Overgrading Discogs sellers....

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by sunking101, Sep 22, 2021.

  1. sunking101

    sunking101 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Yorkshire, England
    So we're to assume that everyone is fraudulent then? Great. That destroys the whole purpose of the grading system.

    I have bought loads of M CDs and EX/NM/M vinyl. Loads of it. If you had your way people should only buy VG and EX graded items?
     
  2. theMot

    theMot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney
    I think a lot of people don’t really work off the ratings exactly as they are defined and at this stage I’m fine with that. For Example a VG+ record should have visible marks but nothing audible. That’s basically impossible with vinyl. That low crackling we hear is usually from those fine hairline scratches we can see. So a record like that should be VG but many would grade as VG+. The VG grading is almost too broad and really under utilised. The vast majority of records would only grade as VG if we go by the proper definition. Going off the proper definitions, I don’t think I’ve ever heard an old record, even if it’s be well looked after that would grade NM. I have bought plenty of NM records though that I am satisfied enough with and also plenty that would probably only grade as VG!
     
  3. sunking101

    sunking101 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Yorkshire, England
    NM visually. Clean, shiny, no scuffs, no scrapes, no scratches and no fingerprints. That is how I want to receive NM vinyl. If it pops and crackles upon playback then that's another thing entirely but it is easy peasy to grade vinyl visually and if I buy NM then I'm expecting to get at least EX, which I would be happy with.

    It's more the sleeve that tends to get overgraded. I want an EX or NM sleeve and am mad when I receive a G or VG. I pay top dollar for the best condition LPs and I expect a competent, honest seller.
     
    Dave likes this.
  4. Doghouse Riley

    Doghouse Riley Forum Resident

    Location:
    North West England
    It is possible to get "mint" copies of classic 45s. This may have been mentioned before.

    About ten years or more ago I started buying some "Collectables" brand re-issues for my jukeboxes, on eBay From the USA .
    I've got nearly a couple of dozen, but I stopped when I was having difficulty deciding to what to take out, to put in something new to me.
    Also the postage from the USA was getting to be nearly as much as the cost of the record.

    Since the "vinyl revival" the prices have gone to ridiculous levels, from when I was paying about £5.

    Mine are all still in "near mint" condition by Discogs standards, as there's no danger of them getting scratched, as individually, they don't get played that often and as they are set on and removed from the turntable by the jukebox gripper arm. However, it is necessary to always keep an eye on the setting of the carousel so that the gripper arm locks onto the record, exactly in the middle of the carousel wire separators, as records can be scraped across the "duck bills" on the tops of the separators, both in and out if it isn't dead centre.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2021
  5. tennesseeborder

    tennesseeborder Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chuckey, Tn
    Recently I bought six lps from different sellers, and 3 out of the six were over graded. They over graded the covers, not the lps. I didn't want to return them because I was happy with the lps. 2 out of the 3 sellers gave me positive feedback, then issued a partial refund. The third did not give me any feedback and stated that he would only give me a full refund so he could then sell it to someone else. I didn't leave any feedback to them, especially the one that didn't give me a partial refund. I was thinking of stopping discogs, but then I decided to take someone's advice about contacting the seller before purchasing. This seller actually took the time to play an lp that I inquired about. He was very cooperative and helpful. At this point I have some hope that there are some good sellers there.
     
    Rattlin' Bones likes this.
  6. ellaguru

    ellaguru Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milan
    They need to add to the rating system one simple clarification:

    Please check one:
    ___ This album was play tested
    ___ This album was not play tested

    As a newer discogs (and here at SHF) seller, I play test everything i sell. I also give every one a distilled water rinse to at least be able to give a more true of a rating. That rinse alone generally will bring up the rating a half a grade or so. Makes that VG in question is a solid VG+. We're dealing in used good here, and going on looks alone, i have been very disappointed in 2 or 3 high dollar purchases (for me ~$75 or so) that appeared almost NM. There have been some very broad strokes painted with respect to sellers and their poor record quality judging skills, but I've agreed with them almost all every time when its a visual grading. Upon playback, well, lets just say that RCM has saved the day for me, the buyer, and perhaps turned the transaction feedback into a more positive one. Gotta play 'em to sell 'em.
     
  7. Rattlin' Bones

    Rattlin' Bones Grumpy Old Deaf Drummer

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Yes with CD's too. But my main issue with used CD's is poor packaging and prep for rigors of USPS. Jewel case comes open, CD slips out a bit, gets scratched and damaged. And even new one's purchased from and delivered by Amazon about 75% of time they arrive all nice and shrink wrapped but case is cracked.

     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2021
  8. Rattlin' Bones

    Rattlin' Bones Grumpy Old Deaf Drummer

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Gotta play 'em to sell 'em. Excellent. Thanks for doing it the right way.

    I've had seller after seller after seller explain to me why they can't play test. They buy large collections and don't have the time is what they say. They do a quick visual, grade, and list. Over and over. They're betting that 90% of the time the visual is good enough such that buyers won't complain. If they invest the time in it that you do, ellaguru, then they can't list as many in a day. And time is money.

     
  9. Rattlin' Bones

    Rattlin' Bones Grumpy Old Deaf Drummer

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    I only search for NM. Not M. NM: "A nearly perfect record. A NM or M- record has more than likely never been played, and the vinyl will play perfectly, with no imperfections during playback." That's what I am after - no imperfections during playback. So by definition a seller doing only visual grading cannot assure buyer the item is NM and thus should not list as such.

    And I will obviously accept some imperfections. A dust pop here or there. Those can't be helped it's a physical media it ain't Tidal lol.

    That's where I start. Being burned so much, I now only buy play tested that are described as having no flaws when listening. And, a full money-back guarantee. That last criteria is hard to find on Discogs. A bit easier on eBay, plus eBay handles the entire refund if seller sets it up that way. That's why I'm moving more towards eBay. I don't think the selection as nearly as good on eBay, but Discogs is just a more difficult platform for purchases. It's gotta be something I really want on Discogs for me to buy there anymore.

    If a seller is only visually grading and listing most everything that visually looks NM as NM, they're being dishonest at the outset because they can't really say if the vinyl will play perfectly. They're only guessing, and hoping it does, or else buyer won't complain. It's a business practice as 4-2-7 explained, but dishonest and misleading nonetheless. Hence I exclude such sellers when I'm buying. I just recently started doing this after getting burned just too many times by sellers apparently doing exactly what 4-2-7 described.

    No matter how you slice it, a seller that only visually grades should not by definition ever grade the media as NM because they didn't listen to it, and how it plays is part of criteria for grading. If they don't at least indicate visual only then they're the worst most dishonest sellers. If they indicate their grading is based on visual inspection only, then you can at least make your buying decision with that knowledge. Which is why, for me, only filtering for NM is just the start.

     
  10. ellaguru

    ellaguru Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milan
    I picked up 2 collections this year, one being a gift from a friend and one being for making a few bucks off of, knowing that 80% of the 1500 albums i bought that i really wouldn't dig the music too much. I still have to check out how they play. Also, I don't need to rack up hours on my stylus just to make a couple of bucks off a $9 album. There is that catch of the time invested. Who has time to listen to 1500 albums all the way through? Not me! What seems to work for me is this: side 1 song 1 will be where you'll generally find a lot of issues. Who doesn't play side 1 song 1? Same goes for side 2 song 1. If those lead in 'repeaters' are still hanging out by song 2...VG at best. If its a rare one it'll get some L'Art Du Son to see if that helps. Visual groove wear / battle scars / etc., makes that album go into the 'drinking buddy' pile by the door. Bring beer. Take mediocre albums. Culling a collection has helped me learn a lot. The most important being don't waste anyone's time with BS grading.
     
    Rattlin' Bones likes this.
  11. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™

    Location:
    B.C.
    :agree: I could give lessons, and sometimes actually do with other Discogs sellers, on how to properly package CD's using bubble wrap and cardboard. The only problem is to receive a CD packaged properly there is a higher cost that a lot of buyers don't seem to want to pay with international shipment at least from Canada and Europe.
     
  12. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Forum Resident

    Location:
    SF Peninsula
    This is not intended as a slight but how old are you?
    Because sometimes that explains more of the formed opinion people post.
    I'm going to be 60 in a couple of weeks, I lived through buying these records when new. When this was the media dominance and a lot of the classic music was new on these records that's being bought used today. Most kids through the 60s had pretty cheap equipment, even the parents home console wasn't the greatest. Many could of had similar to a Crossly suit case design in their bedrooms. The 70s got a little better with a more modern Receiver,Turntable and tape unit all in one. Then the fact we would bring our record over to everybody's houses and play records on whatever was there for just listening or parties. Also records being made back then where not the greatest brand new.

    By the mid 70s equipment got better Record Player/Record Changers started to be replaced by Turntable, a table that plays one record at a time. They started to try and come up with better vinyl that played back quietly, but generally this was relegated to Classical or Quadraphonic titles, JVC Super Vinyl. By the late 70s MFSL got started because most rock and pop records sounded pretty bad. They opted to go to Japan to have records pressed and on JVC Super Vinyl to make a great sounding record.

    Europe started to look into and press records on Translucent vinyl the latter half of the 70s a bit before the US did but the also followed in this Virgin Super Vinyl mixes.

    By the 80s there was better equipment, a far lager amount of records started to be pressed on Super Vinyl. In fact we are learning today that it was going on a lot more than ever realized back then. Records just sounded better, and gasp with digital technology!!! Boomers where getting their own places and not bringing records all over the places. By the late 80s record manufacturing & sales basically stopped.

    So looking at what we know and if anyone handles a lot of used records today you will find the cleanest best sounding record that where newly manufactured through the 80s. The 70s while equipment was better, our use of records, and their manufacturing left a lot to be
    desired for finding quiet copies today. The 60s is worse mostly because of equipment, and how the records where used back then.

    You have a far greater chance of finding what you want to call mint from 80s record even if they are reissues from 20 years prior. Like the Beatles and Stones titles, between the 80s technology, translucent super vinyl, and then many recorded to Cassette tapes, hardly ever played their records a lot.

    You can't play sealed records, and as I said above manufacturing wasn't producing "Quiet" records back then. Can you get lucky? yes

    Some of us boomers got used to CDs and that quiet sound of no surface noise, many listening to records today have no idea what records sounded like new back in the day as not being born yet. But that quiet sound is ingrained in their brain, hearing surface noise is a very bad thing for them if sensitive to it.

    As far as seller needing to listen to records they are selling good luck with that. No one handling lots of record listen to them. A record store doesn't listen to them or even grade them, you take a look at it if it looks good you buy it. No one knows how it will sound in playback, it's always a gamble. The record could have sounded like crap when brand new as stated above.

    No record is perfect or mint and buyers need to know that, if you're really anal about it buy CDs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2021
  13. Rattlin' Bones

    Rattlin' Bones Grumpy Old Deaf Drummer

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Beat ya lol. I'm 65 (1956).

    Yes had really cheap equipment when a teen. A free stere from Columbia House!

    Once I got out of college the first big purchase I made was a receiver and big speakers. I don't remember the brand may have been a Kenwood receiver. Not sure about TT either what brand.

    With my experience buying records slowly deteriorating (as in bad experiences becoming more frequent) I'm adjusting my buying criteria. My interest is only in 50's 60's and 70's. I m not sure I agree about the years. RVG from 60's is usually pretty darn good. 2 eye and 6 eye Columbia is good, too from those ancient times lol. I don't think the 60's is worse; in many cases it's better because of equipment and engineering. The variable is the use and care over the years.

     
  14. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    I just got a message that the booklet in the item I stated as NM is messed up. It is Ziggy Stardust CD the UK Limited Edition box with 78 page color booklet. I flipped through the booklet just before I packed up it, and it looked 100% amazing, like pure perfection, the Mick Rock pictures of the live Spiders were incredible in full color. And other photos from the outrageous Ziggy on stage.

    So this is the message:

    Unfortunately I'm very disappointed.... not sure when you opened the booklet last, but as soon as I opened it a page fell out, and it looks like the rest of it could go soon. Also, the first 2 pages are stuck together about a half inch from the spine. I'd be happy to return this copy to you if you are willing to offer a refund. Thank you

    My reply:

    Absolutely will accept a return and refund. I flipped through a few pages and it looked spectacular to me. It really did.
    But no problem for you. As long as it is the same book I sent you, newish and perfect looking from the outside and all.

    Jeff
     
    Rattlin' Bones likes this.
  15. Oscar Calero

    Oscar Calero Member

    Location:
    USA
    Whenever that happens you can complaing and try to get refund. It happened to me twice and I was able to get a refund
     
  16. Crimson King

    Crimson King Silly Audiophile

    Location:
    Chicago
    I heard perfect records many times.

    Perhaps because I focus on new audiophile reissues... If you think Mosaic, Mobile Fidelity, Speakers Corner, Music Matters, cannot make a perfect record you are completely wrong. Perhaps you are talking ONLY about old, used records?
     
  17. GimiSomeTruth

    GimiSomeTruth Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I have sold over 45K records on discogs alone, visual grading only, with 100% positive feedback. The generalizations people make about ‘discogs sellers are bad’ in these threads, and the anger over sellers not providing photos, makes me wish I could just block every last one of these troublemakers and whingers. Hopefully there will come a time that they accept that maybe, just maybe, buying vinyl isn’t for them. Many express serious anger/ control issues that would best be worked out in therapy. The people that really enjoy music/ vinyl and don’t get hung up on inconsequential Karen-isms understand that airborn dust, the imperfect medium of vinyl, etc are outweighed by how wonderful and immersive of an inexperience sitting down with a record they love is.
     
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  18. Crimson King

    Crimson King Silly Audiophile

    Location:
    Chicago
    You may be missing part of the point here, being a good seller yourself. There are bad sellers out there, and some of the complaints (about them) are justified...
     
    Shades-of-Grey likes this.
  19. GimiSomeTruth

    GimiSomeTruth Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    or is a ‘bad seller’ simply someone who made a mistake? We are all humans, and that happens. Those who can’t grasp that concept tend to be complaining loudmouths that are a nuisance to anyone in the service industry.
     
  20. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Every single time this issue comes up in the official Discogs forums, almost every sellers says the same thing; when they do, buyers never follow through. Why would they continue to bother if that's their experience?

    Not so much on here but whenever some nut job buyer shows up on Discogs to complain I put them on my block list.
     
    GimiSomeTruth likes this.
  21. rcsrich

    rcsrich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    For quite some time now I only buy NM assuming that some will be graded too high, which I’ll either ask for a partial refund or return for a full refund. My favorite interaction was with a supposedly NM record that looked good but played with quite a bit of s/n, even after a cleaning. The seller promptly refunded my money, but said in her reply “I don’t own a record player.” I shan’t be ordering from her again. ;)
     
    Rattlin' Bones likes this.
  22. Shades-of-Grey

    Shades-of-Grey New Member

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    I have had quite a few bad experiences on Discogs. I've been buying from there since 2008. Strangely, when buying CD's I rarely have issues. I think that is because most people dealing in CD's during their decline in popularity were dedicated knowledgeable sellers. Many vinyl sellers in recent years clearly don't know how to grade. I'm not a super picky have a fit over a couple pops and clicks type either.

    Most recently about 2 months ago a 45 single graded as NM. Arrived VG and sounds VG.

    Around the same time a bulk buy of cheapies from a seller offering free shipping on orders over a certain value. Bought about 12 records. At least 1/3 were off by a grade and he forgot to send one of the records.

    Bought Les McCann Layers from a seller graded as NM. Clearly VG, played with heavy noise in the first minute or so of the intro song on each side.

    Bought a copy of The Ventures Only Hits that was graded accurately at NM. However, it was a Columbia record club copy. If I'd have known it was a club copy I wouldn't have bought it. Told the seller and he basically tried to reassure me that the club copies he had owned were perfectly fine. I tried to explain to him that as a collector his subjective personal experiences had nothing to due with my tastes as a buyer and that all he had to do was include the tidbit of info that it was a club copy. I was very diplomatic, I didn't ask for any refund of any sort and when he offered I refused. I just wanted him to know that type of information was important to list. He made several excuses saying oh there wasn't a club copy designated on Discogs to list under. As if he couldn't either create a listing (more labor intensive) or simply put the wording in his listing (very little labor). He could have simply said he didn't know it was a club copy so since he made all these excuses I'm guessing he knew and just didn't list it for whatever reason.

    These are only a few of my experiences 3 of which are from this year. The Les McCann just sticks out in memory because I was quite upset at how poor the condition of it was.
     
  23. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    I just got in a Rolling Stones LP, reissued on Decca 1977 Beggars Banquet. The series produced seven LPs on various colors/ The BB LP is known as white vinyl, but a very few somehow slipped out on clear wax. I only found out about these other variations three years ago and have wanted one to go with my other 7 LPs in the series. Nice sounding copies of these Stones albums from ANALOG UK Decca tapes.

    I ordered it from the seller asking for the highest price of the three listed, as he was the only seller that did not have any feedback stating an over-graded condition on several previously sold items.

    OK, get this - the album cost me over $80 with shipping from Germany. But it arrived Friday, and it is just gorgeous stunningly perfect!!! It will be loved by me. Sometimes there are no listings for this item to buy. It is not always offered.

    I rationalized the purchase in my mind with the fact that I did sell three LPs very recently for $20 - $30 each that were imo total lower-end junkers (pop vocals, show tunes, soundtracks), and they covered my pricy Stones Clear Vinyl Beggars on Decca!!!

    It says 1978, but pretty sure it is a 1977 pressed and issued copy.

    Rolling Stones* ‎– Beggars Banquet
    Label: Decca ‎– 6835 205
    Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Limited Edition, Reissue, Clear Transparent
    Country: Netherlands
    Released: 1978
     
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