Since I will be closing out book sales at Shuushuu by Lulu at the end of September of this year, I am posting this comprehensive guide on how I grade my books and other vintage stock. This guide can be used for the many other items that will still be available such as, clothing, accessories, jewelry, ect. This terminology can be found throughout the Internet when buying vintage books. It is very common language, so I have incorporated it for the use of anything and everything. Then you do not have to learn multiple guides and charts.
When I first began collecting books, buying them online, I learned a thing or two about descriptions and lack of descriptions. If you are unsure of anything you want to know about an item and need clarification, always ask questions. Almost everyone I have dealt with will provide an answer, including myself. If you need more pictures, be specific about what areas you would like photographed, and I will provide them. There was an occasion where a vendor could not provide answers to my questions and it was not mentioned in the description, I did not buy from them. I think it is important to provide information as part of customer service.
Mint: Describes a book in pristine condition but is old, aged even used. The term is used as part of a wider scale to gauge how beat-up an object is and thus how valuable it may be to a collector. In many cases, only “perfect” condition—used to denote objects still in their original packaging—is ranked higher.
Excellent-Like New describes a book that is in immaculate, crisp condition with a perfect dust jacket. I generally use this term only to describe new books (and, frankly, some new books are no longer in As New condition by the time they get shipped out) or to describe books so pristine that the spine hasn’t even been cracked. I basically don’t believe this term can be used to describe a book older than 15 years because the very feel of the book will tell you it’s old, even if it’s in perfect condition and no one has ever opened it. I rarely use this term to describe the vintage books available in my store because of their age.
F. Fine describes a book that approaches being As New, without the crispness. There can be no visible defects, and the book is clean and bright, and the dust jacket has no rips or stains. All minor defects are noted in the descriptions.
VG. Very Good describes a book that is clean and bright but which may show subtle signs of its age, such as very minor knicks or scratches. The book edges may be bumped from storage or it may small defects but the book would still look clean, crisp and tightly bound overall. All defects are noted in the descriptions.
G. Good describes an average used book that shows some wear but whose interior is clean. They may have Inscriptions, Ink marks, Tears on the dust jacket or inner pages. All defects are noted in the descriptions.
P. Poor describes a book that has all its pages intact but which was obviously well loved and well read in its past life. I sometimes refer to books in this condition as Reading Copies.
XL. Ex-Library (Ex-Lib, XLib) describes a book that once belonged to a public or institutional library (and has been deaccessioned). Usually these books show some markings on the title and copyright page, as well as the endpapers. I spend time cleaning up ex-library books to remove the worst of these sins: rear pockets, stickers, dirty dust jacket covers, dirty plastic covers (sometimes just doing that makes a world of difference), etc. Sometimes I will state that X-lib books contain “usual markings”, it means it will have stickers, stamps, etc. All ex-library books are so noted, along with a condition grade. There is no such thing as an ex-library book in As New condition, but many are Very Good, and sometimes the dust jackets (in new plastic protectors) are beautiful.
The above terminology is the same I use to describe the variety of vintage items available in Shuushuu by Lulu. I do not use the term Poor because I try very hard not to acquire anything that is in Poor condition, if I end up with anything from an estate sale or allotment which is poor, I usually end up donating it to a local charitable organization or putting it in the garbage.
I am always thinking of ways to improve the shopping experience for my customers or soon-to-be customers. It is always difficult to buy on the Internet because you cannot feel it or try it on for size. The worse thing is to open you wonderful package of the one thing you have been waiting a week or two for, and it looks just like it did in the picture. You are excited and decide to quickly try it on and Huh oh… it doesn’t fit. This guide is here to hopefully alleviate some of that frustration. It is a guide specifically for Shuushuu by Lulu, because it is the measurements I take and post for my available listings.
Clothing comes in standard sizing, although the human body does not! I list the size of all clothing if the size is still attached to the label of the item listed. But I also give measurements of typical areas of the body, in order to keep you informed and to provide a guide for buying within my shop. This guide is for both men and women!
Bust: The measurement is taken under the arm, across the chest.
Waist: the measurement is taken at the narrowest part of the top. It is generally located between your rib cage and belly button.
Hips: The measurement is taken at the fullest part of your hips and buttocks, usually located 7 to 9 inches below your natural waist.
Length: I usually take the length measurement from either the Neck or the Shoulder, perpendicular to the floor and to the end hemline on the garment.
Shoulders: The measurement is taken from the outer edge of one shoulder to the outer edge of the other. Keep the tape parallel to the floor.
Neck: this measurement is taken around the neck, directly over the Adam’s apple.
Chest: the measurement is taken across the chest over the nipples.
Sleeve: the measurement is taken from the underarm seam to the cuff hemline.
Waist: the measurement is taken around the body at the natural indentation of the waistline, over the belly button.
Hips: the measurement is taken at the fullest part of the seat.
Inseam: the measurement is taken from the inner crotch to the top of the foot.
Width: I use this measurement for the narrowest part of a garment if it is a straight cut. E.I: a Shift, Vest, Tube dress or top, etc.
I hope you enjoyed this post…Till Next Time!!!