We use the Goldmine Grading Standard to grade our records. The following is a basic guide to what each individual grade means:
Absolutely perfect in every way. Certainly has never been played or is sealed.
Near Mint (NM or M-)
A nearly perfect record. A NM record has more than likely never been played. The vinyl will play perfectly, with no imperfections during playback. The record should show no obvious signs of wear.
Very Good Plus (VG+)
VG+ records may show some slight signs of wear, including light scuffs or very light scratches that do not affect the listening experience. Slight warps that do not affect the sound are OK. VG+ records might have some light cosmetic wear but will play excellent with very minimal surface noise.
Very Good (VG)
Many of the defects found in a VG+ record will be more pronounced in a VG record. Surface noise will be evident upon playing, especially in soft passages and during a song's intro and fade, but will not overpower the music otherwise. Groove wear will start to be noticeable, as with light scratches (deep enough to feel with a fingernail) that will affect the sound.
A record in Good condition can be played through without skipping but it will have significant surface noise, scratches, and visible groove wear. While the record will be playable without skipping, noticeable surface noise and "ticks" will almost certainly accompany the playback.
Many of the defects found in a Good record will be more pronounced in a Fair record. We rarely offer records in this condition. The exception being that it is a very rare record and is still playable without skipping.
Any record with only a price sticker and no grade sticker has either a Mint, Near Mint, or Very Good Plus grade. All other records will have an additional sticker underneath the price tag to indicate the grade (i.e. Strong VG, VG, Good, etc.).
If an LP jacket has a poorer grade than the vinyl itself, we will usually indicate this with a sticker on the jacket (i.e. Vinyl: VG+ Jacket: Good).
Customers are welcome to inspect records as long as they are handled safely and are carefully reinserted back into the jacket as they were. All records should be handled by either touching the center labels or the outer rim of the record. The record surface itself should never be handled. If you have any questions, we are happy to assist you.