How to Get Rid of VHS Tapes

By Robert Vaux

The VCR has gone the way of the dodo, as DVDs and Blu-Ray discs provide sharper images in a much more durable format. But VHS tapes enjoyed a lengthy heyday (as well as changing the cultural landscape forever), and many people still have quite a collection just lying around unused. Getting rid of them is quite easy. The question becomes how best to get rid of them properly and whether you can get any money for them.

Step 1

Sell them. VHS tapes won't fetch even a fraction of what you originally paid for them, but if you have enough of them, you may be able to make some money. Many people sell old cassettes on eBay, while others sell them as part of a garage sale or at a local flea market. If you have any mom and pop video stores in your neighborhood--smaller places instead of big chains--call them and see if they buy old VHS tapes. Some do, though they may offer store credit rather than cash, and again, you likely won't get very much for them.

Step 2

Donate them. A number of charitable organizations accept VHS tapes, including local libraries, hospitals, schools, retirement homes and groups like the Goodwill. They loan or sell the tapes out to less fortunate people, use them to entertain their residents, or work them into their curriculum (provided the films in question are appropriate for a classroom setting). The best part about a donation is that you can use it as a deduction on your taxes. You can find out if they accept them simply by locating their number in the phone book and calling them. You may need to drop the tapes off at a predetermined location. Be sure to get a receipt for them.

Step 3

Contact GreenDisk and have them take the VHS tapes off your hands. GreenDisk collects "technotrash," such as outdated phones and computers, and disposes of them responsibly so that they don't take up space in landfills. The bad news is that you will probably have to pay shipping costs to send your VHS tapes to them. (It usually amounts to just a few dollars.) The good news is that you can print up the shipping label at home, and

Tips & Warnings

  • If you're selling your VHS tapes, consider bundling them in groups (spy movies, for example, or Julia Roberts movies) and selling them in bulk. While you may not make any additional money by doing so, people may be much more interested in buying tapes in bulk than paying for them individually.

References & Resources