FAQ and Grading




 Every record ordered from Spatula City is Ultrasonically cleaned, resleeved in a white paper sleeve and shipped in a 3 mil clear plastic sleeve.  The Record is shipped outside of the jacket.  Every record is shipped this way.  Every one.  NO Exceptions.


We may not take ourselves seriously, but we take our records seriously!


We strive very hard to accurately grade records so everyone is happy.  We VISUALLY grade every record (except sealed, duh) under a powerful spotlight and Magnifying lens.  We play test those that need a little more clarification (noted with a PT in the description).  We are more than happy to play test any record for you when we can, but please understand there are only so many hours in a day and it may be impossible.  We will not play test anything under $5.


We grade both the vinyl and the jacket. Because without a great jacket, you're just the weird guy in a white undershirt beating on the jukebox.


Our grading is as followed:


Sealed - has never seen the light of day.  Your grubby paws or white gloved meat hooks will be the first to touch it!  (you're special, you deserve it)  That doesn't mean it's perfect.  Older sealed records can have rounded corners because shrink wrapping is tight and after years of hugging it,  The sleeves may start to give up the fight and not be as sharp as they once were.  Or it could be a cut or punched promo item, or it may have old sticker prices, etc.  All of these issues will be addressed in the description. OR if you hate looking at the squiggly little lines they taught you about in elementary school...(or your mom taught you about at home school...) look at the bloody pictures, but don't blame us if you miss the tiny punch hole because you're buying records at 2 am on a lonely drunk saturday night (We've all been there.  We built most of this site at 2 am half in the bag.)


Please remember -  more important than the grade are the notes.  The most egregious flaws will be listed first and subsequent flaws will follow, so if it is noted as having general wear (more on that later) and a few edge creases, then there is more general wear then creases.  If it says edge creases and general wear, that means there will be more edge creases with lighter general wear.  Got it? if not, feel free to contact us. 



NM - This is as good as it gets without being sealed.    This jacket should be super sweet!  no cut-outs, ink marks, creases, tears, splits, ringwear.  It should look like its just out of the wrapper. No creases, nothing.  The vinyl should be damn near perfect.  It might have a little spindle wear and maybe some very very very light scuffs, from sleeve wear, but it should play pretty darn great.  no noise between tracks, no ticks, pops, nada, zip, zero, zilch. The only way the vinyl will get an NM grade at Spatula City Records is if it has been play tested or sealed. 


VG+  - A step down from perfect, but still a great record.  A jacket will have a minor flaw or two.  Light ring wear, maybe a soft corner or a crease, no splits or serious issues and still able to impress your friends.  The Vinyl will also be pretty great.  Maybe some light noise between a track or two or on the tails but no pops or ticks. This should be very very close to NM, know, not NM.  We do not agree with the idea that a VG+ should play NM but have a visual with it.  A VG+ will have a very minor issue or two.  However, many of our VG+ records will probably play NM, because the only way it will get an NM is if it was played, look for the (PT) in the grading of the vinyl.


STRONG VG - This still a really great record, but has has few more issues than a VG+ than we would like to see.  Usually a bunch of light scuffs or general wear.  It should still play pretty great.  Maybe some light BG noise, maybe a light tick.


VG - This is a SOLID record!  It's not a great record. It's gonna have noise. BG noise, maybe a tick or two, maybe some popping, but overall it's still enjoyable..unless you like super clean records. If you don't like the occasional tick or crackly noise, STAY AWAY from our VG records.     It should not skip...NOTHING from S.C.R. should skip. 


VG- - This is usually last call for us. It's gonna have some clear and noticable issues. Heavy scratches, ticks, pops, etc  For us, this category is mostly reserved for the jacket.  We have enough records that unless it's rare, a record in this condition will probably end up as a coaster.  Did we mention we have coasters?  In the rare occasion that a record falls in this category, it will have lots of noise, so much noise. Again, it will play without skipping. 


G+ - This is most likely going to be a jacket grade and it will probably be completely split, serious water damage, chewed on by a werewolf, digested by a Sarlacc, etc.  If a vinyl has this grade, it's going to be an extremely rare record and it's gonna sound horrible, still no skips.


CDs will always be graded visually.  Either they will play or they won't.  easy-peasy, lemon squeezy.


Please Remember you genres, if you're looking at a record, chances are you know all the tracks better than we do (we can only remember so much).  So if it's smooth jazz, know that a visually graded VG in smooth  jazz is not going to play as great as a visually graded VG Death Metal.  We take this into consideration when shopping.  Again, we will play test anything that is $5 or more.




INNER SLEEVES -  We do not grade inner sleeves or inserts.  They are either there or they are not.  If a listing does NOT say "with inner or insert", assume that it is not included.Sometimes, we will not add if it is a generic printed label inner, again, assume it's just a plain white inner if not clearly referenced.


Edge Creases - these are so common on records. Edge creases are usually about 1-2" and the run the ring of the jacket.  Not to be confused with folds and large crease that have been sat on by a Vogon. They are usually on the front and back and just creep around the edges of the jacket


Scuffs - Scuffs are scuffs.  they are not scratches and do not cut into the grooves of the record.  They can cause light noise if they are deep enough


General Wear -  This is what you see when you have a record that has been played a lot or pulled in and out of the sleeve many times.  IF you look closely under bright light, you'll see tons of tiny scuffs that zig zag across the surface of the record. 


Buckling - This is usually caused by water damage, but someone attempted to clean it up before mold set in or the sleeve was completely compromised.  The Jacket will have a wavy look in the damaged part and is usually not as firm as the rest of the jacket.


Price Stickers - Remember we are a brick and mortar too, so the price tags that you see in the top right corner of our listings were the store prices (locals have first crack at anything new) We use cheap color tags that are easily removed with little issue, sometimes the white ones leave a grease stain (we have since stopped using them)  As we roll out new inventory for the website singularly, those tag will be removed completely.  Remember, everything on the site is available for pick-up and viewing in the shop.


Missing ink/paper - Some of our jacket grades will say 'missing ink or paper'  that means that some of original ink on the jacket is missing, either it was peeled from a sticker, cut, eaten, magically disappeared, printing error or something else,  Usually we will say what quadrant it is so you can zoom in.


White Label Promo (WLP) - We see these a lot, because we like them and hunt for them. What are they?  IN a nutshell they are usually considered the first of the press.  They are promotional copies for radio stations and Record Stores to Hype albums before they were released to the public.  They have....white labels...and usually stickers or stamps on the jacket  that say "Dj Copy" promo copy" "promotion use only" not for resale" etc.  WHy are they special.  I already told you.  They are usually the first of the press.  So?  SO?!?!?  When a record is being pressed (created) The use what are called mother masters.  Those mothers have a life span of about 1,000 - 1,500 records more or less depending on a LOT of variables.  the firsst off the line are the cleanest and most prestine you will find.  As they get to the end of that run, those masters can degrade.  How can you be sure you get a record off the first part of a mother?  Buy a white label.  Get it? Got it?  Good.



LOCAL PICK-UP - Of course you can pick-up in the shop if you're in the area!  There is a delivery option for this when you check out.  Please note we may not be able to pull your order the same day.  We should be able to, but sometimes we get crazy busy and can't get to it.  Feel free to call ahead.