Near Mint (NM or M-) = A nearly perfect record. The record should show no obvious signs of wear. A 45 RPM or EP sleeve should have no more than the most minor defects, such as almost invisible ring wear or other signs of slight handling. An LP cover should have no creases, folds, seam splits or other noticeable similar defects. No cut-out holes, either. And of course, the same should be true of any other inserts, such as posters, lyric sleeves and the like.
Excellent (EX) = Generally worth 80 percent of the Near Mint value. Record has light surface marks, cover shows minimal wear.
Very Good Plus (VG+) = Generally worth 50 percent of the Near Mint value. A Very Good Plus record will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it. Record surfaces may show some signs of wear and may have slight scuffs or very light scratches that don't affect one's listening experiences. Slight warps that do not affect the sound are "OK". The label may have some ring wear or discoloration, but it should be barely noticeable. The center hole will not have been misshapen by repeated play. Picture sleeves and LP inner sleeves will have some slight wear, lightly turned up corners, or a slight seam split. An LP cover may have slight signs of wear also and may be marred by a cut-out hole, indentation or corner indicating it was taken out of print and sold at a discount. In general, if not for a couple things wrong with it, this would be Near Mint.
Very Good (VG) = Generally worth 25 percent of Near Mint value. Many of the defects found in a VG+ record will be more pronounced in a VG disc. Surface noise will be evident upon playing, especially in soft passages and during a song's intro and fade, but will not overpower the music otherwise. Groove wear will start to be noticeable, as with light scratches (deep enough to feel with a fingernail) that will affect the sound. Labels may be marred by writing, or have tape or stickers (or their residue) attached. The same will be true of picture sleeves or LP covers.
Abkürzungen / Abbrevations:
RI = Wiederveröffentlichung / Reissue
FOC = Klappcover / Fold out cover
CO / CC / COH = Cover markiert durch Einschnitt / Abschnitt einer Ecke / Loch. Cut out / corner cut / cut out hole
WOC = Cover wurde beschriftet (mit Stift o.ä.) / Written on cover
WOL = Label wurde beschriftet (mit Stift, Stempel o.ä.) / Written on label