I take grading very seriously and do my best to grade the LPs and CDs accurately. I do try to at least spot-check (i.e., play-grade to some extent) every item. On some items I rely on a visual grade only. Any expensive items (e.g., $50.00 USD and higher, will have been play-graded from beginning to end.
The gradations of condition I use are as follows, though the terms below are described vis-à-vis the LP itself (vs. the jacket). I do, on occasion, employ a plus (+) or minus (-) to further refine the grading of a particular item.
- MINT – should play flawlessly, like new and be free of marks and/or spindle trails.
- NM – should play near flawlessly, but may have non-sounding marks, spindle trails, or very minor sonic imperfections. Should be free of tics and/or even light surface noise.
- EXCELLENT – may have occasional patches of light surface noise, or a few scattered tics, though nothing repetitive.
- VERY GOOD – surface noise is more pronounced, but not overly obtrusive. Could still be considered a collector’s copy, though hardly a perfect one. Again, no repetitive tics.
- GOOD – better than a simple audition copy, but not a collector’s copy. Likely has significant surface noise, possibly repetitive tics, spindle marks and/or wear, grimy, etc.
- FAIR – really only serviceable as a audition copy or for some sort of study purpose. Will play though – no needle jumps. I do not sell LPs with needle jumps.
- POOR – simply a worse version of FAIR. Heavily played, worn copy that should not be purchased from a “collection” or “collector’s” standpoint.
- MINT – should look like new. Shrinkwrap could be torn, but the underlying jacket should be more or less flawless and free of any owners’ markings.
- NM – appears almost like new; perhaps minor corner bumping or very light shelfwear or discoloration; free of owners’ markings.
- EXCELLENT – possible light edgewear, corner wear, light discoloration; should be free of seamsplits or bends; maybe have discreet owners’ markings.
- VERY GOOD – may have a small seamsplit (generally less than 3”) and/or other defects (edgewear, corner wear, discoloration, owners’ markings).
- GOOD – noticeably aged or worn jacket; seamsplits, bends, owners’ markings, and/or discoloration apparent.
- FAIR – the jacket is still serviceable; definitely not a collector’s copy; multiple defects and/or wear.
- POOR – simply a worse version of FAIR: heavy wear, discoloration, tears, bends, splits, etc.
Here the grading is a bit simpler. When items are described as EX or VG, this refers to the booklet or traycard showing wear or damage. The CD itself should still be MINT or NM unless otherwise noted. Although I cannot provide a brand new jewel case in every instance, I will never send a CD in an old or dirty jewel case. The jewel case will either be new or almost new.
Please write with any questions. I will be happy to help. Thank you.