Frequently Asked Questions

PinCollector.com is the world’s largest single repository of images, data and information about collectible pins. Furthermore, it integrates: Community-curation and collaboration like that pioneered by Wikipedia; Social Media elements to make it function as a Community, and a Marketplace where collectors can Buy, Sell and Trade pins.


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Using the Catalog

It all starts with the Catalog, and it’s important that you understand how it works.




Your Collection & Collectors

There are lots of tips and tricks that will make tracking your collection easier and more enjoyable.





The Marketplace

Shopping on PinCollector.com is easy, but any questions you have can be answered here.





Do you have a general question about using the site? This section will have an answer for you.






The Catalog




What is The Catalog?

The PINCOLLECTOR.COM Catalog is the most comprehensive repository of information for pin collectors in the world. It is a structured, searchable database of images and information. It aims to make collecting easier and more engaging by being a reliable, comprehensive catalog for collectors to discover new items and information about them.

The Catalog also serves as the foundation for PINCOLLECTOR.COM's collection management and Marketplace. With living linkages between the Catalog and the other key sections in PINCOLLECTOR.COM, as the Catalog gets better, collectors' understanding about their collections and wanted lists get better. A strong, widely used Catalog streamlines (and in some cases, eliminates) mundane tasks such as uploading photos, listing items for sale and estimating the value of items.

The task of creating and maintaining this Catalog is immense. In order to simplify the maintenance of the Catalog, it is set up to allow the passionate and knowledgeable collector community to contribute to its maintenance (much like Wikipedia, but tailored specifically toward pin collectors). One day, we hope that even pin manufacturers will help keep the Catalog accurate, especially as they launch new items. As a free resource for collectors, it serves like a 'Library of Congress' for the community. With great photos, community input, and user reviews, the PINCOLLECTOR.COM Catalog is an indispensable resource for the community.




How can I find the pin I'm looking for?

There are two main ways to find Pins in the Catalog: Browsing/Filtering and Search.

You can use the Browse features beginning at the top-level category, such as Olympics or Disney. Using the Browse menu, keep drilling down ñ For example, under Olympics, you can choose a Games like Atlanta or Sochi, and then down into another category such as Sponsor or Media. Once you've gone as far into the category as you like, you can use the Sort and Filter menus to put the pins in an order helpful to you, and/or filter them further to see only a subset you are interested in.

If you are looking for a particular pin, use the Search function. Type the most specific part of your Pin's name into the search box. For example, if you are looking for all the pins from Atlanta with Izzy the mascot, simply search 'Izzy', which will return over 500 results. If you want only pins that show both Izzy and a flag, search 'Izzy + Flag'. If you're only interested in Izzy with a basketball, search 'Izzy + Basketball' and you'll get only a small handful of results.

Search results are based on words in the name of a pin, which brings up a couple of other questions:




How do I add an item to the Catalog?

Adding items to the PINCOLLECTOR.COM Catalog is easy too. Before you add an item, we ask you to do a thorough search for the item first! We are working hard to remove duplicate entries, and many times, users will later find the pin they thought was missing. We can handle that, but we'd like to minimize it for everyone's sake.

To add a pin to the PINCOLLECTOR.COM Catalog, click on the Catalog tab and click on the Add item to Catalog icon. Add a name for the pin (see below for guidance on naming), and fill in at least a couple of details about the pin from the pulldown menus. You can also click on Additional Item Details to add more specific information. When you're finished, click SUBMIT. PINCOLLECTOR.COM will generate a new, unique PINCOLLECTOR ID for your new entry and display it on the screen.

The next step is to upload a picture. If you're working from a computer, you'll see an Upload Item Images button at the bottom of the section where it says your pin has been added. Click that, and choose the picture or pictures you want to accompany this entry and choose Confirm. When the images have uploaded they will appear on-screen (you may have to refresh your screen), and you can add the pin to your Collection or Wishlist, add more details, ask a question or make a comment for the community, even see who else owns it! You can also add multiple images for each pin, for example if you want to show the reverse side. For more on this topic, please see the video called Adding a Pin to the Catalog on our YouTube Channel.




What are the Naming Conventions when I am adding a new pin to the catalog?

Naming conventions in the world of pins are pretty fragmented, meaning different people use different methods. The key is to use as many specific words as possible that will help you and other collectors find the pin using Search. So '1996 Olympic Basketball' won't turn up for a collector looking for Izzy or Atlanta, but it will show up first in any alphabetized list. So use those specific words too, like 'Atlanta Mascot Izzy Playing Basketball 1996', or whatever you think will be most helpful to various searches.





What is a PinCollector ID and how can I use it?

One of the key challenges for collectors is the identification and communication of which specific item they have. The collectible market has a number of particular idiosyncrasies that make this identification and communication particularly challenging. As each item is loaded into the Catalog, it is assigned a PinCollector ID that is unique to that specific pin, so that it can always be identified and referenced.





I see some inaccurate, incomplete, or missing information. How can I correct this?

PINCOLLECTOR.COM's Catalog is built as a community-curated resource (think Wikipedia). We have internal audit capabilities and a team of experts to help review updates made to the Catalog; however, we rely on the contributions of our users to keep the PINCOLLECTOR.COM Catalog the most accurate and comprehensive resource for pin collectors.

Editing information for an item in the Catalog is easy. A User can always edit items and content they originally entered. Hover over the picture and click on the View Item Details link. On the next screen, click on Edit Details. There, you can simply click on many of the fields to edit or add to the Catalog. Make your change and click OK. Your updates are now live for everyone. As mentioned, we routinely audit this information for accuracy. All edits are tagged with the user name of the person making the edit.

If you see data that needs correction or additions, you should Contact Us, and one of our Content Administrators will take care of it. Remember adding and correcting information help the whole community!





What is a Content Administrator?

A Content Administrator is an experienced collector we have authorized to make changes to data in the public areas of the catalog. They have the ability to make changes at any time in order to improve everyone's experience. If you're interested in becoming a Content Administrator, Contact Us.





I think there are some duplicate entries. How can I correct this?

There are two things regular users cannot edit in the Catalog. First, users cannot add or change the value ranges for any pin. Users are encouraged to provide feedback and information about any value range in PINCOLLECTOR.COM. All feedback is reviewed by PINCOLLECTOR.COM's impartial expert staff of Content Administrators, and they will determine whether changes are appropriate. The second thing regular users cannot do is actually delete items or photos from the PINCOLLECTOR.COM Catalog. The PINCOLLECTOR.COM admin staff is eager to hear about any duplicate items or erroneous photos (please provide the 7-digit PINCOLLECTOR.COM ID of the pins in question!) and this expert team will take action to clean up the data. We KNOW there are duplicates and errors in the Catalog (and frankly, there always will be), so getting feedback from the community of collectors is critical.





I see some pictures that are terrible quality or aren't right for the pin. How can I delete photos in the Catalog?

Only PINCOLLECTOR.COM Content Administrators can delete photos in the Catalog. Please Contact Us to report any errors you see (please note the PINCOLLECTOR ID of the items) and we will correct the issues. Better yet, if you have a suitable picture for the pin, just use the Upload Item Images below the image you don't like, and upload your own to help everyone!





Do I get attribution for the photos I upload?

We like recognizing user contributions to the Catalog. Whenever you upload a photo to the Catalog, we default to your user name for attribution as the contributor.





How can I add photos to the Catalog?

If you have photos to contribute to the Catalog, open that pin's Item Details screen. Click the blue 'Upload Item Images' button below the existing image and follow the prompts to pick your JPG or PNG pictures. The Catalog will accommodate numerous pictures of each pin, and you can help your fellow collectors by adding not only bigger and better pictures, but the backs of pins as well, where there may be a backstamp, a different type of clasp, or some other detail that distinguishes it from other (maybe fake) pins.






Your Collection & Collectors



How do I add items to my collection?

To add items to your collection, first register for an account. PINCOLLECTOR.COM needs to know how to separate your collection from all the others!

Next, go to My Collection and complete your profile. You can add as much or as little information as you want to share, but the more the better for other collectors to get to know you. You must add a profile picture in order to appear in the Collectors section, but it doesn't have to be a picture of you ' it can be an icon, avatar or pic of a favorite pin.

Then to add a pin to your own collection, click on the Catalog tab. Find a pin that you have, hover over the picture, and click on the Add to My Collection button. If you have two of that item, click the Add to My Collection button twice. When you return to My Collection, the pin will appear there! And here, you can add more details about your copy of that pin ' your estimated value, condition, when you acquired it, and more. If you want to add a picture of the pin you actually own (to show condition, for example), you can add it here, and that picture only shows up when someone views it in your collection.

For more on this topic, please see the video called Managing Your Collection on our YouTube Channel.




How can I remove items from my collection?

To remove items from your collection, click on the My Collection tab and click on the pin you want to remove. At the bottom of the screen you will see a big red bar that says Remove From My Collection. Click it and you will be asked to confirm your deletion. Click OK and the pin no longer is in your collection, though it does remain in the Catalog.




How does having my collection managed on PINCOLLECTOR.COM benefit me?

Of course the biggest benefits are being able to keep track of what you have and what you want. Instead of having to try to remember it all, or carrying around a notebook full of data and images. PINCOLLECTOR.COM collectors can access their full collection and wanted list from any web browser, or from their iOS or Android devices (like when you're at a show or event). No more guess work or faulty memory worries.

Beyond that, because your collection is integrated with the PINCOLLECTOR.COM Catalog and Marketplace, it becomes a dynamic collection. As the information for your pins is improved in the Catalog, your collection gets enhanced. One interesting benefit of managing your collection alongside thousands of other collectors is that you gain insights about your own items, based on the aggregate activity of the community. For example, PINCOLLECTOR.COM shows collectors how many other PINCOLLECTOR.COM users have marked their items as wanted, which might give you insight as to its relative rarity.

PINCOLLECTOR.COM also gives collectors a feel for how commonly their items are collected by the collecting community. Collectors can also rate all pins in the Catalog, so collectors see the aggregate community's overall average rating for each of their pins too. Additionally, as items you want are posted for sale, trade, or reduced in price, PINCOLLECTOR.COM can automatically notify you. We are constantly adding new features, and we welcome your feedback and requests!

Lastly, because PINCOLLECTOR.COM also has the world's largest online value guide for pins, collectors can see an overall value of their collection. Every time a transaction is made on PinCollector.com, that transaction history enhances the accuracy of the data on the site. In particular, this report makes getting insurance for your collection easier and often less expensive.




I get alerts on some of my Wanted Items. How does that work?

By default, when a user adds an item to his Wanted List, PINCOLLECTOR.COM turns on 'Marketplace Alerts.' Whenever a new item is listed for sale or reduced in price, a PINCOLLECTOR.COM user who wants that item gets a notification with a link to review that listing. You can turn on/off alerts on an item-by-item basis in your Wanted List, and you can turn off Marketplace Alerts by default in your Account Settings / Email Preferences.







The Marketplace




About the Marketplace

The Marketplace is PinCollector.com's venue for Buying, Selling and Trading pins. It's comprehensive and secure, which makes it the best possible market for you to make the easiest transaction for the best price, whether you're buying or selling. For more on this topic, please see the video called Buying and Selling in the Marketplace on our YouTube Channel.




What makes buying on PINCOLLECTOR.COM safe and secure?

Technologically, buyers and sellers can feel safe using PINCOLLECTOR.COM because it leverages the most popular and proven payments platform in the world: PayPal. All money flows directly between buyers and sellers, and both parties are bound by the PayPal Dispute Resolution Center. All user-sensitive, confidential information is transmitted using encrypted communications, and it is stored in a secure format on PINCOLLECTOR.COM systems.

Both buyers and sellers are able to communicate through the PINCOLLECTOR.COM messaging system without revealing personally identifiable information. Importantly, there is a feedback mechanism for both buyers and sellers. Both parties are incented for good behavior knowing that the other party can recommend them positively or hurt their 'reputation' on PINCOLLECTOR.COM with a negative feedback rating.




How do I pay for items I buy in the PINCOLLECTOR.COM Marketplace?

Both buyers and sellers must have active PayPal accounts. On PayPal, payment can be made with your PayPal balance, a credit card, bank draft or e-Check. We'll add other payment methods as they become available.




Can I contact a seller?

Users can contact the seller of any item in the PINCOLLECTOR.COM Marketplace. Click on the 'Contact Seller' button for a listing and write a note. This communication shows up in the seller's PINCOLLECTOR.COM Inbox, where he can reply to you securely, using only PINCOLLECTOR.COM usernames.





How do I leave feedback for a seller?

Feedback is critical in online marketplaces. It provides a way for buyers and sellers to grade each other, establishing a 'trustablility reputation' for each of the partners in the transaction. To leave feedback for a seller, click on the My Account link at the top of the screen. Under the 'Your Purchase History' section, there you will see a link for 'Purchasers to leave feedback'.

The feedback model in PINCOLLECTOR.COM is two-part. First, was your experience Positive, Neutral or Negative. If the seller communicated adequately with you, dealt with you honestly, and was reasonably responsive, we encourage you to consider that a 'Positive' experience. Even if the pin wasn't exactly what you'd hoped for or if there was a shipping error due to the post office, did the seller work in earnest to resolve any issues to your satisfaction? If so, then a 'Positive' rating is likely appropriate. If the seller really did not try to gain your satisfaction and you will not likely do business with that seller again, then a 'Neutral' or 'Negative' rating may be in order. The second part of the rating is a comment field, and what you write there is very important to both future buyers and that seller. Please take the time to fill in feedback for every transaction!





How do I keep track of the feedback sellers have left about me as a buyer?

Sellers can also give feedback on buyers. There are buyers that are not good to do business with as well, and seller feedback helps to provide a check on the buyers. Buyers are responsible for paying and being reasonable about the transaction. To see your buyer feedback, click on My Account at the top of the screen. Under the Account Settings, you will see a link for 'Your Marketplace Feedback'. That will list all the feedback that you have received from others.





What happens after I buy an item on PINCOLLECTOR.COM?

When you click the Checkout button in your Shopping Cart, PINCOLLECTOR.COM will ask you to log into PayPal to authorize payment for your order. PINCOLLECTOR.COM will have set up your order(s) through PayPal for you, so this is a simple process. Only after you have authorized payment is the seller notified of the purchase. PINCOLLECTOR.COM will then notify the seller of the sale, instructing them to send the items to your specified shipping address. The seller will see the orders well-documented in PayPal too, enabling them to take advantage of PayPal features such as label printing, customs documentation, etc. Usually, PINCOLLECTOR.COM sellers will post the status of your order on the PINCOLLECTOR.COM site. You will see this status information in your My Account screens (Your Purchase History). This is also the place you will leave feedback for the seller.

Once the purchase is confirmed too, the item(s) that you have bought will automatically show up in your Collection. You will inherit all of the photos associated with that pin, and PINCOLLECTOR.COM will record the price you paid as the acquisition cost as well as your date of acquisition.





How much does it cost to sell in the PINCOLLECTOR.COM Marketplace?

The only cost for selling in the PINCOLLECTOR.COM Marketplace is a transaction fee of 8.5% of the selling price of an item, with a minimum transaction fee of $0.50. Sellers pay no listing fees. This fee is deducted from the sales proceeds before the net amount is remitted to the seller. Details are available in the PINCOLLECTOR.COM Rate Plans page.





How do I list an item for sale in the Marketplace?

The first step to sell items on PINCOLLECTOR.COM is to register and configure your account for selling. To configure your account to sell, you will need to agree to the terms and conditions, as well as register your PayPal information so that PINCOLLECTOR.COM can facilitate payment to you when your item sells. Click on the drop-down menu by your username at the top of the PINCOLLECTOR.COM screen and click on My Account. There, you will see a link for 'Selling' in the Account Settings section. After you are configured as a seller, click the Sell link at the top of the screen to manually create a listing for sale. If you are a dealer or have hundreds of items to list for sale, please Contact Us to learn about opening an Online Store.





What happens after someone buys my item?

After a buyer has authorized payment to your PayPal account, you will receive a message in your PINCOLLECTOR.COM Inbox (as well as through your email) informing you of the purchase. This email will list the item(s) purchased by this user, give the transaction details, and it will give you the shipping address of the buyer. If you log into your PayPal account, you will find that PINCOLLECTOR.COM has created an order for you in PayPal. The purchase information is filled in should you want to use PayPal's shipping or customs forms features.

You should pack the item for shipment to the buyer and communicate with the buyer about the status of their order through the transaction details available under My Account.





I no longer have a pin I've listed on PINCOLLECTOR.COM. How do I remove it from the PINCOLLECTOR.COM Marketplace?

If you no longer have an item that you have listed for sale on PINCOLLECTOR.COM, click on the drop-down menu and click on My Account. There, you will see your Active Listings. Find the listing you want to remove and click the "Manage Item" button that appears at the top left of the photo. You will be shown options including Early Close.





How do shipping costs work?

Please refer to the information about listing an item for sale. These shipping features accommodate the most typical transactions. In the case that buyers and sellers work out different shipping fees for a transaction, PINCOLLECTOR.COM recommends that the buyer/seller simply process a refund to the other party through PayPal to account for the difference, or Sellers can adjust the invoice based on the resolution to the Buyer's inquiry.





I don't want to sell to people in some countries. How can I keep that from happening?

In My Account, you will find Marketplace settings. Be sure to uncheck the geographic regions you do not want to support. Buyers from countries within those regions will not even see your listings in the Marketplace and will be unable to purchase from you.





How do I communicate with the buyer about the status of their order?

In My Account, you will find a section called Accounting/Invoices where you can post updated shipping status and information (e.g. tracking number) for the buyer.





How can I promote my listings on PINCOLLECTOR.COM?

There are several ways sellers can promote listings on PINCOLLECTOR.COM. You can email a link to an individual item or your store to anyone who might be interested. You can also post a store- or item-link to a website or social media. And, you can forward the name or a link to your store within the PINCOLLECTOR.COM messaging system. Coming soon: Advertising opportunities on PINCOLLECTOR.COM.










What is the best browser to use for PinCollector.com?

We regularly test with Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer and Safari. We find that Firefox and Chrome are the fastest and most reliable, but IE and Safari work well also. We know people use browsers other than these four to use PINCOLLECTOR.COM, but we don't test or try to fix bugs on any browser other than the four we regularly test with.




How can I send a message to another collector?

PINCOLLECTOR.COM has an internal messaging system to enable communication between users without divulging personal information. Look for the link under the Login pulldown menu that says Messaging.




Does PinCollector.com work on mobile devices?

Yes! PinCollector.com is fully functional from mobile devices. Just be aware that due to varying screen sizes and dimensions, buttons and links may appear in different places than on your desktop device. Look for them in menus and pull-downs.

The big benefit of mobile functionality is that you can search your collection or the entire catalog from anywhere, any time, and you can add a pin to the catalog from your mobile device. So if you're at an event, you can check your collection to see if you already have that pin or one like it. You can check what you paid, or whether someone has it for sale now. And if you acquire it, you can add it to the catalog and your collection immediately!




How can I manage the notifications and messages I receive in the system?

For activity in the Marketplace (a listing, a purchase or sale, etc.), Pincollector.com will usually send a regular email as well as a message within the system. To manage other kinds of notifications, go to the Login pulldown menu at top right, choose Account Settings, and then choose Email Preferences at the top of the section, to the right of Account Information.





If you have any other questions, please contact us.