If you think that it could have been ignorance on the part of the seller I hope that you educated him and communicated the condition issues. That is the only way that the situation improves.
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There is a large LP seller on eBay who on each listing has a copy of his own grading scale, which saves him time describing each LP separately. He just puts his condition grade code in the listing.
It is actually quite helpful. He have very good feedback, so I assume it is accurate. I will see if I can find it.
Maybe we can get AudiogoN to use something similar.
I've only had wonderful experiences buying vinyl from the audiogon community. One member in particular (jimbo3, I think) even sent me my order before I got the check in the mail AND all the vinyl was like new. I've also traded vinyl with Twl and was most pleased with the transaction.
I recently sold a number of boxed sets of classical music here and struggled with grading. I eventually decided to sell them as a lot at a very cheap price. The buyer was happy and I was happy to find a good home for them.
It's got to be a tough job grading albums. Appearances don't tell the whole story and the price a generic album sells for doesn't justify spending a lot of time play grading vinyl. I have a lot of duplicates that just sit and gather dust for that very reason. It's more work than it's worth.
Here's a great explanation and standard for grading vinyl:
I buy a lot of vinyl on Ebay, and get pretty good results. It seems like you have to read between the lines sometimes and guess how professional some of the sellers are to make sure they actually grade conservatively. Also, I could care less about the jacket condition...I'm much more concerned about the vinyl!
I have bought a number of used albums from audiogon sellers such as Kaleidakol, Albumhead, LPGal, and emil_anghel. I have been extremely pleased with my purchases, none was very expensive, and all of the albums were as represented--excellent to very good. I don't know how to grade LPs myself and from shopping in used record stores for years I am aware of how greatly quality can vary and how hard it is to tell from looking at the vinyl. It's a crapshoot, really, unless you know the seller and he/she has played the album before listing it for sale. But for $10 or $20 I have considered it a worthwhile gamble, and have not been disappointed on Audiogon. I would most likely not spend more than $50-60 on an album sight unseen, however, unless I knew the seller or had had other transactions w/him or her.
I have purchased a number of lps on Audiogon. For the most part they were as described as far as condition. I think the prices are sowewhat high though. I don't understand why so many people think that every record is collectable and worth higher prices. I see lps going for 15 -20.00 here that can be purcahsed in used record stores for 3-5.00. I guess if you don't have access to record store online buying is necessary. It kind of takes the fun out of collecting when you see some of these prices. I think that Audiogon members have a reputation of being into vinyl and sellers sell here to max their profits.
My Audiogon LP purchasing experience has been - - excellent. I've bought quite a few from the likes of Ferrari, Aunt_Tana, Recordron, Kaleidakol and Emil_anghel, and in only case (one LP) was I disappointed - seller offered an immediate refund - - so I was happy in the end. All in all, better than my experience on eBay, although most of those purchases have been satisfactory as well.
I bought two LP's, both described as "one of the best copies you will see" (or something very close to that effect) from one of the higher volume sellers that Rshak and Sc53 mention. I one case, the LP was cupped. In the other, the LP was RIPPLE warped with the LP lifted from the platter by nearly 1/2" at the THREE ripple "peaks". When I commented to that effect, he basically accused me of deciding that I just didn't like the music, STATED it was his assumption that I thought I had paid too much, and was trying to wheddle a refund from him. When I explained that I actually loved the music, but that it was an issue of condition, he "educated" me that modern turntables and cartridges are designed to handle such conditions and as long as the stylus didn't mistrack from the groove, he did not feel obligated to issue a refund! When I said that I resented the insinuations, he tried to say I misunderstood what he had WRITTEN, but his "signal was loud and clear". Futher, he said that unless an LP was two grades or more below the advertised condition, he would not refund. Went on to say that I was too picky and that he had had experience with vinyl since the sixites, blah, blah. Well, me too. And I know better, having a collection of some 2,500+ LP's.
After protesting rather vigorously, I did get a partial refund - the reason why I did not leave negative feedback. That, and from the tone of the messages I received, would have expected negative feedback in retaliation.
The moral of the story is that one must be very careful buying LP's sight unseen, even from seemingly reputable sources. Now, I have had many good experiences in this regard. In fact, many more good than bad. But, you are always taking your chances unless you've established a working relationship with the seller.
I will hasten to add that I have purchased from three other Audiogon dealers, and umpteen GEMM.com dealers, with virtually no incidence.
BTW, sorry for the "vent". Guess I hadda get it off my chest sometime. When I saw the dealer's name listed as "recommended" and recalled my experience, the steam built up quickly! ;-) Please, just keep in mind that when someone says an LP is the best example of this LP they have see, they may have only seen the one.
4yanx - thanks for the heads up. Having only purchased vinyl from Audiogon members a couple of times (and they more than met my expectations), the heads up on the bad experiences is very welcome.
Although I have no affiliation or connection with this shop other than being a satisfied customer, I have to give kudos to a primarily classical shop, Mikrokosmos in Canada (www.mikrokosmos.com).
All my purchases were conservatively rated and fairly priced (IMO). All arrived in pristine, perfect condition...as in NO signs of wear or play (!)
Of all the used purchases I've made (local stores, eBay, Audiogon), the Mikrokosmos LPs are in the best condition. Perhaps the info will be useful to someone else around here.
Call me old-fashioned, but I am so reluctant to buy sight unseen that I simply never do it anywhere. I think it's difficult enough to make a judgment about condition even if you can eyeball the disc, since only the most obvious flaws are readily apparent. But then I'm fortunate, because I live within a mile of two top-notch used shops that have more than enough stock at reasonable prices to keep me happy.