vinyl records

It can say that record grading is necessary for those who are trading (buying/ selling) the records. For buyers, it must know what they can expect once choosing to buy the unseen records, in particular, it buys online – only seeing through the pictures without experiencing. On the other hand, sellers must make sure that meets the demand of the customers. Whatever you are looking for the records for your best turntable or you are a seller, the below guide will be useful for you.

The Guide to Grading Records

The Grading Terminologies

#1 – Mint


Basically, when mentioning to a brand new, it means Mint. Yes, no problem if you are trading the record ~ one day or 50 years of age. One new record isn’t played that is a mint record. In a case of an old record, it will not be sold back in a day. However, it is likely looked for buying after. Of course, you can mark it as a Mint record while it is a 50-year-old record. You must always remember that Mint is absolutely new without really good or mentioning to age.

Nonetheless, a couple of dealers are still struggling with it. Really, it is difficult to understand. It won’t be surprised when anyone complains if you are selling one Mint record that looks like it handled or played. The Mint notion is also used for sleeves. Accordingly, we can simply understand that an objective grading is Mint.

#2 – EX – Excellent/ VG+ – Very Good Plus

Excellent or Very Good Plus

EX (Excellent) – a UK grading has derived from the standard of the old Record Collector while VG+ (Very Good Plus) is based on the magazine and price instruction in the US, in particular, Goldmine. In general, both are pretty similar. If you see VG+ or EX, it has been handled or played. Nevertheless, the sound is to look like practically mint. Inevitably, the buyers can accept some light creasing or scratches – these ones are expected. In this condition, a record is actually a good copy. That’s right!

#3 – Very good

How is a Very Good record?

This one means that a record has a little tear and wear, but the sound is decent whether previously used. Although the surface of a very good can have many marks, it is no cracks, jumps, loud clicks, deep gouges,… Basically, it is considered as a well-played copy. Nonetheless, it makes sure no junked. We can entirely accept some noise or a little gentle crackle while running, but the sound should be clear without making discomfort.

#4 – Good

We can appreciate a good sleeve or record that will be good wear and heavy mark. However, it may still play a stable way whether it will be able to have cracks and pops a bit. Though it can get dirty at a sleeve, it is still pretty complete.

#5 – Poor

Frequently, a poor sleeve or record is sold unless it is a rare item. Once it mentions to poor, it means that that records can break, jump, or damage. But, it is still interested whatever it cannot play because it is the memory. For example, you have owned an Elvis Presley Sun 45 record – it cannot play, but you will not sell it as a normal record. With those who enjoy Elvis, its price is likely more than a good copy.

State an Obvious Way

If you sell the records online, you should remember a common rule – stating on the defects should be mentioned as much as possible. It is sure that the buyers will not complain about the product if they are known the disadvantages of the records – on the sleeve has a tear, for example. On the contrary, the buyers will feel discomfort if they purchase a damage record, but this one isn’t known beforehand.

For the time being, with the development of the technology, it isn’t difficult to show the sounds and images when we want to sell a record through the internet. Once buying and selling are clear and honest, no one must receive an uncomfortable surprise from you when purchasing. With the rare item, stating the defects a clear manner is very important. Let’s remember!

Stating obviously

If you have tended to buy or sell the rare records, you should know some the usual abbreviations that most record collectors and dealers use to describe blemished and faults:

  • Writing on label – WOL
  • Tear on sleeve – TOS
  • Sticker on label – SOL
  • Writing on sleeve – WOS
  • Mark on label (a glue residue, grease mark, or others) – MOL
  • Tear on label – TOL
  • No original center – NOC – this must be stated because it will be able to affect the value of your record.

Final Thoughts

All in all, you need to study before choosing to buy, especially, buying online. Yes, you can apply what this article mentioned above. In case you picked up a record described VG+, but the result, you received it look like the under-10’s-skate-club one that is ridden for the previous week. Our explanation of the grading record was wrong, right? No! Regretfully, groove blindness is developed by many sellers when grading the records. Accordingly, instead of sitting and sulking when receiving an over-graded record, you must immediately contact the seller after explaining your issue a polite way. Then, you ask them to pay your money back or adjust the price. On the other hand, you can also request a return, in case you purchased via PayPal.

Finally, you ought to know that record grading is a basic thing related to the rare records on the market today. Once you found the well-grade dealers, you must learn and consider reviews about them. Apart from, if you recognize that has a lying problem about them, you never utilize them again. We repeat that you let consider the above information a careful way in order to exactly know a vinyl record that you’d like to buy like your desire or not. Happy buying enjoy!

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