Vinyl Value Records – Our Grading Guidelines
Our vinyl is visually inspected under strong light and the sound always sampled in a number of places especially where a flaw can be seen. We grade thousands of items a year but grading can be a little subjective. We have a no-quibble Money Back Guarantee in the rare event that an item is not as described so if you are not happy please contact us to resolve. To the gradings below we add anything specific we believe will help the buyer to understand better the condition of the item.
Gradings are Sleeve/Vinyl.
MINT (M): No stickers or address labels, writing on the covers or labels. No tears or seam splits. No wear to the cover. Looks shop-fresh.
NEAR MINT (M-): The cover looks close to perfect with only minor signs of handling, wear or age.
EXCELLENT (EX): Artwork is still near perfect. Some impression to the cover (very minor outer ring wear) but no writing, tears, splits or stains. Some slight creases to the corners, but not wrinkled and obtrusive. Fully legible spine.
NEAR EXCELLENT (VG++): Clean cover with slightly more aging. Clearly well-looked after. Some very minor wear to the seams or spine may be present, but no significant writing, tears or splits.
VERY GOOD PLUS (VG+): A typical average used cover. Obvious wear but with no major flaws. Possibly has some minor writing, sticker tearing or splits. Maybe some minor wear to the seams or spine. Any flaws would be mentioned and generally few in number.
VERY GOOD (VG): Cover is intact, looks attractive but has slightly more aging. The back of the cover may have discolouration due to age or light staining or tape residue. Will have some writing, sticker tearing, creasing or splits or seam and spine wear in some combination. Any flaws would be mentioned.
VERY GOOD MINUS or GOOD+ (VG- or G+): Cover is fairly tatty but still does its job of protecting the record. Will have a significant combination of flaws which will be mentioned.
MINT (M): Perfect. Looks unhandled as if it has just left the manufacturer, with NO flaws, scuffs or scratches, blotches or stains. We believe few, if any, 2nd hand records can be like this so we do not normally use this grade on used records.
NEAR MINT (NM or M-): Appears virtually flawless, very minor scuffs under bright light and very little else can appear on the vinyl. Any flaw is very hard to see and should not sound. Labels will have no writing or tears and have no more than a few light spindle marks.
EXCELLENT (EX): Shows no more than a couple of minor scuffs or hairlines which are hard to see. It should play without any noise over the flaw and there will be minimal lessening in sound quality compared to a new record. Labels will have no writing or tears and may have a few spindle marks.
NEAR EXCELLENT (VG++): A very well-looked after record with a few visible light scuffs or hairlines. Nothing feelable and no obvious noise over any flaws. No skips or jumps. Possibly some faint background noise audible in run in and between tracks, otherwise nothing to lessen the enjoyment. Labels will be clean and fresh and may have moderate spindle marking but no significant hole wear. Any obvious flaws will be mentioned.
VERY GOOD+ (VG+): A typical average used record. Still very enjoyable with no major flaws. Shows more scuffs or hairlines. Nothing feelable but may produce some minor noise over the flaw and some faint background noise in quieter passages and between tracks. No skips or jumps unless stated. Labels will be clean and fresh and show more wear. Any obvious flaws will be mentioned.
VERY GOOD (VG): Record shows wear and surface scuffs. The vinyl still has a great sheen, but the flaws will be noticeable to the naked eye. There may be a couple of feelable light scratches, which may sound but will play through without skips, jumps or loud pops or clicks. May have occasional light crackle but the music will predominate and still be enjoyable to most fans. Possible writing or marks on label. A VG grade does not denote a trashed record.
VERY GOOD MINUS or GOOD+ (VG- or G+): Record shows obvious wear and scuffing with a number of marks, some of them feelable and sounding. Will play through well but likely with background noise, a few clicks and possibly one or two minor skips or jumps. Significant spindle and hole wear is likely. The music will still predominate.