All vintage lunch boxes are bought and sold based on their condition. This is where Grading comes into play.
Below is a list of a Lunch Box grading Scale from 1- 10. 1 being the worst and 10 being the best.
For more information on Lunchboxes click here
Grade 10: Mint condition, a new lunch box with no traces of any damage, scratches, etc. It is just like it was purchased from the store including having original tags or original packaging from the store.
Grade 9: Almost in Mint condition but not quite. It may be missing its original tags, packaging etc. Might have one slightly visible wear usually on the bottom where it stands from shelf friction but overall almost completely new. No wear on the front or back as these are the two main focal areas.
Grade 8: Some minor scratches and scuffs but overall still looks shiny from the surfaces and no major dents or major scratches that it still looks almost new.
Grade 7: May have small scratches without any major distractions with some fading but nothing major.
Grade 6: A little more usage is visible with some scratches or very minor dents now visible. Color and luster of the surfaces both inside and out still looks decent with good reflectivity Very minor rust in the inside if any. .
Grade 5: Dents and scratches are now very visible and paint surface is now faded. Inside may or may not have light rust.
Grade 4: Very bad surfaces for the most part with some rust especially on one side being completely scratched or dented with rust visible but still has most of the design visible.
Grade 3: Most of the design is now very faded and even hard to make out with many rust spots scratches and dents. Not usually collectible in this condition but still somewhat of a market for them.
Grade 2: Really bad looking lunch box in this condition. Usually very rusted, bent or major scratches and even missing components such as handle or latches. May not close correctly or missing parts. Note: missing thermos holding wire does not distract more than .5 of a grade when lunch box is in Grade 6 or higher. In Grades 5 or lower missing thermos wire holder does not distract from grade.
Grade 1: Almost unusable or not working by not closing or missing parts or components and hard to discern what lunch box it is.
Image in Grade 1 by Etsy.com, all other images by eBay.com.