I've got to say that my best trade was last year during the Pinbassador Event. I got this pin (which sold on eBay for a couple hundred dollars):
And traded for this pin from the Friday the 13th WDW pin release, a Master Gracey portrait that opens up.
There's also an interesting story behind this Club 33 pin I have. Per a comment on pinpics.com:
I was told by a Club 33 member that this pin caused some controversy for the Club. Apparently anything with the Club 33 logo is only supposed to be sold AT the Club or given to members, and this pin was made available to the general public (although in limited quantities). According to my source, a letter was sent out to all Club 33 members apologizing for the error, they were sent a different "courtesy" pin by mail, and a new "Members Only" pin similar to this one is supposed to be created in the near future. For the Club 33 Member Exclusive "make-up" pin, see # 27953
How do you get all these awesome pins???
Wow, Tikiroomliz... I want that door pin!
Liz...you are the queen of pin trading! Those pins are amazing.
So, if you all don't mind sharing with a newbie. Where ARE the best trading spots? Is that classified? (Maybe I should be in the chit chat thread with this.) I am due there for 9 days starting Thanksgiving, and, would love to make the most of my pin trading. :)
Club 33 door pin (joining Neenie as an enabler...) for you Coheteboy!
I gotta say I learned the ropes bit by bit on pin trading. The Haunted Mansion pin trade came about by sheer luck. I went to a local collector's mart and wanted to trade, but had nothing of interest to the seller ... asked me if I was going to the Pinbassador Event and told me if I got him that Haunted Mansion pin he would trade it for the Master Gracey pin and a few others of my choosing. I went for the trade, but had to get there super early and barely made it to get a wrist band. The CM came up to me and said she was the stopping line to wait and see if they had anymore wristbands - a few minutes later I got one.
As for pin trading at the parks, there really isn't anything secretive about it. I'm way more familiar with Disneyland so not sure about DCA. You got some good advice from above, trading early in the morning you get a better variety of pins from CM's then later in the day. Other then that just be on the lookout for CM's with lanyards and feel free to ask them to see their lanyard to see if there is anything that interests you. CM's also take their books for trading to Tomorrowland and Frontierland by the pin stores where the tables are set up. I tend to stay away from regular pin traders since I just don't trust them too much.