Record Collector Rare Price Guide 2006
In order to assist everyone who buys and sells rare discs, Record
Collector magazine has originated a set of standards for the
condition of second-hand records, cassettes and CDs. Anyone buying
or selling records through the magazine must use our conditions to
state what amount of wear and tear the disc, its sleeve and/or
contents have been subject to. The seven standard condition
categories, and a description of what each one means, are listed
MINT: The record itself is in brand new condition with no surface
marks or deterioration in sound quality. The cover and any extra
items such as the lyric sheet, booklet or poster are in perfect
condition. Records advertised as Sealed or Unplayed should be Mint.
EXCELLENT: The record shows some signs of having been played, but
there is very little lessening in sound quality. The cover and
packaging might have slight wear and/or creasing.
VERY GOOD: The record has obviously been played many times, but
displays no major deterioration in sound quality, despite noticeable
surface marks and the occasional light scratch. Normal wear and tear
on the cover or extra items, without any major defects, is
GOOD: The record has been played so much that the sound quality has
noticeably deteriorated, perhaps with some distortion and mild
scratches. The cover and contents suffer from folding, scuffing of
edges, spine splits, discoloration, etc.
FAIR: The record is still just playable but has not been cared for
properly and displays considerable surface noise; it may even jump.
The cover and contents will be torn, stained and/or defaced.
POOR: The record will not play properly due to scratches, bad
surface noise, etc. The cover and contents will be badly damaged or
BAD: The record is unplayable or might even be broken, and is only
of use as a collection-filler.
CDs & As a general rule, CDs and cassettes either play perfectly —
in CASSETTES: which case they are in Mint condition — or they don't,
in which case their value is minimal. Cassette tape is liable to
deteriorate with age, even if it remains unplayed, so care should be
taken when buying old tapes. CDs are difficult to grade visually:
they can look perfect but actually be faulty, while in other cases
they may appear damaged but still play perfectly. Cassette and
CD inlays and booklets should be graded in the same way as record
covers and sleeves. In general, the plastic containers for cassettes
and CDs can easily be replaced if they are broken or scratched, but
card covers and digipaks are subject to the same wear as record
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