Pin Trading Essentials

Table of contents

So you’ve started to collect Disney pins and suddenly you’ve realised that you have a lot of pins but no storage or display solutions. This article will talk you through what we think are some of the other things you might need to have when you’re collecting pins.

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Trading supplies

If you decide that you want to trade in person at the Parks or at a trading event you will want to have a portable solution for your pins. This is where pin books can some in useful. There are several options available on the market, from PinFolio, official Disney products, Kraken Trade and there are many fashionable bags available from smaller creators which have a window for displaying pins and pockets for your belongings, these are known as ita-bags. Some folk also use baseball card trading folders to keep their pins. Be careful that you don’t keep pins face to face in pin books as it can damage print elements.
A Pinfolio show opened to display the inside
A Pinfolio show opened to display the inside
You may also want to have a lanyard with pins displayed on it, these are available from many different sources including official Disney sources such as the Parks or Shop Disney. With your lanyard you may want to have locking pin backs instead of the rubber Mickey pin backs as they are more secure. Always be careful with locking pin backs as we have heard reports of them breaking the posts off of pins.

If you plan on trading via the post you’ll want to invest in bubble wrap and padded envelopes or if you’re shipping larger number of pins you may want to have postage boxes to hand.
Pink padded postage envelopes
Pink padded postage envelopes


Many collectors consider the backing card to be almost as important as the pin itself it helps to keep those delicate backing cards in pristine condition. A lot of pins also have print elements which can be rubbed or scraped off so you don’t want them getting scratched by other pins. It helps to have hard boxes or drawers where you can keep your pins to stop them getting the backing cards bent or print elements scraped. It’s also helpful to have storage boxes to stop more delicate pin accessories getting damaged. I own a very old set of Aristocats pins that came in a storage tin that is precious to me so I keep this safe in a rigid container so it doesn’t get scraped or dented.
Aristocats 25th anniversary pin set tin
Aristocats 25th anniversary pin set tin
You will want to keep your pin backs all in one place and for this you may want to keep them all in a jar. There are nifty devices that you can get to make it easier to remove pin back from pins. These are called “pin clutch removers”.


Many pin traders love to show off their pins and there are several options available for this. Cork boards are a great option as pins can be moved about frequently with very minimal damage to the cork itself. Many folk customise their cork boards by painting the frames or covering the cork with coloured materials which complement their pin collection. Many folk also offer custom cork boards for sale which can complement your collection. 

Cloth pennants are a colourful option and there are many available on places like Etsy. 

For a special collection of pins you may consider framing them, box frames can be perfect for this as they are deep enough to accommodate this. You can use a combination of cork boards cut down, fabric and the box frame. 

When displaying your pins you will probably not want to keep them on their backing cards but you will want to keep the cards as it is part of the value of the pin. You may want to list a small description of the pin and the associated backing card (many people note the barcode or FAC number) in a spreadsheet. Some folk also attach a post-it note to the pin back with a small description of the pin so they can match them back up. Some people also use stickers with a number on them on their backing cards, we’d recommend against this as it can end up damaging the backing card. 

It’s very important that you keep your backing cards in a secure place as you could significantly drop the value of your collection without them.


If you have a large collection of expensive pins you may have to consider adding them to your house insurance to ensure if anything was to happen you would be able to recoup the cost. Some Insurance companies offer insurance for specialist collections.

If you're in the United Kingdom, we can recommend GetSafe, who can insure your pin collection for incredibly cheap, by using our link you will get free insurance for several months!

Cleaning products

If your pins happen to become tarnished you may want to consider having some cleaning supplies to hand to keep them looking pristine. One of the wonderful members of our Pin Trader Club community has written a great guide to keeping your pins shiny.

In the article several products are mentioned;

Please do read the article to learn more about cleaning your pins!


This is a difficult one as it can take a long time to learn the ins and outs of pin trading. Some of the basics we’d suggest is how to identify fake pins and commonly used pin trading terms.

It’s also a good idea to have an idea about the value of your pins when you’re trading, you don’t want to trade a pin that’s worth $50 for one that’s worth $5. A look on sold recent listings for your pin can be helpful at gauging how much your pins are currently worth.

We have a list of educational articles which can help you get up to speed with some of the different aspects of pin trading.

Have we missed anything? What are your pin trading essential supplies? Let us know in the comments below! 

Written by elaine - Thursday 25 March 2021

This article was last updated on Monday 29 November 2021.

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