CONDITION

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Condition is the heart of determining "value" for a collectible. Anyone who says "grading is subjective" is full of garbage (I'm being nice saying "garbage") and simply doesn't know how to grade. Grading is NOT subjective; it is absolutely objective for those who know how to grade. There are specific standards established for grading for all collectibles. Each field has its own set of accepted grading parameters. Very Good for a Book is not the same as Very Good for a Comic Book or Very Good for a Lobby Card! If you are new to collecting in a specific area or simply want to make sure our terms mesh, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the different grading terminologies used throughout this Web site. I have been grading collectibles in numerous fields for over 45 years. I see things as they are and not as I want them to be. If you want "wishful thinking" subjective graders or people who say "look at the picture" (which can be deceptive), go to eBay or Amazon. You'll find a lot of junk advertised as "Mint" there or with some term ("very sharp nice card") unused in the field, and of course, everything on eBay is RARE (even when there are pages of the same item listed). If I list an item as Rare or Scarce, it is. If you are an experienced collector (45+ years) advertising on eBay or Amazon, then YOU are rare and are not lumped in with flea marketers and attic cleaners. NOTHING on this Web site has been resealed (another common eBay and Amazon practice I've unfortunately experienced). Seals and shrink wrapping are all factory produced.


 


BOOKS

As New: Self-explanatory, books appear as they left the printer without handling flaws. Hardcovers with Dust Jackets (DJ) graded As New indicate both the book and dust jacket are in the same grade. If either the book or the DJ are in a lesser condition, the grade is broken into two parts, with the book first and the DJ second. Very minor (pin point) wear may exist on book or dust jacket cover tips or edges. Softbacks and paperbacks appear unread. Some people may cross over comic book and magazine terminology and use Near Mint (NM) to describe this grade. As New- grade has one minor defect that pulls it out of the As New grade for the book or DJ. 37+ year old As New- paperbacks may begin to show transfer of color from page one onto the inside covers. Factory sealed or shrinkwrapped books are assumed to be As New/Mint condition, unless a visible exterior flaw is noted.

FN = Fine: Books have minor handling wear or minor dust jacket scuffs or very minor dust jacket rough edges, but they still appear relatively new. They may be unread, but show signs of moderate shelf wear or normal aging. Glossy softback and paperback covers are still glossy. Spine is tight. No breaks in color on softback or paperback spines are allowed, but minor manufactured roughness is permissible. Slight edge tanning may exist on some of the 37+ year old paperbacks. Minor cover indentations on softbacks and paperbacks from handling may exist on FN- grade books. FN- hardbacks may have edge or corner depressions (1/4 inch or less), but nothing that breaks color. An edge tear on a FN- DJ can be up to 1/4 inch. Small remainder marks may exist, but will always be noted. Books in FN/FN- grade are still very much "collectible quality" items and could be given as gifts to the average reader.

VG = Very Good: Hardback books have obviously been read, but with reasonable care. Corner or edge stress or compression may be present. VG dust jackets can have minor edge browning or small edge tears not to exceed 1/2 inch. Softback and paperback books may have noticeable cover scuffs, minor rough handling depressions, slight corner compression, minor cover stains, or some edge browning from age, but the bindings are still crisp and all pages are supple. In many cases, the cover has received the brunt of the wear and the insides are FN or better. While VG paperback books have been carefully read, the spines can show some stress lines. Small multiple cover bend indentations may exist and edge tanning is almost certainly present on paperbacks (not softbacks) pre-1975. Date stamps, remainder marks and dust jacket price strikethroughs may exist, but will always be noted. Library or used bookstore copies are not allowed in this grade. This is the minimum grade accepted by most collectors for harder to find books. These are better than average older reading material and make excellent reference copies. VG+ and VG- books have additional attributes that either improve on or detract from a books appearance.

G = Good: The average used Hardback or Softback Book. They may show spine wear, cover depressions, edge tears, cover bends, soiling, or other flaws that detract from appearance. However, though wear is present, the spines are still solid and hold their integrity. Pages may show browning from age, but are not brittle. Dust Jackets may have markings, tears, chunks missing, tape or tape marks. Paperbacks obviously show wear from repeated readings. This is the first grade acceptable for library or used bookstore copies. Store name stamps, library markings and names written inside are common, but are always noted. No hardbacks or softbacks below this grade are offered, and only a scant few paperbacks.

F = Fair: Paperback books with excessive wear, water marks, staining, store name stamps, cover or interior page ink marks, but none that hinders reading. These books still retain some spine integrity, but spines definitely show cracking and wear. These are often labeled as "Reading Copies" only. Few exist on this Web site and nothing in a lesser grade (Poor) is offered.

Most of my books were carefully selected copies for my collection and are the best "off the shelf" copies I could find at the time. Any major defects are noted per item. As an example, "FN with a 1/4 inch lower right corner ding" means the book's overall appearance is FN, but it has the lone notable flaw which lowers the price by several grades. Please note that bindings that were manufactured poorly by a publisher have no effect on grade. If they were all produced that way, it's history and not a defect. If you have any specific questions or require added scans, please ask.

EDITIONS/PRINTINGS: If a book doesn't specifically state it is a First Edition or First Printing, or list a code, ex: "5 4 3 2 1," indicating printing, I do not list it as a "First" anything, even when I know it is. You will find them listed as "Unstated" Edition or Printing. If I know for a fact that a book only had one printing or edition, I will indicate that, but I won't call it a "First." In all cases, I've listed editions and printings where available. Some books don't show a printing history and some people automatically call these "First Editions/Prints," but I don't.

BCE = Book Club Edition
DJ
= Dust Jacket
HC = Hardcover, hardback books.
O/P = Out of Print, available only through the secondary market.
O/P Edition = Out of Print in this particular edition, typically available only through the secondary market. Later editions, often by other publishers, are available.
PB = Paperback, approximately the 4.5 x 7 inch standard size "pocket" book.
SB = Softback, a soft cover book, but not in the 4.5 x 7 inch standard paperback size.
Size = Always listed as width by height.

BOOKS     TOP

BUTTONS/ PINS
NM/Like New: Regardless of age, the button/pin appears as issued new, free of nicks or scratches in paint, very minor surface wear may show from production handling (typically viewable only at an angle), backs are free of any oxidation, clasp pins are straight.

VF+/VF: Button may have minor paint nicks/scratches or surface wear (typically viewable only at an angle), back may have minor oxidation but never any corrosion or rust. These are still very nice looking collectibles. They were most likely carefully used and stored away.

I offer nothing below VF grade buttons and pins. MIP = Mint in Original Package. MOC = Mint on Original Backing Card.

 

BUTTONS     TOP

CEREAL / FAST FOOD PREMIUMS
Many are NM/Like New, Still sealed, MIP = Mint in Original Package, MIB = Mint in Original Box, or MOC = Mint on Original Backing Card. "Sealed" or "Unopened" implies Mint condition for the contents. Defects are noted per item. Cards and Stickers use Trading Card grades seen below. Comics and Magazines use the grades listed below. Film premiums use the grades listed below.

CEREAL PREMIUMS     TOP

COMIC BOOKS / MAGAZINES
Graded by Overstreet Grading Guide Standards. Grading takes into account the whole issue, not just the cover. That may sound like a "no-brainer," but some folks do base most of their grade on the front cover, which is ludicrous. When in doubt, refer to the Overstreet Grading Guide to see what flaws are acceptable in what grades. I always do, and I've been grading comics for over 40 years. 40+ years doesn't make me perfect, but my eyes are pretty darn good at spotting defects. Here's a grading overview:

M = Mint: By nature, anything manufactured has flaws, so I find this grade difficult to assign. However, a few issues fall into this category of near perfection. There are an infinitesimal number of newsprint comics that I'll grade as Mint. As a result, most of my Mint comics, which are scarce, are on high grade paper because of improved manufacturing processes. They are priced at 160-200% of Overstreet NM- 9.2 guide value, depending upon demand and desirability.

NM/M and NM+ = Near Mint/Mint and Near Mint plus: These are typically the highest grades I assign to newsprint comics, but what most people refer to as Mint books. These are top of the heap for paper collectibles with extremely little to no noticeable defects to the eye. NM/M (9.8) and NM+ (9.6) are priced at 140% of Overstreet NM- 9.2 guide value. As with Mint, you'll find few of these listed and they go quickly.

NM and NM- = Near Mint and Near Mint minus: These issues can have a couple small stress lines on the spine (absolutely no color break on NM), a very minor corner chip or crease, tiny color fleck loss from printing, a tiny bindery edge trim tear, very slight offset cover or uneven trim. No other defects allowed. Overstreet allows for arrival dates; I don't. For the most part, the minor defects come from mechanical production or original shipping. My NM comics are equal to the Overstreet 9.4 number grade. NM- (9.2) and better comics are commonly referred to as "investor grade." While I recognize comic books as investments, deep down I keep hoping people actually read them for enjoyment. NM is priced at 120% of Overstreet 9.2 value and NM- at 100% of guide value.

VF/NM = Very Fine/Near Mint: These issues have a few more stress lines or a bigger light bend/chip to keep them out of the NM- grade, but have more notable positive attributes than a VF copy. The front cover may not be perfectly centered. The back cover or spine may have a minor scuff. I typically put NM- issues with heavier stress lines at the staples into this grade. Comic book insides must be no worse than off-white, or tan for newsprint magazines. Most of my best Marvel Giant-Size or DC 100 Page issues and squarebound magazines fall into this grade because of the way they are manufactured (what I call sloppy spines). Magazines like TV Guide, National Lampoon, Penthouse, etc. may have a minor cover abrasion where the news stand issue slid over another issue or a slight top/bottom spine bindery defect. VF/NM issues require more than a cursory look to spot defects and are still extremely collectible. For most comic books and comic magazines, I take an additional 10% off the calculated value.

VF = Very Fine: An excellent copy with outstanding eye-appeal. First sign of a lack of complete flatness in an issue may be present, as well as cover wear. Slight wear at the corners or along the edges. The spine may have a few more transverse stress lines or minor chip. A light half inch crease is acceptable, but will always be noted. Pages may be yellowish/tannish. Magazines like TV Guide, National Lampoon, Penthouse, etc. may have a cover abrasion where the issue slid over another issue, but nothing severe. For most comic books and comic magazines, I take an additional 20% off the calculated value.

F = Fine: An above average copy that shows minor wear, relatively flat, corner dings and cover pressure marks may be present, but not excessive, no major creasing or serious defects. Eye appeal reduced because of noticeable surface wear and accumulation of minor defects along the spine, corners and edges. A Fine condition issue has been read many times and has been handled with moderate care. Magazines like TV Guide, National Lampoon, Penthouse, etc. may have a noticeable cover abrasions or production ink smears. For most comic books and comic magazines, I take an additional 30% off the calculated value.

VG = Very Good: The average used (not abused!) issue. Shows reading wear, spine stress, possible center crease or light spine roll. Discoloration and soiling is allowed, but not to the point where it takes away from the issues visual appeal. Small pieces may be missing from a corner or edge, but no chunks from the cover are allowed. Store stamps, name stamps, arrival dates, initials, bindery and printing defects have no effect on this grade. However, I will always note if these are present. Cover and interior pages may have minor tears or folds. Cover or centerfold may be loose, but not completely detached. If tape repair or tape stains exists, I will note it. For most comic books and comic magazines, I take an additional 40% off the calculated value.

G = Good: All pages and covers are present, though bits may be missing, but nothing that makes the issue unreadable. Centerfold may be detached. Comics may be creased, scuffed, abraded, show heavy staple stress, spine roll, ink or pencil marks, light water marks, stains, store name stamps, taped or tape residue marks. This grade can have a large accumulation of defects, but the issue still maintains structural integrity. This is the lowest grade accepted by many collectors. I try to note all defects. For most comic books and comic magazines, I take an additional 50% off the calculated value.

Fr = Fair / Pr = Poor: Cover or interior pages may be detached. The issue may not be entirely complete (ex: missing an ad page or having a coupon cut), but within reason will be readable. A Fr book may have up to 1/3 of the cover missing. Anything missing is always noted. These issues are heavily worn, taped, marked, soiled, water stained, etc. I have a few of these listed and they are basically Golden or Silver Age reading copies. For most comic books and comic magazines, I take an additional 60% or more off the calculated value.

Conditional Statements: Example, VF: cover loose at bottom staple. This means the issue is in VF condition with the defect noted. It is not graded VF because of the defect and is not priced as VF. In this example, this issue would be priced at a VG value. Most comics from the '70s that are graded VG are done so because of edge creases and corner dings, not because of excess handling. As an example, a comic book from 1975 may look NM over 90% of the issue, but have a substantial corner ding that affects the entire book and drops it several grades to VG/F or VG. Cover loose at a staple will drop a VF/NM-NM looking comic book to a Fine price or a VF looking comic book to a VG price.

What's a color lift? It is a printing defect. When a comic book cover is printed and not allowed to adequately dry before the issue is folded, bound and stacked, the cover of one issue tends to stick to another. When the issues are separated and sorted, the color from one cover "lifts" and "sticks" to another. Typically, front cover color "lifts" and "sticks" to the back cover of another copy of the same issue, but the reverse can easily happen. So, an issue may otherwise be in pristine condition, but the color lift downgrades it from NM to something lesser, based on the severity of the defect. Some graders ignore this, but I don't.

O/C = The cover is off-center. Overstreet identifies this as a bindery defect. I drop condition by half a grade if I feel the O/C cover is severe enough to reduce overall collectability.

f.c. = front cover  /  b.c. = back cover

Store Name Stamp: The store name stamp mentioned on a number of Silver Age Marvels is 3 lines and appears on the top of the back cover, taking up approximately a 2.5 x 3/4 inch space. It reads: 
Wally's Paperback Book Exchange
2301 S. Craycroft
Tucson, Arizona

COMIC BOOKS     MAGAZINES     TOP

DVDS / VHS TAPES
DVDs:
"I place no warranty on the DVD" does not mean you are getting stuck with junk. If opened, it means the DVD played perfectly on a well-maintained Toshiba or Sony DVD player. If it doesn't play on an unmaintained "Bubba's Brand" DVD player, then it's not the DVD's fault. "Like New" means exactly that. The DVD looks just like it did when the keep case was first opened - no scratches, no fingerprints! Keep cases may or may not have wear, but that is always noted. The few DVDs with noted surface marks may stick on some units, so be aware. All DVDs are retail copies - NO Rental or Library copies are offered for sale.

VHS TAPES: "I place no warranty on the tape" does not mean you are getting stuck with junk. It means if the tape was opened, it played perfectly on a well-maintained Panasonic or Sony VHS player. If it jams on an unmaintained "Bubba's Brand" VHS player, then it's not the tape's fault. All tapes are retail purchased copies - NO Rental or Library copies. Most tapes haven't been played in 15 to 20 years, but have all been stored in temperature controlled environments. Boxes may have minor shelf scuffing, but no major wear. Every tape is rewound to the beginning!

O/P = Out of Production. Unavailable, except in back stock or on the secondary/collectors market.

DVDs / VHS TAPES     TOP

MOVIE POSTERS / LOBBY CARDS / HANDBILLS / STILLS / PAPER PROMOS
Original theatrical one-sheet movie posters are 27 x 41 inches in size with some adult and foreign one-sheets measuring 27 x 40 inches. One-sheets have a standard three fold into eighths, unless listed as “Rolled” or folded in fourths or 16ths. Pre-1980 rolled or 4th fold posters are highly desirable and carry a premium. If the poster is a reissue, the reissue year will be prominently listed. Movie posters that are not original theatrical one-sheets are clearly listed as such.

All Lobby Cards on this Web site are original issues and measure 11 x 14 inches in size, unless clearly listed as an 8 x 10 inch mini. I don’t offer any lobby card reprints or reproductions.

All Vintage Movie Stills listed as Original were produced by the studio and are from the year the film was released. If it says Original, it is NOT a reissue, restrike or mass-produced photo! It's the real deal. All Press Kits contain original stills for the film. All stills measure roughly 8 x 10 inches, unless otherwise stated.

Reissue stills are also produced directly by the studios, but they are not from the year of release. All reissues clearly state the year of reissue. Vintage reissues are still very collectible items, with many of the reissues on this Web site being over 35 years old.

Restrikes are clearly marked as restrikes and will never be passed off as anything other than mass-produced photos! There is nothing wrong with a restrike as long as you are buying it for the pleasure of looking at the photo and understand you are not getting a studio produced collectible. There are no bootleg or unauthorized restrikes or reproductions for sale here.

Condition grades for Handbills, Mini-posters, Stills and paper promotional items are the same as Posters and Lobby Cards. The first two align more with posters and the latter two more with lobbies. Exhibition/Arcade cards use Trading Card grading definitions.

I use + and – clarifiers to give you an idea on where the items fall in their grade. They are used for informational purposes and have minimal, if any, effect on price. Keep in mind that on lower grade items with staple holes that one staple leaves TWO holes. When the description says “4 staple holes,” it means 8 punctures! “Double staple holes in each corner” means 4 punctures per corner.

M = Mint. Definitely unused and without any handling flaws. I reserve this grade strictly for applicable rolled posters. Mint lobbies are in their original packing sleeves or shrink-wrapping. If a poster has been folded, then under my grading terms, it can't be Mint. A lot of people will disagree with me on this one, but that's the way the cookie crumbles. I offer exceptionally few Mint items.

NM = Near Mint. These items have most likely never been used or may have been used in a theater, but were exceptionally carefully handled during use. Identification stamps from the studio on the back of a poster or lobby card, that don't bleed through, have no effect on this grade. However, handwriting of any kind is unacceptable. The preponderance of flaws on a NM- item are near the corners and edges. NM items are the “crown jewels” in any film hobbyist’s collection.

Posters
can have very slight color registration variations. Poster folds must be near square and horizontally even. One tiny pinhole, up to 4 and only in each corner, is allowable in the NM- grade, but pinholes will always be noted. Very slight indentation marks from movie theater use are allowable. One-sheets, which were normally tri-folded into eighths, may have very slight fold wear which does not significantly affect the eye appeal of the image. Folds haven't damaged the image or caused even a fine tear.
Lobby Cards
have bright colors and solid registration. They may have a very minor indentation mark visible only when the card is looked at on an angle, very minor edge wear, a very minor corner depression that does not break color or extend past the border edge, up to two fuzzy corners are acceptable.
Movie Stills
look as produced, but may have one light minor bend, visible at an angle, where the still was grabbed off the pile by the publicity department.

 

VF = Very Fine. Items are bright, supple, clean and like a NM posters or lobbies may have never been used or carefully used. A slight amount of color loss is acceptable in this grade. VF and better items are sometimes referred to as "investment quality," but take my advice and invest in what you like, not what you think will make a buck. You'll enjoy collecting much more.

Poster
folds can be near square, but not off by more than an inch. VF posters exhibit more fold and handling wear than a NM poster, but without significant color loss in the fold area. One or two tiny pinholes in each corner is allowable in this grade, but will always be noted. Writing on the back of the poster that does not bleed through is acceptable, but will always be noted. Minor tears are allowed in this grade, but they should be less than a half inch in length, and not more than two total tears on a poster. Common areas for tears on posters are at the folds, especially the interior folds where the item may have been unfolded and then refolded. If they exist, tears will be noted. Less than an inch corner dog-ear or edge wrinkle is allowable.
Lobby Cards
may have some handling wear or a minor visible fold near the border or corner dents, but no folds that affect the central image. One or two pressure marks visible at an angle may exist, but nothing that detracts from direct viewing. Two top corner border pinholes are acceptable in VF- lobbies, but staple holes are not. Pinholes are always noted. Like posters, writing on the back of the card that doesn’t bleed through is allowable, but will be noted. Wear marks on the back that have no effect on the front are also acceptable. One or two edge discolorations are allowable, but nothing that extends more than a half inch in from the edge or corner. These will all be noted.
Movie Stills may have some minor bends from handling that are viewable of the glossy surface from an angle. Typically, when you look directly at the still, these minor defects are not visible. Edge discoloration or staining is only in the white border and doesn’t affect the image. One pinhole in the upper border is acceptable, but will always be noted.

 

FN = Fine. Fine material is still quite collectible, especially on items better than 35 years old, but wear is becoming more obvious.

Posters
still have bright colors, but handling and wrinkles are more apparent. Fold wear is greater and may have produced multiple small tears, but none greater than an inch. Edges may have tears, but none greater than an inch into the border. Poster folds may not be square. Border chips may be present. I offer scant few posters below this grade.
Lobby Cards have some apparent surface handling wear or soiling. Small corner and edge tears or folds, border creases that may affect the central image, up to four fuzzy corners, and border chips can be present. Unlike VF lobbies where the detractors are more toward the borders, FN cards show the wear encroaching on the images.
Movie Stills will have more handling wear as described in Lobby Cards, possibly noted fingerprints, scratches in the glossy coating that do NOT cut into the image may be present, pressure marks on the image visible at an angle may also be present, up to two pinholes in the top border.

 

VG = Very Good. This is the average used item with heavier wear. Creasing, writing, tape, dog-eared corners, or specific damage that may detract from the central images on both lobby cards and posters can be present. Edge tears are common and corners can have chips over an inch missing.

Poster
fold tears can be larger than an inch, but not exceeding two inches.
Lobby Cards
can have multiple pinholes or staples holes along the edges, not just at the corners.
Movie Stills may have the defects listed in Lobby Cards or writing along the borders, but never on the image.

 

G = Good. Heavy wear and the central folds are creased white, multiple staple and pinholes into the image area are common, staining and writing on the face of the piece is present, large image tears and chunks out of the borders and corners are common. Good is a misnomer because Good is not so good!

NOTE: Any extenuating "damage" will always be detailed on all film collectibles. I’d rather be over descriptive than leave details out.

PH = Pinholes: The one-sheet has a small pin hole in each corner of the top border, but NONE at the bottom. These two holes do not come close to the immediate image border and are noted in all cases. If you matte the borders, the holes will not show. As defined, NM posters may have pinholes, but I will always note their existence.

Miscellaneous Film and TV collectibles are described per item. If it's paper, the above grades still apply, unless the item is a book or magazine. In those cases, see the appropriate areas. If it's a toy, see the TOYS / MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS section.

MOVIE & TV     TOP

ORIGINAL ARTWORK
If you already collect production art originals, you know what they look like. Comic book pages are approximately 11 x 16 inches and magazine pages are slightly larger. Size for all other artwork is listed per piece. If you've never seen production artwork before, blue lines, white out, art tape (like a white masking tape), margin notes, zip-a-tone, paste-ups, tack holes in the corners, etc. are not uncommon. These are not defects. Coffee stains, creases or tears in the image are defects and will always be noted, though nothing I currently offer has a defect.

ORIGINAL ARTWORK     TOP

PRINTS / PORTFOLIOS / POSTERS
Signed Prints and Portfolios all are NM-M, As New, As Issued and have never been framed, mounted or hung. Unless noted, portfolio plates are in near mint or better condition. Envelopes may have very minor scuffing or handling, but nothing that detracts from the illustrations. Any defects will be noted per item.

Posters are all color and on slick paper stock, unless otherwise indicated as B&W (black & white) or Matte paper stock. Comic Book posters are all long out of print promos for various series or titles that were distributed to comic book shops or through trade magazines. Almost all the large posters were issued folded and folds are indicated by NF (no fold), 2x = in half, 4x = in quarters, 6x = in sixths, 8x = in eighths. See Movie Poster grades above for condition definitions.

O/P = Out of Print, typically available only through the secondary market.

PRINTS & PORTFOLIOS     TOP

RECORDS - Vinyl LPs and 45s
Sealed records are under the original manufacturer's cellowrap/shrinkwrap. They are assumed to be NM-M, but the sleeve/jacket/cover (whatever you'd like to call it) will be assigned a grade. Record grade first, followed by sleeve grade. I don't offer anything that is resealed and then passed off as "new." If I did, I'd be selling on eBay or Amazon. Oh, sorry. I didn't mean to let some truth slip out there. I'm sure there is one legitimate record collector/seller on Amazon for every thousand people who will use ignorance of the field as an excuse to lie about a product's condition. Do I sound bitter? Let's just say I stopped buying any used music on eBay or Amazon, and I'm tired of "new" being a resealed used item. You won't find that here. The following grades are used for opened vinyl records.

VERY GOOD PLUS (VG+)
or EXCELLENT (E)

A good description of a VG+ record is “except for a couple minor things, this would be Near Mint.” Most collectors, especially those who want to play their records, will be happy with a VG+ record, especially if it toward the high end of the grade (sometimes called VG++ or E+).

VG+ records may show some slight signs of wear, including light scuffs or very light scratches that do not affect the listening experience. Slight warps that do not affect the sound are OK. Minor signs of handling are OK, too, such as telltale marks around the center hole, but repeated playing has not misshapen the hole. There may be some very light ring wear or discoloration, but it should be barely noticeable.

VG+ covers should have only minor wear. A VG+ cover might have some very minor seam wear or a split (less than one inch long) at the bottom, the most vulnerable location. Also, a VG+ cover may have some defacing, such as a cut-out marking. Covers with cut-out markings can never be considered Near Mint.

Very Good (VG)
Many of the imperfections found on a VG+ record are more obvious on a VG record. That said, VG records — which usually sell for no more than 25 percent of a NM record — are among the biggest bargains in record collecting, because most of the “big money” goes for more perfect copies. For many listeners, a VG record or sleeve will be worth the money.

VG records have more obvious flaws than their counterparts in better shape. They lack most of the original gloss found on factory-fresh records. Groove wear is evident on sight, as are light scratches deep enough to feel with a fingernail. When played, a VG record has surface noise, and some scratches may be audible, especially in soft passages and during a song’s intro and ending. But the noise will not overpower the music otherwise.

Minor writing, tape or a sticker can detract from the label. Many collectors who have jukeboxes will use VG records in them and not think twice. They remain a fine listening experience, just not the same as if it were in better shape.

VG covers will have many signs of human handling. Ring wear in the middle or along the edges of the cover where the edge of a record would reside, is obvious, though not overwhelming. Some more creases might be visible. Seam splitting will be more obvious; it may appear on all three sides, though it won’t be obvious upon looking. Someone might have written or it or stamped a price tag on it, too.

- See more at: http://www.goldminemag.com/collector-resources/record-grading-101/2#sthash.gxFGbOoA.dpuf
VERY GOOD PLUS (VG+)
or EXCELLENT (E)

A good description of a VG+ record is “except for a couple minor things, this would be Near Mint.” Most collectors, especially those who want to play their records, will be happy with a VG+ record, especially if it toward the high end of the grade (sometimes called VG++ or E+).

VG+ records may show some slight signs of wear, including light scuffs or very light scratches that do not affect the listening experience. Slight warps that do not affect the sound are OK. Minor signs of handling are OK, too, such as telltale marks around the center hole, but repeated playing has not misshapen the hole. There may be some very light ring wear or discoloration, but it should be barely noticeable.

VG+ covers should have only minor wear. A VG+ cover might have some very minor seam wear or a split (less than one inch long) at the bottom, the most vulnerable location. Also, a VG+ cover may have some defacing, such as a cut-out marking. Covers with cut-out markings can never be considered Near Mint.

Very Good (VG)
Many of the imperfections found on a VG+ record are more obvious on a VG record. That said, VG records — which usually sell for no more than 25 percent of a NM record — are among the biggest bargains in record collecting, because most of the “big money” goes for more perfect copies. For many listeners, a VG record or sleeve will be worth the money.

VG records have more obvious flaws than their counterparts in better shape. They lack most of the original gloss found on factory-fresh records. Groove wear is evident on sight, as are light scratches deep enough to feel with a fingernail. When played, a VG record has surface noise, and some scratches may be audible, especially in soft passages and during a song’s intro and ending. But the noise will not overpower the music otherwise.

Minor writing, tape or a sticker can detract from the label. Many collectors who have jukeboxes will use VG records in them and not think twice. They remain a fine listening experience, just not the same as if it were in better shape.

VG covers will have many signs of human handling. Ring wear in the middle or along the edges of the cover where the edge of a record would reside, is obvious, though not overwhelming. Some more creases might be visible. Seam splitting will be more obvious; it may appear on all three sides, though it won’t be obvious upon looking. Someone might have written or it or stamped a price tag on it, too.

- See more at: http://www.goldminemag.com/collector-resources/record-grading-101/2#sthash.gxFGbOoA.dpuf
VERY GOOD PLUS (VG+)
or EXCELLENT (E)

A good description of a VG+ record is “except for a couple minor things, this would be Near Mint.” Most collectors, especially those who want to play their records, will be happy with a VG+ record, especially if it toward the high end of the grade (sometimes called VG++ or E+).

VG+ records may show some slight signs of wear, including light scuffs or very light scratches that do not affect the listening experience. Slight warps that do not affect the sound are OK. Minor signs of handling are OK, too, such as telltale marks around the center hole, but repeated playing has not misshapen the hole. There may be some very light ring wear or discoloration, but it should be barely noticeable.

VG+ covers should have only minor wear. A VG+ cover might have some very minor seam wear or a split (less than one inch long) at the bottom, the most vulnerable location. Also, a VG+ cover may have some defacing, such as a cut-out marking. Covers with cut-out markings can never be considered Near Mint.

Very Good (VG)
Many of the imperfections found on a VG+ record are more obvious on a VG record. That said, VG records — which usually sell for no more than 25 percent of a NM record — are among the biggest bargains in record collecting, because most of the “big money” goes for more perfect copies. For many listeners, a VG record or sleeve will be worth the money.

VG records have more obvious flaws than their counterparts in better shape. They lack most of the original gloss found on factory-fresh records. Groove wear is evident on sight, as are light scratches deep enough to feel with a fingernail. When played, a VG record has surface noise, and some scratches may be audible, especially in soft passages and during a song’s intro and ending. But the noise will not overpower the music otherwise.

Minor writing, tape or a sticker can detract from the label. Many collectors who have jukeboxes will use VG records in them and not think twice. They remain a fine listening experience, just not the same as if it were in better shape.

VG covers will have many signs of human handling. Ring wear in the middle or along the edges of the cover where the edge of a record would reside, is obvious, though not overwhelming. Some more creases might be visible. Seam splitting will be more obvious; it may appear on all three sides, though it won’t be obvious upon looking. Someone might have written or it or stamped a price tag on it, too.

- See more at: http://www.goldminemag.com/collector-resources/record-grading-101/2#sthash.gxFGbOoA.dpuf
VERY GOOD PLUS (VG+)
or EXCELLENT (E)

A good description of a VG+ record is “except for a couple minor things, this would be Near Mint.” Most collectors, especially those who want to play their records, will be happy with a VG+ record, especially if it toward the high end of the grade (sometimes called VG++ or E+).

VG+ records may show some slight signs of wear, including light scuffs or very light scratches that do not affect the listening experience. Slight warps that do not affect the sound are OK. Minor signs of handling are OK, too, such as telltale marks around the center hole, but repeated playing has not misshapen the hole. There may be some very light ring wear or discoloration, but it should be barely noticeable.

VG+ covers should have only minor wear. A VG+ cover might have some very minor seam wear or a split (less than one inch long) at the bottom, the most vulnerable location. Also, a VG+ cover may have some defacing, such as a cut-out marking. Covers with cut-out markings can never be considered Near Mint.

Very Good (VG)
Many of the imperfections found on a VG+ record are more obvious on a VG record. That said, VG records — which usually sell for no more than 25 percent of a NM record — are among the biggest bargains in record collecting, because most of the “big money” goes for more perfect copies. For many listeners, a VG record or sleeve will be worth the money.

VG records have more obvious flaws than their counterparts in better shape. They lack most of the original gloss found on factory-fresh records. Groove wear is evident on sight, as are light scratches deep enough to feel with a fingernail. When played, a VG record has surface noise, and some scratches may be audible, especially in soft passages and during a song’s intro and ending. But the noise will not overpower the music otherwise.

Minor writing, tape or a sticker can detract from the label. Many collectors who have jukeboxes will use VG records in them and not think twice. They remain a fine listening experience, just not the same as if it were in better shape.

VG covers will have many signs of human handling. Ring wear in the middle or along the edges of the cover where the edge of a record would reside, is obvious, though not overwhelming. Some more creases might be visible. Seam splitting will be more obvious; it may appear on all three sides, though it won’t be obvious upon looking. Someone might have written or it or stamped a price tag on it, too.

- See more at: http://www.goldminemag.com/collector-resources/record-grading-101/2#sthash.gxFGbOoA.dpuf
ERY GOOD PLUS (VG+)
or EXCELLENT (E)

A good description of a VG+ record is “except for a couple minor things, this would be Near Mint.” Most collectors, especially those who want to play their records, will be happy with a VG+ record, especially if it toward the high end of the grade (sometimes called VG++ or E+).

VG+ records may show some slight signs of wear, including light scuffs or very light scratches that do not affect the listening experience. Slight warps that do not affect the sound are OK. Minor signs of handling are OK, too, such as telltale marks around the center hole, but repeated playing has not misshapen the hole. There may be some very light ring wear or discoloration, but it should be barely noticeable.

VG+ covers should have only minor wear. A VG+ cover might have some very minor seam wear or a split (less than one inch long) at the bottom, the most vulnerable location. Also, a VG+ cover may have some defacing, such as a cut-out marking. Covers with cut-out markings can never be considered Near Mint.

- See more at: http://www.goldminemag.com/collector-resources/record-grading-101/2#sthash.gxFGbOoA.dpuf
ERY GOOD PLUS (VG+)
or EXCELLENT (E)

A good description of a VG+ record is “except for a couple minor things, this would be Near Mint.” Most collectors, especially those who want to play their records, will be happy with a VG+ record, especially if it toward the high end of the grade (sometimes called VG++ or E+).

VG+ records may show some slight signs of wear, including light scuffs or very light scratches that do not affect the listening experience. Slight warps that do not affect the sound are OK. Minor signs of handling are OK, too, such as telltale marks around the center hole, but repeated playing has not misshapen the hole. There may be some very light ring wear or discoloration, but it should be barely noticeable.

VG+ covers should have only minor wear. A VG+ cover might have some very minor seam wear or a split (less than one inch long) at the bottom, the most vulnerable location. Also, a VG+ cover may have some defacing, such as a cut-out marking. Covers with cut-out markings can never be considered Near Mint.

- See more at: http://www.goldminemag.com/collector-resources/record-grading-101/2#sthash.gxFGbOoA.dpuf

Near Mint (NM): A nearly perfect record. No record is ever truly perfect, but the record will show no obvious signs of wear. A 45 (single) sleeve will have no more than the most minor defects, such as almost invisible ring wear or other signs of slight handling. An LP cover will have no creases, folds, seam splits or other noticeable similar defects. No cut-out holes, either. And of course, the same should be true of any other inserts, such as posters, lyric sleeves and the like. Basically, an LP in near mint condition looks as if you just got it home from a new record store and removed the shrink wrap. NM- is a copy with one small additional imperfection.

Excellent (EX): An EX record will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it. Many of my EX and EX+ records were played once and taped, then stored away. Record surfaces may show some signs of wear and may have slight scuffs, no scratches, that produce very minimal surface noise in quiet passages. Very slight warps that do not affect the sound are acceptable, but will be noted. The label may have some ring wear or discoloration, but it should be barely noticeable. The center hole will not have been misshapen by repeated play. Picture sleeves and LP inner sleeves will have some slight wear, turned up corners caused during initial manufacturer insertion, or a slight seam split. An LP cover may have slight signs of wear and may be marred by a cut-out hole, indentation or corner clip indicating it was taken out of print and sold at a discount. Cut-outs are always noted. In general, if not for a couple things wrong with it, this would be NM. Most collectors will find an EX record highly acceptable. EX+ records offer more attributes in the high end of the grade and EX- more in the lower end.

Very Good (VG): Many of the defects found in an EX record will be more pronounced in a VG disc. Surface noise will be evident upon playing, especially in soft passages and during a song's intro and fade, but will not overpower the music otherwise. Groove wear will start to be noticeable, as with light scratches that will affect the sound. Labels may be marred by writing, or have tape or stickers (or their residue) attached. The same will be true of picture sleeves or LP covers. However, it will not have all of these problems at the same time, only two or three of them. Each will be noted. VG+ records offer more attributes in the high end of the grade and VG- more in the lower end.

Nothing below VG is offered. There are no library copies offered.

 

MUSIC COLLECTIBLES     TOP

STAMPS

CENTERING:
S =
Superb, nearly perfectly centered
XF =
Extremely Fine, very nicely centered, almost perfect
VF =
Very Fine, slightly off center but still well away from the edge
F-VF = Fine to Very Fine,
design is closer to the edge, but still has a good border and eye appeal. There are lower grades, but I don't offer any.

GUM SIDE:
NH
= Never Hinged, Also implies original gum is as issued without any defects (Some use MNH = Mint Never Hinged)
LH = Lightly Hinged, gum has had a hinge applied, but the mark left is small or light.
HH = Heavily Hinged, gum has been hinged and the mark left is large or prominent.
Gum Skip = When the gum was applied during manufacture, it was not spread completely over the stamp and it left a portion of the stamp without gum, usually leaving an ungummed thin line.

STAMPS     TOP

TOYS / MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS
Most are like new, sealed, MOC = Mint on Card, MIP = Mint in Package, or MIB = Mint in Original Box. "Sealed" or "Unopened" implies Mint condition for the contents. COA = Certificate of Authenticity. Any defects are noted per item.

TOYS     MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS     TOP

TRADING CARDS
Graded by strict Beckett standards. Please refer to the condition guide in your Beckett Annuals. That's my benchmark for grading. Cards fall strictly into their grades. A perfectly flat, white card with sharp registration, edges and corners that has 90/10 centering will never be listed as NM-M on this Web site (I see this on eBay all the time!). Because of the centering, in this example, it could be graded VG+ at best. No matter how perfect all the other attributes are, a card can never be NM or Ex/M if it is O/C (off-center). The same goes for wax marks. A NM card with front wax marks is not NM! It will be graded and priced as "Ex+: front wax" on this Web site. + and - discriminators are sometimes used to help you determine where in the grade the card falls. When in doubt, on cards that don't already have an image posted, ask for a scan! I am happy to provide them. All my scans exceed the card size, so you see centering, edges and corners.

M = Mint: As close to perfection as possible. No printing flaws, 4 sharp corners and sides, centering 55/45 both ways on front, 70/30 or better on back. Clean gloss with one or two tiny scratches barely noticeable to the naked eye. Pre-1974 cards in this condition carry a premium, as they are rarely found. I don't use Gem Mint or Pristine grades. If my Mint cards are actually Gem Mint or Pristine, then you benefit from it.

NM/M = Near Mint-Mint: 60/40 or better centering on front, 80/20 or better on back, sharp corners and sides to the naked eye, but slight imperfections allowed under close examination. Smooth borders, very minor color or focus imperfections. Solid gloss with very minor scratches detectable only upon close inspection, or a subtle metallic print line. Pre-1974 cards in this condition carry a premium, as they are scarce.

NM = Near Mint: Centering 65/35 both ways or better on front, 90/10 or better on back. Very minor wear on two or three corners is allowed, edges may have slight roughness, very minor chipping or notching, no more than 2 very minor print spots or minor speckling are allowed. Very minor color or focus imperfections or border discoloration. Solid gloss with a few minor scratches detectable upon close inspection, subtle metallic print lines.

Ex/M = Excellent-Mint: Centering 70/30 both ways or better on front, 95/5 or better on back, very slight diamond cutting is allowed. Corners may be fuzzy, but free of bends and fraying. Edges may have moderate roughness, moderate chipping or minor notching. Noticeable print spots, minor color or focus imperfections, minor border discoloration and color or focus imperfections. Wax stains permissible on back only (waxing is always noted). Relatively solid gloss with minor scratches, but devoid of scuffing. Possible metallic print lines. Cards in this condition and better are the highlights of any collection.

Ex = Excellent: Centering 80/20 both ways or better on front, 95/5 or better on back, slight diamond cutting is allowed. Four fuzzy corners, a touch of notching or a minor bend is allowed, noticeable edge roughness but no layering. Very slight notching or noticeable chipping is allowed. Noticeable print spots, minor color or focus imperfections, minor border discoloration. Minor wax stains on front (waxing always noted). Some gloss lost from surface with minor scratches, but devoid of scuffing.

VG/Ex = Very Good-Excellent: Centering 85/15 both ways or better on front, 100/0 or better on back, moderate diamond cutting is allowed. Corners may have slight notching or layering, or moderate bends. Edges may be chipped, notched and/or slightly layered. Heavy print spots, moderate color or focus imperfections, moderate border discoloration, minor bend, hairline crease. Moderate wax stains, pencil erasures or very light ink mark (all always noted). A good deal of gloss lost from surface. Very minor scuffing or an extremely subtle tear in the form of a touch of broken surface paper.

VG = Very Good: Centering 90/10 both ways or better on front, 100/0 or better on back, moderate diamond cutting is allowed. Corners may be slightly rounded or noticeably notched corners with slight layering. Edges may have heavy notching, moderate layering or heavy chipping. Heavy print spots, noticeable color or focus imperfections, noticeable border discoloration, minor scuffing. Wax stains, light ink or pencil marks, tape stain, minor creases (all always noted). Very little surface gloss.

G = Good: Centering 95/5 both ways or better on front, 100/0 or miscut on back, noticeable diamond cutting is allowed. Noticeably rounded or heavily notched corners with moderate layering. Edges severely chipped, notched or layered. Severe print spots, noticeable color or focus imperfections, noticeable border discoloration, heavy wax stains. Ink or pencil marks, tape stains, creases (all always noted). A surface devoid of gloss. Noticeable scuffing or a noticeable tear. My 1950s and 1960s G cards are Good, not trash! Over the decades, I've seen far too many Fr cards or worse listed as Good.

Fr = Fair: Centering 100/0 or miscut on front or back, heavy diamond cutting, corners are heavily rounded or heavily notched with noticeable layering, destructive chipping, notching or layered edges, severe print spots, heavy creases, severe color or focus imperfections, heavy border discoloration, severe stains, no original gloss, heavy scuffing or a tear. Basically, a placeholder card.

P = Poor: Miscut, badly creased, abraded to the point part of the photo is missing, stained, written on, taped, torn, or mangled. Good for making noise in the spokes of your bike (for those of us who remember doing that).

Here are some common abbreviations used:

AS = All-Star Card MB = Master Blaster
ASG = All-Star Game Insert MG = Manager
CL = Checklist MIP = Mint in Original Package
CO = Coach Card MOC = Mint on Original Backing Card
COA = Certificate of Authenticity MVP = Most Valuable Player Card 
COR = Corrected Error Card O/C = Off-Center
DK = Diamond King Card PB = Pro Bowl Card 
DP = Double Print Pre-RC = Pre-Rookie Card, card issued prior to the accepted RC for a player 
DT = Dream Team Card RB = Record Breaker Card
ERR = Error Card RC = Rookie Card
FFC = First Fleer Card RP = Rookie Prospect Card
FPSC = First Pro Set Card RR = Rated Rookie Card
FRAN = Franchise Player Card RY = Rookie Year Card
FS = Future Stars Card SP = Short Print / Single Print
FSC = First Score Card T-B = Top to Bottom Centering
FTC = First Topps Card TBC = Turn Back the Clock Card
HL = Highlight Card  TC = Team Card
HN = High Number Card TCL = Team Checklist Card
(HOF) = Hall of Fame Inductee TL = Team Leader Card
IA = In Action Card UER = Uncorrected Error Card
L-R = Left to Right Centering VAR = Variation Card

Unopened or factory sealed sets, boxes and packs are sold as "implied mint." Unless each card was hand selected, there is no such thing as a truly "Mint Set." There is no way of knowing what condition a card will be in until you break the seal or open the pack. If after you pay for a factory sealed set, you want me to open it and confirm a key RC exists, I will be happy to do so. If the card is not in the set, I'll return your money order/check immediately.  "Average condition" for a lot means that the majority of the cards in the lot are in the stated condition or range - some cards may be better and some cards will be worse.

SPORTS CARDS     NONSPORT CARDS     TOP

 

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