I could use some help/advice. Grading system for vinyl when selling?*

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by CoryAMac, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. CoryAMac

    CoryAMac New Member Thread Starter

    Springfield, MA
    Greetings and thank you for allowing me on the forum. I could really use some help, info and advice. Here's the situation:
    Outside of being an old guy who listened to a lot of vinyl while growing up, I am an absolute neophyte when it comes to collecting, rating, selling, etc. The husband of a High School friend of my wife's passed away a year ago. Turns out, he collected a lot of stuff, including vinyl, most of it late 60's - early 80's. These have been kept in a climate controlled storage unit. I'm in the process of going through each of the 5 massive boxes (done with two, over 300 albums already). From what I can tell, I believe she's sitting on a little bit of a treasure trove. At least so far, the albums themselves seem to be in impeccable condition. The jackets range from what I would consider "Okay" to "Like New", including many still in the shrink wrap they were purchased in.
    So that's where I am. Questions for you: Is there a standardized "rating system" I can use as a guide to figure out the condition of the albums? Besides E-Bay, are there other avenues of selling (local stores I can look up, conventions, etc.)? I'm in Springfield, MA. Is there anyone local who would be willing to meet for a coffee and a chat on this stuff? If you would like to email me privately about this, I'll provide you my email address (if that's allowed here).
    Thanks everyone. By the way, I did chuckle a bit while going through that first box. He has two copies of Big Bambu, one of which is missing the rolling paper. Guess he needed some paper one night and the stores were closed. LOL
  2. lazydawg58

    lazydawg58 Know enough to know how much I don't know

    Lillington NC
    First go to the Discogs website and locate their grading system. They and most everybody uses the Goldmine grading system. The system in theory is very cut and dry. The system in practice is anything but cut and dry. If you and and your friend want to get the most from the collection it will require a lot of time and effort. Basically you'd need to start a small online business, selling on Ebay or Discogs.

    More practically I would suggest you make contact with a few flippers and used record shop owners. Try to separate the shysters from the honest brokers as best you can. Let the ones you feel comfortable with meet you at your storage building and go through what you have and make you an offer. Then take the best offer. Be aware that most will want to go through your boxes and pull out what they want and leave the rest. That might be what you want to do but be aware that buyers don't want to show up to look at what is suppose to be a person's collection only to find that someone else has already gone through and taken out all the good records. If you do that you are going to be stuck with a bunch of common records that no one wants or at least no one is willing to pay much at all for. You'll find yourself having to pack everything up and heading to the charity thrift to donate them or just go to the dump and pay a tipping fee. Instead you might be better off making an all or nothing sell. The buyer might not pay much more than what he would pay for just what he really wants but you have gotten rid of all those boxes.

    You might have some rare, very valuable albums in there but reality is that most used records aren't really worth much. Everybody thinks that they have a goldmine in those boxes but those rare records are needles in a hay stack. If there are lots of Jazz records look for Blue Note label albums. If there is lots of classic rock in there look for Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead albums. They will have more value. If there is lots of country, soul, sadly they aren't worth much. But there are always exceptions to the norm.

    Remember you are basically selling wholesale. A record you have might well be worth $20 or more at a retail shop but that doesn't make it worth $20 in that storage building.

    Good luck.
    ps, if you see Led Zepplin II in the collection you need to google Robert Ludwig Led Zepplin and do some research
  3. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialistâ„¢

    Greater Vancouver
    Our Classifieds Forums have always had a good grading system. Here's it for Vinyl.

    Grading Guidelines:

    • Mint (M): Sealed and/or unplayed.
    • Near Mint (NM or M-): Near perfect record and cover. No visible flaws or defects (any manufacturing scuffs should be noted). No unexpected surface noise or other audible issues at normal listening volume.
    • Very Good Plus Plus (VG++): Only a very small number of minor flaws present (ex. a couple of faint hairlines, a light scuff). No unexpected surface noise or other audible issues at normal listening volume. Cover shows no significant ring wear, nor seam splits.
    • Very Good Plus (VG+): More slight signs of wear but still an excellent condition record that plays well. Any surface noise is very minimal and the record is still an enjoyable listen. No groove wear. Cover may show minor defects including very light ring wear.
    • Very Good (VG): More obvious wear. Surface noise evident on playing, especially in soft passages, and during a song's intro and fade but never overpowers the music. Ring wear and other defects evident.
    • Good (G): Worn. Significant surface noise throughout, scratches that produce noise, but will play through without skipping.
    • Poor (P), or Fair (F): Worn out. Won't play through without skipping or repeating.
    chazz101s likes this.
  4. lazydawg58

    lazydawg58 Know enough to know how much I don't know

    Lillington NC
    But be sure to note that that differs from Goldmine and Discogs. In those grades there is no VG++ and VG+ would equal that while VG+ here is VG on the other system. It gets complicated.
  5. Christian Hill

    Christian Hill It's all in the mind

    My grading system:


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