The Record Loft opens near Avondale MARTA station in DecaturSteve Tockerman opened the Record Loft with his wife in August and sells a wide variety of records. Photo by Zoe Seiler.
This story has been updated.
Decatur, GA — A new record store has opened in Decatur, providing a cozy loft space for music lovers to sell their records and find new treasures. The Record Loft, which opened in August, grew out of Steve Tockerman’s love for music and his online record shop.
“It’s just a way for people to bring me records,” Tockerman said. “I was selling mostly online for years and going to Europe to sell [records].”
Tockerman’s wife, Margo, also posts on various online boards seeking records and Tockerman constantly goes to garage sales, and other events, hoping to find some musical treasures to accumulate the stock for the store.
The process of buying records varies in terms of finding records. People can drop records off at the store. They can either wait at the store or come back after the records have been evaluated.
“If you’ve got a lot [of records] I’ll [also] come to you,” Tockerman said. “Almost all of these records I’ve accumulated in the last five months.”
He also sells some musical equipment at the store, like stereos, guitar maps, PA equipment and bass drum pedals.
The records at the store are mostly individually priced, although Tockerman has a table full of records that are for sale for $1. Other stores and those who sell records use Discogs to see the price records have sold for and are currently selling for. The site features an online database of music for cataloging music collections, and sharing ratings and reviews.
The site also features a marketplace with a large inventory of records, and the pricing is based on the condition of the records.
“People base their pricing on this, what it last sold for, what it’s currently selling for, if it’s trending or trending down,” Tockerman said. “I price everything below Discogs. If it’s on Discogs for $12, I’ll sell it for $9. If it’s on Discogs for $20, I’ll sell it for like $15.”
The Tockermans hope the Record Loft turns into a cozy space where the community can hang out.
“We want to become a neighborhood hang out place. It should be a warm, friendly place you can come in to,” Margo said. “It’s funny that we’ll have people in here, and they know each other from other places. It’s sort of turning into that, which is really cool.”
While The Record Loft’s inventory is based on the records brought to the store and records Tockerman finds at garage sales, it features a little bit of everything. The wide variety of genres include, jazz, R&B, funk, soul, country, classical, rap, hip hop and rock, and more.
Tockerman tries to have fun with the store through the decor and a wall of guitars leading up the stairs to the loft.
“I’m not an Elvis fan, but I think the Elvis plates are tacky. I got them at a garage sale for dirt cheap, so I put them up,” Tockerman said. “This is not a stuffy place.”
He also gets creative with the category names that separate the records in the bins. For example, Tockerman put a Rolling Stones album in the Styx section, so the label on the divider reads “Styx and Stones.”
Some records also have interesting stories behind them, at least for how they ended up at the Record Loft. A woman recently sold Tockerman about 10 records and he noticed a Willard record that was self-published in the 70s, at a time when people didn’t put out their own records.
She said her father owned an appliance store and sometimes when people couldn’t pay him, they would give him something, like a dozen eggs. She thought the artist owed money for an appliance and paid her dad with the record, Tockerman said.
The Record Loft is located at 2752 E Ponce de Leon Ave., Suite E. The store is open Monday through Thursday from 12-6 p.m., Friday from 12-7 p.m., Saturday from 12-6 p.m.and Sunday from 12-5 p.m. The store also offers cocktail hour on Fridays from 5-7 p.m.
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