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).
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.