Here is a list of commonly used abbreviations in record collecting circles, with merchants, auctions and items for sale. There are many more such shorthand notations but most of those should be self-explanatory.
The record has been marked as discontinued in the label's catalog and was sold at a reduced price. There are three basic forms of cut-outs:
- a small punch hole at one of the corners of the sleeve. This was commonly used in Europe.
- a vertical saw cut, usually up to one inch in size. Frequently used in the U.S.
- a cut corner, means one of the sleeve's corners has been cut off completely. This is the harshest of marks and was used primarily with U.S. pressings. You often find sealed records with this type of cut-out! Make sure to ask for details, preferably a high resolution photo of the record to determine the type and size of the cut precisely before you buy an expensive cut-out item.
Alternatively labeled as 'Gatefold Sleeve' (GF), indicates that the cover folds open like a book. Many original late 1960s / early 1970s releases came with a fold-out cover that had been scrapped with later, cheaper re-releases. However, with many popular titles some of the later releases still came with the original gatefold sleeves, while others had a plain one-pocket sleeve.
The record comes with its original inner sleeve. This can be a special company sleeve (ie. Vertigo Swirl), a picture inner sleeve, or an inner sleeve containing lyrics or other text. Usually indicated only with more expensive items where it is crucial for the collector to obtain a complete item including all accompanying items as the original inner sleeve.
The record has never been sold to the public in this exact form. The cover, label and/or catalog number is different from the regular release, and promotional labels such as 'not for sale', 'demonstration copy', or 'for promotion only'. When a record has been marked with a 'PR Copy' sticker as a promotional copy it is not considered a PROMO in record collecting terms if it is otherwise identical to the regular release.
It is perfectly legal to buy or sell a PROMO record even if it is labeled with something like 'For Promotional Use Only - Not For Resale.' Read more about this here and here.
The cover and/or label carries one or more stickers that do not belong there, usually applied by the previous owner of the record, or an institution like an archive or radio station. This does not include stickers that originally came with the record when it was sold, such as promotional stickers and price tags. Those are not considered as diminishing the collector's item's value. However, it is recommended that all stickers are noted before the record is sold, so we - again - encourage all buyers to ask for high-resolution photos especially with expensive items.
The cover has been repaired with (clear) tape. You will find that quite frequently at the seams which tend to split easily especially with non-laminated 1950/60s releases.
This usually means that the previous owner of the record has left his name or initials in writing on the sleeve and/or label. Make sure to ask for details, preferably a high resolution photo of the cover and label to know exactly what you are buying.