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Grading 45S For Sale

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I think there should be a comment about noting a disparity between visual condition and playing condition. Also, I would prefer it if every record was graded visually, don't know if people would agree to that.

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They are visual gradings not play gradings but yes if a Mint looking 45 plays with a hiss all the way through ity's not M- really. Think you would mention that along with WOL etc. Added a sentence Bob. if you can come up with more comprehensive wording feel free to suggest.

ROD

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I just want to avoid buying a 45 where people are like "plays VG+" and the record is destroyed but plays ok. I care about how it looks as much as how it plays.

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Don't know if it's just me Rod but in my humble opinion you need an Ex in there?

Cheers

Steve

and so it begins........ :D

Yeah - we need be able to say Ex++ and Ex-

Otherwise we'd be in danger of offering an accurate grading (and we're all so paranoid that others won't the same that we daren't).

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Rod

I'm really pleased to see this coming along well.

Just some thoughts to add to the debate ...

I have had several records over the past couple of weeks, including an expensive auction item from a UK main dealer, that were described as M- but which according to this grading system would be VG+ (and which I think I would grade as VG+).

Although I much prefer the US grading system I wonder whether people would be prepared to follow a system without Excellent in it.

That said, I think your VG++ could quite easily be the Excellent grade.

In fact, using more than one + (plus) in association with VG can be confusing. Currently you have 4 x VG grades.

Using a - (minus) on Excellent (I know you are not proposing this - but people use it a lot now) is a fudge as far as I'm concerned if also using VG+/VG++ as you can't easily operate both the plus and minus systems together (too many sub-grades defeats the purpose of lumping records into clear grades).

Using a - (minus) when there is already a + (plus) grade available is basically a ploy for someone who has a decent VG record (VG+/VG++) to call it Excellent (E-) because it then sounds better and gets the record artificially into the higher category.

The other key thing for me apart from a grading scale, and what I was promoting a few months ago, is a series of tips on how to grade. Unless you conclude that many people are dishonest graders (which I don't think they are) then it seems there is a lack of basic know-how about grading.

Grading a record under a bright light (e.g. anglepoise lamp, kitchen unit halogen down-lighter, or in bright sunshine) shows all of the marks and imperfections to make a record VG+ when in ordinary flat artificial light (using the ceiling 'big light' in a room) it could possibly even be graded M- (exactly like the auction record I mentioned above).

Also, do people know how to check for warps, dishing I wonder? Turn the record in its side and rotate, put it on a turntable and rotate it and look for lift (check both sides as the lift can be different). Could result in description such as 'slight edge warp with 4mm lift when rotated on turntable'.

What about describing label stains, marks, writing? - this is usually described subjectively - 'minor', 'nothing serious' - rather than something like 'two lines of discoloured sticker residue from sticker removal approximately 4cm long across bottom of label covering artist and song title details'.

On reflection, maybe I'm just too anal about this? :lol:

Cheers

Richard

Edited by Premium Stuff

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I can understand some wanting Ex in there but why Ex-? It is either Ex or it isn't, if not it drops too the next lower grade.

I don't see the need for visual and play grades unless there is some deterioration in the sound then it should be mentioned, along with any other information, edge warp NAP, sol etc.

Too many grades simply complicates the system. At the end of the day sellers are abusing the grades with vg+++++++, Ex+, Ex- and so on to get more money out of buyers.

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Unless there's an EX grade this is a complete waste of time, sorry Rod, there's a huge jump between vg++ or whatever and mint.

Not necessarily if VG++ (VG++The odd barely discernable surface mark or minor blemish) is used accurately. VG+ records should be decent play copies too according the system.

I think the problem has always been the graders, not the grading and it'll take more than a new system to solve that one.

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All you need is a grade between VG+ & NM to narrow the gap, VG++ provides this, no need for the dreaded European "Ex" grade. Better to do away with it because people have downgraded "Ex" so much that it is now taken to mean VG- or VG in most situations & it is no longer an accurate representation of the grade between VG+ & NM. In my opinion "Ex" has been misused so much that it has lost meaning & at this point it's futile trying to drag the grade back to where it should be. VG++ still has some integrity attached to it & is a far more accurate representation of the VG+ to NM spectrum.

I think the grading guidelines offered above by Rod are sound.

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yeah, if you don't use EX there isn't much gap at all between VG++ and NM. NM for me means virtually no marks (maybe 1 or 2), VG++ might have a few light marks.

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All you need is a grade between VG+ & NM to narrow the gap, VG++ provides this, no need for the dreaded European "Ex" grade. Better to do away with it because people have downgraded "Ex" so much that it is now taken to mean VG- or VG in most situations & it is no longer an accurate representation of the grade between VG+ & NM. In my opinion "Ex" has been misused so much that it has lost meaning & at this point it's futile trying to drag the grade back to where it should be. VG++ still has some integrity attached to it & is a far more accurate representation of the VG+ to NM spectrum.

I think the grading guidelines offered above by Rod are sound.

No it's VG+ and VG++ that are misused, not EX. What the hell are you talking about, EX means VG-. MY EX means it's almost new so speak for yourself. British sellers have always used EX. You cannot jump from vg++ to mint. It's ridiculous. It's people grading vg and vg+ records as ex that are the problem.

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No it's VG+ and VG++ that are misused, not EX. What the hell are you talking about, EX means VG-. MY EX means it's almost new so speak for yourself. British sellers have always used EX. You cannot jump from vg++ to mint. It's ridiculous. It's people grading vg and vg+ records as ex that are the problem.

Dude, the amount of VG- records that get flogged off as EX is ridiculous, if you don't do that then fine, you must be one of the good guys who actually can still grade a record. If you are denying that it happens then you are being naive. I agree that EX should mean almost new but today's reality is that's just not the case. British sellers have always used Ex & most of the blame for the degradation of EX must fall there. VG++ is & has always been a common sense US alternative which has held up much better as the stepping stone from VG+ to NM/M- or whatever people use for their top grade.

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Anyone selling is responsible for giving a description of the record.Wether visual or play grade.Visual only doesnt mean much cos it could play like a bar-b-cue.Selling from visual only (unless for cheap stuff,take your chances,) is just idleness.

Marrying visual and play plus adding in marks,wol,edge warp,ringwear,gives confidence to the buyer,who may then repeat buy.

On the subject of EX,to me that means played,but has had no effect on the visual or play value.

Because its not a real science chaps.Adding + or - to grades,is in the ear and eye of the seller.

VG,VG+,EX,M-,M.

M grade i'd expect it to suck the static dust off as you draw it from the company sleeve.

Edited by KevH

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Anyone selling is responsible for giving a description of the record.Wether visual or play grade.Visual only doesnt mean much cos it could play like a bar-b-cue.Selling from visual only (unless for cheap stuff,take your chances,) is just idleness.

Marrying visual and play plus adding in marks,wol,edge warp,ringwear,gives confidence to the buyer,who may then repeat buy.

On the subject of EX,to me that means played,but has had no effect on the visual or play value.

Because its not a real science chaps.Adding + or - to grades,is in the ear and eye of the seller.

VG,VG+,EX,M-,M.

M grade i'd expect it to suck the static dust off as you draw it from the company sleeve.

I totally disagree with this. A visually clean record that plays bad usually just needs to be cleaned well. It is *very* rare in my experience for this to not be true. On the other hand, a trashed record that plays mint is not mint. I always want a visual grade and a play grade if it plays differently for some reason.

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I totally disagree with this. A visually clean record that plays bad usually just needs to be cleaned well. It is *very* rare in my experience for this to not be true. On the other hand, a trashed record that plays mint is not mint. I always want a visual grade and a play grade if it plays differently for some reason.

yep, only real issues arise from poorly pressed records which although maybe unplayed will play noisy. I'm looking at you certain Jamie, Sue & 4 Brothers vinyl 45s for example. Trashed records which play mint should be given the visual grade & then have an aural grade added as an addition in a perfect world.

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Im using VG++ because mainly it's US 45s selling on here and that is the US system.

Ex is a UK thing but EX equates with VG++ or should do.

I would have thought most people do check the 45 for sound quality before selling. Hence M- as sticklers would say it's not M cos you played it.

So M- and VG++ are grades pertaining to 45s that have have almost never been played or hardly at all. Then VG+ is for 45s that have been well cared for despite a lot of plays so there's bound to be some light marks or odd light scuff and below those are 45s that haven't been looked after.

They are only guidelines and are not compulsory.

I do think though once you start getting into too many grades it gets a bit confusing. Something like EX- what does it mean? There's a mnor blemish plus some other blemishes? Wouldn't VG+ work better with a brief description like couple of scuffs on A, B has couple of marks.

Like Richard I wouldn't be happy pulling anything stated as around EX out of it's sleeve and noticing marks and scuffs.

BTW I also updated Tips in Sales Guidelines to recommend that all sellers state refund policy in their ads and if they don't buyers should make sure before buying.

ROD

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If people are happy to use M- instead of VG++, get rid of VG++ and just use the M- instead.

OK, so technically they don't mean the same thing, but it removes any grey areas between VG++ and M-, and (as pointed out above) makes the quality look better, while the buyer understands what is really meant?

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yep, only real issues arise from poorly pressed records which although maybe unplayed will play noisy. I'm looking at you certain Jamie, Sue & 4 Brothers vinyl 45s for example. Trashed records which play mint should be given the visual grade & then have an aural grade added as an addition in a perfect world.

also styrene burnt records might look super clean but play horrible. in that case i would note in detail how it plays.

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Im using VG++ because mainly it's US 45s selling on here and that is the US system.

Ex is a UK thing but EX equates with VG++ or should do.

I would have thought most people do check the 45 for sound quality before selling. Hence M- as sticklers would say it's not M cos you played it.

So M- and VG++ are grades pertaining to 45s that have have almost never been played or hardly at all. Then VG+ is for 45s that have been well cared for despite a lot of plays so there's bound to be some light marks or odd light scuff and below those are 45s that haven't been looked after.

They are only guidelines and are not compulsory.

I do think though once you start getting into too many grades it gets a bit confusing. Something like EX- what does it mean? There's a mnor blemish plus some other blemishes? Wouldn't VG+ work better with a brief description like couple of scuffs on A, B has couple of marks.

Like Richard I wouldn't be happy pulling anything stated as around EX out of it's sleeve and noticing marks and scuffs.

BTW I also updated Tips in Sales Guidelines to recommend that all sellers state refund policy in their ads and if they don't buyers should make sure before buying.

ROD

I don't use the grade M as I play everything so my top grade is M-. That's for a record which is ostensibly new/unplayed until I played it.

EX will have been played a couple of times and will be scratch, pop, mark free, maybe it may have some sleeve removal marks but thats it.

I've no idea why you can't tell that there's a big difference between EX- and VG+.

VG is a grade way down from EX. VG, VG+, VG++ is going to be a used record with many marks. EX- will have maybe one mark, one tiny click.

EX is absolutely nowhere near VG++.

As someone who sells over 5000 records every year, and receives maybe 1 or 2 back out of that lot, I think I'm qualified to comment on this with confidence. It's not my fault if other people are dishonest in their gradings.

EX stays, for me anyway, I can't sell records without being able to use EX and switch over to some ridiculous American grading system which leaps from vg to mint.

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like i said gotta be down to the individual

Agree with Dave with the following caveat; a guide to grades and grading, as Rod is doing, is helpful to buyers / sellers to provide some benchmark in order to protect their purchase.

However, the exact grading system, with a clear description of each grade, should be stated by the seller and should be in line with the "generally" accepted standards for record collecting whether US (Goldmine), UK (Record Collector), not some arbitrary measure such as VG+++++++++ etc, state specific points, e.g. wol, dh, and importantly be a measure of both visual & play grade, after all we collect for the beauty of the object as well as the tune itself.

Lastly, any reputable seller, professional or casual, should honour their sales with a refund if the customer isn't happy and the item is returned in a timely manner (7 days?)

Only my opinion of course :)

Edited by ClearVinyl

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I totally disagree with this. A visually clean record that plays bad usually just needs to be cleaned well. It is *very* rare in my experience for this to not be true. On the other hand, a trashed record that plays mint is not mint. I always want a visual grade and a play grade if it plays differently for some reason.

Agree .The point i was going for was the visually graded clean,that have sound quality faults from recording.

In other words EX visual,VG play.No excuse from sellers not to mention this.

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Agree .The point i was going for was the visually graded clean,that have sound quality faults from recording.

In other words EX visual,VG play.No excuse from sellers not to mention this.

I agree with this. I think the point is if there's any disparity between the visual and play grades, it should be mentioned explicitly what the issue is and possibly graded separately.

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