Antique / Vintage - typically an antique is defined as an item 100 years old or older, and vintage seems to be more relative to whoever is handling an item. When a dealer signs up to sell in an organized market or antique mall, there are typically guidelines defining vintage, such as a minimum of being 25 years old, etc. If you're shopping fleas, auctions or estate sales, it's ok to ask a dealer the age of an item so you can make an informed buying decision before you pull out the cash (the universally accepted method of payment, best for bargaining). Always ask what methods of payment are accepted, and be prepared to have to pay additional if paying with anything other than cash.
Buyers and sellers have other names besides the obvious, and they can be used interchangeably for either: dealer, vendor, picker, junker, dumpster diver, hoarder (just checking to see if you're still with me). Early bird is a name given to shoppers who come early to sales, sometimes sanctioned (as in early bird entry fees), sometimes not (no early birds, no exceptions!) - typical for flea markets, estate sales.
Moving along to the treasures themselves, sellers want their
- NOS - new, old stock. This refers to anything that may be either vintage or antique, but must be evident that it's never been used before. Some items have notable signs of never having been used before, leading to more acronyms....
- NWT - new, with tags. Self-explanatory - never used, has original tag from retail. This does not always mean the item's in the best of condition. There are lots of variations on this type.
- NWOT - new, but without tags. In other words, if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then...
- MWT - mint, with tags. Same as NWT, only arguably better. The condition of the item looks like it could be on retail shelf today, it looks so good. No dirt, dinge or odors.
- MIB - mint, in box. The item is in excellent condition, and even though the original tag(s) may not be present, it retains its original box. Value of an item typical increases when original box is present. This might also be labeled as NIP - new, in package.
- As Is - it means an item usually has a flaw, not necessarily pointed out, and the price reflects consideration of the flaws. In short, it means, buyer beware.
- OOAK - one of a kind. A seller usually likes to promote something that is unusual or unlikely to be replicated, as buyers, especially in the secondary markets, like to score items that are original, as in unique or the first of its kind.
- EUC - excellent, used condition
- EPOC - excellent, pre-owned condition
- VG or VGC - very good condition
- SNAD - significantly not as described - this is both a descriptor and complaint, from the buyer's perspective in the online community. Sellers do NOT want to see this. Ever. It comes in the form of feedback or official complaint filed by a buyer, wanting to tell the world that what they bought was not what they saw in photos, or read in the written description of an item listed for sale. It can be a death sentence for an online buyer.