Info on Payment, Shipping, Vinyl Records Grading, etc.

Welcome to the new VinylTimes.com store.  After more than 10 years online as mostly a “public service” hobby site (publicizing record shows across the country, listing links to other vinyl sites, etc) it was about time.  I’ve collected vinyl records for about 40 years now and, if the old saying is true, I can’t take them with me.  Since that’s the case, it’s time to let ’em go!  My wife is really excited since she’s been eagerly anticipating for this day for years.  The more I sell, the happier she’ll be.  So go ahead and browse our various offerings – classic vinyl records, interesting craft items (such as jigsaw puzzles and mousepads made from album covers, beverage coasters made from the centers of vinyl albums, etc) and other vinyl or music related items.  You can select specific product categories by using the dropdown menu or, use the search box to find products by specific artists, etc.  Populating the site with over 30-thousand vinyl records and other items will take some time so please be sure to visit regularly (or email me to be put on my mailing list for updates).  But for now, enjoy your visit and please help me make my wife VERY happy.  AND, if you are in special need of a particular item that we may not have listed yet, please contact me.  And here are our Store Terms.

Now, here’s some basic info which will help you in shopping our store and email me with any questions:

Shipping
I like to keep it simple.  It will usually cost $7.50 – $15.00 to ship your first item to anywhere in the lower 48.  I charge EXACTLY what the USPS Priority Mail rate is for shipping the heaviest item in your order to your specific address.  Everything else in your order that can be placed in the same box will be shipped at no extra cost.  If, after you place your order, my shipping calculator shows it will cost more than the minimum $7.50, I will notify you be email to make the additional appropriate payment.  If the additional cost is not acceptable to you, I will refund 100% your initial Paypal payment, no questions asked.  International orders may be done on a case-by-case basis but will probably require non-refundable payment in advance.  That’s what I call simple.  Nice isn’t it?  I like simple.  You will, too.

Packaging
Sturdy, made-for-vinyl-products cardboard shipping boxes with additional cardboard and/or bubble insulation on the inside.  Vinyl LPs are removed from the album cover/jacket for shipment to prevent the damage to the spine and seams that often occurs when a vinyl record slides around inside the cover in transit.  All vinyl album covers, jigsaw puzzles, and album cover mousepads come with poly sleeves.

Payment
Paypal.  Simple.  I like simple.  If you want to pay by credit card you can do it with Paypal.  Very simple.

Record Grading
This is VERY important when buying a vinyl record.  Goldmine Magazine has a record grading system which is very good and used by many in the vinyl community – but it’s not simple and at times confusing.  I like simple.  So here’s my very simple grading system:

– Mint – You won’t find many Mint records here.  Why?  Simple.  In my opinion, Mint means still sealed or opened but not played.  Kind of like a car – once it’s been driven off the lot, it’s not really new, just “almost new”.  Once an album has been opened and the record has been played, who’s to say if it’s been played one time or thirty times?  You can’t tell by just looking at it.  A visibly unscratched record does not mean it will play like virgin vinyl.
A Mint cover looks like it was just purchased, or very close to it.  Many Mint covers will still have the original shrink wrap.

– Near Mint – You will find a lot of Near Mint vinyl here.  To me, Near Mint means it looks like you just took it out of the cover for the first time.  It doesn’t mean it’s perfect, but you have to look VERY closely to see ANY surface imperfections.  Many of my Near Mint vinyl would be considered mint on other grading scales.
A Near Mint cover is still quite shiny and lustrous with only the very faintest signs of record ring, or spine/edge wear.  Many of these still have the original shrink wrap on them and it will be noted in the item description.

– Very Good + (VG+) – I don’t confuse things with a VG++ rating.  Vinyl with a VG+ is just shy of Near Mint.  Most of my vinyl is in this desirable VG+ state.  This VG+ grade reflects a very nice record with a few visible scuffs or record scratches/imperfections.  No deep scratches or significant surface damage is allowed in this grade.  VG+ vinyl plays very well with just a little noticeable surface noise.
A VG+ cover still looks nice but may have a little record ring, minimal loss of luster/shine, and some spine/edge wear.  If a previous owner found it necessary to inconspicuously put their name on the back of the cover, it may still keep this rating if the rest of the cover makes up for it.  Most record collectors would be proud to have this type of VG+ vinyl and cover in their collections.

Very Good (VG) – Again, this grade is quite acceptable and really simple.  I regularly play VG vinyl on my turntable for a pleasurable listening experience.  With a VG record, you see a few obvious scratches and scuffs on the surface and will hear a few pops, clicks or “static” when playing, but not enough to be really distracting.  To me, that’s part of the personality of classic vinyl.  The vinyl may even have a very slight warp but not enough to make it unplayable (any warp will be mentioned in the item description).
VG covers have noticeable ring wear, obvious surface imperfections, some spine/edge wear or damage and possibly even some minimal writing or marking by the previous owner .

Good (G) – This is the lowest grade you see on this site for vinyl.  I don’t sell trash, won’t insult my turntable by making it play a lower grade than G, and wouldn’t want you to either.  Now, that’s not to say a G rating is bad.  A G record just has easily visible surface imperfections and will play with a bit of noticeable “noise” – but NOT unplayable.  I have a few LPs from my high school days that I still listen to.  There’s a bit of “static” and a few light pops and clicks but, hey, THEY’RE OLD!  But that’s OK.  I am too, and my wife STILL keeps me around.
A G cover has a lot of obvious wear – considerable record ring, scuffing, and possibly some previous owner writing or marking.  A very few of my G records may have less than G covers, but as long as the G vinyl is still playable, I’ll make it available and grade the cover with a G-.

So, there you have it.  The VinylTimes.com Store in a nutshell.  Now, that was simple wasn’t it?  Enjoy your time here “on-site” and please let us know you’ve visited.  Thanks.

Ray K
The Vinyl Guy