Antiques And Collecting

If you're new to antiques and collecting you're probably confused by all these letters. Here is a short glossary of terms used when buying and selling collectibles. MIB, VF, Exc, VHTF, what is all this alphabet soup?

MIB, VF, EXC, HTF; to a beginner, collecting is something like swimming in alphabet soup! What's up with all these letters? Well, like many hobbies and jobs, collectors have a language all their own. Think of it as a secret handshake that gains you access to their club. Want in? I'll make it easy for you. Here is a list of some of the most common terms used in collecting. Study hard, so you too can sound like a PRO.


Most items bought and sold will be assigned a grade (no not A, B, C, D, but that would make it easier). This grade is totally subjective. That means that my Very Good might only be a Good in your book. Let's start at the top:

NRFB - Never Removed From Box, this is especially hot with Barbie collectors. It means just what it says; this toy has never been taken out of the box. (poor thing)

Mint - yes, it's a yummy flavor, but it's also the best of the best. This item is like new, no damage, it's perfect.

MIB - Mint in Box, not only is it perfect but it's still in its original box. (The box, however may not be mint, so be sure to ask)

MIMB - Mint in a Mint Box (no, I'm not kidding) This is similar to NRFB (see above)

MOC - Mint on Card, this is for action figures and the like that come sealed on a backing board. This is the only way Star Wars figures are worth a darn.

Exc - Excellent, one step down from Mint. This is usually the best you can hope for.

VG - Very Good, it's not perfect but it's close

VF - Very Fine, the high-class way of saying VG

Good - It's been used but it's in okay shape.

Poor - This item has been over used and is damaged, don't pay very much for it

Other Terms

HTF (and VHTF) - Hard to Find and (you guessed it) Very Hard to Find (don't believe them)

Loose - hey watch it, this just means that the item is no longer MIB, it came in a box or on a card, but said box or card is gone now.

Bubbling - when the plastic sealing a toy to a card is bubbling (of course) This is bad.

Crazing - a crackling that occurs on old dolls, plates and ceramic objects - it can't be fixed

Shrink wrapped - This means the box has never been opened and is still factory sealed in plastic making it automatically a NRFB!

Secondary Market - the collectible market, that is, selling an item after it's already been sold in stores at some point.

Modern Collectible - collectibles that are produced to be collectibles, for example Franklin Mint Star Trek Ships, Young and the Restless Plates and Beanie Babies!

As is - this thing has hidden damage and you're stuck. Dealers should be up front with you. If an item is damaged, they should point it out.

So there you have it, the ABC's of MIB. Now you can forge ahead and buy those RCC (really cool collectibles) for your OPP (own personal pleasure) or to sell on Ebay (a collectibles auction on the web). Armed with all this knowledge you're bound to be a collecting VIP!

Trending Now

© High Speed Ventures 2011