minty-mint, mint, mint, mint.... mint
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Post Posted: Thu Jun 10, 2004 8:33 pm 
 

Just out of curiosity - how strict are you with your description when it comes to mint?

Let me explain.  Time and again people on this board post that seller x describes their items as 'mint' when they are far from mint (rightly so).  This can sometimes be seen before purchase by the photos, but depressingly you often have to wait for the postman, to discover that one person's mint is another's excellent.

I am interested in how people describe stuff for auction, but also what they are prepared to collect and how they decsribe their own collections.

For example, if a module is flat and uncreased is it mint - even if the cover (although unmarked) has lost its gloss?  Do rusty staples matter?  If a glossy, unmarked module has one very small corner ding - is it still mint?

What do you think?  Apologies btw if this is a bit obsessive.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Jun 10, 2004 9:03 pm 
 

Mint basically means unmarked. Right out of the shrink, no dings, dents, creases. Near mint is what 99.9% of items are.


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Post Posted: Thu Jun 10, 2004 9:07 pm 
 

I'm very careful with the term mint in my auctions.  I only call something mint if it is completely flawless.  Rusty staples, corner dings or loss of gloss are all flaws IMO.  I even sell things "shrinkwrapped in excellent condition" when I see there is a corner ding under the shrink.  The reason for this is that a mint description attracts collectors who are looking only for true mint copies.  They really want mint and will likely complain if it is anything less than true mint.  I use the term excellent when in doubt of mint.  I stay away from near mint unless it's truly very very close to pristine.


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Post Posted: Thu Jun 10, 2004 9:33 pm 
 

Yea, I've gotten items several times off of auctions that were coded as mint only to find the covers worn and many creases on the spine.  I think it is best to ask alot of questions, even though it is a pain in the ass.  I do it more so if the items are a bit more expensive.  I'm amazed at what flaws some pictures hide.  Pictures taken from an angle, glare, or scans that don't show the binding or corners of the item are all things to look out for.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Jun 10, 2004 10:31 pm 
 

I agree with ivorychimp. It has to be truly flawless. It is the same with comic books.


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Post Posted: Thu Jun 10, 2004 11:04 pm 
 

When I do sell stuff, I typically have my "condition nazi" description, and my "casual collector" description.  It ain't mint unless its in shrinkwrap, or never came that way and I'll be damned if I can find anything wrong with it.

  


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Post Posted: Thu Jun 10, 2004 11:09 pm 
 

Cernunnos wrote:When I do sell stuff, I typically have my "condition nazi" description, and my "casual collector" description.  It ain't mint unless its in shrinkwrap, or never came that way and I'll be damned if I can find anything wrong with it.


Mint = New right out of factory production, never used or opened.  

A lot of the times sellers advertise items as mint in shrink, and I spend the big bucks, and the shrink is torn and/or hanging on by a thread.

That aggravates the shit out of me.


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Post Posted: Thu Jun 10, 2004 11:11 pm 
 

I gotta agree with most of you...and by the way...hey red..how ya been?

MINT is flawless..regardless of shrinkwrap.  Pics can be very deceptive.  When buying, I call all buyers on their condition.  As stated, this is a big part of why I started reselling.  I though to myself...ya know what...some of these people have no clue.  I thoguht that I could describe in detail and use a reliable universal grading convention to show that I am truly describing the book not only as I see it, but also to give the buyer a vision of what it will look like in their hands.  Too many times have I received a MINT/NEAR MINT book only to find spine creases, wear along the spine, or corner creases.  Even Erod's supposedly MINT lot was mostly NEAR MINT and EXCELLENT with a few mint and very good titles.  Granted, grading is all subjective...but come on...does a book right off the press (thus the term mint...as in a coin right out of the mint) have spine wear and creases, not to mention ink or pencil spots?  Did the press drop that SW copy and cause the corner to have a ding?

  

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 11, 2004 12:26 am 
 

I never use the word 'mint' in one of my auctions. I know that when it comes to collecting I'm more relaxed about condition than most others, so to guard against any possible recriminations, the best I'll say about an item is that it's in excellent, unmarked condition. Or on the odd occasion I sell something still in shrink, I'll just say it's in brand new condition, still in the factory shrinkwrap.

When buying, I look for items that are in excellent condition or above... but I'd be equally happy with excellent, near mint or mint. The odd spine crease or corner ding in an otherwise fresh looking item doesn't bother me at all.

I haven't really graded the stuff I have - I'm not up to that stage of collecting life where you look to improve the quality of items you already own. I'm still concentrating on the thousands upon thousands of items I don't have at all.

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 11, 2004 5:59 am 
 

Hey Mr Surname - not bad at all - you??  I saw your MERP thread.  I have scaled back my MERP buying as just a few holes to fill in my mint MERP collection...

...which is partly why I posted this.  It wasn't so much about what disappontments people have had - I personally think that with D&D and MERP, maybe one ebay 'mint' auction in five (if that) is actually really properly mint.  So I have had loads of disappointments and I usually end up re-selling what was sold to me as 'mint' - as 'excellent' or 'near mint'.

But when categorising my stuff (which makes you go blind if you do too much of it...) I was humming and ha-ing over what to describe certain prized items - y'know if near mint is three creases, what is one teency crease - mint etc... (god I sound sad and obsessive, I am going to stop now).

(sigh)

  

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 11, 2004 1:18 pm 
 

I think you guys have covered the "mint" grade pretty well.

What I find even more relevant is the "excellent", "near perfect" "very, very good" descriptions.

Grading has fluctuated radically in the last year or so. I think this is due to two factors:

1) Resellers (not all): There are more than a few who over-rate their merchandise. This causes a domino effect. When a seller (reseller) lists their item in excellent condition, then you look at the scan and see stains, major creasing, price tags, etc, it clearly waters down the "excellent" grade. So mr. newbay takes his que and rates his well-played collection as excellent.

2)  Quality material is on the decline. Several years ago I saw larger quantities of high quality items. It wasn't too hard to grab real collectable pieces in "mint" condition. That has definately changed.

So what we have is a grading curve, so to speak.

The shrink wrap mint label is just about useless. I got an I1 in shrink a few months ago and it is certainly not in mint condition. I am pretty sure it is the original shrink, but the module is not nearly as perfect as my nonshrinked copy.  :x


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 11, 2004 1:31 pm 
 

Shrink sucks. Never can tell what is inside. All shrinkwrap should be destroyed, along with lawyers, cell phones and all other completely useless shit.
Unless you get something off the press, it is almost always NM.


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 11, 2004 1:34 pm 
 

I have posted extensively before on my views about shrink (a danger to society etc..)

I do think interestingly that there are fewer mint items on ebay - I do more MERP than D&D - but that is certainly the case over the last couple of years.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 11, 2004 4:46 pm 
 

Yeah, you basically cut right to one of my points. There is certainly less quality out there, overall.

I think that feeds the hyper-grading we are seeing also. The standards have somehow lowered for sellers...


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 11, 2004 5:25 pm 
 

Modules are notorious for scuffing. Shrink usually prevents this. Very few people "bagged and boarded" their modules when they bought them 20+ years ago(we didn't). Most of the time shrinked items are in much better condition than items that have been opened and rubbing against each other in a box or on a bookshelf.

I agree that the quality of old D&D for sale is declining. Has anyone else noticed that fewer old Non-TSR items are being listed?

  

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 11, 2004 6:05 pm 
 

Probably because Matthias and I have them all.


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 11, 2004 9:25 pm 
 

I agree that the quality is declining on D&D items.  Here's some thoughts on why:

1.  Time is the enemy of all things.  The mere fact that so many years have passed since these items were released has taken a toll on the items that have survived.  Of the items that do emerge for sale, a lot of them have passed through more than one owner's hands (Think how many cars survive 20-30 years...  If they were left in SW, then they fared better, but that leads to the next thought.

2. Most D&D items were purchased to be used or, at the very least, read.  I don't think many people bought D&D items to collect initially.  And, I doubt many people would have expected them to be worth anything after 20-30 years.  I must confess that in the early years I did not take care of my items very well.  I was more interested in using them.  I still have my first Player Handbook - it's a mess - but still used!

3. Just about all of the decent inventory that was stuffed away in hobby shops, stores, warehouses, and closets has been found and sold.  If it hasn't been sold it's being hoarded by collectors or "investors" which, leads to the next thought.

4. As mentioned, the high quality items that remain are not being sold because they are being hoarded by collectors.  Collectors, in general, are familiar with the grading standards to be met when determining the condition of an item.  If they are not selling presently, then who is?  Three types of people:

A. Resellers - who can sometime embellish on an items condition…
B. Retired Players, their wives, and kids - who just found the old box of well-used items stuffed in the closet.
C. "Garage Sale" shoppers - those that stumble upon the old D&D lot at an auction, garage sale, estate sale, etc.

As far as non-TSR items are concerned.  Not many of them were distributed in large quantities, and, if they were, they usually were not very popular.  TSR did it's best to stomp out competition too.  I personally collected them since I found them to provide different elements that would throw off experienced players that had already read a lot of the TSR modules or were used to the creatures, NPCs, and spells of D&D.

Please add to or dispute these thoughts!

  


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 11, 2004 10:49 pm 
 

I don't think I have any Mint modules.  

All mine taste kinda pulpy and bland.  I've Tried LOTS too but no mint ones... And one con module I have sorta tastes like unwashed gym socks.. I guess thats why you guys like all your stuff in shrinkwrap.  Must hold the flavor in or something!

Geez.  So it must be some gawd awful good MINT flavor for all this fuss.  

So, if I grind up altoids and sprinkle 'em in my modules and list it on Ebay am I okay if I describe it as 'Minty'?

Anyone ever seen any modules listed as "Chilli"?  I'm more of a Chilli guy myself. :)


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 11, 2004 10:55 pm 
 

My Jade Hare probably tastes like shit, since I wipe my ass with it. You're welcome to taste it if you really have the urge.
I do know that my cat knows what modules taste like. And shrink. And bags.......
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