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How We Grade Our Records @ Championship Vinyl

At Championship Vinyl, we use the Goldmine's Record Grading System

Please note that we generally grade our records one grade lower than they actually are just to ensure that you get a more accurate looking record when it arrives at your home. We want you to be pleasantly surprised when you receive your record from Championship Vinyl and since sometimes these ratings can be a bit subjective, we grade a step down just to be safe. You can trust that all of our records are in good condition but not all are play tested. Know that if you are not completely satisfied with your record, you can return it hassle free within the 30 calendar day period
Unless otherwise noted, records are visually graded.
Near Mint (NM or M-)
A nearly perfect record. Many dealers won't give a grade higher than this implying that no record is ever truly perfect.

The record shows no obvious signs of wear. A 45 RPM or EP sleeve should have no more than the most minor defects, such as almost invisible ring wear or other signs of slight handling.

An LP cover should have no creases, folds, seam splits or other noticeable similar defects. No cut-out holes, either. And of course, the same should be true of any other inserts, such as posters, lyric sleeves and the like.

Near Mint is the highest price listed in all Goldmine price guides. Anything that exceeds this grade, in the opinion of both buyer and seller, is worth significantly more than the highest Goldmine book value.

Very Good Plus (VG+) 
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.

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 

The label may have some ring wear or discoloration, The center hole will not have been misshapen by repeated play.

Picture sleeves and LP inner sleeves will have some slight wear, lightly turned up corners, or a slight seam split. An LP cover may have slight signs of wear also and may be marred by a cut-out hole, indentation or corner indicating it was taken out of print and sold at a discount.

Very Good (VG)
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. 

Good (G), Good Plus (G+) 
Good does not mean Bad! A record in Good or Good Plus condition can be put onto a turntable and will play through without skipping. But it will have significant surface noise and scratches and visible groove wear (on a styrene record, the groove will be starting to turn white).

A cover or sleeve will have seam splits, especially at the bottom or on the spine. Tape, writing, ring wear or other defects will start to overwhelm the object.

Poor (P), Fair (F) 
The record is cracked, badly warped, and won't play through without skipping or repeating. The picture sleeve is water damaged, split on all three seams and heavily marred by wear and writing. The LP cover barely keeps the LP inside it. Inner sleeves are fully seam split, crinkled, and written upon.

Except for impossibly rare records otherwise unattainable, records in this condition will not be sold at Championship Vinyl. If one is featured on our site, it will be offered at $0.05

Other Considerations

With any Still Sealed (SS) records, unless it's a U.S. pressing from the last 10-15 years, Championship Vinyl will not grade these any higher than an M- grade. Although some legitimately never-opened LPs from the 1960s still exist, the only way you can know for sure is to open the record.

European Imports are not factory-sealed, so if you see them advertised as sealed, someone other than the manufacturer sealed them. Championship Vinyl will also grade these as M-