Record grading is necessarily subjective; it’s rare for two people to agree on the grade of any record. Unfortunately, grading is a necessary part of buying and selling records. After all, you want to know the condition of any item you are buying.
We strive to grade our records accurately and conservatively, using the Goldmine grading standards. If you are going to be surprised when your purchase arrives in the mail, we would rather you find it to be in better condition than you expected, rather than (as is often the case), much worse.
Our grading will refer to the wear on the vinyl itself; any other problems with either the record or the cover will be noted in addition to the grade. When it comes to grading, we treat all records equally, whether it’s a $2 item or a $2000 item. Our goal is for you to be happy with your purchase.
Still Sealed (sometimes referred to as SS) – Unopened, factory sealed, and believed to be unplayed and perfectly mint. Sometimes in the 1960s, records were resealed by jobbers, retailers, and cut-out distributors. In such cases, we will note this in the description.
Mint (or M) – Opened, but effectively perfect with no signs of wear or ever having been played.
Mint Minus (or M-) A record with only the slightest evidence of ever having been handled.
Very Good Plus Plus (VG++) A very clean record that has no marks aside from slight abrasions caused by removal from a paper inner sleeve or perhaps a few marks on the label caused by a turntable spindle.
Very Good Plus (VG+) A record that has had a number of plays and may have some superficial marks on the vinyl. Still very desirable condition.
Very Good (VG) A record that has generally been well cared for, but has seen a lot of play.
Grades below this are Very Good Minus (VG-), Good (G) and Poor (P). We will rarely, if ever, have records in stock in these grades unless they are extraordinarily rare.