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In Reply to: RE: Reliable used record grading, seller recommendations posted by Tracy on June 03, 2017 at 16:26:07
I've sold enough to offer two pieces of advice.
"Excellent" is not considered a legit grading by most serious sellers. The official grading system, by Goldmine, has its problems but has been the standard for decades. I have no idea when "excellent" started but I suspect eBay has something to do with it. I automatically question the veracity of every seller who uses it.
And if you paid with PayPal you should check to see if they're currently offering free return shipping when you open a case against a seller. It's a free service but is apparently only offered occasionally. I've never used it and am not familiar with the details.
they even agree to high ends of these grades (VG++). I don't think ebay started this. however, I do I think there are plenty of sellers on ebay with absolutely no idea how to accurately grade an LP.
I prefer sellers that add some actual detail to their descriptions. Maybe with some examples of why the LP is VG+ (sleeve marks and a few short hairlines).
That said it is a crapshoot, but the return policy now is pretty great for domestic LP's, so it ok to take a gamble.
Thanks Pete. My brain was glitching. I was thinking more of the system used on Discogs, which is based on the Goldmine standards before they were amended.
Advice, thank you. It was an eBay item, the return procedure did not offer free shipping, and the seller is sticking to their 14 day return policy, buyer pays return shipping. It's a steep price for a lesson learned which is unfortunate because there must be honest international record sellers who stand by their sales, but I will avoid buying records from international sellers.
some of my recent purchases have been better than advertised.
Of course I use the usual safety precautions of feedback above 99.8%, a NM rating minimum, and I read a few feedback comments, especially the negatives. If I am real desperate, I may bid on a VG+ record, but I ask if there are any hairline scratches and any scratches that would catch your fingernail. I usually get very good responses that more closely describe the condition.
Of course, it would be nice to hear the seller's description of the sound after playing, but most sellers do not have the time. That's why I ask the questions about hairline scratches that could cause a static like sound, and questions about deeper scratches that would cause the periodic ticks and pops.
The other reason for reading the feedback is to establish that the seller has dealt with records before and is posting ratings that he or she is familiar with. Occasionally when buying 78s, the seller may just be an antique dealer or a thrift store flipper who is not really familiar with record condition terms.
But, an occasional bad experience will happen because it will happen.
Another feedback comment I look for is packaging. I once had a one year stretch of 11 broken 78s due to poor packaging, but that can be artistic like the picture below.
Except for the one record which had broken into 3 pieces, it looks like the four records snapped along the same plane of the label, like there was a weak area which bi-sected each broken record (impossible I know.) They look like artistic symmetrical halves, you're absolutely right about that!
As for my bad experience, you're also correct in that I shouldn't rule out international sellers just because of it. The thing is, I thought I did my due diligence by reading some feedback comments, and their feedback rating is 100% positive. I know too little about rating a record's condition to give them their initial negative rating. I didn't mean to imply there was any dishonesty in their description. Having heard the same version on Spotify prior to purchasing the record, I may have been expecting too much and may have to be more realistic about comparing digital to vinyl which is several decades old. So excellent in vinyl terms is relative, though the performance itself remains excellent, artistic speaking :)
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