Greetings Fellow Pokémon Collectors,
I have a passion for collecting mint and rare Pokémon cards.
To me, mint means the card has a fresh clean appearance under normal viewing conditions. This is indoor lighting, and a distance of about one to two feet from the viewer. The card should have almost no visible defects, front and back.
And then: Upon closer inspection, under reflected light, I want the card to have a clean smooth finish, with very few scratches, front and back. A small amount of scratches are permissible as long as they are hard to see.
This is close to the Wikipedia definition: new but opened.
Dents, dings, dirt, ink, alterations and an abraded finish will disqualify a card and to me, render it valueless.
However, you don't have to accept my definition. If I sell you a card, and you are dissastisfied with it for any reason, I will gladly take it back for a full refund. No worries. All cards have damage. They are processed by machines and in bright light and with magnification, you can see roller lines across the face of any foiled card.
All cards are shipped in soft sleeves to protect the cards. Hard cases actually scratch unprotected cards, so when when I ship a card in a hard case it will still be in a soft sleeve.
Small orders of 1-3 cards may be shipped in greeting cards. The heavy paper keeps the envelope stiff and protects the cards well.
Larger orders are carefully wrapped in a packing slip and then shipped in padded envelopes. This provides mulitple layers of shipping protection to do our part in making sure your cards get there mint.
Storage:All new foil inventory will be stored in a sleeve. This will help prevent bending due to humidity and the small amount of abrasion that occurs when we flip through the cards as orders are filled.
Card Grading: (Mint/Near-Mint/Perfect)
It is often not difficult to tell when a card has seen abuse. Tears, creases, and easily seen scratches are cause for automatic rejection.
Here is how I weed out those cards others would consider "near mint"
Edges: No noticeable wear. Edges are the straight sides of the card (yes there are 4). Minor edge wear that does not affect the print on either side of the card is allowed. Typically this edge wear is not visible when the card is examined individually and is only visible when the card is placed in a stack of cards. If there are noticable edge marks (usually on the back of the card) then the card is rejected.
Corners: Many rounded corners on cards will exhibit nicks in the back of the card that appear as a small abrasion in the center of the curve. This is normal. Abrasions on either side of the center of the curve are cause for rejection. A small amount of upturning at the corners of the card is also normal, so long as each corner exhibits the same defect. If one corner is turned up more than the others that is a sign of damage and the card is rejected.
Gloss: The front and back surfaces are examined for gloss. A mint card will have a smooth uniform gloss finish, free of scratches, dirt and oil.
Foiling: Foiled surfaces are examined under reflected light for scratches at multiple angles. This reveals the light scratches cards received from sliding against each other with dust in between.