds like fun too when you finally trade for the pin you been wanting. Thanks for the tips. =)
True it does seem you're more of a collector. But unless you're buying to trade off of CM lanyards at the parks, it's difficult to know which pins other traders want to trade for. Most of us won't trade like a CM- just to trade, we're usually looking for specific pins.
It seems the immediate trading happens when pins are just released, after they go on sale it's tougher. Example: mystery boxes, Tiny Kingdoms series 2, sold at DLR/WDW, 24 pins in set, 3 pins per box, LR, $19.99. Although they're very SMALL, it's become a tradable pin set. Hint, when series 3 gets released, buy some and use as traders. Another would be, when DSSH posts an online release try to buy some. This doesnt guarantee trades, just a better opportunity for some. After year + of watching/reading/trading, you'll see a trend of what works for buying. If you buy pins that aren't trading at the moment, wait 5+ years and it might, so be prepared to allow a budget for this hobby and not use this as an extra income.
Sometimes the pins you've picked for your collection, later become your traders, as some have mentioned in earlier posts. Mainly because in the beginning you're not as selective and as you narrow down you realize you only want certain designs: only princess alone, prince/princess together, castle only, tink w/castle, Mickey, cats/dogs, sidekicks, etc.
Also use some of the resource sites to get use to wants/demand for values and not rely just on resale value.:stitch:
I've still got to learn to restrain myself from buying:p
The biggest lesson I've learned: there are NEW PINS getting RELEASED every week somewhere in the Disney retail chain! Don't get caught up in the hype of gotta have! Gotta have is often temporary, either you attain it or theres a NEW gotta have:p it's endless!
Theres a reason why Disney changed their return/exchange policy to 1 month.
 
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noone

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First i totally recommend reading up on scrappers, fakes and counterfits. And keep in mind i think there is isn't a person out there that doesn't still get had with a fake or a poorly made real pin now an again. When i first started i went to DSF now called DSSH and went to releases a couple times (which were out of control back then) thinking they would make great traders, well, i still have all of those lovely Monsters University DSF pins. So not all DSSH/DSF or low Limited Edition pins trade well. Its just there is a collector for every pin but the best traders have a lot of people wanting and not many trading. So i altered my stratagy, i only bought pins that i liked and wouldn't be bummed about keeping if they didn't trade well. Also i purchased some i thought i could sell later on if they didn't trade. This has worked for me. I generally don't trade much anymore. But if i were to trade i stick to the easy stuff the latest hidden mickeys or mystery sets are fun to trade. And if you stick to trading with folks you know from the forum the chances of accidentally getting a bad pin are pretty low. That's a way to do trading without as much risk. Also there are the pins at cost threads to help get some park pins when you are looking for those :)

Everyone finds there own way through trial and error :)
 

Wander Trico

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Accidentally buying fakes is the worst. I fell into that trap too when I started out. No more giant random pin lots for me. Close-up photos of fronts and backs with flawless reviews or I don't buy eBay pins. At least now there's more legit pin buying options on a budget like BoxLunch and Mondo.

Sent from my H3223 using Tapatalk
I've never bought those pin lots, and I know that most of them are fake. A lot of my pins actually look fine, but I suspect they're fake just because the ebay seller's behavior was so shady. I've learned to pay attention to what the seller does rather than just look at the listing and the feedback.

Didn't really know of any other ways of obtaining pins back then. Hopefully now it will be easier to obtain authentic pins with pin groups. =)
 

Wander Trico

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True it does seem you're more of a collector. But unless you're buying to trade off of CM lanyards at the parks, it's difficult to know which pins other traders want to trade for. Most of us won't trade like a CM- just to trade, we're usually looking for specific pins.
It seems the immediate trading happens when pins are just released, after they go on sale it's tougher. Example: mystery boxes, Tiny Kingdoms series 2, sold at DLR/WDW, 24 pins in set, 3 pins per box, LR, $19.99. Although they're very SMALL, it's become a tradable pin set. Hint, when series 3 gets released, buy some and use as traders. Another would be, when DSSH posts an online release try to buy some. This doesnt guarantee trades, just a better opportunity for some. After year + of watching/reading/trading, you'll see a trend of what works for buying. If you buy pins that aren't trading at the moment, wait 5+ years and it might, so be prepared to allow a budget for this hobby and not use this as an extra income.
Sometimes the pins you've picked for your collection, later become your traders, as some have mentioned in earlier posts. Mainly because in the beginning you're not as selective and as you narrow down you realize you only want certain designs: only princess alone, prince/princess together, castle only, tink w/castle, Mickey, cats/dogs, sidekicks, etc.
Also use some of the resource sites to get use to wants/demand for values and not rely just on resale value.:stitch:
I've still got to learn to restrain myself from buying:p
The biggest lesson I've learned: there are NEW PINS getting RELEASED every week somewhere in the Disney retail chain! Don't get caught up in the hype of gotta have! Gotta have is often temporary, either you attain it or theres a NEW gotta have:p it's endless!
Theres a reason why Disney changed their return/exchange policy to 1 month.

Thanks for the tips. I'll have to keep my eye out for that pin set and for dssh sales.
New pins every week? Nice. Not really of characters I'm interested in, but someone somewhere wants it! That's what's so cool about pin trading.
For me, when there's a new pin that I want, I want to get it soon because it hasn't been faked yet, you know?
But that's always so expensive! I should just wait, but I'm scared if I wait too long then they'll start making fakes. >_<
 

Wander Trico

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First i totally recommend reading up on scrappers, fakes and counterfits. And keep in mind i think there is isn't a person out there that doesn't still get had with a fake or a poorly made real pin now an again. When i first started i went to DSF now called DSSH and went to releases a couple times (which were out of control back then) thinking they would make great traders, well, i still have all of those lovely Monsters University DSF pins. So not all DSSH/DSF or low Limited Edition pins trade well. Its just there is a collector for every pin but the best traders have a lot of people wanting and not many trading. So i altered my stratagy, i only bought pins that i liked and wouldn't be bummed about keeping if they didn't trade well. Also i purchased some i thought i could sell later on if they didn't trade. This has worked for me. I generally don't trade much anymore. But if i were to trade i stick to the easy stuff the latest hidden mickeys or mystery sets are fun to trade. And if you stick to trading with folks you know from the forum the chances of accidentally getting a bad pin are pretty low. That's a way to do trading without as much risk. Also there are the pins at cost threads to help get some park pins when you are looking for those :)

Everyone finds there own way through trial and error :)
I see. Thanks for the tips! I'm sure there's a MU collector out there somewhere who wants your pins. =)

I def think that trading in these forums or in private groups are safer for getting authentic pins. I wish I knew about that before, otherwise I wouldn't have bought so many fakes off ebay. The problem is getting those groups to let me join! The facebook groups seem to be quite picky. Having tons of fun here tho.
 

pins4twin

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I have been trading for over 20 years, and when I started, I would always buy two of the LE pins, one to keep and one to trade. That got very expensive, and I still have some of these LE’s in my trade book. I would suggest only buying pins to trade that you think will be desirable to others; princesses, stitch, and villains. Also, I never bought a pin the first 15 years of trading. Just traded on pinpics, at pin events, or local pin meets. Luckily, there are enough traders in the Chicago area to have a good pin meet each month. But in the last 5 years I have started to buy pins from eBay or Facebook. I have found pins to complete sets, at reasonable prices, so I finally caved in and bought them. I would prefer to trade, but fewer people seem to want to trade and you don’t get too many replies from pinpics, so sometimes buying pins is the answer.
 

TheMickeyMouseRules

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I have been trading for over 20 years, and when I started, I would always buy two of the LE pins, one to keep and one to trade. That got very expensive, and I still have some of these LE’s in my trade book. I would suggest only buying pins to trade that you think will be desirable to others; princesses, stitch, and villains. Also, I never bought a pin the first 15 years of trading. Just traded on pinpics, at pin events, or local pin meets. Luckily, there are enough traders in the Chicago area to have a good pin meet each month. But in the last 5 years I have started to buy pins from eBay or Facebook. I have found pins to complete sets, at reasonable prices, so I finally caved in and bought them. I would prefer to trade, but fewer people seem to want to trade and you don’t get too many replies from pinpics, so sometimes buying pins is the answer.
I agree with you, @pins4twin. And spot on about buying popular themed traders (at cost). I also had to learn this and made some missteps along the way. Still do... To be honest. Just over 5 years into this hobby and I am still learning. :)

I love the energy I get from trading. and I wish I could attend more trade events. I enjoy my collection, but it wouldn't be what it is without the trading aspect. Trading is so much more satisfying (for me) than buying everything straight out. For me trading brings in a fun socialization. The whole pin trading experience is worth so much more than the sum of it's parts.

(Also, note, I do not trade for anything I could have bought from the source at cost... That would be silly. :p If you can buy a pin you want at cost, do it.)
 

Wander Trico

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I have been trading for over 20 years, and when I started, I would always buy two of the LE pins, one to keep and one to trade. That got very expensive, and I still have some of these LE’s in my trade book. I would suggest only buying pins to trade that you think will be desirable to others; princesses, stitch, and villains. Also, I never bought a pin the first 15 years of trading. Just traded on pinpics, at pin events, or local pin meets. Luckily, there are enough traders in the Chicago area to have a good pin meet each month. But in the last 5 years I have started to buy pins from eBay or Facebook. I have found pins to complete sets, at reasonable prices, so I finally caved in and bought them. I would prefer to trade, but fewer people seem to want to trade and you don’t get too many replies from pinpics, so sometimes buying pins is the answer.

Thanks. I can see how buying 2 of each LE could get super expensive since Disney releases new pins like every week. If I do buy traders, should buy princesses, stitch, or villains. Got it. =)

Chicago is pretty big, so I can see how there would be enough people to have a pin meet. I wonder if there are any pin meet ups in Arizona.
Guess I'll just start online for now. People still use pinpics to trade? I was under the impression that the site was under construction for a long time and people are starting to abandon it.
 

Wander Trico

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I agree with you, @pins4twin. And spot on about buying popular themed traders (at cost). I also had to learn this and made some missteps along the way. Still do... To be honest. Just over 5 years into this hobby and I am still learning. :)

I love the energy I get from trading. and I wish I could attend more trade events. I enjoy my collection, but it wouldn't be what it is without the trading aspect. Trading is so much more satisfying (for me) than buying everything straight out. For me trading brings in a fun socialization. The whole pin trading experience is worth so much more than the sum of it's parts.

(Also, note, I do not trade for anything I could have bought from the source at cost... That would be silly. :p If you can buy a pin you want at cost, do it.)

Trading sounds like lots of fun. You get to see what kind of pins other people like to collect... well at least see what kind of traders they tend to accumulate.
Maybe I'll go to a trading event someday, but first I would have to buy some pins to trade away.
I remember at my local Comicon there's always a disney pin booth. Maybe they'll have some info on pin meetups there.
Here's hoping it doesn't get cancelled with how crazy the world is right now!

Also, a little side note, my first disney pin was bought at Comicon. The one that started it all (Jessica Rabbit patriotic sheild).
It's just a common hidden mickey, but it's very special to me. =)
 

OpieDoodle

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For me it depends, I'm not a hardcore collector by any means but I most certainly have a decent collection at this point. I only buy if its something specific I want, especially if its like the last piece to a set I'm collecting. If its a common pin I'll probably wait it out for a trade. I don't really want to deal with the headache of selling my pins and then trying to re-buy something else so I really prefer to trade.

For example there is a 12 piece puzzle set I've been working on for a while now. It was a Limited Edition set released over a year ago. As of yesterday I was down to my last two pins, I will likely end up buying both of them just because at this point with how long its been and the risk of fakes being made and I really want to finish the set.

EDIT: I do also buy pins at retail when I'm at the parks. I like to find pins with to represent the trip we took. I don't live near disney so I'm not there often :)
 
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