Discogs Grading System Translated

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by Oscillation, Mar 16, 2022.

  1. Oscillation

    Oscillation Maybe it was the doses? Thread Starter

    Mint = The only grade that actually means what it says...usually.
    Near Mint=Over graded VG+
    VG+ A decent chance of having no skips.
    G+ =You can pretty much count on this not being "good" at all.
    Fair =Does anyone actually buy these?
    Iving, 12" 45rpm and SPF2001 like this.
  2. btomarra

    btomarra Classic Rock Audiophile

    Little Rock, AR
    Boy is this timely. Actually M on discogs often applies to open used cds. I have bought M cds and have found marks on them. And tab dents without any notations in the descriptions.
  3. John Rhett Thomas

    John Rhett Thomas Forum Resident

    Macon, GA, USA
    Do you mind if an open cd (not sealed) described as Mint arrives and it's actually Mint? Or do you think it should be reserved only for sealed CDs?
  4. Oscillation

    Oscillation Maybe it was the doses? Thread Starter

    Not only CD's. I have received open, marked, LPs advertised as mint. But the word "good" has been deeply perverted by their system.

    BITBANGER Senior Member

    Milford, CT.
    Mint = sealed.
    rcsrich, Dennis Metz and Bingo Bongo like this.
  6. Bloodbuzz459

    Bloodbuzz459 Forum Resident

    Mint, if it's not sealed, I would assume as immaculate. I don't really like this as a grading it just seems impossible. Even sealed items generally have very minor imperfections on the sleeve and if the records never been removed what's to say it's Mint?!

    I never purchase anything fair or good so can't comment.

    VG, VG+ and NM are where it gets very murky and it's extremely subjective.

    As a general rule I tend to buy items where the seller offers a bit of information about the product in the description as that's a sign they take grading relatively seriously.
  7. Danby Delight

    Danby Delight Forum Resident

    Okay, so I slit open the cellophane on a 45-year-old LP that's sold as mint...and the record inside has one of the following things wrong with it:

    One of the labels slipped off the puck and was pressed into the grooves of the last song on that side.

    The LP is severely warped in a way that makes it unplayable.

    There's a chip out of the rim that renders the first 30 seconds of each side unplayable.

    That record still Mint?

    Sealed records should be sold as "Sealed," and frankly, I don't think Mint should ever be used period. It's a Platonic ideal, not a reality. I have never graded a record higher than NM, period.
    TSWisla, bloodlemons, cut-out and 3 others like this.
  8. sonofjim

    sonofjim Forum Resident

    I think mint should never be used because even if it’s sealed no one has seen it. It could have a big scratch or nonfill as far as anyone knows. It could also be terribly warped. I also don’t think any record that’s been opened and handled or played can be mint. Essentially, “mint” doesn’t exist IMO.

    I may through NM around a bit loosely. For me, it’s a visual grading and applies to any record that is glossy, clean and has no visible defects. As we know, this beautiful loooking record isn’t always perfect either.

    Play grading is a separate issue and doesn’t necessarily mirror visual grading at all. I have perfect looking yet noisy records and also a few trashed looking records that play back fabulously.

    Vinyl is my favorite format and probably always will be. However, I would dissuade anyone from getting into it who isn’t also up for a crap shoot.
    BGLeduc and ODShowtime like this.
  9. pizzaland

    pizzaland Child of the 1960s

    Cleveland OH
    Generally, I have had a pretty good experience at this site. "VG+" has usually delivered an acceptable disc and "NM-" is a step up from that.

    When I have had difficulties, it is almost always due to the shoddy packing job done by some (thankfully, very few) sellers. Last year, I received an LP that had been cracked in pieces due to the fact that the "stiffener" added to the mailer carton only covered about 5 inches of the disc on one side (they guy reused a "Priority Mail" box and I guess decided to leave one side of the disc unprotected for 7 inches). When contacted about this - crickets.

    By far, my "favorite" Discogs seller is the chap that delivered a badly warped album - so bad that it could not be tracked. When contacted, I was told "it didn't leave here that way." Really???? After considerable back and forth (for example, he offered to "de-warp" the record using one of TWO British-made machines (I checked, these machines DO exist) for an additional $20 and postage ... to straighten a record that ARRIVED warped??? Finally, I was offered a return, but by that point I had decided to move on from this seller and left a 1 star rating. His reply was comical - "Buyer refused to return blah blah blah" - leaving out the 3-4 days of tedious back and forth and his attempts to gaslight me into thinking I was somehow responsible for purchasing an unplayable record.

    This is the only negative rating I have received on the site after over 350 purchases.
  10. eddiel

    eddiel Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    So pretty much the same translation as most other online sales sites :)

    I can't believe anyone buys any records below VG+ never mind the G's and F's!
  11. pdenny

    pdenny 21-Year SHTV Participation Trophy Recipient

    Hawthorne CA
    I have never, and will never, buy an unsealed LP sight unseen. It's just not worth the inevitable heartache.
  12. rain_king

    rain_king Forum Resident

    "Mint" is actually somewhat of a red flag for me because almost no (if any) opened records are truly mint, and if it's sealed it will say so in the description. And as noted above, even a sealed record can be far from mint. Also, a sealed record will be more likely to sustain damage to the jacket during shipping, since the LP isn't removed prior to packaging.

    The one that can really throw you for a loop is VG+, because depending on who you ask, it can either mean "just a few paper scuffs, plays perfectly" or "has multiple scratches and plays with constant background crackle."

    I think a big part of the problem is that people treat the grades as relative rather than absolute--and so it all depends on how many levels one has in their grading scheme. If everyone online used the Goldmine standards things would be better, but over on eBay you've got people who use EX as well, shifting the whole system down so that VG+ is now a lot further from the tope than it should be. I've even seen people lay out their grading as M, NM, EX, VG++, VG+, etc., which means VG+ is effectively a G record.
  13. btomarra

    btomarra Classic Rock Audiophile

    Little Rock, AR
    No, I don’t mind. Provided that it meets the definition of mint. Occasionally even sealed cds when opened reveal manufactured defects (scratches, tears under the shrink wrap for boxed sets).

    When I sell cds, I drop the grade by 1/2= M becomes M-, M- becomes Ex+, etc.
    Dave and John Rhett Thomas like this.
  14. btomarra

    btomarra Classic Rock Audiophile

    Little Rock, AR
    I received a cd with horrible tab dents not described. I gave the seller a neutral not negative feedback. It was removed and the seller denied any responsibility. He retaliated with a negative (I paid him promptly). That feedback still remains damaging my 100% rating. Double standard for discogs.
    chazz101s likes this.
  15. btomarra

    btomarra Classic Rock Audiophile

    Little Rock, AR
    Add to my frustrations with discogs are rude sellers which are increasing. I ask questions on the front end to avoid getting an undergraded cd (one where it is full of scuffs or scratches and the seller skips over them) and then it has to be resolved afterwards. They’ve get defensive telling me to buy elsewhere. Of course they complain when they’re not contacted on the back end. So, you can’t win for losing.
  16. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™

    It sounds like you're encountering sellers that care nothing except for moving their inventory. With those types they'll send out inferior product and then attempt to bargain with for less than a 100% return after you complain.
  17. kevinkasson

    kevinkasson Forum Resident

    I'll buy G from time to time. Usually when it's a really expensive record that I don't care enough about to pay a huge amount for but I'd be willing to take a beat up copy just to have it, as long as it plays through without skipping. I always hope that someone who is willing to list something as G or G+ means that they're actually being accurate, but I do still get F/P sometimes instead.
  18. Iving

    Iving 'Neath Kishmul's walls

    Rogue graders are a public nuisance.
    It's not just Buyers who are affected. Sellers who grade properly are at a disadvantage.
    Discogs feedback is broken. I hardly ever buy on Discogs - or Amazon.
    eBay is OK for Buyers.
    Always pay PayPal.
    Support good Sellers - weed out the bad ones.
    The bad ones are on Discogs - where they can flex with retaliatory feedback. Don't buy on Discogs till that marketplace gets its act together - which is pretty unlikely.
    I say all this as a long-time dealer as well as private collector.
    Don't let the bad guys get away with fraud.
    Last edited: May 26, 2022
    btomarra likes this.
  19. btomarra

    btomarra Classic Rock Audiophile

    Little Rock, AR
    Last edited: May 26, 2022
  20. Ken Dryden

    Ken Dryden Forum Resident

    Discogs sellers with 100% ratings usually try to maintain them. Whether buying or selling, I don’t consider open LPs or CDs to be mint, regardless of how they appear. It is like calling the packaging near mint if it has a punched barcode or sawcut, that is VG + at best. Fortunately the few issues that I have had with purchases have been quickly resolved. Anything below VG+ is a crapshoot and I usually pass on them unless it is something that is hard to find.
  21. eddiel

    eddiel Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Honestly, eBay isn't really any better IMO. Plenty of bad grading happening there as well and the feedback system isn't perfect either. There's also way more "antique" type sellers on there and there's now a rash of listing with no grades at all..."look at photo [blurry and in the dark] for grading".
    You get a lot less of that on Discogs.

    Feedback systems are never perfect on any site at this point. I read them, but learnt you can't really trust them 100%, 100% of the time.
    JasonA likes this.
  22. Iving

    Iving 'Neath Kishmul's walls

    Unlike Discogs, short-changed buyers can use the feedback system on eBay to "discourage" rogue graders - because Sellers can't leave retaliatory feedback. Yes - savvy Sellers can sometimes manipulate eBay agents into removing negative feedback, but the feedback system *is* much more effective than Discogs to where all the bad eBay Sellers have migrated. Yes - it's a generalisation - but as such it's about right.

    I agree - listings have become more cursory on eBay. Everything's going to the dogs. VG+ vs. NM used to be a significant difference. Now you wonder who really understands proper grading at all.

    Mint - of course - means exactly New - whether shrinked or not.
    NM should mean no visible defects and no playing issues to remark.
    VG+ is broad - fair enough.
    VG isn't great - you wouldn't buy unless rare and you get a price compromise - it should still play without hop skip jump.
    It's a good idea to search out Sellers who can be bothered to list/grade properly *and* answer pre-sale questions (upon which answers you may later rely).
    Use PayPal. If it's not as described you have remedy.
  23. eddiel

    eddiel Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    I disagree. Feedback removal isn't the biggest issue anyway. Retaliatory feedback isn't allowed on Discogs. If it's left and contested it will be removed. Novices might fall for it, but not for long so I don't think it's a big a deterrent as you think it is.

    There's plenty of negative feedback all over Discogs anyway. (One thing I do like with eBays feedback is the grading based on criteria like description, communication, etc. That is nice to have though generally like feedback no guarantee.)

    I don't believe that all the bad sellers have migrated to Discogs. I wouldn't need to work that hard to find people who would claim the opposite based on their own personal experience. These conversations always go the same way with people claiming one thing or another based on their own personal experience which is generally down to coincidence, lack of due diligence and general bad luck.

    99% of the time when people explain why they prefer Discogs to eBay, it generally involves that they feel Discogs is more for serious sellers and eBay is full of antique sellers offloading their crap with a proliferation of listings that don't even offer a grade anymore and usually say "Look at photo for condition. As is. No refunds" along with a nice blurry photos. :)

    Both sites have idiots and rip off artists on them.
    Dave likes this.
  24. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Transient

    new york city
    Yep. I generally avoid US sellers that sell either records or CDs that are opened but being graded as mint. It means they're probably over-grading everything.
    ETSEQ and btomarra like this.
  25. Iving

    Iving 'Neath Kishmul's walls

    My (substantial) experience is not down to any of these.

    Chacun à son goût
    Last edited: May 26, 2022

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