Pin Trading Tip


DIS Veteran
Sep 24, 1999
I pretty much just dabble lightly in pin trading...I focus my collection on cast member pins, cruise line pins (of course), those featuring Walt and Mickey (particularly the "Partners" logo), and those from my favorite attractions. But I have this bit of advice for anyone who is the least bit interested...if they have an artists choice cruise line pin or something special (the the Valetine cruise line pin), stock up! I did so on hubby's advice, or at least as much as possible, as there is a limit on the quantity you can purchase. I am so glad I did, as they are like gold for trading. I put a notice on Dizpins and made some awesome trades. So if you can get your hands on ACs or other special pins, I highly recommend doing so. I can't wait to see Sasha on our March cruise to show him all my new acquisitions!!
Visit the Platinum Castaway Club at:
Those things are gold. I think some people paid for their cruise by selling multiples of those on the Bay :)

One more hint...check Dizpins if you aren't sure whether something is a good trader. If you check before your cruise, you might see things that will be available while you're sailing. At their boards, you can see if there is any "buzz" about the pin and pick up extras if there is. I didn't know about Dizpins before my last trip and didn't get any of a particular holiday pin because I thought they were unattractive...only to find out later that they were fairly good traders. (I didn't even realize how important "good" traders were...) Checking first means you won't be stuck with undesirables or won't regret passing up a good trader. Pinpics is also a good place to search. It doesn't seem important if you don't get many pins (like me), but if you can't get to WDW often, it's nice to be able to trade for a pin. That way you don't ever really have to pay more than retail for any pin (and with how high "retail" now is, that's a good thing!).

Lastly, DCL pins are great for trading overseas. I traded a few of my extra "rack" pins from DCL for really neat Ariel pins from Japan. The newest ones are especially good for trading.
I agree...Dizpins is awesome!!! I recently discovered it and have been trading like crazy since returning home. I am getting some awesome stuff like 5, 10, and 20 year service pins and monorail pilot wings, which are "gold" to a CM pin collector like me. I saw the ridiculous prices that my DCL pins are going for on Ebay, but I prefer to trade rather than sell. Poor hubby just mailed out a batch of traders for me yesterday, so pretty soon I'll be getting some great stuff in the mail.
Visit the Platinum Castaway Club at:
I could have had my hands on "lots" of the #2 Artists Choice pin, but I had been burned on pin speculation before, so I only bought one for a friend. When I went back to buy one for myself on the last day at sea, they were all gone.

A word to the wise. Pin trading can be a hit or miss thing. On the inaugural 7-day cruise, there was a limited edition (4000 pins) pin made especially for just that cruise. I bought 40 of them over the course of the cruise. When I got back home, I found out just how undesireable these pins were. Very hard to trade with anyone. Now the Artist Choice pins are limited to 750, so they make much better traders. Let the buyer beware.
Yeah, Towncrier, that's what I am always concerned with. I've been burned a few times on things and that's part of why I was really cautious on my last trip. Now I always check eBay, DizPins, and PinPics to see how desirable and/or rare a pin is before buying. I think I would still do that even before buying a DCL LE of 750 or 1000. I might buy one or two before checking, but no more. I want to be able to trade and not be "stuck" with pins and have my pin budget totally spent. With the high price of pins these days (especially "fancy" limited editions), it can be painful to buy many. I only have about 40 pins in my collection, so being stuck with 10 unwanted, extra pins would be a big deal to me. But having 10 really desirable pins would be really neat! :D

I definitely recommend as well that no one buy blindly. It is sometimes a gamble even after checking, but it's at least a pretty safe bet if you check and see everyone wants them. If you buy without checking out to see if you'll be able to trade, then be sure you can handle that $$$ loss in pins just sitting.
There seems to be no rhyme nor reason to the desirability of a pin, even when it is (or isn't) an LE. A couple of years ago, they released the pin that has Mickey's ears with stars over the ship while we were on board. Hubby urged me to buy a lot of trading (we were going to WDW afterwards, where Disneyana was in full swing). I said no, as it was just a rack pin. I only had a couple, and when we got to WDW, the people there went crazy for 'em! I could have gotten just about anything I wanted. I still don't know why, except that I think they all wanted to be the first person to have one. I don't generally speculate on the pins, but I'm glad I listened to hubby this time. Some people have a good sense of the stock market...I guess his is pins. I think the current LE series will continue to be good ones. I'm not sure why, as I am only on the fringes of the pin frenzy, but I have made some GREAT trades!
Visit the Platinum Castaway Club at:
Less of the DCL pins make it to the secondary market. WDW and Disneyland limited editions result in those traders that live near there popping over and picking up a few for trade or sale. So there are usually relatively more of those limited releases available for collectors to trade for or to buy, so they are easier to get. DCL pins are usually just bought by people to remember their cruise, so less are available for trade or sale. I find it difficult to even get rack pins that I want from the ship.

But, like Towncrier said, some of the pins still don't trade well. While an LE of 750 is a pretty good bet, like any gamble, you have to be prepared to lose (even if it's unlikely). Towncrier's story is a good cautionary tale.

Although, I can't wait to go again and hope a special pin is released when I'm there. There weren't any limited editions released when I was on the ship last time, but since the artist choice introduction, I might luck out next time. Still, pin trading on the ship was fabulous and one of my favorite activities. The staff and other cruisers were so friendly. After a disappointing WDW pin trading experience, the cruise really excited me. The lanyards weren't full of cheap pins, but great cruise and WDW pins. No holes in the books from people stealing pins like at WDW. It was completely wonderful and hooked me on trading. I hope next time I can trade more with other cruisers and have more people get excited about trading. :smooth:
I have to agree that pin trading on board seems a bit friendlier than some of the land based trading that I have witnessed. I only traded with one person on the DCL during our last cruise, but both of us went away very happy with our trades.

When I got back from the 1/19 cruise, I made the mistake of looking on ebay to see what the LE750 Artist Choice pins were selling for. I wept. Not nearly enough to pay for a cruise, however. And the person who received the one pin that I did purchase was overjoyed to get it. Her reaction was priceless and worth it's weight in gold.

So if there are any LE pins on our next cruise, look out CMs. I need some good traders and as Barb pointed out in her original post, these Artist Choice pins are HOT traders.


If you make your Disney Cruise Line reservation with Dreams Unlimited Travel you’ll receive these incredible shipboard credits to spend on your cruise!

facebook twitter