One thing you learn as a record collector who buys (or finds for free) in places other than record stores is to always - and I mean ALWAYS - check the record inside the cover. As in, take it out of the jacket and sleeve. It sounds first-grade, but some new folks to vinyl might assume that the record they're about to buy is a) automatically in put-it-on-the-platter-and-spin-it condition, and b) absolutely the one that's supposed to be in there.
But you know what happens when you assume...
One recent thrift trip, while not a complete disappointment, would have taught a lesser collector a lesson. Several rare-looking albums had masking tape with worn-out writing on them. It took a couple albums to discover that some skizzix (sorry, I don't know where that came from) swapped covers years ago, and none of the albums with this masking tape had the right record in it. Even the TWO copies of Manila Thriller's album.
Another trip yielded exactly ONE album I'd buy...but couldn't. It was the right record, but it was in the wrong condition. Sure, it'd probably play, but it'd sound like total crap because of all the wear. I might have bought it in a pinch, but I can afford to wait for a better copy. And with my luck lately, I'll probably find one soon. (If you're curious, the album was Dick Hyman's Age Of Electronicus, a 1969 Moog masterpiece from one of the most versatile and prolific keyboardists known to man.)
So there's your lesson, kids: look before you leap into that next score.