The Rules of Baseball Trading Pins

The Rules of Baseball Trading Pins

Did you know that pin trading began at the Athens Olympics in 1896? It later spread to the world of baseball and became a cult hobby alongside the great game. But do you know the unspoken etiquette of pin collecting?

Before you start trading, then you should check up on etiquette. Read on as we discuss the rules of baseball trading pins. 

How Do You Start With Baseball Trading Pins?

There are a huge number of places you can trade pins. These can be online or in person. Using a mix of both is a great way to stay social while building your collection and reputation. 

Start by visiting local baseball games. Visit tournaments and events, taking a selection you are willing to trade. At the start and end of the event, you will find many people willing to do swaps. 

You may also be able to find local pin clubs and events in the area. Check online to see what is happening. Online social groups dedicated to pin collecting may also be able to inform you of upcoming events. 

Finally, there are a number of websites you can trade and buy pins direct from. Start with auction sites such as eBay then visit more specialist retailers. 

Rules of Baseball Pin Trading

Give Space

There are two ways pins will be displayed. One way is for people to keep their pins on a lanyard around their neck. In these instances, remember to have courtesy when going up to look, as you may be in someone’s personal space. 

A second way is for pins to be displayed on a stall. Some vendors may prefer you to ask before you touch, but many won’t mind if you have a good look and pick up and touch the pins on offer

Be a Fair Trader

While many people sell and buy baseball trading pins, the community can also be quite small. This is also true if you are using online communities to trade as well as conventions. That means that it pays to build a good reputation as a trader. 

Rules of Baseball Pin Trading

Start by making sure you know the value of every pin you trade. If you guess, you may lose out. If you get baseball trading pins cheap that are of value and the other person is unaware, they may think you have cheated them. 

If you don’t know the general price, then check. Ask an expert, or look under the sold listings on auction sites. 

Also, never try to force sales upon people. If they don’t want to trade, even if they have something you really want, then you have to let it go. No one wants to work with pushy traders. 

Non Trading Pins

If you visit a convention and pick up a new pin, or decide you have some on your lanyard you don’t want to trade, don’t worry. Attaching it to your lanyard backward is a sign that that pin is not for trade, and others should avoid asking you about it. 

Size and Feature

Generally, trading pins for baseball is done for ones of a similar size and property. For example, no one will trade a large, ornate pin with glitter and a unique shape, for a small standard one. However, this is where the beauty of pin trading really begins. 

You may find some traders love pins with glitter, or go for small, well-designed ones. In these instances, they may be willing to trade a pin that would be considered more sought after for one you have.

Keep Pairs Together 

When trading, the rule is that one pin gets traded for one other. However, you may be in a situation where two pins come in a set. In this instance, pins should always be kept together, regardless of if you are the seller or buyer. 

You may have to offer two pins if you want the set. Alternatively, you may have to accept a trade of two and two if you are selling. 

Knowing Value

When trading pins for baseball, the scope and breadth of pins are quite intimidating. As baseball pins are some of the oldest in history, you have everything from antiquities to modern little league memorabilia. All of this makes it exciting, but very hard to value. 

To make matters worse, what you paid for a pin or what you think it is worth is not always its true value. True value is what people are currently paying for them, and to work that out you may need to do some research. 

The first place to start is with veteran collectors. If it is an old pin they have seen before, they could give you a rough guide. You can also contact online appraisal companies that specialize in pins. 

Finally, check publications, both on and offline. Publishers Tomart have a guide to pin trading that is updated regularly. A website like Worthpoint can help you work out the value of rare but famous pins. 

Never Interrupt

The world of trading is extremely social. It can also be really exciting if you see a pin you really want and are excited to get. However, you should never interrupt someone else’s trade. 

Avoid arguments and upsets by waiting in line. If someone gets the pin before you, then you can try trading with them or letting it go. Remember you are there to have fun!

Enjoy the Hobby

Now you know the rules of baseball trading pins, go out and trade! Make sure you have fun, and most of all enjoy the interaction with other collectors. Stick with it and before you know it you will have a huge collection. 

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