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Music Media Grading Guide

This guide describes the details of the condition grades we assign to vinyl records, cassettes, CDs and box sets/special products. While it is impossible to precisely describe each individual item's condition, we hope these grades will help you assess items you are interested in. Please also review the specific item description and photographs we provide before making a buying decision.

See the Collectible Vinyl, Tapes, CDs section here.


A record in Mint or M condition is considered perfect. Usually sealed and has never been played or has never been played. Record is in brand new condition without any surface scratches or imperfections. No sound quality deterioration
Jacket and additional items such as booklet, lyric sheet, poster, etc. are in excellent condition. If a record is indicated as Unplayed or Sealed, this typically denotes Mint condition. 

Near Mint or NM records are more common and still are collector grade. A record in Near Mint condition has been played only a few times. It appears glossy and has only very minimal marks and no scratches that affect play quality. Jacket and additional items such as booklet, lyric sheet, poster, etc. are complete and in excellent condition with no markings. There is no writing, markings, or stickers on the record label (other than promo markings if a promo copy) and no spindle marks (marks that appear on the record label around the spindle hole that occur when a user places a record on a player incorrectly). There is no ring wear, surface wear, creases or seam splits on the the jacket. In addition, NM records are free of any factory defects. If a record has been pressed off-centre, it does not have NM grade. When played, it shouldn’t have any surface noise.

Near Mint records are more common and still are collector grade.A record graded Excellent or EXC is almost Near Mint, but it may have very slight marks where the record has been in and out of its sleeve. There may be very minimal signs that show light use of the vinyl. Any wear has an extremely minimal impact on audio quality. While jacket and other materials are all there and complete, similarly, there may be slight jacket and handling wear apparent on these materials. 

A record graded Very Good Plus or VG+ has a few additional faults. However, none that severely compromise the records playability or visual appearance of the jacket and other material. There may be light marks that don't cause audible flaws on the record, and there can be some minimal surface and edge wear on the jacket and materials. 

A record graded Very Good or VG means that it has seen slightly more use than one graded VG+. There can be light clicks and pops when played and light visible scratches, but in general not any that cause skips and no significant deterioration in audio quality. The jacket may also have more visible surface wear (although short of pronounced ring wear), an edge split and minor corner wear and tear.

A record in Good or G condition means that it has been played extensively. Audio quality will have deteriorated more significantly with more pronounced clicks and pops. There may be mild scratches. The jacket and materials have are likely showing more significant surface wear and fairly pronounced ring wear, edge scuffing, corner nicks, discoloration and/or spine splits.

A record in Fair or F condition means that it is still in just playable condition. It has likely not been kept properly, may have significant surface noise and may skip. Jacket and other materials may be incomplete, stained, torn, or defaced and pronounced ring wear.

If the record is in Poor or P condition, it means that it cannot be played properly because of very significant scratches and other wear that causes major audio playback problems. The jacket and materials are likely incomplete, have surface tears and bends, and extensive ring wear. 

A record graded Bad or B will be unplayable and the jacket and materials missing or in mostly destroyed condition. The record may even be broken or cracked and records of this grade are generally of no value to collectors.

See the Collectible Vinyl, Tapes, CDs section here.