VinylRefuge


Record Grading

Grading applies to CD discs and vinyl only. Cover condition can be seen on the image.

MINT (M)

These are absolutely perfect in every way.

NEAR MINT (NM OR M-)

A good description of a NM record is that " it looks like it just came from a retail store and it was opened for the first time." In other words, it’s nearly perfect. NM records are shiny, with no visible defects. Writing, stickers or other markings cannot appear on the label, nor can any "spindle marks" from someone trying to blindly put the record on the turntable. Major factory defects also must be absent; a record and label obviously pressed off center is not Near Mint. If played, it will do so with no surface noise. (NM records don’t have to be "never played" ; a record used on an excellent turntable can remain NM after many plays if the disc is properly cared for.) NM covers are free of creases, ring wear and seam splits of any kind.

VERY GOOD PLUS (VG+) or EXCELLENT (E)

A good description of a VG+ record is "except for a couple minor things, this would be Near Mint." 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. Minor signs of handling are OK, too, such as telltale marks around the center hole, but repeated playing has not misshapen the hole. There may be some very light ring wear or discoloration, but it should be barely noticeable. VG+ covers should have only minor wear. A VG+ cover might have some very minor seam wear or a split (less than one inch long) at the bottom, the most vulnerable location. Also, a VG+ cover may have some defacing, such as a cut-out marking. Covers with cut-out markings can never be considered Near Mint.

VERY GOOD (VG)

Many of the imperfections found on a VG+ record are more obvious on a VG record. VG records have more obvious flaws than their counterparts in better shape. They lack most of the original gloss found on factory-fresh records. Groove wear is evident on sight, as are light scratches deep enough to feel with a fingernail. When played, a VG record has surface noise, and some scratches may be audible, especially in soft passages and during a song’s intro and ending. But the noise will not overpower the music otherwise. Minor writing, tape or a sticker can detract from the label. Many collectors who have jukeboxes will use VG records in them and not think twice. They remain a fine listening experience, just not the same as if it were in better shape. VG covers will have many signs of human handling. Ring wear in the middle or along the edges of the cover where the edge of a record would reside, is obvious, though not overwhelming. Some more creases might be visible. Seam splitting will be more obvious; it may appear on all three sides, though it won’t be obvious upon looking. Someone might have written on it or stamped a price tag on it, too.

GOOD (G), GOOD PLUS (G+) or VERY GOOD MINUS (VG–)

Good does not mean bad! The record still plays through without skipping, so it can serve as filler until something better comes along. But it has significant surface noise and groove wear, and the label is worn, with significant ring wear, heavy writing, or obvious damage caused by someone trying to remove tape or stickers and failing miserably. A Good to VG– cover has ring wear to the point of distraction, has seam splits obvious on sight and may have even heavier writing, such as, for example, huge radio station letters written across the front to deter theft. If the item is common, it’s probably better to pass it up. But if you’ve been seeking it for a long time, get it cheap and look to upgrade.

POOR (P) and FAIR (F)

Records may skip and/or repeat when an attempt is made to play them. Covers are heavily damaged.

SEALED ALBUMS (S)

Factory-sealed albums and/or record never been taken from the sleave.

CD Grading

BRAND NEW (BN)

An item that has never been opened or removed from the manufacturer's sealing (if applicable). Item is in original shrink wrap (if applicable).

LIKE NEW (LN)

An item that looks as if it was just taken out of shrink wrap. No visible wear, and all facets of the item are flawless and intact.

VERY GOOD (VG)

An item that is used but still in very good condition. No damage to the jewel case or item cover, no scuffs, scratches cracks, or holes. The cover art and liner notes are included. The VHS or DVD box is included. The video game instructions and box are included. The teeth of disk holder are undamaged. Minimal wear on the exterior of item. No skipping on CD/DVD. No fuzzy/snowy frames on VHS tape.

GOOD (G)

An item in used but good condition. May have minor damage to jewel case including scuffs or cracks, or to the item cover including scuffs, scratches, or cracks. The cover art and liner notes are included for a CD. VHS or DVD box is included. Video game instructions are included. No skipping on CD/DVD. No fuzzy/snowy frames on VHS tape.

ACCEPTABLE (A)

An item with obvious and significant wear but is still operational. May have tears or holes in VHS/DVD box. The video game instructions and box may not be included.