The condition of a game in many ways determines the value of that item, both in terms of collectability and playability. This is especially the case for out of print or used games. Following are the guidelines that we use for rating the games on our lists. Our games are rated both on the condition of the box, if applicable, and the condition of the contents. A rating system is subjective, with one person's excellent being the next person's very good, but hopefully the following will give you a good idea as to the condition of the items on our lists.
Mint - A box is mint only if in the original shrinkwrap. A completely unplayed game which has been unwrapped is not mint. Some games, especially some of the left over Avalon Hill stock, sometime come without shrinkwrap. Even though completely new, we will not rate the box as mint.
Excellent - This is an opened box with either no flaws or a very minor flaw, such as a small amount of corner or edgewear.
Very Good - A box that is rated as very good will have some flaws associated with it. Some of these flaws can be more extensive edge or corner wear, some minor tape damage, a broken corner or two, a small amount of writing, a small tear in the litho or some minor fading. Usually only one or two of these flaws would be present. The overall appearance of the box will determine whether it is very good or a lesser rating.
Good - A box in good condition can have several of the flaws described above and usually to a greater degree of severity. These could include heavier wear and more extensive rips or tears. However, the box is still intact with the cover still in presentable condition.
Fair - This condition indicated major flaws with the box. These could include extensive and heavy wear, missing side aprons, box artwork badly damaged, all corners broken, etc. There is usually no collector value to this box. It only barely serves the purpose of holding the contents.
Poor - This box is basically trashed. You might as well store the game components in a cardboard box. Very seldom will you find a box in this condition on ours, or anyone else's, games lists.
Mint - Contents are mint only if they are completely unused and like new. Punched games are not mint.
Excellent - Excellent components have been played very little, if at all. Counters can be punched and there can be a minor flaw.
Very Good - This is a game that has been played but has been well taken care of. There can be some flaws such as small creasing or highlighting in the rules, some wear on the map creases, or some minor stains. It is still a nice copy for the player or possibly the collector.
Good - This is a well-used game. There could be some wear (or even writing) on the counters, the map could be torn or stained, the rules have been read many times with possible heavy highlighting or writing in them. It still serves the purpose of the person who wants to play this game or wants to collect a less expensive copy.
Fair - This game will have extensive wear on all components and has obviously been played many times or has been subject to a natural disaster.
Poor - You will not find any games with poor components on our lists. I will throw it in the trash can if I come across a copy like this.
Usually, our rating system does not take into consideration the completeness of the game. The ratings are meant to describe physical condition. If any components are missing (some counters, rules, etc.), we will describe that in the notes for each game. Sometimes we might neglect to list that a game is missing a die. most people do not consider this a problem. However, if you buy a game from us and find that something is missing that was not noted, we will take one of three actions: 1) find a replacement part, 2)come to an agreement as to a partial refund or credit, 3)take the item back with a full refund of the purchase price.
1. Sometimes a game will have a + or - next to the rating. This will indicate that the item is a little better or worse than that normal rating but not enough to move it to the next rating category.
2. Some items will have a dual rating such as VG/EX. This usually applies to game components where some items are in better condition than others. For instance, everything could be in like new condition, but there is significant highlighting in the rules. There is usually not room in the description to list these situations, but if you ever need a more detailed description of the condition of an item, do not hesitate to ask.
3. There are many magazines or, in the case of the role playing lists, modules included in our listings. With these, we will normally indicate a rating of NA (Not Applicable) for the box condition. However, in some cases where there is a significant difference between the condition of the cover and the pages inside, we will indicate a rating in the box column which will refer to the condition of the cover.
4. SPI flat box trays are notorious for not surviving the years very well. The rating condition of these boxes deserves special mention, especially due to the large number of these on our lists. Mint is in the original shrinkwrap with no damage to the box, Excellent has no cracks in the plastic and the bottom cardboard is still mostly attached, Very Good can have some cracking in the plastic and the bottom can be coming off, Good will have more significant cracks or breakage in the plastic and the bottom cardboard could be completely off and maybe missing, Fair has significant damage to the plastic top but at least you have some counter trays. We won't even discuss a Poor SPI flat tray!
If you should have any questions as to the condition of any items on our lists, please do not hesitate to ask.