Monday, July 9, 2012

Bringing Home the Magic: The Guide to Disney Trading

In today's Bringing Home the Magic, I'll be giving you a guide to Disney Trading.  Now, if I had written this article four years ago, it would have been called "The Guide to Disney Pin Trading".  However, with the recent introduction of Vinylmations, that title is no longer appropriate.  Here, I will give you my beginners tips for trading both pins and Vinylmations.

1.  Collect What You Like - This may seem like an obvious tip, but when I started pin trading about 10 years ago, I had a Pokemon mindset:  Gotta catch 'em all.  Well, the fact of the matter is, that would be impossible without a huge bank account, especially now.  Between the thousands of pins and hundreds of Vinylmations that have been created and the constantly rising prices, there is just no way to have a complete collection of pins or Vinylmations.  In either case, focus on things that you like.  If you don't love it, don't waste your time (or money) on it.  I personally have a rule about blind box (mystery) Vinylmations.  If I look at all the designs in a series and don't like more than a quarter of the designs, I don't buy them.  I find it saves both money and disappointment.  I have also narrowed down the types of pins I buy and trade to only a few categories, such as favorite characters or Hidden Mickey pins (I'll get to those later).  Not only does it save money, but I also feel happier trading with an objective in mind so there's a sense of accomplishment.

I love Vinylmations inspired by Disney character, so they make up a majority of my collection.
 2.  Look for Sales - Check the The Disney Store Online for Vinylmations (and occasionally pins) on sale, especially a few weeks or months after special events.  If you do happen to come across any items on sale, buy some just for trading.  This will save you a lot of money compared to trading full priced items, plus, you won't have to trade away pins or Vinlymations that you like or are attatched to.

3.  Trade with Cast Members - If you are just getting started in trading pins or Vinylmations, it is probably best that you stick to trading with Cast Members at first.  You will be much more successful at getting pins that you want, since Cast Members will trade for almost any pin or Vinylmation (with some limited exceptions).  Many of the guest traders are extremely serious about trading and have been doing so for a long time, so if you are just starting to trade, you probably won't have much that is of interest to them.  However, don't be afraid to go up to these traders and start up a conversation.  Most (though not all) of them are willing to share tips and trading knowledge, even if they won't be interested in trading.

4.  Do Your Research - Visit The Official Disney Pin Trading Website to get a complete list of what pins can and cannot be traded.  This site will also provide checklists for Disney's Hidden Mickey Pin Collections, which cannot be purchased in stores.  Rather, these pins are distributed to Disney Cast Members for trade, so the only way to get them is to trade them.  Similarly, visit The Official Disney Vinylmation Website for checklists of Vinylmation sets.  Not only will you know what to look for, but you won't make the mistake of trading for something you already have.

I sincerely hope these tips help you or someone you know start trading.  But I saved the most important tip for last: have fun with it!  You're at Disney!  Happy Trading everyone!

Do you have any interesting trading stories or extra trading tips?  Feel free to share them in the comments!

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