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Meet Alex Vernon of Comeback Vinyl

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alex Vernon.

Alex, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My mom, Karen Vernon, and I started Comeback Vinyl about 3 1/2 years ago. We started selling used records back in 2014 at an antique mall and after about a year there we opened our own new and used record store down the street. We had about a 700 sq ft space for 2 years before moving to the downtown Alpharetta location that we’re in now. Our new location is about 2,000 sq ft and we’ve been open here since the week before Thanksgiving 2017.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Things have been going really well for us, especially since our move to downtown Alpharetta. Everyone that’s been in has been very happy that we’re here and really pleased with our selection and prices. Our bins aren’t completely full at the moment, we just moved in and had a lot of moving expenses that we’re still getting caught up on but we’re working hard to increase our inventory quickly. Our old location was packed to the gills with LPs and we’ve been rapidly increasing our selection to fill up our new, much larger, shop. Right now our inventory is about 50/50 new and used records but once full it will be 60% new vinyl and 40% used vinyl.

Please tell us about Comeback Vinyl.
We specialize in vinyl records. We don’t sell any CDs, cassettes, reel to reels, or any other music format. In store, we pretty much only sell LPs – not many 12″ singles, no 7″ singles, no 78’s – just albums. We do sell some 7″ and 12″ singles online and might do some 78’s online in the future. We’ve just recently started doing eBay auctions for singles and rare used LPs.

Our inventory includes rock, jazz, blues, soul, funk, hip-hop, electronic, punk, etc both new and old. We offer the largest in-store audiophile selection in the Southeast with over 1,000 titles in stock from labels like Music Matters, Analogue Productions, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, & more. Our audiophile section includes both 33 1/3 and 45 RPM reissues and has a heavy focus on hard bop jazz from the 50’s and 60’s.

One of our goals is to stock a deep selection of reissues of really rare and sought after LPs. We spend a lot of time online searching for lost gems that have been reissued and we love turning people on to records like that. Some of the brand new reissues we offer for mostly around $25 – the originals can sell for hundreds or even thousands because these records are so rare and desirable. It’s a lot of fun to be able to add pieces like that to our inventory. We encourage folks to read the hype stickers or liner notes on new reissues if you don’t recognize the band – if it sounds cool, jump on our wifi and check it out on your phone… you might be holding your new favorite record.

Amongst the rare reissues, we carry you’ll also find popular bands, everything from Elvis to The Beatles to Mac DeMarco. We’ve let our customers dictate a lot of what’s in the store, constantly taking suggestions and stocking things that we’ve special ordered for people in the past. We’ve been getting a lot of requests for hip-hop since we moved to our new location so we’re now in the process of building a hip-hop section. We want our customers to be able to find what they’re looking for locally and not have to order records from Amazon. We’re always happy to special order something we don’t have in stock and we’ll always be taking suggestions to curate our selection to our customers’ tastes.

Our used inventory covers a variety of genres and is organized separately from our new LPs. We work hard to only stock clean records and to price them very fairly. We have a listening station in the store so folks can put a record on to check out the music or play over a scuff or something before purchasing. We also buy used records! If you or anyone you know has any LPs that they’re not listening to anymore we are always happy to take a look at purchasing them!

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
That’s hard to say. You always learn from hindsight but it’s difficult for me to say, “Oh, I wish we had done this differently.” We haven’t done everything perfectly but I believe it’s all happened the way it’s supposed to. We’re really happy to be here – in a store full of music, surrounded by people who love music, every day.

Pricing:

  • Our used LPs range from $2 – $40 but most are in the $4-$6 range.
  • New LPs range from about $15-$35 and average around $25.
  • Rare LPs that we offer on eBay go between $20 – hundreds of dollars.
  • If you have records you’d like to sell, we generally pay 1/3 – 1/2 of what we’re going to try to sell a record for.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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