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Vinyl record grading guide

This guide to grading vinyl records explains how we grade the records listed on our online record store. The below grading system clarifies how we grade the vinyl record (media) and how we grade the record cover / sleeve.

Please note that all our records are visually graded. If ever you are unhappy with a grading please contact us so we can sort out a return, refund or discount.


Mint – M

A record in mint condition is basically brand new - absolutely perfect.

Media / record

Brand new and unplayed. This vinyl record shows no signs of wear or use of any kind, and is most likely factory sealed.

LP Cover

Brand new, completely unmarked in any way - absolutely perfect. Like the media itself, the cover is most likely factory sealed.

Near Mint – NM

A NM record has been used but looks like it’s new.

Media / record

This record is used but looks brand new - it may have been played but shows no signs of wear and no marks or scratches of any kind. It is still shiny and glossy, and has no defects of any kind. A Near Mint copy is the holy grail of rare records.

LP Cover

A cover that is Near Mint looks brand new. It has no bends, creases, marks or price stickers or their residue on it and it is bright and colourful. 

Very Good Plus – VG+

Looks great but has some small signs of use.

Media / record

This record may show very minor signs of wear and use - small hairline scratches that do not affect the sound, light scuffs or a few small spindle marks - but will still look great. The record will still be glossy and clean, and will play well.

LP Cover

A VG+ cover may show some minor signs of age and wear. Small corner dings or creases, very light ring wear or edge wear and very small seam splits may be present, but the cover will still look bright and clean and perfectly acceptable. A VG+ cover may have a cut-out or small hole punched in it.

Very Good – VG

 

Media / record

A record which is described as VG will show visible signs of age and use. Scratches, scuffs and marks may be present on the disc, and spindle marks or writing may appear on the label. Groove wear may be evident - the disc may have lost some of its gloss and shine, and it may play with some noise audible, but will still be a pleasant listening experience.

LP Cover

A record cover in VG condition may have creases, ring wear, edge wear, writing on it, tape on the edges, rubbing, marks from sticker residue and other problems at the same time. It will be complete though, and will function well.

Good – G

Looks very well-used, but still plays.

Media / record

A Good record has heavy and obvious signs of use; it may be scratched heavily or labels may be marred. It will still play through without skipping but will have lots of surface noise.

LP Cover

A Good cover may be damaged from sticker removal, be marred by tape, writing or ring wear, have large creases or tears, or have large seam splits, or be discoloured and faded.