A Visit to Double Decker Records in Allentown PA: A Treasure Hunt for Vinyl Collectors

Inside Double Decker Records Allentown PASo I visited Double Decker Records in Allentown today for the first time. For me, it’s a two hour and forty minute round trip to get there, but “somewhat” worth the time. I liked the place, and bought some vinyl and cassettes. Some observations then from my visit.

First, the staff that I spoke to (one guy) was friendly. Otherwise, nobody took the time to greet me, including the owner, who seemed like a fast-talking flim-flam salesman. I observed him in a quite impatient conversation with a customer about something related to cell phones or such.

The place is dirty and minimally organized. Excepting the bins organized by genre and alphabetized by popular bands, everything else is terribly disorganized. Mostly, in the top bins (waist level) they have new vinyl and high-priced used vinyl. Nothing is graded. In that top bin section, under the catch all alphabet letter, there’s a lot of known bands that I’m guessing we’re all supposed to know. Really?

Also, in regards to content, you’ll find a lot of Elvis (ho-hum) and alt/hardcore/punk nonsense. Classic rock and metal is speculative, but we all know that everybody’s been buying that stuff up over the last fifteen years. Good luck finding used Iron Maiden, Priest, Rush, Metallica, et al. Used Rush albums, if you can find them, as NM, for $15.00? Ouch.

They have the 50 cent room, but that is mostly the shit stuff that they can’t sell. It’s a dirty, ugly, and smelly room and, if you have allergies, you do not want to go in there. I came away with stuffy sinuses that lasted all afternoon. However, when I arrived, that’s were all the buyers were. That’s some hardcore record buying, folks. Those guys need to get a life. Shit. Read a book. Take a walk. Have sex with your wife/girlfriend.

The real bargains are found in the large amount of $1.00 to $3.00 bins on the floor, if you got the time to go through them. They are not organized whatsoever, but the vinyl is in generally good condition. And classic rock can be found. That’s were I purchased the bulk of material today.

Essentially, Double Decker Records is a treasure hunt which you must make time for. Which leads me to my conclusion: make time to treasure hunt, you may find some things you like. I did. But with the distance and traffic, I won’t be going more than twice a year, and definitely not in the summer.

Craig Hartranft