Pin trading is, for some, an obsession and at the Arctic Winter Games, it’s an unofficial sport! It’s a great way to meet team members from around the world and encourages people to take part in the Games.
For the first-time trader, trading for another pin may be challenging, but after a few trades, one usually finds themselves caught up in the excitement of it all. Pin traders, commonly known as “Pinheads,” see the trading experience as a great way of meeting people and learning more about the games and culture of other countries.
You can communicate with people who don’t speak your language by pointing at pins on one’s shirt, scarf or hat, offering another pin as an acceptable exchange, smiling and shaking hands when the trade is accepted, and expressing a “thank you” when the trade is completed.
Pin Trading Etiquette
You will come across individuals who have very little trading knowledge to those who have traded for many years. Use this opportunity to learn and practice proper etiquette and enjoy the experience! The following points to consider will help you get started.
• People who want to trade pins usually show their pins in full view on their vest, hat, scarf, lanyard, shirt, jacket or even a towel. If you want to look at their pins, approach them and politely ask if they would like to trade. Don’t touch the other persons pins unless they say it’s alright. If you’d like a closer look, ask the person first.
• Remember that while you are looking for a pin, the person you are trading with will also be looking for a pin for their collection. If you’re both happy with the trade, trade one pin at a time, hand to hand, with the pin backs attached. Always thank the other person for the opportunity to exchange pins.
• You might not have a pin in your collection yet that the other person is looking for. Don’t get discouraged. Thank them and try someone else, and maybe after doing some more trading you will have something that person was looking for. It’s all part of the game!
• Don’t interrupt a trade between two other people. Wait until their trading is finished.
• Never let someone pressure you into making a trade that you are not happy with. Negotiating is part of the fun but it’s important to not be too pushy.
• Hard-to-find pins will sometimes trade for a full set of pins. It’s important to know how rare your pins are before you trade them. Visit the The Trading Post daily to find out what’s been newly released and what is becoming rare among traders.
• Sometimes, no matter hard you try, and no matter how much you want a particular pin, a trade is not going to happen. Traders have turned down multiple pins for a single pin because they are looking for something just as special as the pin they’re ready to trade away. The thrill of pin collecting is finding that elusive pin... the one that got away. The most important aspect of pin trading is to have fun and meet new people.