Grading Guide

The Record Selector family has been in the record business since 1996, and currently, much of our inventory is pre-owned, sourced from collections from all over the United States. That said, it’s essential to understand our grading process before making purchases of pre-owned vinyl from Record Selector. Each release is graded on its individual product page, so be sure to look for the product’s grading, which is presented like this: 

MEDIA: Mint (M)
SLEEVE: Very Good Plus (VG+)
Next, let’s break down the grading process:


All of our records are visually graded, there are far too many to play test.


MINT (M): This grading is usually reserved for products that are still factory sealed. All new inventory purchased from distributors will be assumed Mint, as we can’t unseal the vinyl to inspect it. Any pre-owned, yet still sealed copies are also assumed to be Mint. A used Mint record will be absolutely perfect with no defects at all. It is unlikely we will use this grading to describe a non-factory sealed record, aside from unplayed record company promos. It is also unlikely that we will use Mint to grade the jacket - even on new products - as jacket corners can bend during the shipping process.

NEAR MINT (NM): Most used vinyl that is almost perfect will be awarded the Near Mint grading. It’s important to note that Near Mint does not mean Mint. A Near Mint record may have a tiny visible defect or two that does not affect playback. Near Mint records usually appear shiny or unplayed, but even records that have been used can still be described as Near Mint. Most factory-sealed new and pre-owned jackets will receive the Near Mint grading by default, even if they are technically Mint. 

VERY GOOD PLUS (VG+): A Very Good Plus record has obviously been played and may have some leftover residue on the surface. It may show minimal signs of wear, such as light scratches that aren’t deep enough to be felt by hand. These scratches should be light enough that they will not affect playback. Very Good Plus records are a safe buy and guarantee satisfaction. But like above, Very Good Plus does not mean Near Mint; know the difference to avoid disappointment. Very Good Plus sleeves may have minor defects, but are still fully intact. There should be no sleeve seam splits, tattering on the spine, water damage or tearing to the cover of a VG+ sleeve. 

VERY GOOD (VG): A Very Good record will show signs of wear, such as numerous light scratches on the disc, but none of these scratches should be deep enough to cause the record to skip. However, these light defects may cause brief noises such as occasional snap-crackle-pops during playback. Very Good jackets may show shelfwear, but generally should be free of large sleeve seam splits, tattering on the spine, water damage or tearing to the cover. 

GOOD PLUS (G+): Good Plus records are obviously a step down from Very Good and will have significant groove wear to the disc. These records will generally playthrough without skipping, however one should expect a large amount of crackle during playback. Good Plus sleeves may have obvious aging, such as ringwear / shelfwear, minor sleeve seam splits, but the jacket should overwise be presentable. We suggest purchasing Good Plus and below only for collector/completionist/shelf pieces that you don’t intend to play at your dinner party or in your DJ set.

GOOD (G): Good might as well stand for “Good Enough”. These records usually show obvious heavy scratches and wear and will more than likely have some playback issues. Good Records may be slightly dished, which is usually noted in the description. Good sleeves will usually have defects such as light tearing to the cover, larger sleeve seam splits, spines that are tattered and heavy shelfwear. 

FAIR (F) - Fair starts with “F” for a reason. The only thing that separates a “Fair” record from a “Poor” one is that the record is still in one piece. You can expect a Fair record to have deep gashes in it, to be littered with scratches on both sides, or to be warped (which will be noted). Fair sleeves may be badly torn, water damaged, or split completely in half.

Poor (P) - You are unlikely to find many products in our catalog with the “Poor” grading. A Poor record is warped like one of those vinyl bowls that people on Etsy make. A Poor record has a large chunk taken out of it like the Delicious Vinyl logo. A Poor record has deep gashes all over it as if someone used it as a plate to cut up drugs in 1973. A Poor sleeve may have sleeve seam splits, water damage, mold, or sections that are completely torn off. We may make exceptions on carrying Poor products for in-demand albums or super rare pieces, but there aren’t many Poor products in our catalog.
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