Vinyl grading: am I being picky?

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by Mister President, Aug 31, 2019.

  1. Slick Willie

    Slick Willie Decisively Indecisive

    Location:
    sweet VA.


    No age will not change the rating....just the percentage of surviving VG+'s........making them more valuable?
     
  2. Raynie

    Raynie Hyperactive!

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    It's both. A good seller will have 50% of his VG inventory play VG+ or better. Most sellers vacillate between play grade and visual depending on whichever is better to grade. On one listing they say, "Nice shine, few marks, appears to have little play" something which is noisy, then, "Plays amazing" things playing well that have lots of hairlines. A good seller describes both, stating for the above, "Looks pretty well but some noise" and "Lots of scratches but plays well" and grades lower. By doing so he lists at 50% of the first seller's price and never gets the sale, so that ends up being 5% of sellers.

    This is why buyers complain so much, they pay twice as much, at the low end of the higher grade, hoping for a bargain and receive something over-graded. Then the contacted seller deflects with "it looked good" or "it played great". There's no way to tell bad from good sellers either since discogs scrubs feedback. This is why I'd never buy records online.

    I recommend asking tough questions to check the person's knowledge for grading. Ask how it looks and plays, how the drop in and runout looks, ask for a picture of their inspection station and lighting, what kind of box they mail in. A seller who is competent will entertain this discussion.

    Remind yourself that sellers are picking out of record stores, their profit is often dependent on over-grading. Some have better stores than others.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
    All Down The Line and Chemguy like this.
  3. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    The problem with audible scratches vs. inaudible scratches is that they are gear dependent. Different cartridges have different stylus profiles which ride the portion of the groove differently. Some preamps will emphasize noise more than others. Some speakers will roll off frequencies where crackles occur more than others. For me it would have depended how deep the scratch was. If I could feel it, it would be a no go, even if it played back with minimal noise with one of my cartridges. Odds are I could hear it with another cartridge since I have a few.

    Big visual flaws need to be mentioned by the seller, whether they affect play or not on the seller's rig.
     
  4. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Forum Resident

    Location:
    Australia
    Yes this is why having both gradings is the most beneficial as sellers can lean on one or the other to boost the end price of an album in ordinary condition.
    Novice collectors be aware!
     
  5. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Forum Resident

    Location:
    Australia
    Yes they do but often are not.
     
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  6. Unseelhilr8

    Unseelhilr8 New Member

    Location:
    delhi
    You are not at all being unreasonable.
     
  7. lazydawg58

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

    Location:
    Lillington NC
    Was the grade listed as play graded or visual graded or not specified? If it was play graded then it would be correct. If it was visually graded it would be incorrect, probably should have been G. If it wasn't specified you should assume it was visually graded and not correct. That is the way I see it. Visual grading is nothing more than an educated guess. I hate it. But high volume sellers obviously can't play grade all their records.
     
  8. lazydawg58

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

    Location:
    Lillington NC
    I never sell online but do sell some of my collection with a table at an antique shop. Here is how I grade.
    1. Never grade cover. You can see for yourself.
    2. Never grade anything NM. It is a used record. If it is sealed just list it as sealed.
    3. Never base a grade on anything but how it plays.
    4. VG+ is an album the plays with no noticeable flaws.
    5. VVG is an album that plays very nice but might have a random crackle or pop.
    6. VG is an album that plays well, some minor/random surface noise, doesn't take away from the enjoyment of the music.
    7. VG- is an album that plays well, with some surface noise, but still enjoyable listening.
    8. G+ lots of surface noise, crackles and pops but plays without skipping. Discard immediately!
     
  9. Mister President

    Mister President Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Pretty sure it was play graded but tbh there was no way it was a VG+, VG - at best!!!!
     
  10. Mister President

    Mister President Forum Resident Thread Starter

    There is also a seller on discogs who grades the records out of 10 but it still doesn't really correlate to the grade e.g a "7 out of 10" in the description but NM- in the grading.

    ????
     
  11. lazydawg58

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

    Location:
    Lillington NC
    The reality is that a used record is almost always VG or slightly better or worse. VG+ is suppose to play like a NM but not look like NM.
     
  12. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Scummy tactic, hoping people order without seeing that, then offers a partial refund to anyone that complains about overgrading. If the seller paid pennies on the dollar for the records, still come out ahead and the listings get seen more than if they were honestly graded. Lots of scum sellers online these days, which is why I hate buying used vinyl online.
     
  13. zombiemodernist

    zombiemodernist Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northeastern USA
    Worth reporting them IMO. They’re supposed to comply with Discogs grading standards.
     
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  14. SwollenGoat

    SwollenGoat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    Why make up your own grading system? Your VG+ is commonly known as NM and your VVG(??) is a VG+.
     
  15. lazydawg58

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

    Location:
    Lillington NC
    The goldmine/DISCOGS standards are very clear. VG+ is suppose to be the same as NM except for appearance. That means it plays with no issues. The next step is VG and there is a huge amount of wiggle room within that grade. A record with a couple of crackles is a lot different from a record with light surface noise throughout the album. So I use VVG and VG- to better inform buyers. They are simply more exact subgroups within the VG grade. So I am using the standard system of Goldmine/DISCOGS, just adding to it.

    Rating a record with some degree of flaws NM is exactly the problem. It is commonly done and it is over grading! As I posted earlier in the thread, almost all used albums for sell are really VG unless they are totally trashed and need to be repurposed.


    Near Mint (NM or M-)
    Vinyl

    A nearly perfect record. A NM- record has more than likely never been played, and the vinyl will play perfectly, with no imperfections during playback. Many dealers won't give a grade higher than this implying (perhaps correctly) that no record is ever truly perfect. The record should show no obvious signs of wear. A 45 RPM or EP sleeve should have no more than the most minor defects, such as any sign of slight handling. An LP cover should have no creases, folds, seam splits, cut-out holes, or other noticeable similar defects. The same should be true of any other inserts, such as posters, lyric sleeves, etc.
    Very Good Plus (VG+)
    Vinyl

    Generally worth 50% of the Near Mint value. A Very Good Plus record will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it. Defects should be more of a cosmetic nature, not affecting the actual playback as a whole. Record surfaces may show some signs of wear and may have slight scuffs or very light scratches that don't affect one's listening experiences. Slight warps that do not affect the sound are "OK". The label may have some ring wear or discoloration, but it should be barely noticeable. Spindle marks may be present. Picture sleeves and inner sleeves will have some slight wear, slightly turned-up corners, or a slight seam split. An LP cover may have slight signs of wear, and may be marred by a cut-out hole, indentation, or cut corner. In general, if not for a couple of minor things wrong with it, this would be Near Mint.
    Very Good (VG)
    Vinyl

    Generally worth 25% of Near Mint value. Many of the defects found in a VG+ record will be more pronounced in a VG disc. Surface noise will be evident upon playing, especially in soft passages and during a song's intro and fade, but will not overpower the music otherwise. Groove wear will start to be noticeable, as with light scratches (deep enough to feel with a fingernail) that will affect the sound. Labels may be marred by writing, or have tape or stickers (or their residue) attached. The same will be true of picture sleeves or LP covers. However, it will not have all of these problems at the same time. Goldmine price guides with more than one price will list Very Good as the lowest price.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019

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