Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pin Trading - Getting Started

In the last few years, I have come to love collecting pins. At first, I didn't understand what all the excitement was about. But now, I love the added adventure of looking for that perfect pin to trade for.

I purchased my first pins off of Ebay. While many collectors complain that you can't guarantee the authenticity of such pins, I've found a few reputable sellers to buy from and haven't had any problems. The great thing about buying off of Ebay is that you can often get pins for $1.50 -$2.00, much less than the $6.50 and up that you would pay in the parks. I generally don't worry about which pins I get when buying from Ebay, after all, you can always trade for what you really want once you get to the parks.

I have several collections of pins that I have put into frames to decorate my home. I love Pirates of the Caribbean and have a frame that has pins surrounding a lithograph of a pirate ship. I also love the Haunted Mansion and have a set of pins surrounding a postcard of the Mansion. It's a fun way to display your collection. For extra pins that I haven't decided where to display yet, I keep them in a soft book with felt pages. Disney sells pin trading bags and books, but they can be a bit pricey, so I made mine. It keeps my pins safe and allows me to look through them quickly and easily.

Once your collection begins to grow, you'll probably want to go through your pins periodically and see if one that you had to have before is now one you'd like to replace with something new. New pins are coming out all the time, so there's always a new set to start collecting. My family likes to trade with cast members exclusively. While some Disney guests will trade with you also, the ones I've met just want my best pins without offering anything good in return. As a result, I just stick to the cast members, who will trade you any pin on their lanyard. You can trade 2 pins with each cast member, each day. This is great for those times when you see more than one pin that you just can't live without. I've gotten some really great, and sometimes rare, pins from cast members. They are a lot of fun to talk to and always willing to trade. Some only trade with children, which is great for the kids, but most will trade with anyone. My niece loves looking at all of the pins and trading with nearly every cast member we talk to, so her collection is ever-changing. She enjoys searching for Princess pins, and pins from her favorite Disney cartoons.

Pin trading is a lot of fun and can be very entertaining. After all, the search for that one perfect pin is a grand adventure. So, get yourself a lanyard and a few pins to get started and get out there, and let the games begin!

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