When assigning a condition grade to a boardgame, we begin with an inventory of the contents. We count, sort, and bag individual game components by type, then compare them to what’s itemized in the instruction manual. That way, our photos show an organized and accurate depiction of what’s inside the box. Any missing pieces are notated, usually along with a brief description of how that may effect gameplay. After all, a Monopoly set with a few bills missing from the bank will hardly impede gameplay, but Candyland with no spinner? That could be a problem.
In regard to condition, we examine the game board for wear, taking special note of the hinge (the crease in the game board that allows it to open and close). We examine cards for bends and creases, and the outer box for rubbing or scuffs.
Here’s the breakdown of the condition tiers we use for games.
NIB stands for New in Box. We expect new merchandise to be sealed in its original factory shrink-wrap. If there are any holes or tears in the shrink-wrap large enough to create the possibility that the game has been opened, we’ll sell it under the next condition grade instead.
Games in this condition have had their outer shrink wrap removed, but the cards, tokens, and pieces inside are still in their original factory sealed pouches.
These games have 100% of the pieces listed on the instruction manual. The game boards may show slight wear, but the hinge is strong with no sign of separation. Cards are in good condition with only an occasional crease, warp, or bend. The outer box may show some wear, but should be intact, functional, and in overall good condition. Essentially, this is a well maintained item that has been used with care.
These are working games, perfect for playing, but not pretty enough to be display copies or show pieces. These games show wear from use, but are still fully functional. Board, box, and cards may show signs of age including fading, tanning, rubbing, or wear. Some non-essential pieces may be missing as described in the listing. Outer box may show some damage or separation at the seams.
Games in this condition are either too rough or too incomplete to be sold as working games. We occasionally list games in this condition to help our fellow collectors and enthusiasts complete their own sets.
These are the broad strokes of our condition guidelines for games, but each one is unique! We will always include specific notes as to a particular game’s condition in the item description of our listings.