Buying pins to trade in the park?

disneyhooper

Earning My Ears
Joined
Aug 2, 2015
Does anyone have suggestions of where to buy bulk trading pins at a reasonable price prior to the trip?
 

Shannon G

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2001
If you have a rental car, we’ve had good luck getting pins / pin sets at a significant discount at the Disney Character Warehouse store at the outlets. We often make a stop there on the way from the airport to WDW.
 

Kestryl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
There are a few FaceBook groups that have people who can sell actual authentic pins. You’ll be looking at around $2 a pin.

I really caution on eBay. Many of the pin lots (especially in the under $2 a pin lots) there are what traders call “scrappers”- that is, knock-offs. Technically you can probably get away with trading them in the parks. In fact, a lot of the pins available for trade are probably scrappers that other people traded into the pool. Because there are people who will do just that, intentionally- they know they have the cheap knock off, but they find the real one and trade it out. So they get the good pin, and leave the bad.

It’s a bit of an ethics problem, and is why a lot of people have moved away from trading in the parks. No one wants to find out that the pin they got in a trade is a cheap fake.
 

dmband

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 7, 2011
There are a few FaceBook groups that have people who can sell actual authentic pins. You’ll be looking at around $2 a pin.

I really caution on eBay. Many of the pin lots (especially in the under $2 a pin lots) there are what traders call “scrappers”- that is, knock-offs. Technically you can probably get away with trading them in the parks. In fact, a lot of the pins available for trade are probably scrappers that other people traded into the pool. Because there are people who will do just that, intentionally- they know they have the cheap knock off, but they find the real one and trade it out. So they get the good pin, and leave the bad.

It’s a bit of an ethics problem, and is why a lot of people have moved away from trading in the parks. No one wants to find out that the pin they got in a trade is a cheap fake.
I used to have an ethical issue with it till I was spending $8+ and my kids were getting scrappers back In exchange, as you mentioned there are tonsssss of them in the parks.
now I look at it as scrapper for scrapper and the experience is what my kids like vs knowing if something is 100% authentic or not.
heck, my kids like the experience of meeting Mickey and we all know that he is a fake ;)
 

Grumpy by Birth

Happy by choice
Joined
May 27, 2017
I could be wrong, but I always thought that scrappers weren't "knock-offs" per se, but they were pins that were "scrapped" (i.e., discarded) at the factory in China or wherever due to minor flaws that meant they didn't pass QC standards. Subsequently, local "entrepreneurs" retrieve them from the dumpster and sell them on eBay.
 
  • Best Aunt

    "That's the best-est present ever!"
    Joined
    May 1, 2009
    OP, I assume you are staying on top of the changes to the rules regarding pin trading. Last I heard, cast members were not allowed to trade. Some places had boards, and if you wanted a pin on the board you had to put your pin in a reject bucket for sanitizing (or something like that). Disney has been changing lots of its COVID rules, so I don't know what will be going on when you are there.
     

    Adventureland

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 11, 2021
    I could be wrong, but I always thought that scrappers weren't "knock-offs" per se, but they were pins that were "scrapped" (i.e., discarded) at the factory in China or wherever due to minor flaws that meant they didn't pass QC standards. Subsequently, local "entrepreneurs" retrieve them from the dumpster and sell them on eBay.
    It's a combination of this and actual knock-off pins...if it were only scrapped pins, there wouldn't be such a large overflow of specific pins. Especially the knockoffs of more limited edition pins.
     

    KyleAfterAWhile

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2017
    Does anyone have suggestions of where to buy bulk trading pins at a reasonable price prior to the trip?
    If you buy cheap scrappers you will not lose anything. All of the CM lanyards are filled with cheap scrappers as well. The pins from ebay, etsy and Amazon have taken over the parks. If you want good collectibles you should join pin groups on FB or plan to buy them off the rack in the parks and Downtown Disney.
     

    KyleAfterAWhile

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2017
    I could be wrong, but I always thought that scrappers weren't "knock-offs" per se, but they were pins that were "scrapped" (i.e., discarded) at the factory in China or wherever due to minor flaws that meant they didn't pass QC standards. Subsequently, local "entrepreneurs" retrieve them from the dumpster and sell them on eBay.
    Scrappers and knock-offs are all the same thing. The distributors in China who make the pins use the dies with cheap quality fills and sell them online and to those sellers who sell on ebay and such. It is all done at the same warehouses.
     
  • GXIncognto

    Needs a money bin
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2014
    I can deal with knowing 95% of the pins being offered for trade at WDW are scrappers, the real annoying part is that it's always the same dang pins, board after board and lanyard after lanyard. People buy the same scrapper lots that have the same pins in them, and it ruins the experience because you hardly ever find anything but the same old same old so you just give up after a while.
     

    Ltfightr

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 25, 2009
    My son loves to trade pins. LOVES it. We do buy pins off Ebay to trade and I try to make sure they are real or as real as I can tell. I let him buy 2 packages of pins while we are at the park just for trading BUT only with castmembers and any single pins he buys are off limits for trading.
     

    Kestryl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2019
    I could be wrong, but I always thought that scrappers weren't "knock-offs" per se, but they were pins that were "scrapped" (i.e., discarded) at the factory in China or wherever due to minor flaws that meant they didn't pass QC standards. Subsequently, local "entrepreneurs" retrieve them from the dumpster and sell them on eBay.
    This is correct! It’s actually a very broad term- basically anything that isn’t a real, official Disney pin. So that includes bad quality discarded pins, pins made from the mold but by someone else who isn’t Disney, etc. Sorry, I couldn’t think of how to describe it so I just said knock-offs!
     

    Kestryl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2019
    I used to have an ethical issue with it till I was spending $8+ and my kids were getting scrappers back In exchange, as you mentioned there are tonsssss of them in the parks.
    now I look at it as scrapper for scrapper and the experience is what my kids like vs knowing if something is 100% authentic or not.
    heck, my kids like the experience of meeting Mickey and we all know that he is a fake ;)
    I mean, sure. It’s an ethical conundrum- why trade a real pin when what you get back is fake? I have a few cheaper pins that I picked up from a FB group for around $2 a piece, and I use these to trade for pins I just like, scrapper or not. (It’s really easy to get discounted sets that work out to $2 a pin.) I figure that it’s worth an extra $1 to put an authentic pin back into circulation.

    Just a warning that if you try to trade a scrapper in a real pin group, you will get flagged and, with repeated or extreme violations, banned.
     

    Ltfightr

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 25, 2009
    I mean, sure. It’s an ethical conundrum- why trade a real pin when what you get back is fake? I have a few cheaper pins that I picked up from a FB group for around $2 a piece, and I use these to trade for pins I just like, scrapper or not. (It’s really easy to get discounted sets that work out to $2 a pin.) I figure that it’s worth an extra $1 to put an authentic pin back into circulation.

    Just a warning that if you try to trade a scrapper in a real pin group, you will get flagged and, with repeated or extreme violations, banned.
    That’s why with the last set we got, we went through them and tried as hard as we could to find the best ones to trade, the ones that to our untrained eyes were real/not scrappers. We used the Pin trading website to help too. It’s also why I let him buy a couple of packs at Disney for trading also.
     

    The WDW 3

    The WDW 3
    Joined
    Apr 4, 2020
    We Bought five piece mystery packs like this. We we were interested in collecting them and then we traded our doubles. It was a win win for us


     

    pindecisive

    No I want that one...wait no...that one...no wait
    Joined
    Jan 14, 2007
    I used to have an ethical issue with it till I was spending $8+ and my kids were getting scrappers back In exchange, as you mentioned there are tonsssss of them in the parks.
    now I look at it as scrapper for scrapper and the experience is what my kids like vs knowing if something is 100% authentic or not.
    heck, my kids like the experience of meeting Mickey and we all know that he is a fake ;)
    I always try to keep in mind the people trading for the pins I bring. Keeping the magic up for the child or the adult who ends up getting my pin. $8 is definitely too much, but $5 or less is about normal, so I tend to buy sets from ShopDisney or blind boxes from BoxLunch.

    The nice thing about BoxLunch is that their pins just as tradable since they're licensed Disney, but they tend to have better and more regular sales. They also have lunch money (which is basically like Kohls Cash) that allows you to add in pins (or something from the site you want) for totally free. I always like to have about 20-30 pins on hand for both my DH and I for trading, so I usually just add in a few to my order when I have lunch money.

    I mean, sure. It’s an ethical conundrum- why trade a real pin when what you get back is fake? I have a few cheaper pins that I picked up from a FB group for around $2 a piece, and I use these to trade for pins I just like, scrapper or not. (It’s really easy to get discounted sets that work out to $2 a pin.) I figure that it’s worth an extra $1 to put an authentic pin back into circulation.

    Just a warning that if you try to trade a scrapper in a real pin group, you will get flagged and, with repeated or extreme violations, banned.
    Same here. I have a Euro Disney pin that I love that is 100% a fake pin. I liked it so much I traded for it anyway. That being said, it's hard to know what to do with scrappers if you trade for one by accident. There's some great YouTube videos about how to spot a scrapper so I rarely actually take one. But I do wish Disney had a scrapper trade in, 3 fakes to a real or something like that.
     

    Heather07438

    WDW Apprentice
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2015
    The pins supplied to CMs and parks for trading are mostly bulk type pins, not much different than scrappers.

    I thought about the whole dilemma initially when we started trading and my conclusion was Disney doesn’t seem to have a problem with the situation. I’ve read that Disney does not pull out all possible scrappers from what’s offered to the CMs. No matter which pins are getting traded in those circles the activity creates more interest in pins, which results in more pins of the higher quality being bought in the parks for personal use.

    Cheap pin trading is a stepping stone to starting a ‘real’ pin collection, with ‘real’ costs 😆 Disney is no fool.
     

    ThePiercyOhana

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 20, 2021
    Great advice, Heather! We trade with scrapper pins all the time... especially with the pin boards now being used in the parks. Because of our kids' love for these pins, we are always buying the "good" pins when we visit the parks.
     


    Connect

    TODAY'S HEADLINES


















    Top