Since vinyl collecting is a new hobby for some of you, and grading seems to vary greatly between dealers, here is an overview of our grading system:
We use a modified version of the Goldmine grading system. Our system adds a few additional grades for better precision.
Please note: unless otherwise stated, our products are VISUALLY graded. With thousands of items available we just don't have the time or staff to play grade everything. We grade VERY conservatively, which makes for thousands of happy customers all around the globe!
All flaws worth noting to potential buyers (scratches, MINOR warps, cut out holes, saw marks, split cover seams, writing, etc.) WILL be listed in the item descriptions.
Still Sealed: When the item is still wrapped and unopened from the time it was originally manufactured. We do our best to ensure the items are not re-sealed before we acquire them for sale.
Mint: We NEVER grade any item "MINT"! Even brand new and untouched items, no matter how perfect they appear at first glance will have flaws. The flaws may be insignificant to most people, but a truly MINT item is absolutely perfect. This grade is THE MOST OVERUSED of all, primarily by sellers without much experience. If you see the word "MINT" used often, beware!
Near Mint (NM): Our highest grade. The item looks new/unused. With vinyl, it may have never seen a turntable. Covers are bright and crisp. NO splits or writing. Posters have NEVER been hung!
Near Mint Minus (NM-): An item that has VERY little (if any) use. The item looks NEARLY new. Vinyl may have LIGHT paper scuffing (light surface discoloration visible under the light caused by either contact with the paper inner sleeve or sometimes a minor pressing flaw; SCUFFS DON'T AFFECT PLAY). Covers may have a minor flaw such as a small wear spot or mark, but look otherwise NM. Ususally these small imperfections will not bother anyone but the most discerning collector.
VERY GOOD PLUS PLUS (VG++): Also known as Excellent Plus Plus (EX+): An item with a more noticible flaw, such as a scuff line on vinyl (a LIGHT surface mark that can be seen, but NEVER heard) or MINOR ring wear on the cover. Again, flaws that are minor and perfectly acceptable to most collectors.
VERY GOOD PLUS (VG+): Also known as Excellent (EX): Items that have been played, but cared for. Vinyl may have multiple scuffs or some LIGHT scratches that cannot be felt by lightly brushing with the fingernail. Vinyl should still play fine, usually with no noise. Covers may have light ringwear or edge wear. They may have minor writing or creasing. Still, flaws should not stop the collector from enjoying the item.
VERY GOOD (VG): Items show wear. Records may have light scratches. They should PLAY THROUGH with NO skips or repeats, but MAY have some popping, ticking or backround noise. Covers may have heavy ringwear, light staining, writing,etc., but will still be intact. VG records are good filler copies for collectors to fill a gap, or good copies for the less discerning record buyers. VG records are NOT trashed COPIES!
VERY GOOD MINUS (VG-): These items usually look rough. The only items we list in this condition are rare titles that someone may want to own, regardless of condition.