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Record Grading/Discogs

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by Triss, Jun 10, 2020.

  1. Triss

    Triss Dark Horse Thread Starter

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    I was wondering if anyone could answer this for me, when it comes to record grading. This has been something I have been scratching my head over for a while now. Why/when did Ex condition stopped being used? Why was it replaced by VG+? Surely, in my mind, VG+ comes below Ex or Ex+. Was it simply because there were too many increments?

    People’s knowledge would be much appreciated
     
    SunSon likes this.
  2. Chemguy

    Chemguy Forum Resident

    Wouldn’t M- really be Ex?

    I like that grading system very much.
     
  3. Triss

    Triss Dark Horse Thread Starter

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Well, that would be NM. In my mind, Ex is just shy of NM, due to the tiniest of fault, nothin that would affect quality, just a slight inperfection.

    grading is so subjective
     
    Chemguy likes this.
  4. Greg(ory)

    Greg(ory) Some Stupid With A Flare Gun

    Location:
    (Massachusetts)
    I totally agree, as a discogs seller and buyer, the lack of a grade between NM and VG+ drives me nuts.
     
    Archguy, AaronW, Dave and 2 others like this.
  5. optoman

    optoman Forum Resident

    Location:
    London. UK
    Personally I don’t think that there is a need for more steps
    NM = as new but not sealed
    VG+ = minor issues. Visually a record might have 1-2 superficial marks. Sound must be close to perfect with maybe 1-2 soft pops and maybe slight crackling between tracks or quiet passages.
    VG = a little more than above but still able to enjoy listening without major disturbances, so it might have a passage or two with repeating clicks provided they are not loud.
    I think the problem is that as a seller you are optimistic so when there is some imperfection you want to somehow indicate that it is minor. You are worried that VG+ will be seen as bad.
    Better to describe the imperfection with words. For example “like new except 10 sec. of soft clicks on track B2”
    Obviously if you end up describing 5 different faults then it can’t be NM or VG+
     
    Rockin' Robby likes this.
  6. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Personal Survival Daily Record-Breaker

    Location:
    Toronto
    Shouldn't this be in Marketplace Discussions?
     
  7. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I thought Ex=VG++... right?
     
    greelywinger and AaronW like this.
  8. Mr. Gnome

    Mr. Gnome Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I always skip over Discogs records graded VG+ because the condition is too low for me. Sellers, not all, seem to rate NM as having very minor issues. There’s quite a discrepancy there.
     
    Rockin' Robby and SunSon like this.
  9. optoman

    optoman Forum Resident

    Location:
    London. UK
    I buy and sell in Discogs and I never touch VG+ when I buy and I get frustrated when I sell because I know that my VG+ is as good as many sellers NM.
    Done properly NM should be better than M which I only use to grade a sealed record. But a sealed record could have faults that are impossible to see or hear whereas a correctly graded NM should be perfect but listening to it before grading would reveal any faults
     
    Warand Pain and Rockin' Robby like this.
  10. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Katy, TX
    "Discogs uses the Goldmine Standard for grading the condition of items listed in the Marketplace."
    This quoted from this page. How To Grade Items
    The distinction between VG+ and Ex is none. The same can be said for M- and NM. Good and G+ aren't really different and neither is VG-. Poor and Fairs are also described the same. So, you can't blame Discogs for removing the use of overlapping grades. Consider Discogs position if there is a dispute where they are asked to arbitrate. Is how much better is Ex over VG+. VG+ permits a small seam split. Is Ex a very small seam split. Rather than get involved in grey areas, fewer grades make the distinctions clearer.
     
    Big Blue likes this.
  11. Triss

    Triss Dark Horse Thread Starter

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    VG+ permits a small seam split whereas Ex wouldn’t allow for any, but may have a slight knocked corner.

    for the record (pun intended), I am strictly a buyer on Discogs, never sold and never plan to, this frustration comes 100% from the buyers point of view. God, I can’t wait for record shops to reopen!!!
     
    Rockin' Robby likes this.
  12. Mr. Gnome

    Mr. Gnome Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I almost always ask sellers to email me photos of what I’m interested in. I almost never go by grading or written description alone. Sealed records are my exception.
     
  13. Mr. Gnome

    Mr. Gnome Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I feel like NM is abused. Too often I’ll check a seller’s feedback and I’ll see “Record not NM.” They’ll give the seller a neutral rating and said seller magically has a 100% even though they have 20 neutral ratings saying they over-grade. That’s a problem. You have buyers afraid to rate negative because then the sellers turn around and give one back to be vindictive. I literally watched a seller have a negative review for over-grading and item not correct version (i.e reissue instead of original) and the seller somehow got the rating removed and they retained their 100% rating. What gives?
     
  14. optoman

    optoman Forum Resident

    Location:
    London. UK
    As a seller in Discogs you can have the negative feedback removed if you can convince Discogs that it was not justified. Happened to me once when a buyer gave me a negative feedback but I asked Discogs to look at the communication between us and it was clear that I was right. They removed the negative feedback but also removed the negative feedback that I gave the buyer.
    It may be that the buyer has the same rights. If you feel that a complaint is not justified it is worth asking Discogs to look into it. Financial disputes are better dealt with by PayPal.
    When I buy in Discogs I never buy less than NM and to be fair most of the time there is no issues but if what I bought is more like what I would call VG+ then I accept it anyway because I understand this human desire to describe the condition optimistically.
     
  15. ggergm

    ggergm Sir Guy

    Location:
    Minnesota
    EX, which is the same as VG++, was never a Goldmine grade. It didn't exist. It has been added to many grading systems, including ours here on SH.tv. Discogs is just being strict to Goldmine standards.

    I'm not sure this is for the best. With the slightest flaw, a record goes from M- to VG+. The idea is M- is reserved for next to perfect records and VG now becomes everyday albums, with a bit of noise or ring wear on the cover. VG+ effectively becomes EX. I don't think this is realistic considering both grade inflation and how sloppy some folks are with their grading.
     
    Big Blue likes this.
  16. Triss

    Triss Dark Horse Thread Starter

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    It just forces Sellers to use NM to get a fair price on an Ex record, rather than list it at VG+ and take a 15% hit. My rule is EX and above, but since lockdown I’ve turned to Discogs exclusively and tried some VG+ with varying results
     
  17. Mr. Gnome

    Mr. Gnome Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    And records are being priced 15% higher for the condition they’re in. The biggest complaint I see looking at seller feedback is that a record graded NM is over graded. What’s more important to a seller, taking a 15% hit or ruining their reputation which will cost them way more than that?
     
    Rockin' Robby likes this.
  18. ggergm

    ggergm Sir Guy

    Location:
    Minnesota
    This is my solution. When using strict Goldmine grading, even the slightest ding takes my grade for a record from M- to VG+.

    This may come from spending decades in retail. Under-promise and over-deliver.
     
    SoNineties likes this.
  19. krisjay

    krisjay Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maine
    Sadly I seem to find my VG+ is a lot of other peoples NM. NM to me is as good as any record can be really. I've seen VERY FEW truly Mint albums. Perhaps the Beatles Mono Box Set I bought had what was as close to Mint albums that I have seen before.
     
    Rockin' Robby and Big Blue like this.
  20. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™

    Location:
    Greater Vancouver
    :agree: I sell CD's with the same results. If I grade it VG+ I use the description box to tell the complete story so a buyer has no problem understanding it is in fact better than the VG+ grading of Discogs would imply. I tend to follow the grading here at SHF much more closely with much better guidelines and descriptions.
     
  21. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I actually go so far as to not trust a NM grade, on any selling platform. I’d prefer an honest VG+ with description of the damage over a NM without specifics and pics. NM rarely seems to really indicate something that is NM.
     
  22. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Well, Mint should still be sealed...
     
  23. krisjay

    krisjay Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maine
    In the case of Beatles Mono box albums, they were not sealed originally, but many were mint examples. The individual sealed for retail examples seemed to be less than the box counterparts, although most still were quality pressing examples.
     
  24. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I am not sure I understand. Condition grades are not the same as quality of pressing.

    I will admit I did not realize until re-reading grading guidelines just now that mint can be unsealed, but must not have been played. I would have a hard time trusting something listed Mint condition if it was not sealed, though. For most collectible items that originally come in a sealed package, Mint means still sealed in the package. So I would have thought the box set needed to be sealed in order to be graded Mint. Once you take the shrink wrap off of the outside of the box, I’m not believing anything higher than NM as a grade.
     
    Rockin' Robby likes this.
  25. krisjay

    krisjay Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maine
    Perhaps a bad choice of words. I simply meant many of the sealed individual copies were also excellent grades new. I just found the box set copies a tad nicer overall, probably due mostly to handling and retail enviorment.
     
    Big Blue likes this.

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