Grading Info

At RareAs… Records, we use the Discogs grading system to grade our vinyl records. This system provides a consistent and reliable way to describe the condition of a record, helping to ensure that you know exactly what you’re getting when you buy from us.

The Discogs grading system uses a scale of 10 grades, ranging from “Mint” to “Poor”. Here’s how our grading system works: To distinguish things a bit further we have added a few extra grades as sometimes a NM or a VG+ doesn’t tell the whole story, so we have added some minus (-) values to our grading system too. Also we have placed more emphasis on the grading of covers too!

Vinyl Media Grading

Mint (M): A brand new, unopened record that is still in its original shrink wrap.

Near Mint (NM or M-): An almost perfect record that has been played a few times, but shows no signs of wear or damage. The cover may have minor wear or creases.

Near Mint Minus (NM-): Better than a VG+ in that almost perfect record that has been played a few times but may have a cosmetic mark that makes it not good enough to grade as a NM, but too good overall to be graded a VG+. The cover may have minor wear or creases and minor clues that it isn’t new such as minor wear on the corners or edge.

Very Good Plus (VG+): A record that has been played a few times, but still sounds great. There may be some minor surface noise or occasional pops or clicks, but nothing that detracts from the overall listening experience. The cover may have some wear or creases, but is still in good shape.

Very Good Plus Minus (VG+-): Because VG+ is a grade which covers a wide range of difference in the quality of what your record looks like, we have added a VG+- for those at the lower end of the VG+ scale. This record that has been played a few times, but still sounds great, it most likely will have noticeable play marks on the label. There may be some minor surface noise or occasional pops or clicks, but nothing that but like a VG+ nothing that detracts from the overall listening experience, but there will be more noticeable surface marks as per a high end VG, but not enough to put it into the realms of a low end VG grade. The cover may have some wear or creases, but is still in good shape. But there wear and creases will likely be easier to spot than on a VG+

Very Good (VG): A record that has been played many times and may have some surface noise or pops, but still sounds good overall. The cover may have some wear, ring wear, or seam splits, but is still intact.

Very Good (VG-): A record that has been played many times and may have more in the way of surface noise and pops or clicks, but still sounds good overall. The cover may have some wear, ring wear, or seam splits, but is still intact.

Good Plus (G+): A record that has been played many times and shows significant wear, surface noise, pops, or clicks. The cover may be damaged, have writing or tape, or be split.

Good (G): A record that is heavily worn, with significant surface noise, pops, or clicks. The cover may be heavily damaged, have writing or tape, or be split.

Poor (P): A record that is barely playable, with significant surface noise, pops, or clicks. The cover may be heavily damaged, have writing or tape, or be split.

Cover Grading

In addition to grading the vinyl itself, we also grade the cover or sleeve of the record using the same grading system. The cover grade describes the condition of the album’s jacket, inserts, and any additional materials that may have originally come with the record.

Here’s how our cover grading system works:

Mint (M): A brand new, unopened cover that is still in its original shrink wrap.

Near Mint (NM or M-): An almost perfect cover with no signs of wear or damage. The cover may have minor wear or creases that are barely noticeable.

Near Mint – (NM-): An almost perfect cover with only minor signs of wear or but no damage. The cover may have minor wear or creases that are barely noticeable. There might be some minor signs of age but would compared to a NM where even though it deserves a NM grading conservative grading would force it into a VG+ grade.

Very Good Plus (VG+): A cover that shows some signs of wear, but is still in great condition overall. There may be some minor creases, small tears, or other blemishes, but nothing that detracts from the overall appearance of the cover.

Very Good Plus Minus (VG+ -): This bridges the gap between a VG grading and a high end VG+ grading. A cover that shows some signs of wear, but may have a minor split but the record cannot be seen poking out. There may be some minor creases, small tears, or other blemishes, but nothing that majorly detracts from the overall appearance of the cover.

Very Good (VG): A cover that shows some wear, with some creases, ring wear, or other minor damage. The cover may have a small amount of writing or stickers on it, but is still in good shape overall.

Very Good Minus (VG-): A cover that shows more wear but is still above a G+ grading, with some there may be writing and creases, ring wear, or other minor damage but writing on it is not as noticeable or only appears on the rear or inside, however the cover will likely be in much better shape than a G+ as it will have some of the defects but not all, such as more significant wear OR be partially split. The cover may have a small amount of writing or stickers on it, but is still in good shape overall.

Good Plus (G+): A cover that shows significant wear, with ring wear, seam splits, and other damage. There may be writing or stickers on the cover, and it may be partially split.

Good (G): A cover that shows heavy wear, with significant damage and wear and tear. There may be large tears, writing or stickers, and the cover may be fully split or heavily damaged.

Poor (P): A cover that is heavily damaged, with large tears, missing pieces, writing or stickers, and other significant damage.

We take great care to accurately grade our records, but we’re only human, and sometimes mistakes can happen. If you’re ever unhappy with a purchase from us, please let us know, and we’ll do everything we can to make it right.

We hope this guide helps you to understand our grading system, and we look forward to helping you find the perfect vinyl record for your collection.