Absolutely perfect in every way. Certainly never been played, possibly even still sealed. Should be used sparingly as a grade, if at all.
Perfect. No scuffs/scratches, unplayed – possibly still sealed.
Insert/Inlay/Booklet/Sleeve/Digipak: Perfect. No wear, marks, or any other imperfections – possibly still sealed.
Near Mint (NM or M-)
A nearly perfect record. A NM or M- record has more than likely never been played, and the vinyl will play perfectly, with no imperfections during playback. The record should show no obvious signs of wear. An LP cover should have no creases, folds, seam splits, cut-out holes, or other noticeable similar defects. The same should be true of any other inserts, such as posters, lyric sleeves, etc.
Near perfect. No obvious signs of use, it may have been played – but it has been handled very carefully.
Insert/Inlay/Booklet/Sleeve/Digipak: Near Perfect. No obvious wear, it may have only the slightest of marks from handling.
Very Good Plus (VG+)
Record surfaces may show some signs of wear and may have slight scuffs or very light scratches that don’t affect one’s listening experiences. Slight warps that do not affect the sound are “OK”. The label may have some ring wear or discoloration, but it should be barely noticeable. Spindle marks may be present. An LP cover may have slight signs of wear, and may be marred by a cut-out hole, indentation, or cut corner.
A few minor scuffs/scratches. This has been played, but handled with good care – and certainly not abused.
Insert/Inlay/Booklet/Sleeve/Digipak: Slight wear, marks, indentations, it may possibly have a cut-out hole (or similar).
Very Good (VG)
Many of the defects found in a VG+ record will be more pronounced in a VG disc. Surface noise will be evident upon playing, especially in soft passages and during a song’s intro and fade, but will not overpower the music otherwise. Groove wear will start to be noticeable, as with light scratches (deep enough to feel with a fingernail) that will affect the sound. Labels may be marred by writing, or have tape or stickers (or their residue) attached. The same will be true of picture sleeves or LP covers.
Quite a few light scuffs/scratches, or several more-pronounced scratches. This has obviously been played, but not handled as carefully as a VG+.
Insert/Inlay/Booklet/Sleeve/Digipak: More wear, marks, indentations than a VG+. May have slight fading, a small tear/rip, or some writing.
Good (G), Good Plus (G+)
A record in Good or Good Plus condition can be played through without skipping. But it will have significant surface noise, scratches, and visible groove wear. A cover or sleeve will have seam splits, especially at the bottom or on the spine. Tape, writing, ring wear, or other defects will be present. While the record will be playable without skipping, noticeable surface noise and “ticks” will almost certainly accompany the playback.
There are a lot of scuffs/scratches. However it will still play through without problems. This has not been handled with much care at all.
Insert/Inlay/Booklet/Sleeve/Digipak: Well worn, marked, more obvious indentations, fading, writing, than a VG – possibly a more significant tear/rip.