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Condition Guide

CMS Music grade the items that we sell in accordance with the standard Record Collector magazine gradings, with media graded first, then sleeves.


The item 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. Items advertised as "Sealed" or "Unplayed" will be Mint.

NEAR MINT (NM): The item has been listened to but there are no signs that it is worn. The cover and any extra items such as the lyric sheet, booklet or poster are in almost perfect condition.

EXCELLENT (EX): The item shows some signs of wear, and having been played, but there is very little lessening in sound quality. The cover and packaging might have slight wear or marks, and/or creasing.

VERY GOOD (VG): The item has obviously been played many times, and may display some deterioration in sound quality. There may be noticeable surface marks and the occasional light scratch. The cover may be worn or have a small seam split or ring wear, but it will be without any major defects.

GOOD (G): The item 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 (F): The item 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 (P): The item will not play properly due to scratches, bad surface noise, etc. The cover and contents will be badly damaged or partly missing.

BAD (B): The item is unplayable or might even be broken, and is only of use as a collection-filler.

In addition to the above a "+" or a "-" may be used after one of the above to signify that an item is slightly better or worse than the stated grade.

As a general rule CD’s and Cassettes either play perfectly – in 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. CD’s 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 sleeves.

CD Albums, CD Singles, Boxed Sets, Deletions, Promos, Autographs,
Music CDs, Rare Vinyl Records, Deleted, Imports, Cheap CDs,
Used Music, Out of Print Rare CDs, Albums, Hard To Find, Memorabilia
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