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  1. #1

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    Best locations/CM types to pin trade with in Disneyland and DCA?

    Basically, I've never once traded a pin, despite owning a fair few. I know the rules in general: no grabbing lanyards, ask politely, 2 at a time I think per employee per day, can't give a CM a duplicate of one they have, only officially marked Disney pins of a certain quality/not damaged or before 2001, blue/teal lanyards are for kids only. But where would people advise to go first for more unusual pins, any specific locations? Obviously, being early to get to trading CM's might well be of benefit doubtless, and thinking avoid the 'intense' guest traders with their giant books solely as a matter of wanting to steer clear of any potential 'bad apples' (though of course I am sure many are perfectly decent and friendly).

    I just want to give it a try and hopefully can get at least one decent 'unexpected' find over 2 1/2 days of being there. Thanks in advance for any tips or advice!

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    Re: Best locations/CM types to pin trade with in Disneyland and DCA?

    Regions beyond,
    What an excellent question. My wife and I were in a similar situation this year (Mar 25-29). Being new to pin trading, we weren’t sure where to start or who to trade with etc. Now, I am no expert when it comes to pin trading but I’ll tell you what we encountered during our last visit.
    First off, we cheated. We bought an online lot of pins from EBay. The pins we purchased were all new and averaged at about $.95 each. I can’t see trading off the shelf pins purchased at over $10.00! I am not advocating for EBay so buyer beware. There are many sellers offering these pin lots, just do your research before you decide to pursue this route.
    When we got to the park we noticed that hardly any cast members were wearing any pin lanyards. I’d say on average one in twenty CM’s actually had a lanyard for trading. We were a bit discouraged about this and wondered why Disney was pushing pin trading so hard if none of the cast members were wearing lanyards. However we did discover that each major attraction, in both DL and DCA, had a main cast lanyard at the beginning of the queue. It’s usually hanging at or in the kiosk the cast members stand behind at the entrance of each attraction. We found tons of cool, limited, and unique pins at each attraction. No haggling, no pushy pin hoarders, and no damaged leftover pins; just tons of pin trading fun! It ended up being much more enjoyable than I had originally anticipated.
    One other fun place we accidentally discovered was while waiting in line at the attractions. Many other guests were in the same situation as us and were eager to trade pins. So strike up a conversation with that couple in front of you in line, they just might have that completer pin you’ve been looking for.
    Have fun and good luck!

  3. #3

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    Re: Best locations/CM types to pin trade with in Disneyland and DCA?

    Thank you very much for this advice, definitely good to know! I have about 10 pins previously purchased, 5-6 years ago, that no longer crazy about - so decent starting pool to trade without having to purchase full price ones anew to get going. Will definitely have to look into the attraction-centric lanyards, thank you for this tip!

  4. #4

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    Re: Best locations/CM types to pin trade with in Disneyland and DCA?

    I just want to throw in my 2 cents here in the most polite, upbeat tone possible.

    The good: pins are actually really fun and a great way to strike up convos in queues or waiting for shows and whatnot. If you're flying, you may want to consider dumping your pins in separate baggie and running them through the screening belt along with your TSA approved travel-sized toiletries. We usually have at least 2 lanyards on us, so this just makes it easier for those "WHAT is all that metal in there" moments. CMs everywhere have pins, and many store counters have both pin and Vinylmation offerings for trade (I've seen this at the Tower of Terror shop and the TSMM shop). I can't even count how many CM Hidden Mickey pins we've traded for!

    The not so good: I make it a point to only trade with CMs or let my kiddos trade with other kids. During our last visit earlier in the month, we tried to trade at Pin Traders in Dntwn Disney and I encountered THE. RUDEST. CM. EVER. It was extremely frustrating and took ALOT of patience just to get one trade for my 7 year old (who picked an incredibly gaudy pastel shell pin). On the opposite side of the spectrum, the CMs at the pin cart at Big Thunder Ranch during Long Lost Friends week couldn't have been nicer!!! I just don't get the negative attitude sometimes. It's frustrating and awkward and not worth loading up the "pin rules" on the iPhone and arguing about.

    Anyway, have a blast and enjoy every second of your trip!

  5. #5

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    Re: Best locations/CM types to pin trade with in Disneyland and DCA?

    Thank you for this advice! Driving in my case, so storage less of an issue - but that's a very good tip for anyone flying to Anaheim, so excellent idea indeed.

    Sadly, there will be an occasional CM having an 'off day' at work, or those had bad experiences previous, so can be surly regardless of position - sorry you caught one at a bad time. I've traded Vinylmations before, so definitely will see about pins at the Hollywood Tower gift store, where always had good interactions regarding trading. Thanks again for the advice!

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    Re: Best locations/CM types to pin trade with in Disneyland and DCA?

    I have had a so far good experience with Pin traders at disney.. most of my pins were traded in World of Disney ,but Pin traders has given me a couple good pins with no issue.

    I traded over at Plaza inn and By the hat store near tomorrowland terrace 2 days ago, but not sure if they are there all the time..otherwise i stick to trading in DCA or DTD.

    I usually will get good pins for retrade or for keeps.

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    Re: Best locations/CM types to pin trade with in Disneyland and DCA?

    Thanks for the ideas! I've been considering getting my 5 year old into pin trading. We had a bunch of Figment and Stitch pins that we were going to just sell off. Then I realized that my daughter might interested in them.

    I didn't know about a particular colored lanyard for kids? I take it to mean that if you see a CM wearing a blue lanyard, they are only going to trade with kids?

  8. #8

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    Re: Best locations/CM types to pin trade with in Disneyland and DCA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinemaps View Post
    Thanks for the ideas! I've been considering getting my 5 year old into pin trading. We had a bunch of Figment and Stitch pins that we were going to just sell off. Then I realized that my daughter might interested in them.
    My oldest has been "trading" (and pressing pennies!) since she was 3, so I guess that's why I feel I still have to supervise her trades (she still plays with the lanyards and loses pins, so I don't feel *too* guilty about my over-parenting). LOL. At one time we had MANY Figment pins (isn't it funny how they accumulate??), and now have two duplicate Dreamcatcher pins we still haven't managed to trade yet. If you want to message any pics of the pins (we collect Stitch pins too), maybe we can trade?

  9. #9

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    Re: Best locations/CM types to pin trade with in Disneyland and DCA?

    Thank you all very much for the advice and input!

  10. #10

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    Re: Best locations/CM types to pin trade with in Disneyland and DCA?

    Regions first off let me warn you about buying off ebay. The lots of pins that are cheaper than retail are usually almost always fake. Or scrappers as pin traders call them. I bought a lot of them once and when I got them it was pretty obvious they were probably rejects from the factory in which the real pins are probably made. The colors were off on some the backs weren't centered etc. You also should inspect the pins on the CMs as sometimes these fakes make their way to the CM lanyards as well.

    As far as finding good pins on CMs the best advice I can give is get there early like rope drop. Most of the CM pins have been refreshed at this time. Also I have had good luck several times in toon town. I find that talking to the CMs with the pins is a lot of fun and makes the day pretty enjoyable for me. As far as rude CMs go I haven't met one yet when dealing with pins. The CMs wear the lanyards by choice so I would guess they want to have some conversation about them. Also don't be shy to come up to us traders in the park. Not all of us are bad and will give you pointers

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    Re: Best locations/CM types to pin trade with in Disneyland and DCA?

    There's this giftshop on mainstreet where it's a table of pins on a board and they are tradable. It's pretty cool but not always there

  12. #12

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    Re: Best locations/CM types to pin trade with in Disneyland and DCA?

    I don't trade with guests but I've traded with CMs from time to time. One suggestion would be to try to look for CMs/shops in less trafficked areas. For instance the CMs in the Main Street Emporium will be hit up for trades more than the ones in the quieter little shops toward the back of the park. The older CM who works in the pin shop in New Orleans Square has always been lovely and if it's not busy she's always had time to chat.

    There's a set of pins that you can only get from CMs. Here are some of them: Pin Pics: Pin Groups

    Also, one other suggestion would be to understand that as Biggsworth said, the fake pins can unfortunately show up on the CMs lanyards too. They have to accept any Disney pin offered by a guest and unfortunately some of the fakes are really good. I got a fake Figment pin that way, sadly. I saw it, just thought "oh cute, Figment," and traded, it didn't even cross my mind that a fake would be on a CM lanyard, and when I got home and looked it up I learned otherwise.

    I've seen the same pin pop up on CM lanyards over and over again so someone apparently has a lot of these to scam/trade with (it's the "Grateful" one in this page. The real pins are shown on this website; the fake one I got has green eyes instead of yellow ones: Pin Pics: Pin Groups)

    I honestly don't care that much because I wanted something with Figment, not something to sell later, but if you're actually trading with future value in mind, be careful.

  13. #13

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    Re: Best locations/CM types to pin trade with in Disneyland and DCA?

    I second the call to be careful when buying pin lots of eBay. If they have a lot of lots listed and they are mostly the same pins in the picture, it's a good chance they might be scrappers. Check the feedback the sellers have on eBay too. if they have a lot of negatives and the reason is scrapped pins,then caveat emptor.
    I would also check the Official Disney Pin Trading site and research the Hidden Mickey pin lists. Not only will you know what to look for , but you can also look at the older HM pins too. Some of the older ones are harder to find and lot have scrapper versions. PinPics is a great source, if not better.
    I only trade with CM's but scrapped pins have gotten so out of control, that I haven't actively traded in a while. When I looked at the pin trading station at the Long Lost Friends venue a few weeks ago, the CM showed me a scrapped version of a new HM chaser pin! It was so bad she refused to put in the pin trading book.

  14. #14

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    Re: Best locations/CM types to pin trade with in Disneyland and DCA?

    Quote Originally Posted by biggsworth View Post
    Regions first off let me warn you about buying off ebay. The lots of pins that are cheaper than retail are usually almost always fake. Or scrappers as pin traders call them. I bought a lot of them once and when I got them it was pretty obvious they were probably rejects from the factory in which the real pins are probably made. The colors were off on some the backs weren't centered etc. You also should inspect the pins on the CMs as sometimes these fakes make their way to the CM lanyards as well.

    As far as finding good pins on CMs the best advice I can give is get there early like rope drop. Most of the CM pins have been refreshed at this time. Also I have had good luck several times in toon town. I find that talking to the CMs with the pins is a lot of fun and makes the day pretty enjoyable for me. As far as rude CMs go I haven't met one yet when dealing with pins. The CMs wear the lanyards by choice so I would guess they want to have some conversation about them. Also don't be shy to come up to us traders in the park. Not all of us are bad and will give you pointers
    Thank you for this advice! I definitely already know to steer clear of eBay, all ones have to trade are ones I bought in the park in the past 6-7 years and can bear to part with. I've heard lots of stories about dodgy eBay pins, so the heads up is appreciated Toon Town is definitely on my list, to get there early when they open up, and also less traffic there in terms of volume of people most times.

  15. #15

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    Re: Best locations/CM types to pin trade with in Disneyland and DCA?

    Regarding the eBay thing. Most are right that buying lots from eBay can be sketchy. My rule of thumb is if they are offering large volume lots for pennies and or free shipping on large quantities, they are probably fakes.

    Look and see how many if these lots they have going and you can pretty much surmise they are fakes.

    Also if they are only selling pins and their feedback is in the 0,000s they are probably fakes.

    As for the trading my two young boys like to do it. They have the advantage where they can't be refused.

    As for trying to fin good stud from CMs don't get your hopes up. Most I have seen the last few years are pretty much the same ones at each CM. I think that is more of an eBay oversaturation effect than everything. From what I have seen most are not trading their good $10+ pins they bought, only the cheap scrapers and fakes from lots.

    Now with that bein said, my boys have a lot of fun doing that and it is neat to take part with them. Go with the attitude you can have some fun doing it but don't expect to find unbelievable pins to add to your collection unless ou get real lucky. It an still be a lot of fun and an enjoyable time.

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