Buying Vinyl Records
As a buyer...
Buying Vinyl records is a hobby for some people, but if you are just getting into it, it is important to know what to look for. Vinyls are usually graded in several ways. You will usually find a grade for the suface of the vinyl (the higher this grade, the better the condition) and then a grade for any sleeves that it has.
The Grading System
- Mint - a mint vinyl is one which is perfect or very near perfect. It will usually have no suface scratches and will be quite like new.
- Near Mint - it goes without saying that this means that the vinyl is near perfect but there is just a slight defect.
- Very Good - The vinyl has one or two suface scratches etc or creases in the sleeve.
- Good - This vinyl will still play but there may be crackles etc and/or the sleeve may be damaged.
- Poor - Try and steer clear of these. They will generally be unlistenable as they may contain a scratch that causes the record to get stuck.
Obviously, these are just a guide and some sellers use different systems. The seller will usually display his/her system in the listing. If there isn't a system or the quality isn't mentioned, don't buy it!
When buying a vinyl, also look to see if the listing has a photograph. Make sure this photograph looks authentic (e.g from a digital camera and not edited) and that it is not copied from the Internet. If you can see a photograph on the listing, you can visually see the condition of the vinyl and it can also reassure you that you are bidding on the vinyl you want. It will also prove that the seller owns the vinyl.
As a seller...
Create a grading system similar to the one above. This way, buyers will be able to judge the condition of the vinyl and its sleeves. You need to give a grade to the vinyl surface, its sleeve and maybe even gatefold. You then need to describe the vinyl, any pictures, blemishes or even the music on it!
The condition of vinyls considerably affects their price. A mint vinyl will be worth more than a poor vinyl. So make sure you describe the vinyl accurately as you do not want your buyer leaving negative feedback that could have been avoided. Try and describe the vinyl accurately and consider whether it is even worth selling a poor graded vinyl.
Always list vinyls with a digital photograph of it if you can. If you do not have a camera, explain this in the listing. As I have said above, buyers like to see the vinyl for themselves as they can judge the sizes of any creases or scratches etc.