Thanks for the info, that is great to know!
I have tried to be pretty selective about the loose figs I am picking up, most are from reputable dealers with 100% feedback and have detailed descriptions and photos. I have definitely noticed a few auctions that seem intentionally vague out there.
Last stupid question - what kind of a grading scale is being used on these things? I see lots of C10 and C9.5 but I have no idea what those points correspond to. Is it some kind of AFA standard?
That's a whole other story altogether. One person's idea of C9 may be different from yours. If they hold the figure by the head and shake it slightly and the limbs don't wobble, they may consider it C9. Upon further inspection though, it may have slight paint wear, factory paint overspray, or marks on the inner parts of the arms or legs.
I believe C10 figures DO NOT EXIST. There is always a flaw with a figure like the ones mentioned above. I've even seen ones opened from cut cards with marks on them from rubbing against the bubble or a mark probably made prior to leaving the conveyor to the bubble attachment area. Very few have ever graded AFA 100 and those sell for astronomical(and not worth it IMHO)prices.
There's not a universal grading system per say, but mostly what you decide you're willing to settle for as far as your own grading standard. Some collectors prefer figures minty ones in case they have to sell them sometime in the future. Others just want to display them in dioramas or give them to their kids to play with. In the latter case, it also keeps your kids attention away from "Daddy's Toys" in the house.
If you are looking for high grade figures. You might be better off buying ones on beat up cards and opening them. GASP!
I know some of you are shocked right now with me saying this, but I've seen everything from a POTF R2 Pop Up Saber to a ESB red Sanggletooth opened in front of me after I sold them to people who wanted minty figures and hated AFA. On the other hand, cut and damaged cards have lately brought higher prices since AFA collectors are sending them in to get the "U" or uncirculated grades. These add a premium price and spawned a whole new breed of collectors.
I do have lots of vintage figures available(loose and MOC) so if you're looking for certain ones, feel free to send me a PM and I can see what I can do for you. I'm also listed on Rebelscum under the same name if you need references or feedback.