Inspect the vinyl and cover and compare it to the notes for each step in the Goldmine Standard to determine the condition of a record.
All of the 2nd Hand/Used records on sale have been test-heard and cleaned with ‘Disco Anti Antistatic Mixture’ and they come with a protective PE cover (the New/Never Played records too) and a white inner sleeve.
The sleeve and cover are absolutely perfect in every way. To qualify as Mint, the record must never have been played and is possibly still sealed. Being graded as Mint means the record was not playtested.
NEAR MINT (NM or M-)
A nearly perfect record. A Near Mint record has more than likely never been played, and the vinyl will play perfectly, with no imperfections during playback. Many dealers won’t give a grade higher than this implying (perhaps correctly) that no record is ever truly perfect. The record should show no obvious signs of wear.
VERY GOOD PLUS (VG+)
A Very Good Plus record will show some signs that it was played and handled by a previous owner who took good care of it. Any defects are of a cosmetic nature, not affecting the actual playback. In theory, a VG+ record should sound the same as a Near Mint (NM) one. Vinyl surfaces may show some signs of wear and may have slight scuffs or very light scratches that don’t affect listening. Slight warps that do not affect the sound are okay.
VERY GOOD (VG)
Many of the defects found in a Very Good Plus record will be more pronounced in a Very Good item. Surface noise will be evident upon playing, especially in soft passages and during a song’s intro and fade, but will not overpower the music otherwise. Groove wear will start to be noticeable, as with 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.
GOOD, GOOD PLUS (G, G+)
A record in Good or Good Plus condition can be played through without skipping, but it will have significant surface noise, scratches, and visible groove wear. A cover or sleeve will have seam splits, especially at the bottom or on the spine. Tape, writing, ring wear, or other defects will be present. While the record will be playable without skipping, noticeable surface noise and “ticks” will almost certainly accompany the playback.
We do not sell records with Poor (P) or Fair (F) condition: the record is cracked, badly warped, and won’t play through without skipping or repeating. The picture sleeve is water damaged, split on all three seams and heavily marred by wear and writing. The LP cover barely keeps the LP inside it. Inner sleeves are fully split, crinkled, and written upon.