My AFA story

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Malach Ra, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. Malach Ra

    Malach Ra TFW2005 Supporter

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    A while ago, I bought a misb D16 japanese megatron(original, not reissue of any kind). While the box was in pretty crappy condition, the tape sealing the toy was firmly attached to the box and showed no signs of ever being lifted or tampered with. Since I have never seen one sealed before I decided to send it in to AFA and get it graded. Well, AFA chose not to grade it because they said it had flap creases on the sides from being opened, and since the tape was lifting alittle, that that was another sign that it was opened. I called and argued my case stating that the rest of the box had wear on it also to go with the sides creases(it was just wear, there was never any crease from being opened) and also I stated that the box was over 20 years old, of course the tape was going to lift alittle. I was on the phone for over an hour with these people, finally I just gave up. This happened August of last year. Speed up to now, I sell the megs and the guy who bought it sends it to AFA and guess what-THEY FUCKING GRADED IT. Not only did I loose a substantial amount of money, but it is the only Japanese original megatron ever graded. And I forgot, ITS A MEGATRON. They gave it a 70 overall grade. I've been trying to get the serial number from the grade, but the guy who bought it wont answer any of my emails. So to make it up to me, AFA says I can have 5 free grades, thats it. So ok, I send in the toys I want graded-along with the browning that they said was opened(the one where I cut the tape sealing because they said it was opened)-they said they would possibly regrade this. Long story short, they still have their heads up their asses, and the browning that was supposed to get a reconsidered grade never got graded. I fought with them thru email about the grades and subgrades, and basically they told me to shove it. It wouldnt be so bad if they were consistanly consistant about anything-good or bad. So with the potential loss of 2000+ and my five free grades to compensate for the loss, I say AFA can kiss my ass. They are useless. Their acylic boxing of toys is great, but their opinions of the toy conditions are totally fucked. Helen Keller could give better grades.

    Now if I was Cloud City or some other big company that graded ever little nick nack, then I bet AFA would be tired of kissing my ass by now.

    the toys that got the free grades. I asked if they could please put the artfire in a case that i could open, yeah, the sealed him in. idiots I tell you.
    [​IMG]

    owell, support AFA if you want.
     
  2. twee

    twee Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that's how AFA works; it's not so much about the condition of the toy as it is the amount of money you're willing to pay to get it graded properly.
     
  3. Draven

    Draven Banned

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    AFA = license to print money. I have heard stories of them even grading KOs without realising. Absolute bullshit IMO.
     
  4. Moonstreaker

    Moonstreaker The Evil Triplet

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    What a bunch of....well you already know my opinion of the AFA. I've made it clear on more than one occasion. This really Blows MR. Damn you got screwed, sorry to hear it.

    I can't believe that Trailbreaker only got an 85. Oh wait, yes I can. The only thing they do consistently is grade inconstantly.

    I think you should send them a random worthless TF that has been soaked in cat urine.
     
  5. Liokaiser

    Liokaiser Super Mod

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    It's sucks that the didn't bother grading that Megatron for you but for someone else they did.
     
  6. SureShot90

    SureShot90 Peace=superior firepower

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    AFA for the ban.
     
  7. BaronV

    BaronV MonsterOfTheWeek.com

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    Does AFA have any real competitors or are they the only game in town so they can monopolize the toy grading market? I’ve always found it interesting how prices jump with the AFA grading name if their grading system is not foll-proof.
     
  8. Might Gaine

    Might Gaine The Devil Express

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    Negatives:
    * AFA graded a toy that they had previously said was not gradeable
    * AFA wouldn't grade the Browning that sounds like it should have been gradeable
    * AFA wouldn't grade the Browning the second time it was submitted, despite saying they'd consider regrading it
    * They didn't put the Artfire in the sliding bottom case like you requested.

    Positives:
    * They graded 5 toys for you for free. That's about $300 worth of free grading. I don't know of any store/service that give that much to a dissatisfied customer.
    * The grades on the 3 graded figures appear to accurately reflect the condition of the toys (judging by the one picture, at least)

    It honestly sounds to me like you've just been unlucky in dealing with them. I've probably had about 30 toys graded by them, and I think probably the worst experience I've had dealing with them was the following. I sent them the box of my gold Hot Rod to put in a sliding-bottom case. They sent me back the sliding bottom case without the Hot Rod box. I told them about it, and they told me they'd send it right out to me. What they sent me was some ungraded GI Joe toy sealed in an AFA-case. I told them about this, and finally, they sent me the Hot Rod box. It was pretty aggrevating, but they made it up to me with a $15 credit, which I think was adequate considering that in the end there was no lingering damage done, just a little stress when I was worried about the toy's box.
     
  9. Might Gaine

    Might Gaine The Devil Express

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    It looks like an 85 to me... Not that you can tell the exact condition of a toy from one small grainy picture...
     
  10. Moonstreaker

    Moonstreaker The Evil Triplet

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    I saw the pictures of it before it went off to the AFA. That box is a solid 90...I'm going by other TF's I have seen graded with similar boxes. But with how consitent they are I wouldn't have been surprised if it got a 75.

    I also think the overall grade given is a complete sham. I have seen TF's with subs of b85 w95 t95 recieve an overall of 85. Yet I saw a galvatron reissue on ebay with subs of b95 w100 t100 with an overall of 100. Now how do you explain that one?
     
  11. Blue Meanie

    Blue Meanie Hello from the Gutter

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    My friend was actually considering starting a Transformers ONLY grading service. The whole concept was he was going to do a points grading system that deducted PER DEFECT. So you could have a 92.5 grade etc. And each one would come with a breakdown and sheet with example pics that showed how he graded everything. He asked me to start it up with him because I had the capital. But I fucking hate AFA, and couldn't start a company that would basically be doing the same thiing. But at least the grading would be accurate and fair and CONSISTENT! The thing that appealed to me is that after you had a handful of people have their stuff graded, and their happy responses, AFA wouldn't be worth shit, and people would be sending their stuff to be regraded. Not to mention he wanted to do a FLAT FEE that included grading, and then the case premium. Again, you would pay something CONSISTENT, not based on the value the toy would pull in on ebay.
     
  12. Malach Ra

    Malach Ra TFW2005 Supporter

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    I think the negatives outweigh the positives considering what they didnt grade for me. and 300 is just a drop in the bucket of what I lost on the sale. they gave the trailbreaker box a subgrade of 80 also, and it one of the best box's I have ever seen(and I have been at this awhile too.), also the gave the minerva toy an 85, when there is no discoloration atl all on the toy, and it is hard as hell to find one without it.
     
  13. RobotoChan

    RobotoChan Nothing to see here

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    Christ, AFA is such a piece of crap.
    I do not see the point at all of AFA and I would never spend money on something that was graded in such a way.
    They appeal to the collector mentallity in people, taking advantage of them and charging for the privilege.
    Evil people
     
  14. ams

    ams Generation All Veteran

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    With the level of dissatisfaction that the majority of the TF collecting community expresses with AFA, I am absolutely certain that I would never send any of my vintage items for grading.

    Since so many people seem to find the service arbitrary and meaningless, how does AFA continue to remain viable? It certainly doesn't seem like they're gaining any new converts, and over time would eventually go from being inconsistent to simply being disreputable.
     
  15. Vangelus

    Vangelus Long Live the New Flesh Moderator Content Contributor

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    The Megatron situation is -absolute bullshit-, I'm really sorry you had to go through that. :( 

    Never trusted AFA after I both discovered they're basically the only big grading company in town + saw the price-skyrockets their numbers cause. If it was a quantifiable machine doing the grading, maybe. But it's human beings, and the idea that human beings with no alternatives or competition by which to draw up a measure of standards can add -TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS- to a toy's value based on their personal assessment makes me incredibly wary.

    I really like their boxes, though! :D 
     
  16. Moonstreaker

    Moonstreaker The Evil Triplet

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    That's the only thing they do well.
     
  17. SureShot90

    SureShot90 Peace=superior firepower

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    Well go to your local DIY-retailer etc. and get some acrylic uv-resistant plastic and make your own boxes ! That' I'd do. My 2nd. PC is all "AFA-graded" in a big acrylic case with a "100% overall" sticker :D 
     
  18. Foster

    Foster Super Mod

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    It won't be long before some of these KOs get AFA graded as originals.
     
  19. Might Gaine

    Might Gaine The Devil Express

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    I haven't seen the pictures, so I can't really respond.

    My understanding, after having about 30 toys graded, is basically that when something receives a split grade like that, it's a very borderline piece and a close call, and at that point they make a judgement call. Toy condition is a continuum, not 21 different categories. So some things fall on the edge and they have to make the call as to what it should be. So an 85/90/90 piece that ends up with an 85 or a 90 should look almost identical. It's just something you realize you need to look out for when you are buying AFA-graded items--The sub-grades are just as important as the final grade.
     
  20. Might Gaine

    Might Gaine The Devil Express

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    Most of the people who hate AFA haven't had much experience with them from what I've noticed. Very infrequently do people actually back up their dislike of AFA with personal experience like Malach Ra has here. People just tend to cite the handful of times AFA has ever messed up and use them as examples of what is typical, when in fact it is very atypical. IMHO, AFA does a great job considering their constraints. They're very customer service-oriented as Malach Ra's $300 in free grading during a busy grading period demonstrates. From the 30 toys I've had graded, I've only disagreed with 1 or 2 grades, and even then it was just a matter of me putting less emphasis on a certain flaw than they did, which seems understandable to me.

    They continue to thrive because people like me have had pretty good experiences with them, and I'm far from alone on that. There are certainly a huge number of people that hate AFA for all kinds of reasons--people that dislike them on principle, people who believe that they're incompetent, people who have actually had bad experiences with them--but there are enough people who like AFA a lot (with good reason imho) such that it really doesn't matter. Similarly, a lot of people dislike chrome Lucky Draw items, but those continue to do well in the aftermarket. Enough people like them that it doesn't really matter how many people dislike them.
     

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