eBay Sellers and Grading Scales

This forum contains various questions that deal with price guides and how to determine the value and grading of your records. You may post new questions or answers if they relate to this topic. <b>Please</b>, no requests for specific record values or estimates here. Use the "Value" board when requesting record estimates.

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metrognome
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Post by metrognome » Wed Sep 29, 2004 10:48 pm

I'd be interested in seeing Mr. Umphred's New and Improved grading scale.

(And why did I just get an error for trying to post this "so soon" after my last message?)

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Post by jackcapture » Thu Sep 30, 2004 12:56 am

I think it'd be great to have you involved, Neal. Could you post your scale here?

Concerning sight-grading--no one should be permitted to sight-grade without having play-graded many records. After all, what the record sounds like is what it's all about.
And one should have practice grading all formats, 33, 45, 78, et. al., because each has different characteristics/things to look for.
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Post by scotapell » Thu Sep 30, 2004 1:13 am

I wouldn't mind a copy of R&B 45s of the 50s myself.

The problem I have with + and - and ++ for that matter is everyone has a different opinion of what they mean. Even then the standards are open to the grader's interpretation to a large extent.

I agree that nothing beats a play grade. I sometimes feel the current grading system was geared more towards collectors and sellers with NM records than us who just had good records. (I mean good, good. Not good goldmine standard.)

I thought a numeric system would be better for visual grading would be in that it would take away some of this unclarity. A smaller deduction could be made for light scuffs which probably won't effect play than say a large scratch that will more than likely be audible. A small blemish on a label doesn't have to completely destroy the rating of an otherwise NM record.

There would have to be some objectivity involved. Such as -1 for light scuffs, -2 for inaudible scratches or -3 for large audible scratch, as examples but atleast they would be factored in to some extent.

Either way numerical or alphabetical there needs to be clear set of grades with a scale stating specifically how individual problems will effect the final grade.

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Post by Nitro » Thu Sep 30, 2004 3:04 am

Anyone notice this is a new forum? I think the first idea about ebay rating should stand on it's own. If you want a new grading system for records, start another thread and lay out the rules. Unless you have some support from one or more of the major publishers, and/or magazines, it may not fly.
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Post by greyhound » Thu Sep 30, 2004 3:26 am

I agree with Nitro. The Ebay rating idea is a good one and it seems to have unanimous approval. However, the different opinions expressed within this thread regarding a new record rating system indicates that widespread acceptance may be difficult to achieve. We might be able to do it within the forum for transactions between members, but it seems the Goldmine system is so entrenched that it would be difficult to gain acceptance outside the RCG.

I, too, would like to see Neal's system.
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Post by scotapell » Thu Sep 30, 2004 4:22 am

I did notice it was a new forum. Originally this thread did start out as a discussion of sellers grading practices on ebay. These just kind of go off in their own directions.

It would be great if all the RCG members and even visitors would use the seller feedback rating on ebay.

As far as a rating system goes.... you're right greyhound getting others to accept it would be difficult (most can't even accept the current grading systems) We here however are in the postition to hash out a system among collectors and sellers. It may start out as only a few hundred or so but that would be a few more than seem to be following any other system.

I seem to remember the RCG had just broken 3000 members when I joined and is now over 5000. (Granted it's the same people here on a regular basis) There could be an opportunity to reach a larger number of collectors and sellers. (Especially of sellers on ebay start seeing a RCG rating on their feedback)

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Post by nealumphred » Thu Sep 30, 2004 6:10 pm

METROGNOME

I guess I assuming here that may Guilders have not read any of me books in the past: the sight-grade vs. play-grade has been dealt with at length. Aside from the logistics of major dealers having to play every record and the subjectivity of that process, simply put, many, many US records were manufactured in less than auspicious conditions. That is, unplayed mint copies sound terrible but are, nonetheless, unplayed mint copies. The best you're ever going to get. What the company manufactured., The only "first pressing" that can be collected by collectors.

Same arguments apply for poor sounding records. In the wake of the unprecedented success of Michael Jackson's THRILLER, I listened to a former Columbia higher-up acknowledge in a radio interview that the company estimated that approximately 70-80% of their pressings were below standard but they didn't care because the fans didn't care or notice the difference.

I have a friend that has been searching for a copy of Johnny Rivers' REWIND for decares that doesn't look like schidt or play worse. Why would a major company with a major seller press every single copy in a manner that makes every single one defective. (Mine is. . .) But, this is what every Johnny Rivers collector has to collect and, despite the visible problems with the pressing/plating, they are mint originals.

Hope this helps!

NEAL

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Post by nealumphred » Thu Sep 30, 2004 6:19 pm

GUILDERS

I am posting these replies at work, so they are probably gonna be in spurts.

A few years ago, Amazon.com was attempting to compete with ebay.com. "I was approached and engaged in conversation with several of their reps. As it was all but impossible to match ebay in quantity of sales, why not aim for quality instead?" I said.

I proposed that I set up a teaching tutorial complete with conversation, explanation, static images, and video: everything that a seller would need to know to properly advertise their records for sale on Amazon.com.

Each seller would be required to "sign" a statement that they had read the entire tutorial and agreed to abide by the standards within prior to being allowed to post a record for sale. (I am simplifying what was a long process at the time.)

They could then use this as a template for similar programs for every type of collectable! Needless to say, everybody with whom I spoke involved with collectables was excited about this. Needless to say, nothing ever came of it. . .

NEAL

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Post by EcclecticRecords » Thu Sep 30, 2004 6:41 pm

I dont mean to get off the Grading Scale track, but I was asked by a seller about the "RCG" code I put at the end of my feedback him/her. I just wanted to share my response to the seller. I am planning on keeping it and using it as a canned explanation in the future...

RCG stands for Record Collectors Guild (www.recordcollectorsguild.org). This is site for record collectors that I've recently joined. There has been some discussion on their message boards recently (particularly the e-Bay Related Questions baord) about differences between the many grading systems used by sellers on eBay.

The question came up about how members can comment on a seller's grading without using negative or neutral feedback. The point is not to tank a seller's feedback ratio but to give other members honest information about our experience with the seller's product.

The RCG code (as we've started calling it) is used to comment on the seller's grading of the vinyl/cover. This, of course, is based on the opinion of the buyer. The scale runs something like this...

1. Record no where near sellers grade.
2. Record slightly less than grade
3. Record accurately graded.
4. Record slightly better than grade.
5. Record much better than grade.

Anywhere from 2-4 is acceptable with 2 and 4 being used for very small differences (I.E. VG++ versus VG+ or NM- versus VG++).

If I listed the transaction as RCG-2, then I believe that the product I received was slightly less than it was graded in the eBay ad (in my opinion). It still means I'm happy overall (or else I would have contacted you directly). I can't really comment on the specific item without knowing which item this feedback was for (I buy alot...).

I invite you to check out the RCG site and participate in the ongoing discussion. A seller's view would be great to have.

Feel free to email back with the item info and I'll explain further why I gave it a 2 instead of a 3. Thanks.

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Post by metrognome » Thu Sep 30, 2004 7:09 pm

Mr. Umphred:

Good points that are well taken. I forget that some people do this for a living and can't listen to every record they buy and sell.

Ecclectic:

Well-written. Good work.

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