There is no way around it, all grading is ultimately subjective. So, if you are disappointed in a purchase, for any reason whatsoever, you may return it within ten days of receipt for a full refund (less shipping and handling).
We grade using the following scale:
(NEW) We buy new books from discounters and other book dealers from time to time. Remainder stripes, marks or stamps are always noted.
F (FINE) As new. As close to perfect as any book can ever be. Sometimes called VERY FINE or MINT by other dealers. Hardbacks and their dustjackets must be crisp and bright without rubbing or loss of color. When grading paperbacks, the book must be unread. Binding or wrappers must be stiff, with no separations from the text block, and with no bumped corners. Both bindings and text must be without soiling, staining, or writing of any kind except light (erasable) pencil pricing. (Exception: books signed by author or illustrator.)
Few books 20 years and older can truly meet these standards. We don't have a rule against grading older books FINE, but most are graded ABOUT FINE or lower.
AF (ABOUT FINE) A superior copy of the book with only a minor flaw. When grading hardbacks the bindings must be clean, without bumped corners and no pushing (separation) from the text block. A dustjacket graded AF may show the lightest of soiling or wear and may be (neatly) price clipped. (All noted in the book's description.) When grading paperbacks, the book must be unread (or apparently so). However, it may have a small blemish: very light rubbing, edge wear, or shelf wear, or, depending on age, a very slight acidification (browning) of the pages. AF books may have a previous owner's name neatly printed or store name stamped on the endpapers (noted), light penciled pricing, but no other writing of any kind. (Exception: books signed by author or illustrator.)
VGF (VERY GOOD TO FINE) This designation is used only with paperbacks. A superior copy of the book with slightly more flaws than an AF copy. Generally a tight, clean book that may show signs of having been read (a very light reading crease or creases) or, if unread, the book may have slightly more severe shelf wear, fading, or a slight lean, etc.. VGF books may have a previous owner's name neatly printed or store name stamped on the endpapers (noted), light penciled pricing, but no other writing of any kind. (Exception: books signed by author or illustrator.)
VG (VERY GOOD) A very nice, collectible copy with some noticeable, moderate flaws and/or general, moderate wear. The book may have a bumped corner, edge wear, moderate spine lean, light soiling, or foxing of bindings or text. Paperback covers (wrappers) may have a modest reading crease, or a rubbed area. Hardback dust jackets may show some color fade or rubbing, have small tears or a clipped price. ( Main defects are noted in the book's description.) All writing on endpapers, wrappers, or dustjacket will be noted and no annotation or underlying of the text is allowed in this grade (or any other collectible grade.)
We use plus (+) and minus (-) to indicate shadings of this grade.
G-VG (GOOD to VERY GOOD) This designation is used only with paperbacks. A book with, cumulatively, too many small flaws or a single severe flaw that keeps it from being of truly collectible grade, but acceptable as a "filler" or reading copy.
G (GOOD) A book that is intact and complete. A reading copy. This grade may be acceptable for "filler" copies of rarer or more expensive titles.
FAIR & POOR Books that have significant flaws.