VHS tapes were all the rage from the early 1970s to the late 2000s. Although, as new technologies began to emerge, this video format slowly faded away.
Thankfully, over the past few years, VHS has seen a boom in popularity. People from all around the world are buying the tapes as collectibles.
They’ll keep an eye out for vintage live performances or rare old movies. This means that you can make a nice living off of these videos.
So, if you’re wondering how to sell VHS tapes, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about making money off the tapes.
We’ll also cover the steps you can follow to start selling them as soon as possible.
- Why You Should Consider Selling VHS Tapes
- Problems With Selling VHS Tapes
- What You’ll Need to Sell VHS Tapes
- Where to Sell VHS Tapes
- How to Sell VHS Tapes: Step-By-Step Instructions
- Things to Consider When Selling VHS Tapes
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Similar Tutorials to Check Out
- Wrapping Up
Why You Should Consider Selling VHS Tapes
There are a few advantages to selling VHS tapes. In this section, we’ll cover why it’s a good idea to part with your favorite video recordings.
- Almost No Start-Up Cost: If you’re selling used VHS tapes, you won’t need that much capital. You may have to pay to ship the tapes, but that’s about it. Other than that, there are practically no overhead costs.
- Recycling: The main body of VHS tape is plastic. So, if you throw it out, it’ll end up at the bottom of a landfill somewhere. This can end up harming the environment in the long run. Because of that, selling the tapes is a type of recycling.
- Increased Value: Since we no longer produce VHS tapes, they’ve become quite rare. That means collectors are willing to pay top dollar to get their hands on the tapes. Some are even willing to dish out thousands of dollars for a single video recording.
- Limited Time Commitment: With a VHS business, you won’t have set hours. This gives you the freedom to choose when you want to work.
Problems With Selling VHS Tapes
Even though selling VHS tapes has its benefits, there are a few drawbacks. In this section, we’ll cover the major disadvantages of the process.
1. Finding Buyers Can Be Difficult
As we mentioned, some VHS tapes will sell for a pretty penny. On average, you can get about $20 to $50 per recording.
Although, some tapes will sell for more. Collectors are willing to pay thousands of dollars for special movies and documentaries.
While that may be true, it’s not always easy to find these antiquarians. You may need to wait for a long time before you find a buyer that’s able to pay top dollar.
2. Tough Shipping
VHS tapes are a lot more fragile than people think. The plastic exterior is tough and can handle a few scrapes.
However, the tape inside will degrade over time. That’s because high heat can break down the thin film. On top of that, cold temperatures will cause it to bend and break.
Finally, humidity can also affect the VHS tape. Because of that, shipping can be quite a pain.
You need to ensure that you protect the tapes well so that they arrive at their destination unharmed.
3. Tedious Checking Process
Most VHS tapes at this point are about 20 to 30 years old. This means that not all of them will work properly.
For that reason, you have to check each recording individually. You’ll start by rewinding the tape and making sure it still works.
After that, you have to watch the entire movie from beginning to end. That’s so you can identify any issues with the video or audio.
After checking a few tapes, you’ll notice that it’s an incredibly tedious process.
4. Not All Tapes Will Sell
Even though some VHS tapes sell for thousands of dollars, that’s not the case with all of them.
In fact, there are a few recordings that may not sell at all. Sadly, you won’t be able to figure this out until the VHS tape has sat on your shelves for a few months.
Because of that, it can be tough to gauge the value of your collection.
What You’ll Need to Sell VHS Tapes
Now that you know the benefits and drawbacks of selling VHS tapes, we can take a look at what you need. In this section, we’ll cover the tools and materials you’ll use to sell the tapes.
- VHS Collection: The first thing you’ll need is a large VHS collection. There’s no point in starting this venture if you only have a few recordings. You need a large library to ensure that you’re turning a profit. This is true unless you have an ultra-rare recording, like a Disney VHS tape.
- VCR Player: To check the quality of the VHS tapes, you’ll need to play them. The only way to do that is with a VCR. If you no longer have one, you should be able to buy a player on Amazon for a few hundred bucks.
- TV: A VCR player is useless without a TV. You’ll need a screen to project the video. You can use any device for this as long as it connects to the VCR.
- Labels: After years of use, most old VHS tape labels fade away. This can make it hard for you to keep track of all your recordings. So, it’s a good idea to pick up a few labels. Then, make sure to name each tape before putting it away. The best part is you can be as creative as you want with your labels. You may also want to invest in a label maker if you have a large collection.
- Packaging Materials: To ensure your VHS tapes are safe, you have to package them properly. You can opt for plastic casings to protect your precious commodity.
Where to Sell VHS Tapes
Before you start a VHS business, you need to have a plan in place. It’s a good idea to figure out where you’ll sell the recordings first.
That way, you’ll know where to send your tapes as soon as they’re ready. In this section, we’ll cover some of the best stores and apps to sell things quickly.
1. Heritage Auctions
Heritage Auctions is an American auction house based in Dallas, Texas. It buys and sells a wide variety of collectibles. From books and luxury accessories to comic books and VHS tapes.
The business will take the recording off your hands and put them up for auction. That way, you ensure you get the best price for your items.
- Fees/Commission: Heritage Auctions will give you a verbal appraisal for free. However, for an official document, you’ll need to pay around $500. Other than that, there are no listing fees. Moving on, the auction house can charge you up to an 8% sales fee.
- Payment Methods: Heritage Auctions supports many payment methods. These include MasterCard, Visa, Cashier’s Check, and Bank Wire.
eBay is one of the world’s most popular e-commerce websites for collectibles. People from all over the world use the platform to advertise unique items.
The best part about the service is you can choose how to sell your VHS tapes. You may opt for the “Buy It Now” service or an auction.
- Fees/Commission: Typically, listing an item on eBay is free. Although, if you list more than 250 items in one month, you’ll pay a $0.35 fee per item. Plus, eBay charges a 13.25% sales fee on transactions.
- Payment Methods: With eBay, you can use PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. You may also use a credit or debit card.
Decluttr is a consignment store with a focus on technology and electronic devices. Using the platform, you can sell items like CDs, DVDs, and VHS tapes.
Unlike the other stores on our list, you won’t have to wait to get paid with Decluttr. As soon as an expert examines your items, the business will send you a check in the mail.
- Fees/Commission: Decluttr doesn’t charge you any fees for your items. Plus, it’ll pay you a flat rate for your items, regardless of the sale price.
- Payment Methods: You can pay using PayPal, direct deposit, or checks made payable.
How to Sell VHS Tapes: Step-By-Step Instructions
With the basics out of the way, you’re ready to find out how to sell VHS tapes. In this section, we’ll walk you through the process, one step at a time.
Step 1: Organize Your VHS Tapes
The first thing you’ll need to do is find out how many VHS tapes you have available. Start by clearing out space and examining your collection.
While you do that, it’s a good idea to have a notebook and pen on you. That way, you can write down the titles of each video and its condition as you go.
At this point, any tape you can get your hand on may be valuable. So, don’t worry about having duplicates of the same recordings.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to sell them to different buyers.
Step 2: Check the Condition of Your VHS Tapes
Now that you know the full scope of your collection, it’s time for a little testing. Connect your VCR to the TV and find a comfortable seat.
Then, start playing the tapes one by one. As you do that, it’s best to have a checklist. It should include all the aspects you’re testing.
For instance, your checklist may look something like this:
- Video quality
- Audio quality
- Condition of the casing
Grade these categories out of five and give each tape a score. Doing so will give you a better idea of what recordings you can sell.
Step 3: Check Your Collection for Valuable tapes
Since VHS tape prices can vary greatly, it’s a good idea to break your recordings into categories.
The first one includes all the run-of-the-mill tapes. You can sell these almost anywhere. For instance, you may find a buyer at your local video store.
Moving on, the second category will include your valuable tapes. These will fetch a much higher price than the others.
So, to make sure you get the best price, it’s a good idea to put these tapes up for auction.
Some examples of valuable VHS tapes include:
- The Back to the Future Series
- Barney and Friends
- Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Black Diamond edition)
- Disney’s The Jungle Book (Black Diamond edition)
- Disney’s Aladdin (Black Diamond edition)
- Disney’s 101 Dalmatians (Black Diamond edition)
- Disney’s Sleeping Beauty (Black Diamond edition)
- Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Black Diamond edition)
As you can see, many of these recordings are Walt Disney classic movies. Although there are plenty of other high-value tapes.
A quick Google search should be able to tell you how much people are willing to pay for specific tapes.
Step 4: Sell Your VHS Tapes
Once you’ve identified the valuable tapes, you’re ready to list your items. Visit one of the stores that we mentioned in this article.
All of them should be able to help you sell VHS tapes in no time. It may be a good idea to approach all three platforms at the same time.
That way, you can compare prices and get the best deal.
Things to Consider When Selling VHS Tapes
Selling VHS tapes may not be for everyone. So, before you launch the small business, there are a couple of factors you should consider.
Consider if the VHS Market is Right for You
VHS tapes have become obsolete in the past few years. Because of that, the market for the recordings is quite limited.
There are only a few serious collectors out there that’ll pay top dollar. For that reason, selling the recordings can be challenging.
So, if you have a large collection, it may take a while to move all the items. This means that this business can’t generate a steady income.
Pricing Your VHS Tapes
If you’re not putting the VHS tapes up for auction, you’ll need to price them. Typically, it’s best to look at competitor pricing before you decide on a final cost.
Plus, you should always remember that more affordable tapes will usually sell faster.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are VHS Tapes Worth Anything?
Yes, you can sell VHS tapes for a pretty penny to the right buyer. Some recordings can fetch thousands of dollars in an auction.
What Is the Most Expensive VHS Tape?
Figuring out the most expensive VHS tape is tricky. That’s because not all sellers discuss the prices of their recordings.
However, many people consider a sealed copy of “Back to the Future” to be the most expensive. A few years ago, the tape sold for about $75,000 with Heritage Auctions.
Similar Tutorials to Check Out
If you’re undecided about selling VHS tapes, here are a few similar ventures.
- How to Sell Used DVDs: Are you a collector of DVDs? Learn how to turn your library into a side hustle.
- How to Sell Disney VHS Tapes: Do you have a large collection of Disney VHS tapes? Learn how to sell them for a massive profit.
- How to Sell Laptops: Are you a technology buff? If that’s the case, then a laptop business may be for you.
Figuring out how to sell VHS tapes is easier than it sounds. First, start by organizing your VHS collection.
Then, check that each recording plays and make a note of its condition. After that, separate your normal tapes from the valuable ones.
Finally, use a platform like Heritage Auctions to sell your VHS tape.
Did our guide on selling VHS tapes help you get started? Let us know down below and don’t forget to share this article with any collectors.