GTAF RARITY GRADING SYSTEM
" Rarity Grading System " is nothing new invented and represents a type of grading, based on previously established and proven rules of the collecting world, but for this one in particular, some of the factors could be specifically and purposefully leaning towards Rockstar Games Merchandise and products because of the given nature of the matter at hand.
*Credits of making, gathering and putting information together goes to The Forums respected Members and Groups.
The purpose behind the Grading System, finds its origins in efforts of the aforementioned, in order to
classify the Rockstar Games video games and related merchandise and above else, help and guide
people that are interested into collecting, whether with intention to sell or to buy anything related
to the official merchandise, games and memorabilia.
This is an actual comprehensive attempt, at least as comprehensive as it can get,
to try and gather as much relevant info as possible, in order to determine certain degree of rarity
in regards to mentioned merchandise, games and other memorabilia. It's not impossible that something has missed our eyes and exactly that could've been the judging factor all along.
PRODUCT RARITY GRADING
Every category is the result of the Basic and Special set of rules that directly affect and defines its nature and makes it as such. These Basic and Special rules are general framework behind the facade of the term ' Category '.
PARAMETERS: Basic & Special:
& Other Factors
Number of Units;
Nature and Quality;
Places of Allocation;
Age - Date of Release;
Edition and Versions
*Current Supply and Demand;
Types of Rarity Categories/Grading:
It would be easy to classify all merchandise in two groups of course; ' Common ' and 'Rare ', because that's what all merchandise is by it's nature, either common or rare. Although ' unique ', could also be added in its true sense of meaning. Everything else is just different shade, so every prefix added is some kind of amplifier in order to specially put emphasis on some product because of some of its characteristics. It is important that practical need exist before putting this prefix in front of the terms ' common ' or ' rare '. Maybe the main reason for grading different shades of rare is being introduced because of pricing, where you should expect to pay (or sell) something extra, only if it's ' extremely ' or ' uniquely ' rare. That doesn't mean, however, that the lower categories are worthless, on the contrary, but those two are the actual categories where extra price is something that could easily be expected.
OTHER FACTORS: (Stand-alone Factors)
Refers to a stand-alone factor, that could be viewed as a category for itself and also an important factor in determining rarity degree. Whether you are buying something as trivial as a set of stickers or as important as a vehicle, first thing you're interested in, is its ' condition '. You definitely don't want to pay the full price for something that is dead broken. That's way condition of any item can sometimes play a significant role in categorizing the items actual category and not only that but raising its price.
Eg; After long periods of time, decades mostly, first print editions of some games could reach price points that could leave any uninitiated scratching their heads. Why? It is of course understandable that those editions are long and gone discontinued. Finding one in it's original packaging, ' Brand New and Sealed' now presents a privilege. Especially games, which First Prints always tend to hide some additional bonus. Why go any further from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas?
Refers to the ability of any item classified in any category to progress or to degrees into other category during certain periods of time and due to qualitative or quantitative changes inside the Basic and Special sets of rules. Whenever some of the factors - or more of them -change its state, that's being transferred to an item that belongs to the specific category.
Eg; Of course, it's not even possible that something that's an actual mass production product change its state into being ' specifically hand made product in quantity of 10 ', but even mass-produced products found in their original packaging after decades could be considered as ' Rare', comparing to all those generic opened copies. The game itself hasn't became rare but, rather that specific type is, because of it's condition, so it's not 'common' to see.
Eg2; Reverse example. Assume, special set of couple of thousands has been given to a certain retailer. Assume, significant period of time passed. They are considered to be pretty much rare - nevermind their ' shade of rare ' - but rare nonetheless. After years have passed, the same ones started being printed-out on daily bases.
Pricing is a factor for itself also. It should mostly be a direct result of *Nature and Quality of the product, but sometimes it's the result of yet another factor, *Supply and Demand. Not so rarely, the actual price is just a subjective view of the buying and selling community or a seller in particular, especially in cases where additional information about factors don't exist or they do exist partially. Sometimes, properly set and official price automatically points to certain degree of rarity, and could be used as a compass in determining rarity.
This type of memorabilia and (rarely) games, is forged with scarcity of numbers in mind. Reduced to tens or more often just a couple of few, or as the name could suggest, down to one and unique item, this one should be the real embodiment and incarnation of the term " RARE ". Popularity at its peak, is something that goes completely natural with items of this category, all of the time at any given place and is automatically assumed. Made entirely for the purposes and pleasure of few, whether they are being members of any groups and/or contest winners, special attendees or sweepstakes and giveaway contestants, suggest highest exclusivity by default. Number of additional units produced could potentially be harmful for the given status, but additional circumstances needs to be reconsidered before degrading it. Missing it out originally at the place of sale or contest, means almost missing it out for good, 'cause these only tend to appear " once in a lifetime " on any given e-commerce site, with most likely doubled prices, as soon as they appear there.
Product of this category could be rated as the exclusive ones - where scarcity lies in the very core of the category itself. This kind of memorabilia is being sent out as a gift to a certain groups or specific people in particular and/or is commonly used as a reward of sorts in contest and/or special sweepstakes or giveaways of a certain importance. Number of items of this status and kind is limited down to hundreds, exclusively, but it could be expanded to thousands only if explicitly stated by the publisher/producer and if item holds a higher initial price, or any other special characteristic tied to it.
These are almost entirely " Specially Made " for the given occasions and contests, or limited time offers. Places of allocation are reduced to a single, or rarely a few more places where you can find them. These don't have versions, because of the " Specially Made " status. Number of additional units produced could potentially be harmful for the given status, but additional circumstances needs to be reconsidered before degrading it. In the collectors world, the demand for such items is always at its peak, so it's no wonder that when they do appear at some of the e-commerce sites, the price could go 2, 3 or even more times compared to their original - initial one.
The very first category in which scarcity plays a significant role. Items that could be classified as " Very Rare " by their nature, tend to be exclusively a products of some limited editions and never the products of mass production. They could be tied to one or more specially held events or circumstances, time limited offers or contest in some cases and/or sweepstakes and giveaways. Their numbers, in general should be counted in hundreds, but depending on the specific items and their nature, it is far from uncommon to see them in thousands. They could appear on shelves of the well known stores, but exclusively as limited time offers with limited quantity. Almost entirely, couple of factors combined determine the status of this category.
Popularity is the factor that points to a higher demand for products in this sphere, and thus the initial price could change through times resulting in the new higher price and as such, afterwards they appear only at certain places and times - like e-commerce sites - where they could be bought or sold.
The very first Cat. that has at least one of the base parameters that could be viewed as something out of importance and most of the times, only that one specific factor originating either from basic or special set of rules is pointing out to a certain measurable quality over lower categories that sets them apart and acknowledging as ' rare '. It's not excluded though, that the defining parameter is a combination of 2 or more factors eg; edition + date of release + condition, or on the other hand, in most of the cases it might be only one particular factor that defines the status and thus the whole category, eg; Collector's Edition.
In general, these are produced in lesser amounts, most of the times thousands. It's not entirely strange to see this type of games and memorabilia in stores of mass consumerism, but the shelf time could be limited there, since the popularity for these could burst through the roof at any given period of time. Availability could be quickly reduced to only specific places for them to be collected there or at specific times, in the form of limited offers or the lasting supplies. Also, the first category that's roughly defined by dates, events or special occasions, time-limit offers Most importantly of all, this is the entry category where Supply & Demand game commences by making waves and changing it's initial price where the new market value has been set.
Still mass-produced, a large number of units in circulation, mainly hundreds of thousands, not so typically millions - but not excluding - release dates or special announcements could possibly play a role, but only to some extent. General availability in many places of mass consumerism is still present, often as comprehensible as within the Common Category. Significant supplies, most of the times easy reachable through some effort might be needed sometimes. Mainly classified as Promo Materials ' of a lesser value ' intended for general public.
Product of a mass production - hundreds of thousands, almost enitely millions of units in circulation.
Availability through official stores, date of release or announcement itself are irrelevant - general availability. Abundance of Supplies easily reachable. Something that could be closely tied to a recent date of release, not only measuring it in real time, but taking some milestone of sorts as a measuring device, eg; current console generation or a current game or a memorabilia tied to it. No particular Edition is released, they are rather generic in nature - normal.
-PRODUCT CONDITION GRADING-
Types of Product conditions:
Brand New and Sealed
I) Almost Invisible scuffs to the outer
protective package to a very few Minor scuffs
II) Clearly visible and random tears to the outer
protective packaging, but nothing that indicates
dents or cracks to the casing or product itself.
III) Almost entirely teared out outer protective
packaging, even dents and cracks in the protective
New and opened
I) Almost Invisible - normal- scuffs to the inner protective
casing to a very few minor scuffs or signs of degrading
on material due to objective reasons;
II) Clearly visible scuffs to some random smaller tears
or signs of degrading casing material due to age or use
at random but fewer spots.
Opened - Very Good
No Grading, but everything is definitely there,
unmistakably visible scuffs and minor tears, or
any other indication of product being regularry
No grading, something might be missing from the
original packaging, evident signs of prolonged
and often usage, scuffs, even random smaller dents
No Grading, heavy and everyday usage, missing
contents, scuffs, numerous deep dents and cracks.
Could possibly be in inapplicable or nonworking state.
Other Irrelevant conditions
Completely broken or in random parts, heavy
usage with deep dents, cracks and other signs
that point out to general malfunction.
BUYING AND SELLING
It's easy to refer to any e-commerce site as an valuable and reliable source of pricing information.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Most of the times, terms in the' rare categories ' are being used interchangeably. Something that's by the terms of this grading system simply ' Rare ', some sellers could easily describe as 'ULTRA RARE' piece of memorabilia alluding to the " Extremely Rare" status. It is highly understandable that sellers and buyers both strive to receive the best possible price on the deal, but any price is needed to be backed up by proven facts.
For example, it is understandable that any given product in Rockstars Warehouse having a certain price, to be slightly more expensive when selling it via e-commerce site. Especially if product is sold-out at RWH.
Nothing is perfect, just like this grading system, but striving for certain amount of comprehensiveness is what we intend here and inevitably what we need in order for anyone to have the complete picture about the given matter.
If you have any remarks, ideas or guidances feel free to let us know in corresponding topic of the
Collectors Forum, here at GTAForums.
*topic might still be under construction.
Administration and Staff of GTAForums