Pin trading

Hi! We are traveling with another family in August. Their daughter is into the pin trading. My kids are interested but I’m not sure I want to get into that. Is it worth the time? Where can you get pins without dropping a fortune?? Thanks!!

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My kids have always loved it from elementary into middle school. If you google pin trading, you can find a lot of information about it (to know before you go). And there are several places that sell pin grab bags which gives you an assortment of pins to trade. But watch out for the knock-offs. I hear that is good, but I haven’t tried that one yet.

EBay is also a good source of cheap pins, although you may need to do some research if you want to get authentic pins and not the knock-offs. The ones I trust more on EBay seem to be priced about double of the lowest cost providers, but that’s still pretty cheap compared to retail. For reference it appears the DIS starter sets are now $30 for a lanyard with 4 pins - I’d have told it wasn’t that long ago that they were around $10 cheaper and came with 6 pins…

I will say that IMHO, pin trading is a time suck, especially if you’re following a touring plan. Generally, when you’re on your way from A > B, there will be a bunch of opportunities to stop and pin trade with CMs.

As long as you’re OK with the kids “always scanning for the next trade”, it can be very fun. It will take up at least some of your day; the minute or three here and there will add up.

But then again, you’re on vacation … :european_castle::mouse::fireworks:

I agree that it can take some time away in the park. Definitely. The pin trading is everywhere. But it being everywhere means you can pin trade at the resorts and Disney springs too. So if you don’t want to stop and trade in the parks, you can go elsewhere when you don’t have a schedule to rely on.

My son got good at picking CMs that weren’t busy so he didn’t have to wait to trade. Emphasizing that to the kids would likely help in the experience so that they’re not expecting to trade with every last CM who has pins…

Pins were the unexpected highlight of the trip for our DD4.5 at the time
We picked up a large pack of about 50 from one of the sellers on craigslist.
The lady dropped them off to our resort (which was super nice as we didn’t have a car)

Out of all of the pins that we ended up with there were maybe 2-3 of a really low quality that we traded out immediately. DD4.5 went through them, chose what she wanted to keep and left the rest as trade fodder.

Ended up costing us virtually nothing (compared to buying them individually) and gave us nearly 2 weeks of awesome interactions with staff.

BE AWARE you could get ripped off with fakes but our lot was legit and I checked them out before handing over the cash.

I bought a lanyard and a bunch of pins off Ebay for my DD7 to do trading during our next trip. For me, whether they are legit or knock offs is irrelevant. What’s most important is the experience. If I buy real ones in the future, I’ll be sure to leave them at home.

Pin trading was a big hit for my 5 yr old. We bought about 10 on ebay for $15 and she picked which ones to trade. We aren’t serious collectors, so we weren’t worried about fakes, but the one’s we got looked legit. It was a great break between rides and when we were in a store, she was focused on looking for cast members to trade with and not shopping - saved us a fortune. When it was time to leave the parks at night I reminded her that our resort store may have gotten more pins to trade during the day and it made her excited to get back at the end of the night!

Sorry, but this is exactly why pin trading isn’t worth it. We buy pins on our trips to collect but don’t trade because people don’t care that they’re flooding the market with fake pins. I don’t want my kids trading a pin that cost them $10-15 for something that’s essentially trash.

We have really enjoyed collecting pins and have enjoyed trading pins. These started out as 2 different things for us, but it has merged now. We have had a strict policy to only trade scrappers for scrappers and real pins for real pins.

I bought my first lot not knowing about scrappers. After watching several videos on identifying real from fake I went through the lot and realized they were all fake. We still trade these especially at resort pin boards but only for ones that are also obviously fake.

Then I bought a second lot from an ebay seller identified as reputable. These were about $2 a piece and all checked out. Some we have kept as favorites, some we have traded. For me it was nice knowing we had real pins to trade. Some starter kits are also great for first trades.

Me and DD both pick a pin or 2 on each trip. I would never trade these as they are very sentimental. I have mine on my bulletin board at work because they are fun and remind me of vacation.

Collecting and trading:
At first we traded randomly. Now DD had now decided she wants to collect cat pins. So we trade as described above, but now in a way that is specifically “collecting”.

Finally, on each of the 3 trips we have been on, we got 1 mystery pack of nesting doll trading pins. We are missing three from a full set, and realize our best bet is to trade for them. We are kind of excited to try to find these very specific pins on our next trip. It will definitely have to be a part of our touring plan!

@sclong77 - We wanted the experience, not to use it as a hobby to collect Disney pins. To each their own. Even in our ‘trash’ pins, there are ones that DD doesn’t want to trade because she likes them. The fact that they are real or not is of no consequence to an elementary school aged kid who is just looking to have some fun.


Pin trading ending up being one of the highlights of our trip for DD 5.5. I had previously seen posts on pin trading but thought DD was too young and didn’t really research it prior to trip. After our first day DD saw a princess sash she wanted to buy with her money so I figured if she’s going to buy the sash might as well explain the pins to her. We bought a small starter set and she was so excited to trade one the next morning for one of the incredibles. She was a trooper for her first roller coaster after almost bailing at the last min so we let her pick out a pin afterwards and she picked a really cool everest one where the yeti goes up and down.

She did a couple of more trades while at epcot and loved finding CM’s to stop and look at. She didn’t trade a whole lot and didn’t stop a ton just a few times through out the day and it made the day so much more fun for her. Now she has the sash at home and sees the pins on a daily basis and remembers her disney time. One of the cast members showed us the locked sets so we’ve locked a few of her special ones like the everest that was $15 that has a good memory and was costly so we don’t want to trade it.