Okay, as you guys have seen lately, I’m getting a little tired of things being graded arbitrarily based on their condition. People use the term “mint” pretty loosely around here, and “good” doesn’t mean much of anything, really. Having read another online guide (which, I might add, is very good and I think should be read in addition to what I am about to say here), I think it’s time to establish a standard or two when it comes to the condition of a yo.
I propose a 1-5 system (just like A-AAAAA), which corresponds with the condition of the yo.
5 - Mint yo-yo. Never played. Specify if removed from packaging.
Terms: Perfect, Mint. Implies immaculate, untouched.
Under this condition, the yo-yo has never been removed from its original packaging, the packaging is not heavily damaged (can’t expect it to be perfect, anywho), and certainly not damaged in any way that would indicate the yo-yo inside has been harmed. Or, the yo-yo has been removed from the packaging, but is indiscernable from a yo-yo that has not. Specify if it is still in the original container, unopened, when you put it up for trade.
4 - Excellent condition yo-yo. No damage, slight age related wear. Near-Mint indicates a yo-yo that has extremely light use, and looks a lot like a 5. In otherwords, non-yoers wouldn’t be able to tell a 4 from a 5.
Terms: Excellent, great, fine, nice, etc. Enthusiastic about its condition!
A yo-yo that is in excellent condition shows the earmarks of use, but nothing that would set performance or feel apart from a 5 yo-yo. This is not up to interpretation. The only things that set a 4 yo-yo apart from a 5 yo-yo are strictly cosmetic. I’m talking primarily about tarnished rings. It may also have small scratches on the plastic/non outer ring surface that result from play but cannot be felt. A yo-yo of this type could easily be cleaned up to resemble a 5, and it should feel exactly like it did coming out of the box, but the main issue here is that it has been used for a short period of time.
3 - Good condition yo-yo. Obviously used.
Terms: Good, okay. It’s nothing special, middle of the road yo. Strictly utilitarian.
“Good” yo-yos are yo-yos that have been broken in. They have rim scratches from the occasional light dink on the ground. They have shallow scratches where a friend may not have removed his or her rings when playing. The bearing seats (YYJ) may be slightly worn and not as firm as usual. Also, the Adjustable Gap System may be loose and need a new axle to function reliably. If the yo-yos are clear, they may have nipple cracks or ring cracks in them either from use or from impact. Overall, these yo-yos perform and feel only slightly differently from the 4 and 5 yo-yos. They are the workhorses which are still in prime condition and have a lot of mileage ahead of them.
2 - Passable yo-yo. Used and used extensively.
Terms: Worn, heavily used, old, scuffed, scratched. Implies quite a career of use. It’s been around the block a lot.
These yo-yos are broken in, but used heavily. They have rim scratches and perhaps gouges which may make grinding painful or irregular. The bearing seats are loose (you may be able to remove the bearing with your fingers alone) and the axles may be stripped. In addition to this, the rings/outer edges may be heavily tarnished, dented, scraped, gouged, and otherwise not nearly as pretty as usual. Otherwise, they should retain their full range of playability and be perfectly fine for any play that 3 to 5 yo-yos are capable of, minus play involving contact with the surface (grinds). These yo-yos shouldn’t be traded for more than a third of their original value.
1 - Poor condition. Experimental mod fodder.
Terms: Poor, bad, busted, heavily damaged. Unique descriptions (it broke here, and here, and it’s busted like so).
These yo-yos are on the brink of unplayable. Heavy damage, unique damage, and overall look are easily identified. These are yo-yos that you’d probably want to pawn off to someone for a couple of dollars because they need something to practice recessing on or they would like to remove the weight rings/any other part of the yo. I’d say that these would go for around the cost of shipping. May wobble.
And also, something you should consider, ask about, list, whatever information is important when trading. This would be useful to document when trading a yo-yo, and you have an obligation to be clear on this/a right to know this info:
Ring condition - Are they cracked, scuffed, damaged in any way? Tarnished?
Plastic condition - Does it have ring/nipple cracks? Has dirt gotten in places where metal and plastic fuse?
Metal condition - If it’s a metal yo, is it tarnishing/rusting? Are the scratches removable?
Response condition - If it has starbursts, are they worn? Is it recessed well? Does anything need replacing?
Bearing seats - Are they loose, or are they as firm as when you got them? How many times has the bearing been switched?
Axle condition - Does AYGS still work? Is the axle stripped or dusty? Does it need replacing?
Collisions - Has the yo-yo ever had any real accidents? Possible stress fractures?
Abnormalities - Is the color consistent? Is there anything else worth noting? (recent X-Con type abnormalities).
Wobble - DOES IT?
Bearing condition ::
– What does it sound like?
– Is it lubed or not?
– How long was it used?
– Shields or no shields?
– Rust of any kind? Is it stainless?
– ABEC rating and retailer if you’ve got them (I know ABEC is irrelevant to most).