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Boardgame Grading Guidelines

I strive to describe games as accurately as possible in my auctions. To that end, I have adopted these guidelines to help assure consistent grading and to help my bidders understand what I mean by a particular grading. These guidelines were adapted from Peter T. Szymonik's eBay Board Wargame Collectorís Digest.


A game in like-new condition, unpunched and never played. The game's box may show very light wear from storage only. No rips, tears, stains or markings of any kind on any component. The game's original packaging must be complete and intact. Minor production flaws are acceptable if they are original to the game and clearly noted in the description.


Only one type of game fits this description, a game that would be in mint condition, except for one minor flaw. As an example, the tokens have been removed from their sealed packages, or the rule sheet might have a crease. No tears, stains, or markings of any kind on any component, a game that would be otherwise perfect.


A game that would be otherwise mint or near mint, except that it has been played one or two times. Some minor wear is allowed, but no rips, tears, or stains or markings can exist on any of the components. No edits, writing, highlighting or coloring anywhere on the rules or board. Must be 100% complete and the original packaging must be in excellent condition. These are games that have been extremely well cared for, even though they may have been played a few times.

Very Good

The next step down from excellent, games in this category have been played a few times, but are still well taken care of. Minor rips, tears, or stains are allowed and must be clearly noted. The game shows signs of wear, but nothing that would adversely affect game play.

Board, tokens, cards, and the game box may show signs of handling wear. Minor dents on the game box are allowed, but no split corners, the box must be intact.


Rips, tears, stains or markings allowed and the game's packaging may be well worn. Some cards or other original components may be missing, but the game still contains everything needed to play it. There may be a couple of substitute dice, a photocopy of the original rulesbook, etc.


A game thatís in really bad shape. Played dozens of times, pieces missing, box is trashed. Itís dirty and may even smell bad. Enough may be missing to prevent the game from being played and it might only be good for spare parts.


You wonder how a game could have ever gotten into this condition. Mere shards of the original game remain, lots of missing components, the box is in tatters and has mold growing on it.

Exceptions and Notations

There will always be exceptions to these guidelines. For instance, if a game is in excellent condition all around, but the rules have been highlighted, I will rate the game as excellent, but clearly note the imperfection in the game description.

Copyright © 2005 by Randy Cox