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Disney Trading Pins on eBay

by Fred Schillinger
(Poughquag, NY)

There are numerous sellers on eBay that claim their pins are tradeable with Cast Members at Walt Disney World. I’m concerned with some of the buyer feedback that says the pins are fakes and are not tradeable. My family has never traded pins. Can you tell me what the rules are? Do you know if the eBay pin lot sellers are scammers?

Frontier Trading Post in the Magic Kingdom

The Frontier Trading Post is the place to get pins in the Magic Kingdom – Photo by WDW Shutterbug

Dad’s not a big Pin Trader but…

Hi Fred,

What a great question.

I can honestly say the I don’t know much about Pin Trading. I’m just not much of a collector. The only collection I have is a few pocket watches that sit on top of our piano.

That being said, I am a pretty good researcher.

You are correct. There are some “rules” when it comes to Pin Trading with Disney Cast Members. Cast Members will only trade for official Disney made pins.

Also, if a Cast Member has a green lanyard, they will only trade with kids. (Pretty cool.)

It’s easy to tell if a pin is an official Disney Trading Pin. They have a ©Disney on the back. Of course that can be forged too, but it’s expensive to forge it that way.

Pins for sale at Walt Disney World

Disney has lots of pins for sale – Photo by WDW Shutterbug

The easiest way to make sure you have official pins is to buy them from Disney, but that is really expensive. Really expensive. Getting a nice cheap starter set on eBay is a good idea.

The Disney Tourist Blog has a real good article about Pin Trading and eBay. There are some good recommendations over there.

As Tom recommends, make sure the seller has a good eBay reputation and some good feedback. It’s not a guarantee, but it’s as close as you’ll get.

WDW Magazine did a big article on Pin Trading in our second issue. Check it out.

Destinations to Travel

Dad’s Bottom Line

Fred, Pin Trading is pretty big at WDW. I think it was bigger 10 years ago. These days there are too many “professional” traders and collectors. They’ve kind of taken the fun out of it, but the kids do have a lot of fun with it and it’s a good way to get them started with a lifetime collection.

Comments for

Apr 20, 2016 pins…
by: Anonymous

I wouldn’t buy them online because part of the fun is picking out each and every one. One of the “benefits” is that a kid has only so much lanyard space lol, so limit them to one lanyard and they probably will buy (and trade) more cautiously. I’m usually not into collecting, but I’ve been buying pins since I was a kid. You can buy relatively cheap themed “starter” sets in the park as well, and that would keep a young kid pretty happy, I think. The “downside” to that is those pin sets are cheaper because those are the least intricate pins. (Disclaimer: I don’t trade- even as a kid, each pin meant something to me). That “cheap set” probably won’t save you the money if they get really into it.

Two tips-

1. Buy the lock backs. More difficult to trade, but it makes them impossible to lose. The regular plastic backs fall off really easy- I was an active kid and lost a few before I realized it:(

2. If you are staying at the resorts. (And I don’t know if this is still possible). But my parents let me charge them to the room the first time around, and even though I don’t actually have many, the final bill was a bit of a shock to them. The pins (at DL at least) are color coded in the store, and the more intricate the pin, the more expensive it is. So what they thought was a cute keepsake actually turned out to be at least the price of one night’s stay! They add up fast- I don’t know how old your kids are but you probably want to set a daily limit in hard dollars- or at least keep tabs. My parents just limited me to that as my only type of souvenir, and I’m good with that because I just am usually not a souvenir person.

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