Pin Trading Help Please

I have a friend who will be going to the World in a few weeks. I’ve been able to help her plan but got stumped on the below question. I knew you guys would have the answer.

Here is her email:
“Do you have a recommendation on where I can buy a set/lot of Disney trading pins? I would like each girl to start with maybe 20 so they will be ready to trade when we get there. I was looking on eBay, but I am afraid of getting fakes.”

The best bet is to buy sets direct from Disney. The online store will have tons to choose from. It’s not the cheapest option but the only way to guarantee authentic merchandise. The other viable option if they have a car is to visit one of the Disney Outlet stores where pins can often be found at a discounted rate.

Having said all of that we’ve had a lot members buy from Ebay and have good experience but that is always a roll of the dice. Perhaps someone can mentions some specific sellers that they’ve used.

Thanks. Guessing it’s totally possible to ‘trade into’ a fake also?

Yes it is. There are some tell tale characteristics to look for. Not sure exactly what but i’m sure some good guides can be found online, but ultimately there is no real guarantee.

However, I would also say that if you appreciate and enjoy what you traded for it really doesn’t matter too much. With a few exceptions for extreme rarity, it’s not really a big money collectible item so having a fake isn’t the worst thing in the world.

My learning from PIN trading: DS10 preferred acquiring special / unique / cool pins and immediately did not like the less $$ pins for trading. Also, the lanyard became a boat anchor very quickly and a pain to deal with. To secure the pins without worry I used the screw on backs that were not easy and quick to release.

We now buy a special pin every now and then and he “sticks” them into his bedroom wall.

My kids are really into pin trading at 12 10 and 5. They have the “bag” style zipper bags instead of lanyards. They hold more pins safely and they seem more willing to wear them. I think they were like $27 each. We have bought some off ebay but more the actual pins then the “lots”. Last year we did order a lot of 50 and had some that were really obvious fakes that we didn’t trade. CM’s will rarely refuse a trade so fakes really don’t matter as long as they are having fun. Each of my kids picked a theme character to “collect” and trade for. I really like it b/c I will pick up special pins each day for them as memory prompters - like we have one from each resort we stayed at, Holiday party, year etc. They obviously don’t trade those. Ask at shops and they frequently have a board the kids can trade off of which keeps them amused while I shop. Its an expensive hobby but my kids would rather pick out a nice pin or two then any other thing so in the end it sort of saves us money.

We’ve purchased individual pins as well as pin lots from eBay. There were several obvious fakes in the lots and we don’t trade those in the parks. I’ve researched how to tell a fake from an authentic pin but still can’t always tell which is which, though many will say that most, if not all, the pins in the lots are fakes. Websites I’ve used in my research say that if the edges are really rough then it’s a fake. Others stated that the Mickey imprints on the back of the pins should never be cut off at the edge but even on our authentic, bought at WDW for full price pins not all the Mickey heads are 100% on the back - there are some that have been “cut off” at the edge. We each have a hanging display of a Mickey shaped outline on corkboard where we keep our favorites and we honestly don’t care if they are truly “real” or not. We love them because of the character or the ride or the memory. If you want to make sure to get only authentic pins then be the first to trade with CMs that day since they start the day with all authentic pins on their lanyards. Also, most shops, restaurants, and resorts have pin boards and/or books behind the counter that they’ll happily pull out for you to peruse if you just ask for a trade. Don’t forget about the people who are cleaning up, either. Some of our best trades have been with sweet men and women who were busing tables or sweeping.

Many thanks for the thought full replies!!

Www.pinpics.Com might be a helpful resource. While I still think that real pins are better, I read a commentary for the other side that made sense. The highlights of it were: Disney buys their pins for pennies and resells them for 10 bucks, why should we suffer the high prices.
If you get a scrapped pin and don’t know it, does it matter?
The pins are likely coming from the same factory, so they aren’t exactly knockoffs, just lower quality/have an error.
Are you planning on trading for a complete set to sell later in life for your retirement and need to make sure they are all real? No? Okay, if it is going in a bulletin board or in a shoe box, don’t lose sleep.

Interesting points to me, and sure if I bought a pin for $15 and traded it for a scrap pin I’d be upset…but I’m not going to buy a pin for that much to get rid of it; I’m not going to go checking pins online to see if they are scrap; if I see a pin that looks cool, I’ll trade for it.

Having said that, I bought some pins at the outlet store and traded them. I bought the cheapest set I could since I was getting rid of them. I was guaranteed to have real pins.

Thank you!