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Why no "grading chart" for pieces/sets?

DiggydoesDiggydoes Cologne/GermanyMember Posts: 1,079
Hi everybody,
during the last years i´ve placed several orders for used/new pieces on BL, well the condition of the received pieces varied from "used but looks like new" to "used but looks like somebody´s chewed on them", i guess with sets it´s the same, so i wonder why there is not such a thing like a grading-chart or some, i know that these exist for stuff like comic-books or trading cards (i guess for almost anything "collectible") so why not for Lego? I know it would be a lot of trouble for BL-sellers to grade all their pieces, but especially the more rare/expensive pieces would need to be graded! Lego has become highly collectible and i know you can already get sets "officially graded" as has been discussed somewhere else, but i mean more some kind of chart which shows me as a user what i can expect when purchasing a piece with a certain grade!
What ya´ll think?


  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    FWIW, BrickOwl uses four conditions for parts:
    Used (Like New)
    Used (Good)
    Used (Acceptable)

    And six conditions for sets:
    New (Sealed)
    New (Complete)
    New (Incomplete)
    Used (Complete)
    Used (Incomplete)

    For sets they don't really indicate the condition of the used parts.
  • vitreolumvitreolum RomaniaMember Posts: 1,406
    A precise way of defining quality would be great really, both as a buyer and as a seller. Of course, it would be absurd to do this for every random part and I don't see many (any) sellers doing that, but for sets at least it would be spot on.
  • DiggydoesDiggydoes Cologne/GermanyMember Posts: 1,079
    It's simple annoying when you're looking for a part which is quite rare/expensive (for example the 1x2x3 panel for CC)and you have to ask every seller before buying what "used"means for him/the piece he's offering!
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,625
    ^ And that pretty much shoots down the idea of grading when it is done on an individual basis, especially when the seller is doing the grading. Everyone has an opinion and no ones is the same.
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,038
    This would be a good idea to make into a suggestion on BrickLink. Talking about here won't make any difference over there. Right now they are taking suggestions for features for BL 2.0, and I think yours is an excellent idea.

    BTW, many sellers (including myself) make notes on all used listings about the condition of the item. This doesn't have to be a huge description; just a simple note. Sellers don't need to fear that discolored/chewed, etc. parts won't sell. They will, if the price is right. Many people use them as fillers, or to give character to their MOC. As long as the condition is disclosed, there are going to be happy buyers.

    Having a grading system will only make it easier for sellers and encourage them to disclose the condition of used parts. So yeah, please suggest this at the BL forum...(c;
  • DiggydoesDiggydoes Cologne/GermanyMember Posts: 1,079
    oldtodd33 said:

    ^ And that pretty much shoots down the idea of grading when it is done on an individual basis, especially when the seller is doing the grading. Everyone has an opinion and no ones is the same.

    Not really,if there would be pretty clear guidelines how to grade a piece i guess it would work,even if on personal opinions!
    You can categorize the condition of a piece based on: discolouration; scratches; stress-marks; dirt(!); bite-marks and so on,there just has to be a chart which tells you a number/grade in which the piece(s) belong!
    Of course it's always a little subjective when you grade a piece that you would like to sell but if the guidelines are clear i guess it would help both sellers and buyers a lot!
  • AFFOL_Shellz_BellzAFFOL_Shellz_Bellz Member Posts: 1,263
    edited October 2013
    Comics and sports cards, etc are graded by professionals and it costs to have it done. To have Lego graded by a professional would be cost prohibitive and destroy the hobby. Grading done by an owner would be subject to his/her opinion, honesty and knowledge. I think we just need to trust the sellers and when we receive an item in an unacceptable condition deal with each case on it's own merits. If the seller declines to make it right don't buy from them in the future.
  • weaselkingweaselking Member Posts: 61
    With the wealth of transactions on the secondary market and higher values for sealed boxes, I'm very surprised there is not an 'official' grader for Lego, now that I think about it. There are several for trading cards, autographs (legitimacy and history of them notwithstanding), and action figures, and I'm sure many more out there.
  • KanohiKanohi Member Posts: 41
    ^ I do not know for certain, but I would imagine the vast majority of sets sold
    on the secondary market are opened, built and displayed/played with.

    Other collectibles are usually kept in the box and displayed that way.

    The condition of the box (or even it's presence) just isn't all that important
    to most collectors of LEGO. It's what's inside that matters to most (not all of

    @AFFOL_Shellz_Bellz is correct regarding piece condition. A respectable
    bricklink seller will do all they can to replace/refund any piece that arrives
    in unsatisfactory condition. I've been on both ends of this problem and have
    always been able to work it out with the other party.

    When dealing with tens or even hundreds of thousands of pieces it really would
    be nearly impossible to grade each one individually. Crappy bricks should always
    be discarded but some will inevitably slip through and be sold mistakenly.
    Honest mistakes from time to time really aren't the end of the world :)

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