To help you in your search, here is a guide to records and sleeves grading commonly used to describe the condition of a vinyl record and its cover.
- STILL SEALED: factory-filmed and never opened. The disc is supposed to be new but this can only be verified when it is opened.
- MINT: Absolutely perfect in every way. Record without a single scratch, certainly never been played, possibly even still sealed.
- NEAR MINT: scratch-free record perfectly shiny. A few micro-scratches with no impact on the sound are allowed. The label is clean, shiny and without marking.
- EXCELLENT: The record has an almost perfect surface, with only a few micro-scratches and / or one or two scratches that do not affect the sound. The record is shiny, the label is clean and unmarked.
- VERY GOOD +: record with visible wear, some scratches with minor impact on the sound. The shine remains correct, the label is clean but may include minor imperfections (small label, initials, …)
- VERY GOOD: record with visible stripes causing a minor surface noise without covering the music, but no jumps. The disc may appear dull, the label may be worn and have wider markings, but remains quite listenable.
- GOOD: The record is worn, dull, showing deeper stripes causing noticeable cracking. The disc will pass in its entirety without major irregularity, the label can be significantly damaged or erased.
- FAIR: record with a clearly damaged surface, with deep scratches, pronounced cracking and jumps. Listening to this type of disc is painful and should only be acquired if it is rare or when expecting a better copy.
- STILL SEALED: pouch in its original cellophane.
- MINT: absolutely perfect sleeve (corners without deformation, no fold, mark or tear of any kind, no ring wear related to the thickness of the disc).
- NEAR MINT: sleeve close to perfection, showing only minor signs of wear.
- EXCELLENT: sleeve with minor ring wear and slight creases at the corners, but without further crease, tear of the edges or writing. The design is clean and wear-free..
- VERY GOOD + : clean sleeve with minor writing and / or slight ring wear causing a slight wear of the graphics. Other possible defects: slight discoloration, minor wear of the edges without tearing, small creases at the corners.
- VERY GOOD: the sleeve is visibly worn. The edges are spliting or have been repaired with adhesive. There is a pronounced ring wear but the graphics remain attractive. Other possible defects: discoloration, wide writing, labels, various marks, damaged corners.
- GOOD: the sleeve is showing several obvious signs of the defects listed above. To be acquired only iif you are expecting a better copy.
- FAIR: Unusable.