We grade records based on Goldmine definitions but with modifications because Goldmine's VG+ is too broad, and depending on the seller, could mean anything from strong VG to NM-.
We only use Presumed Mint for new sealed records or new old stock records that are unopened. We don't use this grade to describe jackets/covers.
Near Mint (NM)
A NM record is nearly perfect. It's glossy and has no visible defects. Because vinyl records are a physical medium, even a NM record may have some barely audible surface noise. As for jackets/covers, we only use NM to describe ones that are new and still sealed.
An EX record is just shy of NM due to one or two faint sleeve scuffs or spots of ghosting but free of hairlines, scuffs and scratches. EX records sound nearly as good as NM records with almost no surface noise. We generally only use EX to describe jackets/covers that are still in shrink wrap but opened. EX jackets look almost new and may have a saw cut or hole punch.
Very Good Plus (VG+)
Except for a couple of minor things, a VG+ record would be EX. VG+ records show slight signs of wear, including faint sleeve scuffs, ghosting or very fine hairlines that do not affect play (DNAP). There may be occasional very light surface noise in quieter passages and in between songs. VG+ covers may have light ring wear, tiny corner dings, a saw cut/hole punch/clipped corner and sticker residue. Most collectors consider VG+ records and jackets to be perfectly acceptable.
Lower Very Good Plus (Lower VG+)
For the most part, a Lower VG+ record sounds as good (or almost as good) as a VG+ record except it has more obvious visual wear, including sleeve scuffs, actual light scuffs, multiple hairlines, heavier ghosting and persistent fingerprints. Lower VG+ records tend to sound better than they look but they may have light surface noise in parts but not throughout an entire side. Lower VG+ jackets may have a combination of light ring/spine/seam wear and light creases but are structurally intact.
Very Good (VG)
We generally don’t post VG records unless they are rare/scarce, in high demand or valuable in better condition. A VG record looks more dull than glossy, has lots of light scuffs and hairlines, groove wear and light scratches feelable with a fingernail. It will have surface noise, ticks and pops, but the noise will not overpower the music. VG jackets will have obvious signs of handling, including more pronounced ring/spine/seam wear, writing, creases, small tears, corner bends and partially split seams.
We ship records using new LP mailers with cardboard stiffeners or standard/jumbo Whiplash mailers with bubble wrap (depending on the quantity of records ordered) via USPS Media Mail with tracking. Shipping throughout the U.S. is FREE for orders over $50, and $5 for orders under $50.
We're the only record store in the world (that we know of) that ultrasonic cleans all of our used records priced $4 and up. We place cleaned records inside new inner sleeves (to prevent dust contamination from the original liners) and place the entire album inside a plastic outer sleeve. Our price stickers have a light, removable adhesive designed for antiquarian bookstores. It's time consuming, but we want you to enjoy the cleanest, best-sounding records possible. We can also ultrasonic clean records from your collection for $49 per batch of 16 LPs (no 45s or 78s though). Ask us for details.