Vinyl Record Grading System
Here is a helpful Grading System that will help you grading your records but also give you an explanation as to what our grading means.
VINYL RECORD GRADING SYSTEM
Mint [M], or Still Sealed [SS]:
Perfect in every way. Usually only a sealed vinyl will get this grade. However there are sealed vinyl that might not be Mint. In those cases we most often list those as SS but usually mention any known issues.
Near Mint [NM]:
The record shows no obvious sign of wear, appearing unplayed. An LP jacket has no creases, folds, seam splits or any other noticeable similar defect. No cut-out holes, either. Basically, Near Mint looks as if you just got it home from a new record store and removed the shrink wrap.
Near Mint Minus [NM-], and [VG++]:
Same as above, yet shows only faint paper scuffs on the surface only. A VG++ record will just have more than NM- and less than VG+. No noise from scuffs will be heard unless from the pressing itself (in which most of the time is the case. Rarely does vinyl have no noise). VG++ is for an LP with only a medium amount of paper scuffs, still no effect on play besides that of the pressing itself (no loud pops nor skips).
Very Good Plus [VG+]:
Shows some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it. Record surfaces may show some slight signs of wear and may have slight scuffs or very light scratches that don't affect one's listening experience. Slight warps that do not affect the sound are OK yet will be noted. Besides light background noise, a VG+ record should have no loud pops nor skips. An LP jacket my have slight signs of wear also and may be marred by a cut-out hole, indentation or corner indicating it was taken out of print and sold at a discount. In general, if not for a couple of minor things wrong with it, this would be Near Mint. All but the most mint-crazy collectors will find a Very Good Plus record highly acceptable.
Very Good [VG]:
Many of the defects found in a VG+ record are more pronounced in a VG disc. Surface noise is evident upon playing, especially in soft passages and during the song's intro and fade, but will not overpower the music otherwise (no skips). Groove wear will start to be noticeable, as will light scratches deep enough to feel with a fingernail) that will affect the sound. Labels may be marred by writing, or have tape or stickers (or their residue) attached. The same will be true of picture sleeves or LP covers. However, it will not have all of these problems at the same time, only two or three of them. A VG- grading is when a record has even more wear and noise, but still plays with no skips.
Good [G], Good Plus [G+]:
My lowest level, I do not list below this level unless exceptionally rare: A record in Good or Good Plus condition can be put onto a turntable and will play through without skipping. But it will have significant surface noise and scratches and visible groove wear. A jacket or sleeve has seam splits, especially at the bottom or on the spine. Tape, writing, ring wear or other defects will start to overwhelm the object.
Poor [P], Fair [F]:
I do not list records in this category with skips, cracks and/or noise that prevents the enjoyment of the music.