VHS Tapes – Worth Your Time?

Dollar Flipper Ebay Flip, Ebay Research, eBay Tips 35 Comments

People still buy VHS Tapes?

Yes they do!  If I have any younger readers out there, they might not even know what a VHS is or how it works.  Well, these precursors to DVDs were the only way to watch movies.  Most aren’t worth much $$ at all (just like most of your DVDs aren’t worth a lot now either).  Some though, were very hard to get and continue to hold their value.  Hopefully I can find you some good deals!

Since VHS sections are huge, I’ll try to include some quick tips on narrowing down your search so you can spend your time looking for other good deals after quickly browsing through the VHS tape heap!

VHS Topics

Here are some topics that I’ve found to sell well. There are a few home runs but as you can guess, most VHS tapes aren’t worth much unless they’re from a popular niche.

Spoiler Alert: Your used Titanic, Remastered Star Wars, and Disney VHS tapes will not be included in the list…

Wrestling

Wrestling Pay Per View Events were actually released on VHS afterwards.  These events were a one time only thing and generally had a big build up if you followed the wrestling story line.  Used, these things still sell well (think $10+).  New, some even go for hundreds!!

VHS Wrestling PPV Hulk Hogan

You’ll be rolling in cash, brother!

Note: If you want to see what the “Best offer accepted” value was on a listing, click on the “go to original listing” and then click on “Print.”  It will list what it actually sold for!  This tape sold for $550!!!

Weird/Horror Films

I’m not talking about your Jason, Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger here.  I’m talking about off the wall gory/ridiculous horror films.  These are cult classics and have a huge underground following.  Some of these are so rare that they’ll go for a ton of $$$ even if it’s used or a rental.

VHS Quaded Zone Horror Rare

I have no idea what this was about, but I hope I find a copy!

Additionally, some of the foreign VHS tapes seem to be selling for a premium.  I found a few that were Japanese horror flicks that went for a few hundred even though they were used!


Hobby specific

I’ve sold some Rally Racing specific VHS tapes (they mounted high end cameras inside cars as they raced famous tracks).  The neat one out of the bunch was one which only featured the Volkswagen GTi.  I was able to sell that one to one person while someone else bought all of the rest!  I’ll show the details of the transactions at the end of this post.

 

VHS Duke PAL GTi

I’m betting that whoever bought this owns a GTi!

I also have a set of Tour de France VHS tapes that I haven’t gotten around to listing yet, but I’m sure they’ll go for a pretty penny.

VHS Encoding

NTSC or PAL?  Europe and the US couldn’t agree on a way to broadcast their analogue television back in the day. They used different frame rates and different screen resolutions.

Because of this, VHS tapes, DVDs, and Video Games have region specifications which would only work on one type of VHS, DVD, or Video Game System.  That’s right, there are Nintendo Wii’s that only work in one region vs another.  CRAZY! Just make sure that when you’re listing, you’re being honest about where your video will play, and remember, that PAL version of the VHS may be more rare!

VHS Quality – New or Used?

This is a big one.  Used VHS are a dime a dozen.  If it’s new, you can most likely sell it easily on Amazon (just scan the barcode if you’re using helpful software, otherwise just type it into CamelCamelCamel which trends Amazon sales/prices) or list it quickly on eBay.

For used ones, you’re going to have to hope that the tape will still play correctly. If you have a VCR still (I know this isn’t the case for most people), test the movie out.  If you don’t, then just look at the tape inside the cassette to see if there’s any damage.

Sometimes, even the Titanic set you have COULD sell on eBay if it’s new and shrink wrapped.

PAL Duke Racing VHS Flip

Here’s the details on the set of 4 VHS that I mentioned earlier:

  • Purchase price – $0.80
  • End Selling Price – $52.73
  • Fees and Shipping/Handling – $14.08

Total Profit:  $37.65
Available Cash to go out and buy more: $38.45

You’ll notice that I only paid $0.20 a piece.  This is normal.  If you’re paying more than a quarter for a VHS, you’re probably getting ripped off!  VHS can be shipped media mail which has cheaper rates, so that’s another + on their side.  Finally, the big negative for them is that they’re generally slow sellers.  If you list VHS tapes as Buy It Now, then you’re probably going to have to wait a while for the sale.  To mitigate this, I try to list them as auctions. This will help them sell quicker, but you might have to take a hit on the overall price.  Still, with the buying price of VHS tapes being so low, in the end, even if you have to throw them out since they’re not selling, they’re plenty worth the risk!

Image Credit: Croom Video Services

Comments 35

  1. Rare concert films alsoare worth picking up. Lots of market for Grateful Dead shows and other cult bands. Better yet match them with an actual ticket stubb and you’ll quadruple the value.

    1. Post
      Author

      I didn’t realize that! They do sell for a bunch! Here’s a search of completed listings of used concert VHS tapes sorted from high to low. I’ll add that to my list when I’m out looking!

  2. Holy $hit!! I would have NEVER guessed, but yes – def. makes sense. Nice one 🙂

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      Author

      Yeah, it’s amazing what you can get for some old crap just sitting around your house. I didn’t even think anyone bought VHS tapes anymore!

  3. I have a lot of old wcw pay per view vhs tapes I’m looking to see how much I can sell them for

    1. Post
      Author

      It seems like it depends on the matches included. Here’s some completed listings for some WCW VHS tapes.

  4. For “one time events” what sports in particular besides WCW & TdF? I knew I should’ve kept my special edition magazines…

    I would think that selling as a package would be even more profitable. The VHS, guide, memorabilia… . I know my parents have the Blue Jays’ Back to Back VHS tapes somewhere. Hopefully they weren’t thrown out…

    I just started my adventure into ecommerce, so your blog/site is fantastic!

    ~Maki

    **I realize my blog domain is odd, I started it as an outlet of my grief of losing my feline. “Life Lessons From My Cat. I’m still figuring out the WP/interweb universe…
    You have been warned!

    *You will get to meet my sassy cat Cleo/FancyPants though. And the replacement.

    1. Post
      Author

      Some Nascar sells well in huge lots. As Stephen said above, some rare concert recordings could be sold too (think Grateful Dead).

      In the sports category, it’s mostly wrestling though.http://flippingadollar.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/VHS-eBay-Sports-Tapes.jpg

  5. I have had luck with VHS recordings of rare concert or musical performances that were never released on DVD — even stuff like classical music and Broadway shows. $50+

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      Author
  6. I have boxes full of vhs moves and I’m only 25, I have 4 kids and my daughter ayla is 5 she has seen just about all the Disney vhs movies, she even knows how to work a vhs player… My mom goes and buys vhs movies all the time at thrift stores by her house… She just found brave little toaster ayla can’t wait to watch it! I would really like to sell a few of what I do have.

    1. Post
      Author

      I love the Brave Little Toaster!

      So, Disney videos are a tough one. Honestly, big lots do the best, but there’s not a lot a ton of value in them. If you have a lot of ~30, you can sell them for somewhere in between $50-$100. The nice thing is that it gets shipped by Media mail which is a LOT cheaper than Priority!

      http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_sacat=0&LH_ItemCondition=4&_nkw=disney%20vhs%20lot&LH_Complete=1&LH_Sold=1&rt=nc&_trksid=p2045573.m1684

  7. I have 2 boxes FULL of old Disney Masterpiece, Classic and Original movies. All in good condition, some NEVER opened. I wonder what they would be worth?
    I also have 3 other boxes of random/mixed VHS tapes. Some also never opened/watched -everything from 80’s family/cartoons, 70-80 Horror + Sci-Fi, 80-90 comedy and old Stooges type stuff…

    1. Post
      Author

      So, bad news first. The Disney movies aren’t worth much. Probably about $30-50 at most even new. The black diamond ones are worth a little more but still not a ton. There’s a lot of them out there. http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_sacat=0&LH_Complete=1&LH_Sold=1&_nkw=disney+vhs&_sop=16

      The 70’s and 80’s stuff isn’t that great unless you have some really weird ones like I mentioned above.

      I’d say overall, your best bet is to lot them in groups like you listed out and sell them in bunches. They can be shipped media mail (very cheap) so the shipping wouldn’t hurt you.

  8. I have roughly 500+ videos. Ranging from stephen king to mickey mouse. Im thinking of selling a considerable amount of them but have no idea how much to sell them for? In different lots or one big batch?

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      Author

      I would lot them together in like groups. Just as a point of reference, I bet you could hope for $300 total for all of it with free shipping. Here’s one of 120 sold for $89. Lot all kids ones together, and then probably lump the rest.

  9. I have over 4000 vhs tapes was hoping to be able to copy academy award winners to dvd but doent look like they will ever let that happen-even tho tons of streaming going on also an alpha cstalog of what i have still rent some seasonally to camps etc cause not great wifi here or too much internet access if anyone is interestes email me or if u have any great ideas on what to do with them a true museum hate to turn them tp expensive trash., thanks janicehainer@gmail.com

    1. Post
      Author

      Hm, if you’re looking to personally watch them, there are equipment and software to convert it to DVD but I’m sure they’ll be much lower quality than anything you could watch online. I’d try to sell anything worth some money and then just lot the rest up on craigslist. Someone will buy for some cash and you would get your space back. Renting to camps is a great idea to get some money for it too.

  10. I have literally thousands of vhs tapes is there anywhere I can take it in Miami FL or nearby to get money for them

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      Author

      It depends on how much work you’re willing to put into it. I’d say that a local FB group would be good to start out with, especially if there are kids movies.

    2. I would seperate all by genre and post on ebay. As stated the horror is what sells. I have a large horror collection and follow some of the sales if you’d like some advice.

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        Author

        Yep. It’ll take a bit of work, but you can make some money. And don’t forget, you can send them via media mail to save on shipping costs.

  11. Any update on your vhs adventure? I really appreciate your time you have put in on keeping this website going. (your business secret admire)

    1. Post
      Author

      🙂

      I still buy VHS tapes sometimes. I sold the Lance Armstrong ones I mentioned here for $30. Media mail was my friend there. I also have a set of Jackie Chan VHS tapes that I need to list. I’m trying to get through some clothes right now though.

  12. Do you know of anyone in the Broward Count area of Florida who would want to buy 1000 vhs tapes? Mystery, war, a little of everything

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      Author

      I don’t. I think your best option would be to reach out on Craigslist or Facebook groups.

  13. I have two WWF that i believe were recorded from the pay per view, as it was being watched. One is Summer slam and the other is WWF In your house.
    What do you think they would be worth?

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      Author

      Interesting. If there were any big matches (like Mankind’s awesome one) or some big historical event (like when Owen Hart passed away), they could be worth something.

  14. I have a Jackie Chan Special Collectors Limited Edition Box set of City Hunter on Vhs . Ive searched everywhere to get info on value and cant find anything. Its not listed anymore. Its 21 years old and only been played once

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      Author

      Is that a special VHS that was only available in Japan? If it was a mass marketed VHS tape available in the US, it’s probably not worth much.

  15. My boyfriend has a bunch of unsealed Three Stooges VHS tapes. Are they worth anything?

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      Author

      If they are vintage, they can probably be sold as a lot. Probably not a ton of money, but the media shipping costs are much less expensive than the alternatives.

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