Custom trading pins are a great part of sporting events. Traditionally, they are traded during opening ceremonies as a way for the different teams in a tournament to bond and socialize. The uniqueness and collectability of these items makes them great mementos of the sports event. The trading activity is something everyone can participate in, not only the athletes. As such, a lot of people look forward to trading almost as much as they look forward to the actual games.
As with other collectibles, custom trading pins have their own community. There are many people dedicated to the bartering, buying, and selling of these items. Being serious about trading these pins entails learning about them. Reading up about trading pins and their history is a first step. Once that is done, typical preparations can begin for collecting and trading at an event.
Before going to the actual event, find out about all the teams playing and participating. At the event, the list can be kept with the custom trading pins so that collected pins can be crossed off the list. The first days of the tournament are usually the best days to trade pins as most of the other days are dedicated to the actual games. So it’s actually advantageous to try to do the bulk of the trading during those first days.
Even if the athletes themselves are unavailable, chances are their friends and families are also looking to trade pins. Also, family and friends can be enlisted to help in collecting pins to speed up the process. Being persistent and meticulous are qualities needed in this activity. Once all the desired pins are obtained, it’s a good idea to keep them in a safe place so all that effort does not go to waste.
The end of a tournament is perhaps the second-best time for collecting pins. People are a little more distracted at this time but most of the participants are still in one place. The teams who didn’t place may leave earlier but that is unlikely. The main problem is that the supply of custom trading pins may have run out by this time.
The teams who finish well will naturally have their pins in greater demand so trying to obtain those particular pins may prove to be quite difficult at this time. If the event coverage is relatively localized, keeping a supply of pins handy is probably a good idea since you may run into people who want to trade during the course of a normal day. They might also have their supply of pins with them or in their vehicles.
Of course if all else fails, trading pins can be found online in buy, sell and trade groups. Much like those for any other collectible, the community of trading pin collectors uses the Internet to keep in touch with each other. In fact, these forums are a great way to learn about pins beyond the scope of one’s own collection. However, secondary methods like these will probably mean premium costs in terms of cash or equal-value trades.
The values go up because people will tack on additional cost for having gone to the actual event and obtaining the pins from there. Of course, rarity is also among the main factors that drive up prices. But buying online may be the only way for a hardcore collector to complete a set of pins that is lacking a few pieces that are very difficult to find. It must be great to score that one last pin for someone who has been searching for a long while.