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Quick question, what's the difference between new and mint?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by s.c., Aug 31, 2010.

  1. s.c.


    Mar 2, 2003
    When browsing the exchage, it seems that "new" and "mint" are often used interchangeably, but sometimes it seems to be used to describe different levels of condition.

    What exactly is the difference?
  2. FunctionMode


    Jul 25, 2010
    New is new. Mint is in new condition, but may be a used product.
  3. ajpalda


    Aug 12, 2007
    New is just that - maybe taken out of the box and looked at, but never used. Mint is used, put in pocket, etc, but still in so immaculate condition that one cannot tell the difference.
  4. Cisco Kid

    Cisco Kid

    Oct 20, 2009
    The term mint is a bastardization of the equivalent term in coin collecting that means that a coin has never been circulated or touched by human hands since it has been made. In practice, as used in fleebay and other parts of the used goods world, it means little to nothing.

    To me, the term "new" means "as it came from the factory and never unpackaged." However, most will open a box and handle the goods and still call them new. The term "mint" is used too liberaly to mean anything more than "in very good condition."
  5. s.c.


    Mar 2, 2003
    That's what I thought. I would agree with your definition but it seems that there's lots of variation. So true about "new" knives. Since knives are rarely packaged in clamshells or shrinkwrapped boxes, I sure many people are at least fondling them, checking the blade centering and blade play, maybe cut a piece of paper, even put it in their pocket to see how it rides...and selling them as "NIB." I know I'm guilty of it, but it seems to be the accepted term.
  6. -Ranger-


    Mar 23, 2010
    I think it depends on the person. I am completely honest about the condition. New to me does not mean carried; it means new. But when dealing with other people I take new with a grain of salt. I agree with you all thus far in that NIB or "like new", etc. should be just that. Indistinguishable from a new knife. Maybe it's been fondled or put in a pocket a few times, but if you set it on the table side by side with a new one, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

    If it has been carried or is a "user" just say so, post some decent pics, and price it accordingly.

    I make it a habit to confirm the condition of an item before buying. Most people thus far have been very honest and great to deal with. But there have been a few sellers that confirmed "like new" condition or "rock solid lockup" and the knife was clearly regularly carried, had spot of rust on the blade, or had blade play.

    The one billed as "like new" was bought to be a user anyway so, not cool, but no biggy. I was able to clean up the "like new" knife with surface rust and I carry that one too. The one with vertical play kind of ticks me off. Described as "like new", "very little light carry", and "rock solid lockup" was so loose when I recieved it that it rattled when you shook it. I messed with the pivot and got most of the play out, but I can't seem to eliminate it entirely. :thumbdn: Luckily I got a good price and the knife has a good warranty so I may send it in to see if they can figure out what's wrong.
  7. Sep


    Mar 14, 2009
    To me new means new, fresh out of the box. Mint means in such good condition that you can't tell it's not new. I usually take very good care of my stuff, and combined with my anal retentive tendency an item can stay in mint condition in my hand for months.
  8. waynejitsu


    Oct 1, 2002
    New is-

    A piece of candy, unopened.

    Mint is a piece of candy I opened and either played with a bit, tasted it and spit it back in the wrapper or just opened the package, took a look and closed it back up.

    It all depends on "who" is telling you it is mint, LOL!!
    I prefer to describe mine as mint as I just opened the package, took a look and closed it back up, however, I have received some as the played with and spit it back in..., YUCK!!
  9. Ronindan


    Apr 30, 2010
    A bit far fetched but it is a funny analogy. :thumbup:
  10. waynejitsu


    Oct 1, 2002
    It was supposed to be:D
  11. Mathew J

    Mathew J

    Apr 7, 2002
    Wow, so not having dealt in too many knife trades but having been involved in many others I can safely say I have never, ever bought anything regardless of how it was packed that was "perfect", everything has some kind of a scratch or some type of imperfection if you look hard enough...and what is more I find that with more expensive items, especially those which I manage to get a discount of, there is often less "perfection" be it "shop wear" or just quality control issues from the factory or a combo of the two.

    With that said I always take new in box to mean just that, new never "used", to me this means someone could have opened the package, as most boxes for items are in fact opened in the retail stores so the product could be displayed, especially for more expensive goods where chances are a number of people might handle the item. The only exception is when the box has a tamper seal or what not but again that is pretty rare

    Unless I am paying full MSRP on a special order, or I know the item is readily discounted and there are many availabile I will just take what is on hand provided the condition is good enough, though I have met a few that will demand the dealer gives them a "fresh" piece (not surprised if many dealers just take another shop piece and pass that off as "fresh" though)

    Mint to me means as if it were new but may have been tried out for an extended period.
  12. steeldragon


    Jan 31, 2007
    This was a good thread for me to read. I was using it different then most. If I sell as NIB it is just that, never used or carried. If I use the term mint it still means new but better then the standard new in box, in other words I have looked it over to make sure it was centered, flawless, etc, in case a potential buyer was looking for something for their collection. I have never sold a used knife as mint. I realize now I better start asking more questions when buying as well.
  13. CL01


    Apr 19, 2007
    I'm surprised by the comments. I've always thought NIB is basically as it came from the factory, but may have been taken out to look over, etc.

    I personally think LNIB is what people in the thread are saying mint is, taken out & opened/closed, maybe tried in the pocket, but not actually used.

    I think of mint more towards discontinued knives & more along the lines of what mint means in coin collecting. Mint to me means unused/uncarried & in the case of coins, uncirculated. Basically very similar to NIB, but perhaps made sure there're no issues, either.

    I guess it's good to now that others' "mint" isn't what I'm thinking, because I'd be disappointed.
  14. Mathew J

    Mathew J

    Apr 7, 2002
    the other question is if something is truly "mint" then how would one ever know if it was looked at funny or breathed on.

    I think too many get caught up in the whole concept of "new" especially in circles dealing with things such as this...

    even when dealing with a retail store you have no idea if something sold as new is infact something someone else had returned and was careful with, unless you're talking something that has documentation tied to it which has to be signed off on and even that can often times be regenerated by the manufacturer.

    mint and new should be interchangable as they really both mean the same thing, something that truly hasn't been "used"
  15. _habit_


    Oct 14, 2006
    Personally I say NIB when something is unused, in perfect condition and has a box to be in. That's what I expect from others. That it's been touched doesn't make it used. That it has been carried or cut does.

    If it's been carried or used, but looks still brand new, then it's LNIB. Interchangeable with mint I think.

    Fact is, you buy a knife, someone has opened it to make sure it meets QC. You buy a guitar, someone has played it in order to set it up to some degree. You buy a car, someone has driven it on the lot I'd imagine. I wouldn't want to buy something second hand that the person had never physically looked at. Seems a bit silly. And a lot of people ask knife dealers to check for good lockup or blade centering. I don't think they then ask for a discounted price for handling :p

    But just my $.02 :thumbup:


    Oct 29, 2005

    you're guess is as good as mine.

    i just try and describe items im selling in plain english.

    in fact, i am in favor of banning words and phrases like: nib, lnib, mint, etc. i think it would simplify the exchange, especially for someone new to the forums.
  17. CL01


    Apr 19, 2007
    After reading this thread, that's a very good point. Give the best description possible & let the description & pics (But those can be misleading, too) be your guide & the agreement that a transaction isn't fully complete until "both" parties are satisfied.
  18. waynejitsu


    Oct 1, 2002
    One thing I learned from this thread-
    Everyone has a different meaning of the word.
  19. Sep


    Mar 14, 2009
    I'm in favor of a standardized description. There should only be 2 general categories: new or used. Within those two you can have subcategories. Example:

    New - unopened
    New - opened
    Used - mint
    Used - visible marks (where)


    Oct 29, 2005

    this is also a good general guideline.

    but cold feet dont count as unsatisfied, imo. if the description, condition, or quality are inaccurate, then a refund or un-trade is appropriate.

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