Pinthusiasm: How Do You Trade?

I literally have only one photo of me wearing my lanyard, and I look terrible in it, so please enjoy this photo of a pin kiosk in Animal Kingdom instead

I am the first to admit that I am a terrible Disney pin trader.

When I started ‘collecting,’ I only bought pins that I truly loved—those that depict my favorite characters (like Figment) or hold special meaning to me (like my Bay Lake Tower pin, to signify our first DVC purchase). Once I had these pins securely fastened to my touring bag, I was unwilling to give them up.

Trading wasn’t going very well.

I eventually bought a medium-sized lot of pins off of eBay (please save your counterfeit pin criticisms). I assumed that it would be easier to part with a bunch of random pins.

When they came in the mail, I spent some time displaying my new pins on a lanyard, not for a second realizing that a large part of pin trading would mean taking the pins off the lanyard.

I introduced this fabulous work of art during a trip with Tracy in September 2011 … and I didn’t trade a single pin all week.

I did give a few pins away. Mostly to kids. And mostly to get them to stop crying while I was trying to enjoy my meal.  I like giving pins to kids—the look of surprise and unreserved happiness is, for me, incredibly magical. And getting a kid to stop throwing a tantrum isn’t bad either.

But trading? That seems like a pain. I’d have to find someone to trade with, go about the haggling process, switch pins … it can’t really be so much work as I make it out to be in my head, can it?

So, for now, I’m not pin trading, but I do enjoy watching others make a trade, especially kids. The way they furrow their brows, calculating the worth of an offered pin and trying to get the best deal possible. It’s adorable!

Recently, fellow Disney fanatic and Facebook friend Melissa Jersey-Amick shared with me how her son selects pins for his collection:

My son does his pin trading based on the shape of the pin. Yes, the shape. Squares are better than circles, and triangles are better than squares. Character-shaped pins beat all other shapes. Colors factor in somewhere as well but he wouldn’t tell us his method. He says it’s a top-secret secret. That’s a four-year-old’s logic for you!

How does your son or daughter decide which pins to trade? Get the answer from the source, then leave a comment or e-mail me at

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