LP Vinyl: Quality, Pressing, Label, Weight, Where to Buy ???

Getting back into LP vinyl...its been a long time = mid 70s?  Searching for an educational review on the forum for buying decent quality vinyl LPs...an overview of quality, weight, pressing, label, and best source/location to purchasing (prefer to stay away from ebay as it seems to be hit/miss on what you get). Does anyone have suggestions for an educational review on the subject? 

As a discussion point...I was looking at buying an older LP (vinyl only); I did an internet search = "Faces" - The First Step Album. Online search produces numerous results with prices from $18 to $120...older, used, remakes/repressed, various quality ratings (is there a uniform rating scale), unopened...list goes on. 

Greatly appreciate the forums experience and insight!


jm, it is a crap shoot. I do not buy used LPs. Records are just to easy to damage. Record weight is a very poor indication of quality. Many records listed as "180 gm Audiophile Quality," suck. My suggestion is to buy your records from reputable dealers and buy the music you like. If you get a bum record, return it. I have had no issues with Elusive Disc and Acoustic Sounds. I suggest you do not buy records from Amazon. Their packaging is terrible and records come through with damaged covers and in warped condition.  

For used records try discogs.com. I've received some NM in very good quality, some average. Always assume the seller is exaggerating about the condition, look for mint and near mint. Always message seller before a sale to confirm the record is the version you want.

Discogs is a great tool as well. It is a database listing every release, country of origin, etc.

I've bought used from Academy Records online (a NYC store). Good quality, return policy, but not cheap.



Local record store if you have one.  They will usually price used records according to quality, because they want repeat customers.  At least mine does.  And they will order what they may not have in stock if you’re looking for new.

Discogs is specialized and peer reviewed. The sellar tells you what he's got and if wrong he gets bad marks.

Are the new remakes/repressed a "better" quality vinyl then the original released...if I understand the process correctly,  back in the day, after the first 20-30k pressings from the master the quality drops? Some labels produced better quality vinyl? Is todays "new" vinyl a better quality - looks like the wt (180 gm) is not indicative of quality?  Going thru a reputable online dealer with a return policy seems to be the way to go - unless buying new/repressed version....?