VHS videotapes are vintage technology, but as with anything dated, they have a subculture of users and collectors. Vinyl records, for example, have been replaced by a succession of new and more convenient technologies, but records experienced a resurgence in popularity, and they are highly valued by a small group of loyal users. Selling old VHS tapes for cash is a matter of market identification, pricing strategy and sales processes that turn old tapes into profit.
Finding Viable Markets for Old Videotapes
VHS tapes require a VHS player, which is uncommon in modern households. That makes the market specialized and limited to collectors or users who operate a player. In some cases, VHS players are retained by owners to play old home videos or videos that are no longer in production, although converting VHS to DVD or digital formats is possible.
The largest markets for selling VHS tapes are online. EBay is a great starting point, especially for extensive collections. Craigslist is another good option for efficiently selling VHS tapes in bulk in local markets. Plenty of other auction and online classifieds sites exist, but eBay and Craigslist are two of the most frequented, and they offer an excellent method of selling the tapes. They are user-friendly and make it easy to list the tapes individually or as a group sale.
Selling the tapes in person rather than online is also a good approach. Word-of-mouth can help find potential buyers, so ask co-workers and friends to locate interested parties. An old-fashioned garage sale is a good way to sell VHS tapes while also clearing out other old items from your house.
Look to pawnshops and resale stores as a quick solution to sell the VHS tapes. You have less price control going this route, and not every store buys them, so call ahead to gauge interest.
Hitting Price Points
Pricing VHS tapes is tricky and requires research to understand the market. Browsing eBay to compare prices is the easiest method of gauging value. Pay close attention to the condition, type of movies and content, and the final selling price — not the asking price. The sales process is typically negotiable, especially when you use Craigslist or sell via a garage sale. The opportunity to sell VHS tapes in bulk lessens the workload by offloading multiples in single transactions.
The condition influences the price, particularly for collectors. Heavily worn tapes lose performance capabilities and value. Unplayed VHS tapes in the original packaging bring the highest prices. Out-of-production movies that were never sold in DVD format also retain more value; these tapes are often rare and collectible.
Look for the Black Diamond edition Disney VHS tapes. You can sell these videotapes on Amazon, eBay or any auction site for relatively high prices.
Wait or Donate
Some VHS tapes are valuable, but most are worth little money or nothing at all. Donating tapes to charity services is not uncommon because the increasing rarity of VHS players makes for a difficult sale. If the tapes are well-used and not highly valued, consider donating them. Places like Goodwill or local thrift stores may accept VHS donations, although some of them may decline due to limitations in the resale market.
The other option involves waiting for the value to increase. As with vinyl records, time will make VHS tapes scarce, and their value may increase substantially at some point. There is no guarantee, but waiting is a gamble worth making for VHS tapes in excellent condition. Rare movies are good contenders for future value. Blank tapes or those readily available in newer formats will always have less value.