Card condition guide
When buying single cards on Sinnoh Shop, you'll see that each card will have its condition described in [brackets]. The grading of Pokemon cards is done differently per webshop/person; one person can consider a card to be Near Mint, while another person would grade it as Excellent condition. In the guide below, the grades used on Sinnoh Shop are elaborated. These will match almost completely with the current European standards, using the terms and grading standards of Cardmarket.
Most importantly; what you see is what you get! Always inspect the pictures of a card thoroughly. If a card is available multiple times in the same condition, the cards will all have very similar but not exactly the same amount and severity of wear.
A mint card is in perfect condition; no excuses. This means that the front is in perfect condition, there are no scratches on the surface, and the surface is perfectly clean. For the back it means that the card is indistinguishable from cards of a newly opened booster.
Near Mint [NM]
A Near Mint card looks like it has never been played without sleeves. Small allowances can be made, but the card generally shows no wear.
The border of NM cards can have small white spots, but they are very few and very small. Near Mint condition cards may have a few minor imperfections such as nicks on edges or light scratches.
For Excellent cards it is almost always clearly visible upon first inspection that the card is not in perfect condition. However, although the damage is clearly visible it is only of minor severity.
Excellent cards usually have a couple of white spots at the corners or around the border. The surface may have minor scratches that are visible upon closer inspection.
Cards in Good condition usually show strong wear all around the card. The edges and corners have many white spots, the surface can have scratches and the card might have accumulated some dirt on its surface. However, the card still only has damage that stems from regular play. The card has no water damage or bends whatsoever.
Light Played [LP]
Light Played condition cards have moderate wear, or flaws apparent to the naked eye. Light Played condition cards can show moderate border wear, mild corner wear, water damage, scratches , creases or fading, light dirt buildup, or any combination of these defects.
Played condition cards show signs of heavy wear. Played condition cards may include cards that have significant creasing, folding, severe water damage, heavy whitening, heavy border wear, and/or tearing.