Did you know that in the ’80s, pin trading was called an Olympic sport?
If you’re looking for a hobby that is both exciting and addictive, pin trading fits the bill. It gives you the chance to make new friends and build a valuable, beautiful collection.
But if you’re new to the game, you probably have tons of questions. Keep reading to discover the different kinds of trading pins, how to trade, and how to display your collection.
Types of Trading Pins
Disney trading pins have built up an avid fan base since 1999. Trading at the Disney theme parks is highly competitive and fast-paced. Cast Members receive special training in pin trading and then stroll the parks, displaying pins on lanyards or small pinboards.
The Hard Rock Cafe has an official Pin Collector’s Club with its own newsletter. Members pay dues and receive access to exclusive pins and perks.
Comic Cons are a great place to find unique fandom pins, from movies and TV shows to popular webcomics. Buy them in the vendor hall from the pin makers themselves. Or strike up a conversation with other con-goers and attempt a trade.
Baseball trading pins are popular for building good sportsmanship at tournaments and games. Teams can design custom pins that feature their mascot, colors, player names, and numbers. Exchanging sports trading pins makes games about more than just winning.
Other specialty pin categories include pins for The Olympic Games and military pins.
Pin Trading Etiquette
When you are at a pin trading event, demonstrate that you are willing to trade by visibly wearing or carrying your pins.
It can be tempting to show off your rarest and most valuable pins. But pin trading etiquette says you should only show the pins you are actually willing to part with.
You should also be prepared to chat while trading. Pin trading is a social activity. The purpose is to make friends and share in a pleasurable hobby.
Other traders don’t like it if you swoop in, trade, and leave.
How to Wear Your Pins
You have several options for “wearing” your pins in public. Lanyards are the method of choice at Disney theme parks. Lanyards are also becoming more common at sporting events like baseball games.
An alternative to the lanyard is the pin-trading backpack. These special bags have clear plastic windows on the front, so people can see your collection arranged on the fabric inside. These backpacks are especially great if you’re worried about losing pins or having them stolen.
You can also simply create a trifold of cardboard to display your collection. Or, go old-school: wear them on your shirt, lapel, or hat.
Displaying Your Collection
When you are organizing your trading pin collection at home, get creative. The better your display, the more valuable your collection will appear.
Sticking pins in a corkboard is easy and looks professional. Consider covering the cork with black fabric to set your pins off to their best advantage. There are some very easy online tutorials that teach you how to create the perfect DIY display for your tiny works of art.
Collecting trading pins is a thrilling hobby: you never know when you’re going to make an exciting trade or buy a pin that becomes a collector’s item.
There are trading pins to suit all interests, from sports teams to superheroes. As long as you follow the rules of trading, you’ll make new friends and build a stunning collection. Happy trading!
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