I am writing this guide to warn other disney pin collectors on ebay making the same mistakes I have!
I have purchased disney pin lots in either 50's 100's, 200's or 250 from different ebay sellers from the USA and all (and I mean ALL) have contained what disney describe as counterfeit or scrapper pins. Now I know you're thinking that one or two - you run that risk trading at the parks, but I've just received 100 pins from a seller and would you believe the percentage that were unauthorised/scrappers? 25% - and thats just from a quick glance and not going through with a fine tooth comb!
Now your asking why I kept on buying? I am an avid collector of disney pins and I wanted to build my collection the least expensive way and believed that sellers were genuine because when I asked they were very nice at explaining that all the pins had all been traded - and like a sucker I believed them as their explanations were long and believable. I now find it extremely funny that having bought from a few different sellers that I have received predominantly the same pins and the same counterfeit/scrapper pins - which I find extraordinarily unbelievable! I have even informed the sellers of this fact and they have sent replacements, refunds etc. (but I haven't returned any, just chucked em in the bin), only to be sent the same scrapper pins again - so they obviously weren't careful or bothered about sending scrappers!
I have found most of the sellers have become hostile when tackled about their pins. I find it hard to believe that they trade for MANY of the same scrapper pins - after all if I have received that many of the same scrappers - how many other people have been sent the same and not realised? I just find it difficult to believe that disney's own cast members have that many of the same scrappers on their lanyards!
Now I was no expert on disney pins when I started - but boy have I learnt quick! The best resource is pin pics and I have sent them pics and questions about some pins and they have been very helpful. I have reached the point now where I just despair at the numbers of sellers of these pin lots. I wonder if they are really selling ANY genuine disney pins at all as it makes you very suspicious!
So my warning to anyone who purchases lots of pins that you don't know which ones your getting - chances are they are going to contain unauthorised/scrapper pins. Please, Please check them against pin pics and other pin sources and challenge these sellers if you believe you have received them. The only way to stop these sellers is to stop buying the pins!
For me - I'm done buying them from ebay. I have even filed a complaint with both ebay and paypal and they don't seem interested. Their answer is to obtain an official headed letter from an expert stating that these pins are indeed counterfeit - very difficult when you live in the UK! I even had 1 pin sent that wasn't even the pin pictured in the auction and I lost the paypal claim as I couldn't get an expert opinion in time even though I sent them a picture of the pin I received and pointed them in the direction of the auction. Anyone could see it wasn't the same pin least of all an expert! It was even confirmed by pin pics that it was probably a scrapper (I even forwarded their e-mail to paypal). If anyone knows where I can send these pins off to to get the info - please send me a message through ebay as I'd love to expose these sellers as they seem to be getting away with it. I have even e-mailed disney directly and got no response!
Thanks for reading my blurb and hope that its helpful!