Vinyl Record Grading

Vinyl records are available in various conditions, dependant on their age and how well they have been cared for. To help you select a record that meets your needs, we grade both the vinyl record and it’s sleeve.

  • Mint

    In every way, this record is perfect. It has likely never been played, and may even be sealed.

  • Near Mint

    A nearly perfect record that will play perfectly without any playback defects. The vinyl should show no signs of wear and the 45 RPM or EP sleeves should show only minor signs of handling. Expect covers and inserts to be free of creases, folds, seams splits, cut-out holes, or other obvious defects. This is also true for posters and lyric sleeves.

  • Very Good Plus

    The record will show some signs of previous play and handling by a previous owner who took good care of it. Any defects will be cosmetic in nature and shouldn't affect the playback of the recordings. There may be some surface wear and scuffs or very light scratches on the record, but this does not impact the listening experience. A slight warp that does not affect the sound is okay in this grade. It is possible that the label may show some ring wear or discoloration but shouldn't be noticeable. A picture sleeve or inner sleeve may have some light wear, hinges that are slightly bent, or an indentation on the cover. A vinyl LP cover might have a cut-out hole, indent, or crack.

  • Very Good

    Surface noise may be audible during play on this record, especially during soft passages and during an intro and fade, but will not come across as overpowering to the music. Groove wear will start to show, as will light scratches that may impact sound quality. LP covers and picture sleeves can be marked by writing, tape or stickers, and there may be residue on them as well. However, all of these problems may not occur simultaneously.

  • Good And Good Plus

    When a record is in good condition, you can play it through without skipping. There will, however, be significant surface noise, scratches, and visible groove wear. There will be seam splits on a cover or sleeve, especially near the bottom or on the spine. The cover or sleeve may have tape, writing, or ring wear.

  • Fair And Poor

    Recordings with a Fair grade may be cracked, badly warped, or cannot be played through without skipping or repeating. In some cases, the picture sleeve has been water damaged, split along seams, or heavily damaged by wear and writing. If the LP cover is damaged enough, it may barely keep the LP in place. A complete split may be present, or the sleeves may be crinkled or written on.