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Wait. They "GRADE" LEGO?

1246

Comments

  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 Member Posts: 11,454
    edited September 2012
    What did I miss??? @LegoFanTexas is talking about "strips" and @cheshirecat is "loose".

    I applaud @brickenvy for posting his comment. Everyone is welcome, even if you are a loose stripper :)
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 Member Posts: 11,454
    Whether we AFOL's in this forum will ever buy a graded set remains to be seen. It must have been fun reading all the comments before you posted. It would be interesting to get your opinion on the matter. If only our politicians cared to read what the people they represent are saying ;)
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,331
    ^^ Indeed, i meant lose.
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 889


    Hey now, he was nice enough to come post that, I thank him for it...

    I don't know, his post reads more like a pretentious advertisement for his junk, if you ask me. I did use a smiley though! :)


  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas Member Posts: 8,404
    It might be, but I prefer to give him the benefit of the doubt. He is just trying to run a business, he did offer to provide help with checking the status of any AFA graded set, I believe him on that, if you emailed him with a serial number, I think he would help.

    Of course he wants to sell stuff, he is clearly running a business, but I don't think he should be excluded from the forum for that. :)

    But I also see your point of view. We shall see if he returns.
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 889

    It might be, but I prefer to give him the benefit of the doubt. He is just trying to run a business, he did offer to provide help with checking the status of any AFA graded set, I believe him on that, if you emailed him with a serial number, I think he would help.

    Of course he wants to sell stuff, he is clearly running a business, but I don't think he should be excluded from the forum for that. :)

    But I also see your point of view. We shall see if he returns.

    His post makes me want to get my MISB Cloud City graded, just so he can't say " We currently own every AFA graded Cloud City to date" anymore... :)
  • collect_thatcollect_that Member Posts: 1,327
    edited September 2012
    Although I did pull a face after reading the comment posted by @BrickEnvy, I don't think we should be to quick to criticize and encourage John to post more. It would be interesting to hear from a sellers prospective on this thread?

    To me his post and looking at his ebay auctions throw up some interesting questions.

    - How does he know he has the only Cloud City graded sets?
    - Do they keep a database of examples they have graded and who to? How does it prove any ownership? Especially if then sold via a site such as ebay?
    - Why don't I just deal with the AFA direct rather than a third party? What would happen if there was a issue about the authenticity of a set? How would I be covered buying from a dealer? Who would I potentially claim my money from?
    - Why would I buy from a dealer instead of buying of bricklink and going direct? Is it cheaper to buy off BrickEnvy? Do you have a agreement with AFA graders?

    Although thinking about this some more I'm also curious about who grades these sets, are they long term AFOLs or staff who have previously graded action figures? What criteria do they look for apart from the obvious signs? What guarantee do I get that this set inside is actually MISB even if I have inspected the set myself before sealing??

    Perhaps @BrickEnvy you know someone at Toygrader.com who can post and answer a few questions?


  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 Member Posts: 11,454
    Yes, that was what I was saying above...ahem...if you got past the other junk :)
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,837
    edited September 2012



    ........... What criteria do they look for apart from the obvious signs? What guarantee do I get that this set inside is actually MISB even if I have inspected the set myself before sealing??

    ^---this, THIS is why I think it is a big gamble, UNLESS the graders do what someone else speculated by X-raying the contents of the box.. I really do not see a company having a piece of a equipment such as an Xray to examine boxes, but you never know.
    But even then, unless there is obvious signs of missing or not correct pieces, can you really tell on an x-ray if parts were removed (like SW figures?) I doubt it. That is why I think anyone buying these sets is playing with fire, but that is just my opinion on the whole thing.
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Member Posts: 2,729
    If you look on the AFA site, they can refuse to grade an item if they see or perceive any tampering.
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 889
    edited September 2012
    ^ I guarantee you I can open a Lego box and seal it back up with absolutely no seen or perceived tampering. Unless they do the same, there is no way for them to know the box isn't full of bricks from a garage sale down the street. Glued punch boxes may be even easier to do this with, as you can carefully knife them open and then just reglue them.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas Member Posts: 8,404
    ^ I agree with this...
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 889
    And even if they were to X-ray the box, what is that going to show you? Some bags full of pieces and an instruction manual? You could just fill the box with new bags from the last 75% off set you bought and an old manual.

    If lego set grading ever were to take off, I could totally see a huge scandal at some point, when someone discovers a set of theirs is full of junk. That would then put into question every single graded set that's ever been sold and completely devalue them all and wipe out the market.

    Hmm, that gives me an idea... ;)
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 Member Posts: 11,454
    Me too. Let's start submitting sets to be graded that we have tampered with.
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 889
    edited September 2012
    ^ It would be fun to see just how obvious you could make the tampering before they wouldn't grade it. Both as far as the stickers go, and how heavy/light the box is and how it sounds/feels when you shake it. :)
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,556
    Bandit said:


    If lego set grading ever were to take off, I could totally see a huge scandal at some point, when someone discovers a set of theirs is full of junk.

    Isn't the point that no-one finds out, since no-one opens them. There will always be MISB examples of sets and these will be cheaper than graded sets, since the grader has paid $silly to get it graded. So if you are going to open it, go for a MISB set instead.
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 889
    edited September 2012
    ^ Right, someone would have to go against the grain and open it. Someone here a bit ago said they did just that, after they bought a set that had been graded, so I don't think it's too far out of the realm of possibility.

    But yes, as I've been saying all along, it makes no sense to buy a graded set for double+ the price of a MISB set, when you could just buy the MISB set and have it graded yourself. (Unless buying a graded set is your only option because of supply)
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 Member Posts: 11,454
    Oh, you mean when people open an expensive bottle of wine from the cellar? Right, that never happens :)
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,556
    ^ That would be like opening a MISB set. What if that bottle was encased and graded at the cost of an extra $200, and other bottles were still available?
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 Member Posts: 11,454
    Remember, wine is not to be enjoyed. It's meant to be in the bottle forever. Never to be opened. If course, someone could have pissed in the bottle and sealed it back up.
  • dougtsdougts Member Posts: 4,110
    This is what I keep coming back to in this topic - grading a LEGO set isn't really analogous at all to grading stamps or baseball cards or even action figures. The purpose of all those items are to look at (well, that would be the secondary purpose of the action figure I suppose). You can still enjoy the purpose when the item is permanently encased in plastic and graded. You see through the casing to see the card, stamp, figure, comic book, etc.

    But LEGO? You can't enjoy the product at all in this state - it's completely hidden from view. What I could understand - and which actually might make sense - is opening a MISB set, assembling it once, immediately encasing it in it's built state, then having all that graded. This would then be an situation equivalent to an encased card, figure, stamp, etc. But I haven't heard of anyone doing this.

    I am not trying to be dismissive or derisive of those who collect graded and encased LEGO sets, but I'm really struggling to understand the point of collecting an item you can't even look at.
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Member Posts: 2,729
    That's why I was looking at the AFA site. They also will encase your set in plastic that is UV protected and will also put it in a case with a sliding bottom so it can easily be removed.

    Now, I'm not a graded set kind of a guy. But I do have a couple of sets that I have 2 of with one being built and the other still sealed #10182 for example and I would like to keep the box in real nice shape just because I want to. I also have a #7820 that is still sealed with shrink wrap and I have thought about doing that set also. If I ever do sell them I wouldn't be looking for stupid money as I don't see I could lose given I bought most of my sets at RRP or less.
  • Mad_DogMad_Dog Member Posts: 71
    OK people, this issue is in fact about two points of view very very far apart from each other, and I do not believe a common point will be reached, because both are exclusive, you cannot enjoy the set if it is boxed and sealed, and viceversa, also each one will find difficult to understand the others way.

    The only small glitch in all this is that grading may or not be a threat to the rest of us that believe grading is pointless with Lego, as have been discussed in several posts, because of the influence in prices of MISB sets, that I would like to buy to open and enjoy (build), only because someone wants it in a sealed box because that is his way of enjoying, and that will increase the prices for me --> BIG PROBLEM.

    And viceversa, if we open a lof of MSIB sets, graded ones will increase price, but I do not believe this is a real issue for this type of collector as it is used to spend big money in this kind of product, also there is the fact that collecting graded sets is also considered and investment for most of them, so they want the price to increase --> NOT SO BIG PROBLEM.

    So, for me grading is a problem, not because I do not believe in that way of collecting Lego, but because it may be more difficult, or even impossible, for me to get a MISB old set, of course it is demand and supply basics, so I can gripe but things are like this and that's all folks...

    Rgrds
  • BrickEnvyBrickEnvy Member Posts: 23
    Pitfall69 said:

    Whether we AFOL's in this forum will ever buy a graded set remains to be seen. It must have been fun reading all the comments before you posted. It would be interesting to get your opinion on the matter. If only our politicians cared to read what the people they represent are saying ;)

    Yes, It was interesting to go through and read the posts. It's good to have feedback on everything, both the positive and negative alike. Everyone has some valid points concerning the grading of LEGO sets.

    I would like to just say that I am not here to advertise for my business or to try and convince any of you that you should be buying from me. I came here to inform you all that the person that posted those sets in England simply did not have what they were claiming they had.
    Bandit said:

    His post makes me want to get my MISB Cloud City graded, just so he can't say " We currently own every AFA graded Cloud City to date" anymore... :)

    The only reason I made the statement was to validate the fact that I knew the person making the post that I was talking about, clearly was trying to scam everyone out of their money. As far as you sending in your Cloud City to get graded, I actually encourage you to so. I would love to see more people out there sending in some sets and minifigures to get graded.

    To try and answer a few of the other questions...

    AFA keeps records of every item they grade as well as the serial number associated with it. They do not keep track of who currently owns any particular set nor do they track sales anywhere. But with the serial number/barcode that is on every graded set, you can find out if its legit or not.

    http://www.toygrader.com/ is AFAs website. I would encourage any of you to get your sets graded directly through them if you would ever choose to do so. Regardless of your thoughts on grading LEGO, if you were to ever seen them in person, I think you would appreciate how amazing the boxes do look. It brings out the color like nothing else. If you are into that of course.

    A few of you have mentioned grading sets that are loose but are built. This can, and has been done over in the UK. Personally I would think that grading a built set would be a waste of money over time as there is no way for you to insure that the pieces will not slowly fall off, or a section of a ship may come loose. All it would take is just moving it a few times for some pieces to start to loosen up and eventually fall off. Then all you would have is a partially built set and some pieces, inside a sealed acrylic case =/ It would look amazing while it lasted, but there is no telling how long that would be. Just image a UCS Rebel Blockade Runner being built then graded. I honestly do not see how it would make it back to you still assembled unless the entire set was glued together.

    Now as far as what AFA looks for when it comes to grading LEGO goes, the very first thing they do is examine the seals of any given set. If the seals are broken or if they look like they have been tampered with, most of the time AFA will simply not grade the set. This holds true especially if the set contained expensive minifigures, like that Cloud City. AFA uses high powered microscopes to check the seals and overall condition of any box they are grading. To the naked eye, it may look like you have done a great job resealing a set or regluing a box, but when you see it through these microscopes, you can clearly tell what has and has not been tampered with. AFA did not get where they are in the industry today by grading sealed Star Wars vehicle boxes that had been filled up with old broken He-Man figures =) After they determine that the seals are completely intact, they go on the grade the outer box, yes... just the box. There is no way to grade the content of any sealed item like this. Could some of the piece inside be discolored or maybe a torn set of instructions...its possible, but when you are grading sealed set, the contents just do not matter. You can only grade what you can see. This is just how it is when you are grading sealed, windowless boxes and everytime you see an AFA G.I.Joe set from the 80s of any Star Wars vehicle or playset from the 70s & 80s, this is how it is done.

    I know that a lot of you do not agree with the sealing up and grading of LEGO sets and that is ok. The truth is, there is a very large group of AFOLs out there that simply love to collect mint sealed boxes. A lot of people just really like how the box art looks and others simply like to have mint, pristine sets.

    As for myself, I personally have well over 500 LEGO sets that are opened. My kids and I play & create with them all the time. I do however have dozens of sealed sets that I want to keep mint sealed. I have all of the sets opened as well to play and create with, but there are some sets that I just treasure from my childhood or like this one set that my son Corey saved up his allowance for 2 months to buy me for my birthday. He was 9 at the time and asked me never to open it. Its little things like that that I have choosen to preserve because over the years, I have been running into issues where the boxes are getting damaged or maybe discolored and I could not figure out a good, solid way to keep them in the condition I have been hoping to. The solution I came up with, was having them AFA graded. Once its in there, they have no chance of getting dings and dents anymore and, they just look awesome. Having graded sets is just another way to collect and enjoy your LEGO collection, if you enjoy this type of collecting. It is just a personal prefernce.

    Sorry for the novel, I didn't mean for this to become a book.





  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 Member Posts: 11,454
    My eyes hurt :)
  • BrickEnvyBrickEnvy Member Posts: 23
    mine too, again sorry for the book =/ Just wanted to try and answer a few things that people had been asking about and well....apparently I was not paying attention to how much I was typing =(
  • tk79tk79 Member Posts: 329
    ^^interesting to get some 1st hand input, thanks for posting. I don't necessarily get it, but I don't have to, we all have our own interests :)
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 Member Posts: 11,454
    That is exactly what I was looking forward to. We are not here to make you feel unwelcome. We are all very passionate about our hobby. A lot of us resell Lego sets and I know we have slipped in a plug to sell a certain set. Everyone has their own opinion on the matter. Thank you for your input.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 Member Posts: 11,454
    @tk79 I knew you couldn't stay away.
  • tk79tk79 Member Posts: 329
    @Pitfall69 and you know this...ABS is my drug apparently
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 Member Posts: 11,454
    edited September 2012
    Would it be weird if I told you I held the Imperial Flagship close and kissed the box?
    Apparently it is frowned upon to ask if a Lego set can sleep in the bed for the night.
  • Mad_DogMad_Dog Member Posts: 71
    Pitfall69 said:

    Would it be weird if I told you I held the Imperial Flagship close and kissed the box?
    Apparently it is frowned upon to ask if a Lego set can sleep in the bed for the night.

    Bed? Lego? Be careful there, there are kids around... :-D

    Rgrds
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas Member Posts: 8,404
    @BrickEnvy - Thank you for coming back and posting, that was helpful. Don't be a stranger. :)

    That being said, I would prefer AFA actually open the boxes, inspect the contents, then reseal them with a AFA seal.

    As for them using microscopes, that is nice and all, but the existing tape seals are easy to remove using heat guns, and since they are just tape with a black line, those are easy enough to get replacements for if you really wanted to.

    That is the concern, that the original seals on Lego boxes are not even tamper resistant, much less tamper proof.

    So I would suggest that AFA should be opening the sets and then replacing the useless Lego seals with AFA tamper resistant seals, before sealing the box into its case.
  • sandtherapysandtherapy Member Posts: 108
    In my opinion a true collector will value things as they come. Can one really enjoy that which is NISB or otherwise sealed and not accessible? Using or playing with a brick, block or mini fig to me, is fulfilling the expectation of their inventor. Really good toys could, should and would ( at least in a perfect world) be played with. Play is essential for well being (not just for children) and it feeds the soul.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 Member Posts: 11,454
    Deleted scene from Seven

    Brat Pitt and Morgan Freeman with Kevin Spacey holding a AFA graded UCS Millennium Falcon.

    Brad Pitt: What's in the box!!!
    Kevin Spacey: She begged me to open the box
    Brad Pitt: Shut up!!!
    Kevin Spacey: She begged me to open the box and all the little bags inside
    Brat Pitt: Shut up!!! What's in the box?!!!
    Kevin Spacey: That's what I'm trying to tell you. I don't know it's AFA 9.5 graded. I can't open it
  • BrickEnvyBrickEnvy Member Posts: 23
    LegoFanTexas - I totally see your point on this.

    I do know that they can see the differences in the seals, even if they look fine to the naked eye, they are different under the microscope. In cases that any sealed even have a chance of being tampered with, they stop the grading process and contact the owner to discuss before finishing the grading process or they simply refuse to grade the set. Keep in mind that LEGO sets are just a tiny amount of AFAs business. They are known for grading the most expensive action figures known to exist as well as massive amounts of sealed, windowless boxes. They take a great amount time and care looking over everything to insure that everything is on the up and up.

    Whether or not a set is going to get graded has nothing to do with the fact that there are people out there that are dishonest and tamper with sealed sets. I buy from all over the world and I myself run into people that open up sets then reseal them, claiming they are stil factory sealed. Most of the time you can tell right away if a set has been resealed though. The one place I run into this the most is off Bricklink. There is no buyer or seller protection there so they have nothing to loose by doing whatever. I am not saying all bricklink sellers are this way, it only takes a couple of bad apples...

    So my question to you is, if I had AFA change the way they currently grade LEGO sets for me so that they open the sealed sets to verify the contents then reseal it with custom AFA seals, does that put you in a position where you would either purchase a graded set or have one graded yourself? The one downside to this would be the grading cost would certainly go up a good amount I would assume as it would take twice as long to grade each set this way. It is very doable.
  • BrickEnvyBrickEnvy Member Posts: 23
    Pitfall69 said:

    Deleted scene from Seven

    Brat Pitt and Morgan Freeman with Kevin Spacey holding a AFA graded UCS Millennium Falcon.

    Brad Pitt: What's in the box!!!
    Kevin Spacey: She begged me to open the box
    Brad Pitt: Shut up!!!
    Kevin Spacey: She begged me to open the box and all the little bags inside
    Brat Pitt: Shut up!!! What's in the box?!!!
    Kevin Spacey: That's what I'm trying to tell you. I don't know it's AFA 9.5 graded. I can't open it

    rofl!


    You can open graded sets, but when the seals are broken... it is no longer considered graded. You basically have a sealed set and a sweet looking acrylic case to put over it.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas Member Posts: 8,404
    BrickEnvy said:

    LegoFanTexas - I totally see your point on this.

    :) Thanks... I know we're talking about edge cases, not the norm, just pointing out concerns.
    BrickEnvy said:

    I do know that they can see the differences in the seals, even if they look fine to the naked eye, they are different under the microscope.

    What happens when I tell you that I have a supply of replacement Lego tape seals? :) That have the black bar... that have never been on a box... that I can use heat to simply remove the existing seals and place a brand new seal on the box...

    Nothing they look at under the microscope is going to deal with that issue. Of course, the replacement tape doesn't have the batch numbers, they are just generic tape strips with the black line in the middle, so I would hope the AFA graders would know to look for the batch number and perhaps even check to make sure it is a valid batch for that set #.

    But if I was a criminal, rather than an honest merchant, I'm sure I could get around that too. The odds of being caught, once the sets are graded and sealed, is very low, and the value of these expensive retired sets makes for a tempting target.

    Just pointing out one of my concerns.

    AFA graders are human beings, not machines, so while I'm sure they do a very good job, they are still human. :)
    BrickEnvy said:

    So my question to you is, if I had AFA change the way they currently grade LEGO sets for me so that they open the sealed sets to verify the contents then reseal it with custom AFA seals, does that put you in a position where you would either purchase a graded set or have one graded yourself? The one downside to this would be the grading cost would certainly go up a good amount I would assume as it would take twice as long to grade each set this way. It is very doable.

    The internal contents don't have to be perfect, or even graded. They can simply be inspected to verify they are present, so that when the set is resealed, you know that what should be in the box, is in the box. There could be a note stating that only retail box condition has been graded, internal contents inspected to insure they are correct, but not graded themselves.

    Tape exists that doesn't come off with a heat gun, that bonds forever with the cardboard box, that comes apart in tiny strips and is very, very hard to remove without destroying it. AFA could use such tape and ensure that the set inside the UCS Falcon box (or whatever), indeed is in there.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    As for my likely hood of getting sets graded? I don't know, I don't yet see a market, but that doesn't mean one can't exist. If it does, I'll consider it like I do everything else that could make me money.

    As for my likely hood of buying graded sets? The odds are pretty close to zero, but that is because I don't collect mint condition toys, or anything else for that matter. I build and play with it all. :)
  • sandtherapysandtherapy Member Posts: 108
    :)
  • dougtsdougts Member Posts: 4,110
    I guess in the end there is some segment of people who like to collect sealed never to be opened sets. Outside of hoping to sell it for a nice profit down the road, I personally don't understand why this would be of interest to anyone, but I don't have to. It's not for me, it's for them

    Once someone has crossed that threshold, then the decision to collect graded or non graded sets is a further distinction that each sealed box collector would make for themselves I presume. The advantages of graded are some measure of protection from future degradation, a set of standards being applied, and possibly a better sale price down the road if one decided to sell. The disadvantage is apparently a 400% or more price markup over non graded sealed box sets. I'll leave that up to sealed box collectors to decide if it's worth it. There is no right or wrong answer of course

    I still believe the vast majority of sets sold on the secondary market go to people who intend to open them, thus the graded sets would have no appeal to them at all, just like box condition in general doesn't matter either, as long as the box is still sealed and doesn't have major damage

    For the minority of secondary market buyers who intend to never open their sets I suppose it is a good thing that they can now choose between collecting graded or non graded packaging
  • dougtsdougts Member Posts: 4,110
    By the way, thanks brick envy for shedding a lot of light into this discussion in a very professional manner
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas Member Posts: 8,404
    dougts said:

    By the way, thanks brick envy for shedding a lot of light into this discussion in a very professional manner

    Agreed, I am glad he came to post here... He took the high road against a lot of ribbing against the idea of graded sets at all.

    I personally am unlikely to ever buy one, but that doesn't mean someone else is wrong for doing so, that is their personal choice to spend their money however they please.
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 889


    What happens when I tell you that I have a supply of replacement Lego tape seals? :) That have the black bar... that have never been on a box... that I can use heat to simply remove the existing seals and place a brand new seal on the box...

    Nothing they look at under the microscope is going to deal with that issue. Of course, the replacement tape doesn't have the batch numbers, they are just generic tape strips with the black line in the middle, so I would hope the AFA graders would know to look for the batch number and perhaps even check to make sure it is a valid batch for that set #.

    Also, keep in mind the stickers with the batch numbers only appear on one end of the box. The other end is just the plain stickers. Game, set, match. :)

    We think there's fraud going on now, just wait if/when grading takes off. If all it's going to take is some stickers and empty boxes, the professional crooks are going to have a field day.

    You can be reasonably assured a MISB set you buy on ebay today is going to be legit, as the seller knows there's a high likelihood you're going to open it. But if there's no chance of you ever opening it? Hunting season is *on*.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas Member Posts: 8,404
    Bandit said:

    Also, keep in mind the stickers with the batch numbers only appear on one end of the box. The other end is just the plain stickers. Game, set, match. :)

    You know, I didn't even think of that... Shows you what a lousy criminal I am. :) To be frank, I don't really pay attention to which end I open, since I'm an honest merchant, I only sell what I say I'm selling.

    Keep in mind that I sell in volume. I probably average 2 or 3 returns per week, some new sealed, some not. Would you really want me to just take those sealed returns and resell them, without inspecting them first?
    Bandit said:

    You can be reasonably assured a MISB set you buy on ebay today is going to be legit, as the seller knows there's a high likelihood you're going to open it. But if there's no chance of you ever opening it? Hunting season is *on*.

    That is exactly my concern. If I were to get sets graded to sell, how am I to be able to convince my customers that this hasn't been done? They can't open the set to check!
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 889


    You know, I didn't even think of that... Shows you what a lousy criminal I am. :) To be frank, I don't really pay attention to which end I open, since I'm an honest merchant, I only sell what I say I'm selling.

    Keep in mind that I sell in volume. I probably average 2 or 3 returns per week, some new sealed, some not. Would you really want me to just take those sealed returns and resell them, without inspecting them first?

    Nope, I think that's fair. What I don't know doesn't hurt me. As long as I can't tell and there's no damage, go nuts. I much prefer you do that than sell me a box of rocks. :)

    I've done similar things with sets that I've bought locally that either had stickers about to fall off, or that I suspected might have been opened. I don't want to sell someone a box of rocks or a set with no minifigs, either, and do what I can to prevent that.
  • dougtsdougts Member Posts: 4,110
    Funhouse box was so bizarre in that it was so completely overstuffed - completely unlike most half full boxes. When I bought my first one at tru I was convinced it must have been tampered with. I opened it at customer service
  • monkey_roomonkey_roo Member Posts: 1,411
    I suspect the microscope check on the seals does more that look at the tape. No matter how good a re-seal job two different pieces of tape will leave different marks on the box, even if you can't see them with the naked eye, theoretically I am guessing that AFA can distinguish between the two sets of adhesive marks even if they are over the top. I am not suggesting they go all CSI on the box but given their reputation and the values they are used to dealing with I would wager they are as kitted out as they come.
    As for the opening boxes and grading the contents as I mentioned before U Grading is becoming common in other collecting areas and does exactly this.
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,556
    oldtodd33 said:

    That's why I was looking at the AFA site. They also will encase your set in plastic that is UV protected and will also put it in a case with a sliding bottom so it can easily be removed.

    I don't see the point of that. If you can remove it, they should not put a grading sticker on the box. Since you can remove and replace with a lesser quality item.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,331
    Yes, because I'm sure they do take a real good look at the seals knowing that the see through box will never be opened. I'm sure.

    The whole thing is madness.
  • DiggydoesDiggydoes Member Posts: 1,079
    Hmm i guess i have to let my sealed chrome C-3PO get graded! Somehow i like the idea that it will always stay in this pristine condition!
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