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EcclecticRecords.
Post subject: eBay Sellers and Grading Scales  PostPosted: Sep 27, 2004 - 08:06 AM
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This is not so much a question as it is a comment.

A lot has been discussed in this group about one's criteria for purchasing vinyl off of eBay. I've seen people list feedback and grammer as determining criteria but no one has seemed to touch on the fact that MANY sellers use the mystery grading scale on covers and vinyl.

Example: The seller lists a an item as being VG++ for VINYL and NM- for the cover. HOWEVER, they do not define what VG++ or NM- mean. It really gets time consuming to have to question each seller for their definitions or grading standards.

I no longer bother unless it's something I absolutely want. Word of warning (at least from me): No grading scale listed, NO SALE.

BTW - Very Nice, Looks Good and Playable are not considered a grading scale.
 
   
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scotapellOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 27, 2004 - 08:20 AM
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I think that's fine for professional sellers on ebay. But what about the casual seller. I've gotten quite a few records from sellers who were simply cleaning out their closet.

Most people have no understanding of the grading scale (including some prefessionals). In these cases I'll email asking them to take a closer look. Label and jacket pics can also give an idea of condition. The nice thing about these auctions is that many people won't bid and you can often get a great record considerably cheaper than you would from a "professional" record seller.

Scot

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EcclecticRecords
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 27, 2004 - 08:44 AM
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I see your point and I have to agree. I do take more chances with or I'm more likely to ask questions of casual vinyl sellers.

However, I see a large number of sellers with LARGE amounts of vinyl that either don't include their scale or use a blanket statement of "All Items are excellent unless otherwise noted". I have a problem with these, since this is where I usually get screwed over.
 
   
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Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 27, 2004 - 08:55 AM
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The few problems I've had have been with sellers who sell large numbers of records or other items. I'm not sure if these records have slipped through or if the seller was to busy to grade them accurately.

Collectors can't seem to agree on a grading scale so I don't expect to see standard grading on ebay any time soon. I'm definitely more comfortable bidding on play graded records. I'd say on average I'm usually willing to bid 20-30% more on a record that was play graded. You can usually tell by the description if the seller is a record dealer or just another of the "power sellers" on ebay who just happened to stumble upon some vinyl.

I've been very happy with nearly all the records I've bought on ebay. I've gotten some great deals on records I probably would have never found otherwise.

Scot

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EcclecticRecords
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 27, 2004 - 09:03 AM
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I am also mostly happy with the vinyl purchases I've made off of eBay. I find I greatly increased that satisfation when I get an explanation of the sellers grading.

I also agree that a standard grading scale will never happen. I simply am saying, define your scale. With a definition, at least I know what to expect. For example, here is my grading scale that I put on all my items:

SS (STILL SEALED) - Sealed at factory and never opened. Disc is assumed to be undamaged and mint, but this cannot be proven until the album is actually opened and the disc examined.

M (MINT) - Perfection, no flaws, defects, marks or otherwise indications of being handled or played. Any scuffs, hairline scratches or other marks disqualify discs from this category. The cover will have no corner dings, marks, tears, dents, impressions from the disc, or other flaws. Cover should appear as if a record has never been inside.

NM (NEAR MINT) - This is highest grade that I will assign to opened, handled records. The vinyl is virtually flawless, bright and shiny. A very minor, barely visible scuff or two may be permitted, but no scratches. The disc should play with no audible noise. The label is bright, clean and unmarked. The cover may have very minor signs of wear or cover impressions. Artwork is as close to perfection as possible.

EX (EXCELLENT) - Disc plays near perfectly, but may have minor paper scuffs that do not interfere with the sound quality. There can possibly be a hairline scratch or two but nothing that is obvious or affects play. Vinyl is bright and shiny; label is clean and unmarked. The cover may have minor disc impression (ring wear) or slight corner creases, no wrinkles, puckers, seam splits or writing on the cover. Artwork is clean and unworn and there is no ink wear.

VG++ (VERY GOOD ++) - Some visible surface wear, a few very minor scratches and scuffs, but minimal impact on the sound quality. Vinyl will still have good luster; labels may have minor imperfections (small labels or initials, etc.) but otherwise clean. Cover is clean but may have minor writing or marks and may show slight wear. There may be just the start of ring wear, where the disc has created a raised area on the cover that resulted in the ink wearing off the paper. There may be slight discoloration or staining, minor seam wear, but no splits or tears. Corners may have small creases or fraying.

VG+ (VERY GOOD PLUS) - Some visible surface wear, very minor scratches and scuffs, but minimal impact on the sound quality. The difference between this and a VG++ record is the amount of scuffs and light scratches. Vinyl will still have good luster; labels may have minor imperfections (small labels or initials, etc.) but otherwise clean. Cover is clean but may have minor writing or marks and may show slight wear. There may be just the start of ring wear, where the disc has created a raised area on the cover that resulted in the ink wearing off the paper. There may be slight discoloration or staining, minor seam wear, and/or a small seam split. Corners may have small creases or fraying.

VG (VERY GOOD) - Vinyl will have noticeable scratches or scuffs that cause minor surface noise, but do not overpower the music. There will be no skips. Vinyl may appear somewhat dull and grayish. Labels may have small tears, tape marks, larger writing, etc. but still easily legible. There may be wear or deformation of the spindle hole. Covers are worn and used. Seams may be starting to split or may have been unobtrusively repaired with clear tape. (I use special archival-quality, non-yellowing, clear tape for all repairs.) There is moderate ringwear, but the artwork is still attractive. There may be yellowing or discoloration and there may be larger writing, labels, or marks. Corners may have damage or creases and there may be scratches or gouges that otherwise damage the artwork.

G (GOOD) - Well-played, dull, grayish vinyl with deeper scratches and wear causing distracting surface noise (hisses, pops, cracks and other nasties). The record will still play through without any skips. Labels may be significantly defaced or damaged. Several (but not all of the following flaws will apply: Seam splits, large marker writing, major seam splits, significant ring wear, damaged corners, tears, cuts, gouges, masking or duct tape seam repairs, or other flaws and damage. Again, probably only useful to fill a collection niche until something better can be found.
 
   
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scotapellOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 27, 2004 - 09:36 AM
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That about covers it. It's comforting to see you don't use the mint designation for opened records. I might even use NM "unplayed" as a designation before mint. As easy as it is to copy and paste you'd think more sellers would put their grading standards in their auction. It's not like ebay charges by the word.

An explanation of grading is always more useful than the grade itself.
Many sellers have such an explanation. I think most don't. It could be they don't want to be held to their own standards. After a few years of buying records on ebay I'm getting a little more comfortable with weeding out the good and bad.

I unfortunately live in a town with no used record stores. Garage sales and estate sales rarely have anything I collect so ebay has been a source for a large part of my collection. I've mentioned it before but as a buyer I always try to make mention of the sellers grading accuracy. Unfortunately ebay doesn't really have a way of recording performance aside from positive/neutral/negative feedback. Maybe if all of us here at the guild could start rating sellers grading on a 1-10 scale at the end of our feedback since many of us appear to buy on ebay.

Scot

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scotapellOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 27, 2004 - 09:50 AM
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I kind of wrote that half joking but the rating scale doesn't sound that bad.

We could go 1-5 and add a code say RCG-3 at the end of feed back.
There have been many times the record wasn't quite up to grade but I was happy with what I paid, and with the record and didn't want to leave negative feedback.

1. Record no where near sellers grade.
2. Record slightly less than grade
3. Record accurately graded.
4. Record slightly better than grade.
5. Record much better than grade.

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RareOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 27, 2004 - 09:59 AM
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good idea. I'll add it to my feedback. Hopefully it will get put to use.

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EcclecticRecords
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 27, 2004 - 10:23 AM
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Not menat to sound dumb but.... What's RCG?
 
   
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Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 27, 2004 - 10:27 AM
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Record Collectors Guild. This site. Very Happy

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