Yoyo Damage Terminology (with pictures!)

There has always been confusion on what constitutes a ding, or a scuff, or a ‘pinprick’. Well I threw together this little guide to help alleviate some of that confusion. Know your terminology before engaging in BST activity!

Let me preface this by saying that damage has different levels of severity, so they won’t necessarily always adhere to these definitions.


The ding is one of the most prevalent forms of damage you’ll encounter. They occur when your yoyo strikes another hard object (whether or not your yoyo is spinning).

Since dings remove a bit of material, they have depth and thus are ‘feelable’.


Pinpricks are essentially very small dings. The type of damage you’d expect if you were to poke something with a needle. You typically can’t feel them very well and they often occur in clusters or groups.

Mint, Mint with box (MWB), Mint in box (MIB), Near Mint (NM)

‘Mint’ is an umbrella term that encompasses the above three terms. When a yoyo has literally NO damage, cosmetic or otherwise, it is considered mint. Yoyos CAN be played yet still be called mint.

Mint with box is a yoyo that is mint and you have the original box it came in.

Mint in box is probably the term that has had the most blurred definition. Some consider having a mint yoyo (whether or not it has been removed from the box or played) and the box to be ‘mint in box’. That is just not the case. Mint in box refers to a yoyo that has not been removed from the manufacturer’s packaging, EVER. Mint in box is also synonymous with ‘mint in package’ in the circumstance that the yoyo doesn’t come in a box (e.g. FHZs, Echos, etc.)


Near Mint is a yoyo that appears to be in mint condition, but may have some form of extremely minor damage (this could mean a micro-scratch that is almost unseen with the naked eye). In instances of this, where there could be some damage so small that’s it’s easy to miss when reviewing your yoyos before selling them, the seller could mark is as “near mint to be safe” (NMTBS) because they don’t want to mark it “mint” only to have the buyer call them out for it if they find a tiny, tiny scratch.

So take it to mean ‘very good condition’. It’s entirely possible that when someone says this, the yoyo is truly in perfect condition, but they prefer to err on the side of caution so both parties are satisfied at the end of the deal and no one feels like they were slighted or they inadvertently scammed someone.


A scratch is [typically] a light mark across the surface of the yoyo. Scratches may or may not break the ano.


Scuffs are typically light damage. They may or may not have broken the anodization, revealing the bare metal underneath. They are also not typically feelable. Scuffs may also be referred to as ‘3A damage’ as when playing 3A, the yoyos often clang together, producing scuffs (and a sulfur-like odor).


Flatspots are exactly what the name entails: damage that has disrupted the roundness of a yoyo with a small plateau. Typically, flatspots don’t break ano.


Yoyos are considered ‘beat’ when they have a significant amount of damage. This may or may not be an indicator of any vibe that may have been introduced because of the damage. Be sure to ask the seller about vibe when considering purchasing a beat yoyo (if they have not already done so).

Anodization flaws

Though technically not damage, ano flaws affect the cosmetics of your yoyo. Ano flaws have several different forms. Usually you’ll find that an ano flaw is a small part of the color that has been faded. Though occasionally an ano flaw will come in the form of a different color than planned, or has an unattractive ‘washed out’ appearance. These defects occur in the manufacturing process. Anodizing metal isn’t a science, it’s an art, and art is never perfect ;D


It is safe to assume that any mint, near mint, or new in box yo-yo won’t have significant vibe. However, if the yo-yo has notable damage or is heavily “beat”, any extra vibe should be disclosed.

Buyers: Be sure to know exactly what you’re buying/trading for.
Sellers: Accurately describe your items. The other party is going to figure it out one way or another.

If there’s anything you’d like to add, please reply here.


Thanks, this is really helpful. One question I have is about two phrases I see when I look at the BST, “shipped” and “OBO.” What do these mean?

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‘Shipped’ usually refers to price. When someone says “$55 shipped”, that means that the shipping cost is included in the price so all you have to pay is the $55. However, it could also mean that they have shipped the yoyo to the buyer.
‘OBO’ means ‘or best offer’. If you feel the price is too high, the seller encourages you to make a counter offer.


Shipped means the shipping of the yoyo is included in the price listed. OBO means “or best offer.” I.e. “60 shipped OBO” means shipping is included in the 60 dollars. But if you don’t have 60 dollars or feel the price is high, you could offer 55, staying realistic in your offer and not lowballing by offering 10 dollars.

Yay! Thanks a million!

Another question! What about 5a marks and wedding ring marks? Would they be considered pin pricks?

Those usually dont break ano, so I would classify that under scuffs

I’ve consolidated and cleaned up since the forum migration, major kudos to @LinksLegionaire for putting this excellent and informative topic together, as well as anyone else who contributed. Really first rate work :clap:

  • moved excellent “Near Mint” description into top post in appropriate section

  • Added a “vibe” section with link to dedicated topic since that has been asked about, and I think should be explained.

Note that this topic is linked from the b/s/t pinned topic for reference.


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ :slight_smile:

Took me a awhile to read all the posts I just got here and you both are awesome ! Links & Codinghorror have done an awesome job updating and getting pictures of flat spots and anno flaws which are so hard to picture…well done men!
On behalf of the community on the forum…
Thank You!


Bump for educational purposes.

I know I learned something good.:sunglasses:


something worth bookmarking for you folks on the bst… was one of the first things i did :wink:


Solid rez @Mystik. I feel like I learned some things in this write up.

@LinksLegionaire :clap::clap:


I appreciate it! True recognition to @LinksLegionaire for the OP, @zslane for pushing a conversation with me, and @fatguysnacks247 for further convo and thread presentation.


I think an important question is: how widely recognized/accepted are these definitions within the global yoyoing community?

I suspect that most folks who post on BSTs all over the Internet don’t know about this forum thread, nor would they necessarily recognize it as authoritative. It’s not like there is a global yoyo sanctioning body that establishes such things in an official capacity. No matter how much I might agree with @LinksLegionaire and the definitions he puts forth, if others in the community have different definitions (and practically everybody does on some level), it doesn’t really do me–or us–any good on a practical level.


i agree completely. but, we can at least hold ourselves to a standard. yye is the
most moderated and longest running currently and continuously, in its own right. choose to hold to one standard, or another. i’ll pick the highest one, and compare from there. this is at least the best guide too. again… pick the highest standard, and compare from there.


I agree with you, and holding myself to that standard sounds quite sensible. The issue is everybody else who either isn’t a member of these forums or doesn’t agree with the “highest standards” it sets out to establish. Because if we don’t all agree on definitions and standards, then we’re all just left to argue over what constitutes “mint”, or whatever, anyway. Having definitions with no consensus on them is roughly equivalent to having no definitions at all.


a bridge starts with a single stone :man_shrugging:t3:


here ya go, there’s some good examples in here

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Well, as a purely practical matter, these metaphorical stones have to have sufficient authoritative weight to build a bridge that won’t collapse. All it takes is a few people who think their definitions are better and then everyone starts to believe they can think for themselves and then we’re back where we started. :wink:

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To be fair though, it would be pretty hard to argue most of these “definitions” having other meanings. Like a flat spot for example. But most of that isnt even the most important part of this thread anyway. The take away should be his last couple statements.