I'm going to leave this post up because I need to be reminded that there are some things I still don't know about the game. :)
I've tortured myself for ages on this one, but Tiger and Tam pointed out that you can decide how many badges you want to trade instead of doing it one at a time, which I didn't know. Silly me!
I'd still say Blizzard could make it easier as I listed below by not requiring us to trade down at all.
Anyone who's had to trade 20 or thirty Triumph badges to Conqueror's emblems to Valor to Heroism can FEEL MY PAIN. Clicking every single time is carpal tunnel-inducing, boring, and just plain wrong.
Periodically, Blizzard introduces a change where we all go "I can't believe they did it any other way!" "how did we live with that before?"
I used to hate how mounts dismounted when crossing streams, when we had to use an addon to equip our tank/healer/dps gear, and so on. This list is very long, but it's hard to even think of examples, because the type of changes I'm thinking about are the ones that make so much sense we can't conceive of it being any other way.
When Blizzard decided to drop higher-level badges from heroics, they realized some players might still want the lower-level badge items. Good for them. The Hammerhead Sharkskin Cloak is still the best rogue/enchancement shaman cloak available for badges until Frost emblems. However, to get it now one has to trade down through several tiers of emblems to get the right ones.
While there are several possible solutions to this problem, I think the simplest, most elegant and parsimonious one is to simply allow you to purchase any badge item with any combination of badges from that level or higher. So, instead of trading down to get 25 badges of heroism, I could have 5 heroism left over, 3 valor, 2 conq, and 15 triumph in my bags. The heroism vendor takes a looks and says, "bingo bango bongo! Enjoy your cloak!" Why wouldn't he be happy to give you a cloak for better badges than he's been selling the item for six months now?
I would love to just turn in my extra 30 badges for 3 orange epic gems. Or for rep tokens, or again, for that item my new level 80 alt would love to have.
I really hope Blizzard gets the picture soon and lets us stop laundering our money. My mouse clicking fingers could use the break.