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    Used Vinyl Grading

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    When you are looking at used records on places like eBay, many sellers use strange acronyms to describe the quality and condition of the record for sale. As a person looking to score the highest quality records, it is important to know what you’re getting before you buy it. Let’s take a look…

    Mint (M): In short, this is a perfect record. If a record has been played, it is no longer considered Mint condition.

    Near Mint (NM, M-): A near mint record is in the best condition it can be after being handled. A Near Mint record has no obvious signs of wear. The cover sleeve should be in excellent condition, with very little wear. Many records in this condition have never been played.

    Very Good Plus (VG+): A record in Very Good Plus condition has been played and handled, but only by a careful and responsible owner. The record may have some very minor defects, but these defects must not affect the listening experience. The cover sleeve and liner materials are likely to show some signs of wear, but nothing serious.

    Very Good (VG): A record in very good condition has been played and handled, but for the most part still provides a rich listening experience. Records in this condition may have some noise present during quiet passages, and may have scratches that are noticable during playback. The covers and labels may have been defaced by writing or stickers.

    Good and Good Plus (G and G+): A record in Good or Good Plus condition will have surface noise, and may have slight scratches, but the record will play all the way through without skipping. These records also have noticable groove wear. While these records will have defects that are noticable during playback, they still retain the warm sound of a record, and are still pleasent to listen to.

    Fair and Poor (F and P): Records in fair and poor condition are generally not sought after. These records have damaged covers, and defects that detract from the listening experience. These records are likely to skip and have significant noise present during playback. These records are not recommended for anyone unless you’re getting a great price, and it’s something you really want.

    So, there you have it folks! The grades used by record collectors and merchants. Keep an eye out for those M and NMs!

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    Topics: Record Collecting | 3 Comments »

    3 Responses to “Used Vinyl Grading”

    1. rosie Says:
      June 20th, 2010 at 6:49 pm

      I see some grading at VG++ and even VG+++ I try to use the Goldmine grading.
      Thanks for this excellent blog. I am going to use it as a resource in the sale of my LP’s on Ebay.

    2. Mike C Says:
      August 26th, 2010 at 1:21 am

      I don’t do the V+++ but frequently use VG++. To msny people there is just too much room between VG+ and NM. Whether justified or not, I learned when I started selling vinyl ten years ago, even then VG+ which is nominally a close to flawless record but was perceived as being quite a few levels below that. Putting a VG++ or an EX between NM and VG+ allows you to get bidders or buyers to look at a record that you can’t with honesty say is NM but is very close. And these days buyers do not think VG+ is very close. You have to change with the market. I’ve seen some 10 point systems that I think would work even better if they were better understood. Mint is only for still sealed LPs. That only gives you 2 grades at greatly reduced prices for some records that are a lot better than getting one quarter of the MINT price if you go strictly by the Goldmine rating. I’ve found that it’s pretty hard to describe a VG++ or an EX record as opposed to NM or VG+. but I know it when I see it.
      Not a very good lesson, but it takes time.

    3. John Michel Says:
      May 19th, 2012 at 2:11 pm

      It is good that someone out there cares about buyers not being taken or scammed. This is excellent and a keeper for me. I love vinyl over cd and prefer them over the cd for quality of sound, but I hate being scammed and there are too many of these scammers on ebay and ebid. Thanks a lot for this article.