Our Experiences; Don’t Let Scrappers Bring You Down!
With everything in life, we have both good and bad experiences. It’s the good ones that outweigh everything, and make it worth it.
My Disney family of five has been pin trading for ten years now, since our first visit to Disneyworld in 2003.
We came to WDW for 6 years on vacation, and we were part time pin traders. Buying pins from the parks, trading pins with Cast Members, and taking them home to add to our collection.
In 2009 we moved from Asheville North Carolina here to Florida to be next to the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts … and subsequently became major pin traders and collectors.
I will never forget our first experiences meeting and trading with other pin collectors, people who were not Disney Cast Members.
It was at Downtown Disney Marketplace when they used to have the pin trading tables outside of the “Pin Hut”.
Coincidentally it was here that we had one of our favorite pin trading memories, and also our first scrapper experience.
We were standing by the water play area outside of the Disney gift shop “The Art of Disney” while the kids were playing and a Cast Member “Leader” walked in front of us. He had a lanyard full of huge pins that caught my eye. Pins that you rarely see on a cast lanyard. 3D pins, huge, gorgeous special pins.
I asked him if we could trade and he said yes so we all traded two pins each with him. At the time I didn’t know what this meant, but they all turned out to be AP (Artist Proof), and PP (Pre Production) Disney pins. They were all very low LE, mostly limited edition of 500, and they were all amazing!!
That was AWESOME!!!!!!!
We leave that area and head towards the “Pin Hut” Disney World gift shop and we see the pin trading tables outside so we check it out.
A man had two Haunted Mansion pins that we really liked. He explained to us that he was not a Cast Member, and that these were his personal pins and that we had to have something he wanted of ours in order for us to trade.
The two pins were low LE’s, LE 500. Of course he wanted to trade for other pins that were LE 500, and luckily we had just traded the low LE pins from that CM manager so we were in luck, because he liked them!!
He picked two of our pins (remember, they were AP pins, which we knew nothing about, but he did), and he gave us his.
We were so excited!!
In the following weeks we visited Downtown Disney a lot, and we learned a lot about pin trading.
We learned what an AP pin and a PP pin was, and we learned about Scrappers. We learned that that man, and most of the others at the tables there, were professional traders, and not fair traders. Don’t get me wrong, you can be a professional trader and be honest, but this man wasn’t, and most of the others who frequented the tables weren’t either.
We also learned that the two Haunted Mansion LE500 pins we traded from that man for our AP pins were scrappers. He had lots of them, he would refill his book with them once they were traded away.
You can imagine how I felt. Terrible! I felt so bad. It was okay though, because I decided “Don’t Let Scrappers Bring You Down!”. I learned all that I could about pins, and scrappers, and everything!! I wanted to know. I didn’t want to be taken advantage of again. It didn’t feel good, and I didn’t want it to ruin pin trading for me, because I love it.
That man is what is called a “Pin Shark”. Someone who takes advantage of others. others who don’t know much about pin trading. They use that to their advantage, knowingly trading their scrappers for your real pins.
I don’t really have too many bad pin trading experiences to tell about. I mostly have wonderful memories and good experiences from meeting and trading with nice people from around the world who love pins just as much as I do.
I sure miss those tables! I don’t miss the bad traders who always seemed to take over the tables there, but I do miss the tables because sometimes my family and I would sometimes go and use a couple of the tables there to trade and meet people, and when we were there, we were the majority that night, and the guests trading with us enjoyed fair trades, and made good and special memories, just like we did.
Those were the days, so many wonderful memories!
Although the pin trading tables are no longer at Downtown Disney, they are at Epcot if you want to give it a go. Bring your pins and have fun! Be careful though, pin sharks are commonly seen in the area.
Know before you go!! Watch our informative and fun pin trading video of us at the Epcot pin trading tables.