Here is a brief guide to some of the terms used when grading a comic. Most of our stock is BRAND NEW. These grading terms are only used on second hand stock, and will appear alongside the issue number. If no grade is shown, you can assume stock is BRAND NEW.
(Please note that BRAND NEW does not mean 'perfect' - even new comics suffer from minor defects as part of the rigours of handling - from the printers - to the distributors - to the retailer - to you. We won't send you a mashed up copy 'as new', but likewise, we cannot guarantee that every copy is perfect, and untouched by human hands! If you need to check that your comic is absolutely perfect, and can't bear even microscopic signs of handling, then buying by mail order is not for you - best trek down to your local comic shop, and deal face-to-face)
NM (Near Mint)
As new. No discernable faults. To all intents and purposes a brand new copy. What distinguishes Near Mint from Mint is that Mint is supposed to represent perfection. As most uncirculated copies are rarely 'perfect', the term Mint is rarely used (or should be viewed with caution).
VFN (Very Fine)
An 'as new' copy, with minor defects (a very small spine crease, or a very slight dink on the corner). Should have strong 'eye appeal' - with any fault hardly noticeable without close inspection.
A nice collectable copy, that may show a few signs of wear. At arms length it should look nearly new, but on closer inspection, you may spot small faults - a small light crease, a few spine creases, a small stain, interior pages not perfect white (light browning at the edges OK - heavy browning not OK in this grade). Should still look nice, but not perfect.
VG (Very Good)
An average 'used' copy. Still complete in every way, but has more obvious faults. A small tear. A heavier crease or two on the cover. Multiple spine creases OK. Pages may be off white/slightly brown, but not heavily brown. May have some wrinkling (water damage) on one edge. A decent reading copy, but clearly not new, but also, not a total mess.
A pretty poor copy. Complete with all pages, but may have multiple faults, small chunks missing (but not affecting story), noticebaly brown pages.
Mid-Grades (VG/FN etc)
VG/FN simply means the grade is somewhere between VG and FN
Similarly, VG+ FN- etc means that it is slightly better or worse than the standard meaning of that grade, or that the comic falls into the general grade indicated, but is a particualrly nice (+) or not so nice (-) copy.