Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by ROFLnaked, Oct 17, 2015.
51 of 51 Discogs transactions have been successful for me. Sorry.
Do you ask questions before hitting the purchase button? If so, may I ask what you ask?
I had my eye on a used CD on Ebay that was described 'as new'. As I've been bitten before I emailed the seller asking if there were any visible scratches or marks when viewed under a bright light and he replied "Just a few light scratches and the usual surface swirls"!
Well that to me isn't EX or NM, let alone 'as new'.
Suffice to say that I didn't buy it.
My experience has, overall, been super on both eBay and on Discogs. Only a very small percentage have been disappointing, and a fraction of that have been outright returns or disputes -- which I have always won.
Don't know if it's luck and intuition or careful vetting or a combination of those things...Keeping my fingers crossed though. Lotsa shysters, dimwits, etc., selling anything and everything and it's all mint and stunning all the time. Love the "unplayed" descriptor. Really? Someone bought a record decades ago, opened it, and never played it? Could it be they were a careful owner? Sheesh.
Never had much of a problem, really. That said I have a few trusted sellers I use on Discogs/Ebay and only go elsewhere if I suddenly realize there is something I don’t have that I can’t live without or a rarity on my want list cones up.
My favorite online seller posts a ton of stuff every week and their ratings jibe with mine.
Two things for consideration:
1) Are you buying from users with high feedback with a large sample size?
2) You are protected as a buyer. If it's not what they graded, leave appropriate feedback and if the seller is not playing ball you can go to either Discogs or PayPal for a refund.
You're only greatly limiting yourself by relying solely on SHF classifieds imo.
Just today received in a perfect copy of The Who’s 1970 ‘En Directo En Leeds’ (Live At Leeds) Spanish first pressing from Spain. The Discogs seller rated it NM/NM and it was every bit of that.
I can think of only two instances out of dozens where I received a record that wasn't accurately described, and even then in both cases it applied only to the sleeve, which was a VG-, not a NM. But since it was a UK Arun Chakraverty mastering of Highway to Hell and a Dutch Moving Pictures in VG+, I wasn't too upset.
When shopping on Discogs, I always look for sellers with 98 percent or better positive feedback, I always read at least two pages of feedback, I always read the negative feedback, and I ask questions if I have the slightest doubt about anything. And remember - you get what you pay for. If most of the VG+ / NM records are priced around, say, $50 and you see one or two for $40, I tend to be suspicious of those.
Discogs needs to expand their grading system to include/allow grading between VG+ and M-. Their system causes records that fall in between to either be under graded or over graded. Sadly, the over graders outnumber the under graders by a considerable margin. Second, covers that have a cut corner of a hole punch can never be M-, and that is regardless of how pristine the other 99.9% of it is. One needs to critically select the dealers they buy from by closely scrutinizing their feedback comments. Any comments showing a propensity to over grade should end the consideration. I will never buy out of country, as my recourse in the event of a return is cost prohibitive. I would also watch those dealers who will sell 'unofficial' reissues within the categories of the legitimate reissues. There are often marginal visual differences between the two, and the dealer gambles that you will not notice. We assume that the dealer has honestly listed his record in the correct category and buy unknowingly. Upon our discovery, the seller claims ignorance or denies the 'error'. This has happened to me more than once when buying 1970's Italian Prog, reissues that have been 'unofficially' pressed in the past. Always remember this - record collectors/dealers won't cross an open field at night because they are afraid an owl will eat them.
Learnt from being burnt:
Get seller to confirm matrix details.
Get seller to clean record and inspect under strong light to confirm condition.
If they refuse - walk away.
A record that has not been cleaned has not been accurately graded, imho.
They are visual grading. Think about it. They are evaluating a auditory product using a visual measurement. I know the argument that there is no way to play grade when you are a reseller. But the truth is it is a crap shoot.
I've got plenty of records in my collection that I've salvaged from the thrift store bins. Often even after cleaning they look like G+ or VG- but they play VG+. I've got some records that look NM but even after cleaning the play VG- or even G.
As far as sellers that have good feedback ratings that is deceptive as well. I ordered a Delbert and Glenn that was graded as NM. When I got it it played VG- and that is being generous. I cleaned and vacuumed it, played it without improvement. Cleaned it again and maybe got it up to VG. Only then did I contact the seller. He said he had two copies and maybe he sent me the wrong one, give him a day to search for it. He couldn't find the other one so asked if I wanted to send it back to him for a full refund or would I except a refund of half of my cost and keep the record. I really didn't want to go to the trouble of shipping the record back to him so I said that sounded reasonable. Then he emailed me that he had given me a full refund, told me to keep the record, just please don't give him a bad feedback. So I didn't. How often do you think a similar situation takes place? I'd guess often. Also how often do buyers just not mess with it and take it. The dozen or so times I've bought on discogs I've bought between a half dozen and a dozen at a time to take advantage of shipping savings and I'm so far behind in my record cleaning they just sit on the shelf for weeks or longer before I ever play them. I'm certainly not going to go complaining about a purchase from weeks ago.
Generally speaking I only buy online when I really want a specific album that I can't find in the wild and when I do I consider the real condition of the records to be at least one step below what they rate it, again because they aren't play grading. It is a hope more than a reality.
I've had a 98 percent success rate with Discogs purchases, but I generally stick to things graded VG+ or above with photos.
The only transaction that really missed the mark was when I bought two LPs from a seller that were described as NM or close to it. One of them was riddled with skips on side 2. I didn't push the matter because they were originals of two albums I'd been seeking for over a year (the first two Ned Doheny LP's). At some point I'll replace it or find one of the reissues.
Otherwise, things have been as described or better. I am generally encouraged when someone says they grade conservatively.
Those are the sellers you avoid.
The grading system is fine and has plenty of room for variance. People just need to use the full spectrum.
I don't see what's wrong with that scenario you outlined. You get to keep the record and get a full refund? Seems like a fair deal to me. That's an example of how the review system works, it creates incentive for people to be fair.
No description generally means I won't buy it. If they're basically the only one selling something or have the best value, then I question them. It's important to look at who you're dealing with. It's not too far off from walking into a record store and judging whether the people running it are taking care of their product or just throwing it out on the floor with no care and overpricing a lot of it. Also, as a seller, some buyers really can suck too.
really? ex is code for crap?
Ex for excrement?
Grading visually isn't accurate. That is the bottom line.
The thing that is wrong with the scenario is that if you look at the feedback for that seller there aren't responses that the seller over grades. So as long as he refunds the occasional buyer that complains he has no incentive to grade more accurately. He was fair to me. But I still don't have a clean copy of that Delbert and Glenn album which was why I went online and bought it.
I was referring to your call for another grade between VG+ and NM-. It isn't needed.
Agree visual grading isn't how vinyl should be graded but hopefully sellers are truthful. Again, the review system creates incentive for honesty.
I actually had that same exact scenario just happen to me (over graded, seller offered full refund without return in exchange for good feedback) and I felt completely fine with that. It's all about perspective I guess. I've had much worse experience with eBay where sellers get really defensive if you call them out. I'd much rather have a seller who is at least willing to resolve an issue.
As a seller and a buyer in Discogs my experience is that it works pretty well. There are problems caused by people being too optimistic about the condition when they sell and too pessimistic when they buy. For me M can only be for sealed items. NM is something I will expect to buy new but is not sealed. VG+ should be with very minimal cracklings in few places and some surface scuff marks, not affecting the sound. VG stands for “very good” which should still be as the name suggests. Where it goes wrong is that often NM is often what I call VG+. VG+ is often quite noisy and marked and VG is bad.
When I buy I only buy NM and hope that it is but I am not surprised if it is VG+
I don’t like to buy sealed records because they can still be scratched or noisy but the seller couldn’t know that. If I buy M from a local shop then I can return it.
I can never understand how anybody can grade visually and be accurate. I understand that big sellers don’t have the time to listen but personally I listen to everything I sell and mention any imperfection. For example, I sold last week a 7” single which had an obvious scratch but strangely did not cause any audible noise. I described it as G+ with a note that it actually sounded perfect. Last night I had a positive comment for that sale.
One case where I was stuck as to how to react was also last week when I bought a Japanese jazz record from a U.K. seller. It was described as NM and sounded great. The sleeve was great too. However, when I opened the package it had this putrid mouldy smell which reminds me of charity shops or record stores 20 years ago. I suspect that the records are stored in a place with no airflow and damp conditions and will never buy from this guy again but it was graded correctly. Not sure what to do but I cleaned the record, put it in a new inner sleeve and left the sleeve in a warm dry place. I will check in a week or so if it smells any better.
You're confusing me with someone else. I've never said anything about adding a grade? I'm not even comfortable with someone using NM-.
M, NM, VG+, VG, G, P are the only real grades with Goldmine. Really NM and VG+ according to Goldmine are only different visually. Play grading those two are the same, though I think many allow some surface noise in VG+ but really when you start hearing sn it should drop it to VG.
Oops. I quoted the wrong post. My apologies!
I generally agree but reading the goldmine description VG+ appears to have only visual differences between that and NM. But I realize that in the real world that isn't the way it works. I guess the practical question is how you define "minimal crackling" and "few places". I would consider VG+ to be an album that I can put on and I can't hear any problems unless I really put all my attention on it. I'd call it VG if I notice it but it doesn't really take away from the enjoyment of the music. I'd call it G if it plays through without skipping but it interferes with the enjoyment of the recording.
The most important rule on Discogs is to thoroughly check a sellers feedback. If there is a negative recurring theme cropping in the feedback from customers then just avoid that seller. Another red flag is how sellers answer the negative or neutral feedback - if they’re cocky or arrogant then you’d be a fool to buy from them.
I buy from a small list of sellers I trust and with those I’ve never had a problem. 99.9% of the time I’ve been thrilled with the condition of the record I’ve bought. In most cases these sellers under promise and over deliver.
I admit to taking 1 or 2 one-off punts with unknown sellers on a record that I thought was a good price or was rare to find in good condition but I’ve been lucky on those few occasions.
The only time I’ve ever had a serious problem was through what seemed to be an honest seller mistake, which (hilariously in hindsight) got worse when he tried to fix it. The good news was I ended up getting a great old jazz record for free.
Discogs is like any marketplace since the beginning of time. There’s good sellers and dodgy ones- wise buyers can pick the difference.
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