Re: Guitar Grading - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
If they took a photo of a neck joint crack then that's good enough for me, and you said chips, which you usually can see, but if only the clear is chipped, you may not see it at all. You have to look close for blems on any MC on in hand inspection, you'll probably never see in a picture.
Pictures matter if there are 50 of them, they're all large, clear, close, and in focus. Usually you get 7 or 8. And IMO pictures can be as deceptive as sellers. Bottom line, if you're really interested in buying something you ask alot of questions, starting with "have you given the body a close inspection for blems under strong light, light wiping scratches aside if it didn't leave the factory with them I need to know about them, please."
My file hasn't been updated in awhile but
From experience most people give an item a cursory once over before they list it for sale, quite often missing many flaws that all must be considered when determining what the value of the item is. Even if you think you have been thorough please induldge me, I'm a buyer and not a time waster.
Please look this over very carefully under bright light for any flaws, even tiny ones. Dinks, dents, finish cracks, chips, or scratches deep enough to catch a fingernail in the clearcoat. Same in the headstock, and any cracks in the neck especially behind the nut. Then check the neck for straightness and/or twist, making sure that it has relief [or frontbow] and that the truss rod is functioning properly. Also describe the condition of the hardware. Is there corrosion, worn, or blistering on the bass side of the trem and saddles, neck plate, etc. Thanks, Rich