2nd Hand Grading

Grading for 2nd hand (pre-loved, used, recycled) products...

At RELICS we have a variety of 2nd hand (pre-loved, used, recycled) goods including VINYL, CDs, DVDs and BOOKS.

All 12" records are professionally cleaned using our VPI Typhoon record cleaning machine and all records are given new anti-static inner sleeves and plastic outer sleeve. All CDs and DVDs are lovingly cleaned by hand, and where needed given new cases. All hard cover books are plastic protected, though these covers may be easily removed. A more detailed description of the condition may be found by clicking on the specific product you are interested in.

We endeavour to grade all our goods fairly and conservatively. Our items are generally graded from GOOD to MINT condition and these grades are based on the Goldmine Grading Scale (Please note that the odd record may be available with a poor cover but in otherwise GOOD to MINT condition. All  second hand records are given grades for both the cover and the record. Again, click on the individual item for a detailed description of the condition of the product.

Please see the following descriptions for further details:


Goldmine Grading Scale

These are absolutely perfect in every way. Often rumored but rarely seen, Mint should never be used as a grade unless more than one person agrees that the record or sleeve truly is in this condition. There is no set percentage of the Near Mint value these can bring; it is best negotiated between buyer and seller.

A good description of a NM record is “it looks like it just came from a retail store and it was opened for the first time.” In other words, it’s nearly perfect. Many dealers won’t use a grade higher than this, implying (perhaps correctly) that no record or sleeve is ever truly perfect.

NM records are shiny, with no visible defects. Writing, stickers or other markings cannot appear on the label, nor can any “spindle marks” from someone trying to blindly put the record on the turntable. Major factory defects also must be absent; a record and label obviously pressed off center is not Near Mint. If played, it will do so with no surface noise. (NM records don’t have to be “never played”; a record used on an excellent turntable can remain NM after many plays if the disc is properly cared for.)

NM covers are free of creases, ring wear and seam splits of any kind.

NOTE: These are high standards, and they are not on a sliding scale. A record or sleeve from the 1950s must meet the same standards as one from the 1990s or 2000s to be Near Mint! It’s estimated that no more than 2 to 4 percent of all records remaining from the 1950s and 1960s are truly Near Mint. This is why they fetch such high prices, even for more common items.


A good description of a VG+ record is “except for a couple minor things, this would be Near Mint.” Most collectors, especially those who want to play their records, will be happy with a VG+ record, especially if it toward the high end of the grade (sometimes called VG++ or E+).

VG+ records may show some slight signs of wear, including light scuffs or very light scratches that do not affect the listening experience. Slight warps that do not affect the sound are OK. Minor signs of handling are OK, too, such as telltale marks around the center hole, but repeated playing has not misshapen the hole. There may be some very light ring wear or discoloration, but it should be barely noticeable.

VG+ covers should have only minor wear. A VG+ cover might have some very minor seam wear or a split (less than one inch long) at the bottom, the most vulnerable location. Also, a VG+ cover may have some defacing, such as a cut-out marking. Covers with cut-out markings can never be considered Near Mint.

Many of the imperfections found on a VG+ record are more obvious on a VG record. That said, VG records — which usually sell for no more than 25 percent of a NM record — are among the biggest bargains in record collecting, because most of the “big money” goes for more perfect copies. For many listeners, a VG record or sleeve will be worth the money.

VG records have more obvious flaws than their counterparts in better shape. They lack most of the original gloss found on factory-fresh records. Groove wear is evident on sight, as are light scratches deep enough to feel with a fingernail. When played, a VG record has surface noise, and some scratches may be audible, especially in soft passages and during a song’s intro and ending. But the noise will not overpower the music otherwise.

Minor writing, tape or a sticker can detract from the label. Many collectors who have jukeboxes will use VG records in them and not think twice. They remain a fine listening experience, just not the same as if it were in better shape.

VG covers will have many signs of human handling. Ring wear in the middle or along the edges of the cover where the edge of a record would reside, is obvious, though not overwhelming. Some more creases might be visible. Seam splitting will be more obvious; it may appear on all three sides, though it won’t be obvious upon looking. Someone might have written or it or stamped a price tag on it, too.

GOOD Plus (G+)
or VERY GOOD Minus (VG–)

These records go for 10 to 15 percent of the Near Mint value, if you are lucky.

Good does not mean bad! The record still plays through without skipping, so it can serve as filler until something better comes along. But it has significant surface noise and groove wear, and the label is worn, with significant ring wear, heavy writing, or obvious damage caused by someone trying to remove tape or stickers and failing miserably. A Good to VG– cover has ring wear to the point of distraction, has seam splits obvious on sight and may have even heavier writing, such as, for example, huge radio station letters written across the front to deter theft.

If the item is common, it’s probably better to pass it up. But if you’ve been seeking it for a long time, get it cheap and look to upgrade.

and FAIR (F)

Poor (P) and Fair (F) records go for 0 to 5 percent of the Near Mint value, if they go at all. More likely, they end up going in the trash. Records are cracked, impossibly warped, or skip and/or repeat when an attempt is made to play them. Covers are so heavily damaged that you almost want to cry.

Only the most outrageously rare items ever sell for more than a few cents in this condition — again, if they sell at all.



The equivalent of NM for vinyl records. The disc may have been played no more than a few times and has no visible scratches to the naked eye, though upon magnification, some hairline scratches may be visible. The disc's lustre is nearly full and appears a bright white in colour. The extra inserts, if included must be present. The case has very little wear present in the secondary spots and very little shelf wear.


The equivalent of VG+ (Very Good Plus) for vinyl records. On the disc very light scratches will be visible to the naked eye, but they shouldn't cover more than 10% of the disc's area. The disc is still shiny, though not quite as bright as a 'like new' disc. In this grade the inserts/extras must be included. There is light shelf wear on the plastic covering, and very minor wrinkles may be present. 


The equivalent of VG (Very Good) for vinyl records. Your average used CD or DVD. The signs of wear present on a Very Good copy will be much more noticeable on a good. Light to moderate scratches cover up to 50% of the disc's area, and the lustre is fading and is more of a greyish white in colour. Light to moderate shelf wear on the case and light, but noticeable wear on the box/cover with minor creases, wrinkles, and a very slight loss of gloss.


All our second hand books are in GOOD to VERY GOOD condition unless otherwise stated.

For further queries please see individual item descriptions or feel free to email us: info@relicsmusic.co.nz or call us: +64 3 474 9394