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Who Here Knows the Meaning of "Mint"?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by stratovarius, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. stratovarius


    Mar 20, 2010
    I should have insisted on photos, so I guess I got what I deserved. For the rest of you, perhaps a little education might be in order.

    Simply put, "mint condition" is what an instrument looks like when it is brand new and unused. This means no playing wear, no nicks, dings or scratches. Make sense? Many of the instruments hanging on the wall in Guitar Center are not even in mint condition, and would qualify as near-mint since they have a few light pick marks or subtle signs that they've been taken out of the case and played.

    "Mint condition" is not just an advertising gimmick, but a well-defined set of criteria recognized by anyone who actually knows what he is talking about. If you don't know what you're talking about, then it would be better to make no claims at all.

    /rant over
  2. Tim C.

    Tim C.

    Feb 4, 2010
    More specifically, "mint" should imply "as minted (that's where the word comes from) at the factory".

    So if there's a flaw in the design itself, but no wear has been instigated by a user, it's still "mint".
  3. Condition is subjective.
    But I agree, if it's "mint" it should look DAMN close to the day it was new.

    That's the nice thing about the Fender Road Worn/Relic basses....they're always mint!!!:D
  4. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    So true, One of my Jazz basses I bought was advertised as MINT, the photos were not that clear. When I got it it had pick scratches & other scratches on it. It was nice and from ten feet it looks mint, but close inspection you see the flaws. I would have described it as good condition with light player wear.
  5. Tim C.

    Tim C.

    Feb 4, 2010
    Hell, some GC employee could spill his coffee on one of those things and nobody would notice.
  6. I think "Mint" means exactly what you think it does. Unfortunately, these kinds of cliches become less exactly defined once they become cliche and everyone is using and misusing them. i posted a thread awhile back on what TB'rs thought the definition of "chops" and also "growl" was. Well just about everyone had a different idea, many in direct conflict with each other. Once a word becomes cliche it loses its power and clarity, and becomes a conglomeration of everyone's definitions. It's like watering down beer. You have more of it, but it's tasteless, flat, and undrinkable.
  7. Twocan

    Twocan Living the Dream

    Oct 5, 2009
    Amen brother! My most recent purchase was listed as "mint" on Ebay and arrived with cracks through the finish, dings on the neck and buckle rash on the back. I can't imagine what rationale went through the seller's mind.

    IMHO, the only imaginable flaws deserving of a free pass are age related items on "vintage" instruments (such as discoloration, finish deterioration, etc).

    Basically, if the condition is not what it would have been if the item sat in its case from the date of production, do not list it as mint.

    Guitar Center might as well list their equipment as used. 5 days on their shelf there is like gigging a bass for a couple months. Shops that respect their gear keep a floor model out, and sell you a new item in the box.

    Lastly (and my favorite) - don't list strings as "new" if they have been on a bass you bozos.

    Phew, I'm done venting... deep breaths...
  8. quigg


    Jul 27, 2008
    Norfolk, VA
    Mint means the same to me: "as new"
    Excellent means: "light play wear, some small dings from use"
    Good: "this bass has been gigged heavily, has small scratches and a lot of dings from play"

    If were to sell something I would make it very clear what the buyer is getting from me, some of the dings on my bass are too small to see unless the light hits them just right and you are looking for them, but I would still say something about it. I guess the more you know about what you are getting, the happier you will be with it when it arrives. That's what it's all about right? :)
  9. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    Maybe something for the classifieds. A sticky with definitions of Mint, Near Mint, Excellent, Very Good, Good, and Beater.
  10. Mint = showroom condition.
  11. Bone


    Oct 28, 2006
    Mint= As it was when it left the Factory.
  12. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Very good idea!

    Though on the internets, without lots of photos, IME "mint" = red flag. (I think some people assume it's just a vague, flattering term that can be used on anything above "unsalvageable". :rolleyes:)
  13. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.


    The ONLY exception I would accept is a bit of light scratching/swirling on a pickguard.

    Mint means like new.

    I am very picky about this stuff, but play the hell out of my basses. NONE of my 12+ basses would IMO be considered "mint".

    A little headstock ding, a small scratch on the back, etc. should always be disclosed. Why bother p!$$ing people off and chance paying all kinds of shipping charges when the buyer would likely buy the bass anyways with full disclosure!?!?!
  14. Shelly


    Jul 12, 2006
    Brighton, Michigan
    I don't know, Baird...the Sadowsky you traded to me was very close to mint, one of the best I've received in a TB deal.
  15. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    MINT= NO ISSUES AT ALL- Plastic on pickguard, Hang tags, CE sticker blank registration card, keys for case.

  16. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    Yeah, that one was in great shape but I likely called that one mint. It was definately as new.

    You are lucky I put on a few pounds during the time I owned that Sadowsky and had to do gigs with my shirt untucked!;):D No belt rash thanks to me refusing to buy bigger pants!:spit::D
  17. Tim C.

    Tim C.

    Feb 4, 2010
    Mint means "factory new", including possible flaws. Mint doesn't mean "perfect" or "flawless."
  18. ShenmueTacos


    May 22, 2009
  19. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    Mint comes from the coin collecting world. You can get coins that have never touched human hands. They were pressed and packaged without humans touching them. They are then put into someone's collection and spend their lifetime never being touched by humans. Therefore a bass can never be mint.
  20. Don't forget - some people just LIE to make a sale.

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