Condition Guide – Collecting 101

Collectors use a lot of terminology and abbreviations. When discussing an item between collectors, these terms help communicate quickly what condition an item is in. Knowing what they mean is important, especially when buying sight unseen.

Understanding these terms is especially important between buyers and sellers. Remember “good” condition to non-collectors means something completely different to collectors. A good condition item means a middle of the road condition to collectors, usually with a lot of visible flaws. A non-collector may see a “good” condition item as having very few flaws. Knowing who you’re dealing with is key to good communication. If you ever have any doubt as to the true condition of an item, don’t be afraid to ask!

Condition examples above – The Yellow lunchbox is mint condition, the Orange lunchbox is excellent condition because of the slight rust at the top right edge, and the Red lunchbox is Fair condition because of the wear, scratches and dents.

Here are some common condition terms:

NWT – New with Tags – Product is in new condition and has original tags

MIB – Mint in Box – Product is in Mint condition and includes original box

IB – In Box – Product is not in Mint condition, but includes original box

MIP – Mint in Package – Product is in original packaging.

MOC – Mint on Card – Product is on its original card.

MINT – Product is in new condition. May show some minor handling signs, but nothing to detract from value

EXCELLENT – has some wear or signs of use, but nothing major

VERY GOOD – shows evidence of wear clearly, but still a nice looking piece

GOOD – obvious wear from time and handling. Good as a filler piece, or the less picky collector

FAIR – cracks, chips, folds or bends detract from the value and the display quality

POOR – good for spare parts, restoration, or everyday usage. A noncollectable piece

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