Grading System

With over 38 years experience evaluating hundreds of thousands of rare and collectable items, we are confident that our gradings are accurate, reliable and trustworthy. Independent customer feedback gained through marketplace sites we sell through confirms outstanding levels of customer satisfaction, with a great many more than happy that their items arrived in “better condition than graded”.

As grading is subjective and open to a certain degree of interpretation, we prefer to under-grade items so as to avoid disappointment – we do not deliberately attempt to inflate grades to gain additional sales – our attempts at accuracy are genuine. All items are inspected visually under a strong halogen light, which is completely unforgiving – unfortunately (fortunately !?), as you may appreciate, we do not have the time or resources to listen to/view each individual item although certain items showing potential flaws may be tested, with any relevant remarks added to it’s description. Where appropriate, we will mention any significant negative points such as defacing, water damage, sticker removal tears, original record centre pushed out etc., however we do not detail each and every minor flaw, instead offering a general appraisal overall within the essence of the grading definitions as below.

Items are graded by the cover/outer packaging first, followed by the media contained (in their respective order of play). Those without a picture/company/generic cover are signified by a dash first e.g. (-/ex) = plain cover, media in “excellent” condition. Any items listed without a specific grading are by default “excellent” condition or better.

When placing an order, please be assured that the items are once again double-checked before payment is requested. Any discrepancies will be advised accordingly. All gradings are guaranteed. Please also be aware that even brand new and unplayed vinyl may have slight surface noise, static etc. … that’s their nature. Also, picture disc sound quality is inherently inferior to that of standard vinyl.

We adhere to the widely recognised “Record Collector” (UK) magazine grading code, details of which are below. Please note that we apply the spirit of this to non-recorded music items such as magazines, posters, t-shirts etc. for the purposes of simplicity and uniformity.


(m): The record itself is in brand new condition with no surface marks or deterioration in sound quality. The cover and any extra items such as the lyric sheet, booklet or poster are in perfect condition. Records advertised as Sealed or Unplayed should be Mint.


(ex): The record shows some signs of having been played, but there is very little lessening in sound quality. The cover and packaging might have slight wear and / or creasing.


(vg): The record has obviously been played many times, but displays no major deterioration in sound quality, despite noticeable surface marks and the occasional light scratch. Normal wear and tear on the cover or extra items, without any major defects, is acceptable.


(g): The record has been played so much that the sound quality has noticeably deteriorated, perhaps with some distortion and mild scratches. The cover and contents suffer from folding, scuffing of edges, spine splits, discolouration, etc.


(f): The record is still just playable but has not been cared for properly and displays considerable surface noise; it may even jump. The cover and contents will be torn, stained and / or defaced.


(p): The record will not play properly due to scratches, bad surface noise, etc. The cover and contents will be badly damaged or partly missing.


(b): The record is unplayable or might even be broken, and is only of use as a collection filler."

As well as the above standard grades, we use;


The item is still in it’s original seal from new and will be unplayed


(nm) : The item is very close to mint but shows negligible flaws - we will often default an item that appears to be in “mint” condition to this grading


(+) : This is added to gradings where we feel that the item is borderline to a superior grading e.g. a “near mint” condition sleeve with a dink on the corner may be viewed as 95% “near mint” and 5% “very good”, which although not worthy of an “excellent” grading would justify a “very good+” one.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.