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Rating Condition of Antique Bottles

The condition of a bottle has a dramatic impact its value. Once a common bottle gets a crack or chip, it usually loses half or more of its value. Damage is more tolerated on rarer bottles, but still has an impact on price.

So condition is very important to bottle collectors. Many collectors will wait for an undamaged (near mint or better) example before adding to their collection. If you sell a bottle thru the mail and fail to disclose any damage it has, then the buyer has every right to return the bottle for a full refund. Some buyers will only buy at bottles shows and other places to avoid the hassle of ending up with bottles that have undisclosed damage. So it's very important on the Internet, where we send bottles thru the mail, to disclose all damage on the bottle so there are no unpleasant surprises when the buyer receives the bottle. Offering a "buyer satisfaction guarantee" will improve buyer confidence when selling on the Internet, especially through eBay.

Following are some terms used to identify the condition of a bottle. I've combined the experience of other advanced collectors in coming up with this rating scale and definition of terms. If I can improve or clarify further, let me know.

Some terms used to describe defects and condition of bottles:

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