VHS Tapes – Worth Your Time?

Dollar Flipper Ebay Flip, Ebay Research, eBay Tips

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