How to Make Money Selling VHS Tapes Online
Here's a bunch of information that really belongs in a book (hmmm, maybe someday.) I grew up in the '90s, and we always watched VHS tapes when I was a kid. Most people laugh at the thought of buying or selling them—and they'd sooner throw them away than check to see if they are worth anything. If there is one thing I have learned as a picker, it is that every single type of item has value in some way, and there is always a "Holy Grail" of that category.
VHS Tapes Sell for More Than You Think
Just as there are DVDs that I have sold for over $120 (like Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book DVD), there are VHS tapes that I have sold for over $85. Here's a quick tip for you: Real quick, go see if you can find yourself a copy of The Adventures Of Dudley the Dragon: Dudley's Tea Party. I bet you would be surprised at the price you would have to pay for it! This is just one quick example of the profit that can be found in VHS tapes.
Everywhere I go, I can pick up VHS tapes for $1 or less, even new. I have sold the Dudley VHS in the past for over $70 in rough shape. If you buy something for $1 and sell it for $70, that is a 7000% return on investment. That's not bad at all!
Are You an Aspiring Picker?
I know it will probably anger a lot of pickers that I am writing this article, but I don't mind sharing because, to be completely honest, there are a lot of VHS tapes, and "Joe Shmoe" is not going to find the good ones. Only a serious picker is going to find them—and perhaps you are, or will become, that serious picker. If that is the case, then good for you! Either way, if you are meant to be one, then you were meant to be one before I wrote this article!
What to Look for in a VHS Tape
The best type of VHS tapes to look for are obviously new, sealed tapes. I would be very careful to make sure that they are sealed because sometimes a VHS tape will be sealed by someone else other than the factory! If you sell one like this that you thought was new, you can get in a lot of trouble, and it is a very tough position to defend yourself from! I would be careful when trying to buy new sealed VHS tapes on eBay because there are so many amateur sellers who don't even realize this problem.
How Do You Determine a Tape's Value?
Just because a VHS is factory-sealed new, it does not make it worth a lot automatically. Most VHS tapes are completely worthless, even in new condition. Very few VHS will be worth anything at all, and it is tough to tell which are good without a scanner.
The first thing you should do is use the iBookSeller app, which is available for both iOS and Android users. I use iBookSeller because it gives accurate, up-to-date prices and sales ranks. Almost all VHS tapes are slow sellers, no matter where or how you sell them.
Examples of Tapes That Sell Well
- Most children's VHS tapes sell very quickly and can be sold for around $4–$6 each plus shipping if they are in good condition and $8–$10 for good ones if they are new.
- The best kind of VHS tapes to sell are old, out-of-production ones. Anything old that is not available on DVD will most likely be worth something.
- Surprisingly, a lot of workout tapes are worth something, especially if new. I once sold a Jane Fonda VHS tape used for $15.
- Other good sellers for VHS are strange ones that talk about conspiracy theories and documentaries. Non Fiction is more likely to be a desirable VHS, but I would say this is much less likely the case than it is with books. Most nonfiction books are worthless.
Basically, what it comes down to is that if it is unavailable or very expensive on DVD, people will buy it on VHS.
Inspecting the Tape
VHS tapes are very reliable and much more durable than DVDs, but they should be tested before you sell them to ensure that they work. I do a physical inspection of each VHS I sell. I describe the box and the VHS carefully. I look for discoloration of the ribbon of the tape and damage to the VHS. It is important to note any imperfections and to avoid those that have them in the first place. Having and maintaining top-notch feedback is essential and means that your items will sell faster and for more money.
I usually ship my VHS tapes first class mail with B-flute cardboard wrapping protection around them. I find that shipping them first class mail is much safer and pleases customers much more and that it is worth the extra 40 cents or so more than media mail. I always ship expensive items first class mail or priority mail, and I use signature confirmation on items over or around $100. I would not ship expensive items to media mail because the USPS is very rough on media mail.
How to Store VHS Tapes
VHS tapes are great for selling online because they are very easy to store and they are not as heavy as books for the same space. I am fairly certain that if you want anything near market value for VHS tapes, you absolutely must sell them online. VHS usually have dust sleeves or clam shell cases, and it is much easier to come across a VHS that is in working order than a DVD because so many DVDs are scratched horribly.
I do not buy VHS missing their sleeve or clamshell unless they are worth a lot because it is like a bomb waiting to explode. I store VHS I'm selling as shown in the picture. I picked up these shelves at Walmart reasonably cheaply, and they do the trick.
Where to Sell
I prefer to sell my VHS on Amazon because I feel that there is more traffic, but VHS do sell well on Ebay, too. It's up to you, but I would always recommend selling new VHS on Amazon, and I would suggest marking it up very high because it will sell. You will always get paid much higher prices on Amazon than on Ebay.
Of course, telling you this suggests that there are opportunities for Ebay arbitrage. It's a rough market out there, and Ebay arbitrage can be a very dangerous game to play. More on this another time!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Kimberly L. Jones on December 27, 2019:
I HAVE OVER 30 TO 40 OLD VIDEO CASSETTES AT HOME THAT HAVE NOT BEEN WATCHED FOR OVER THE PAST YEARS. I have been trying to sell a much of them as I can for the past 3 to 4 years at the old flea market. But no one has an cassettes at their own home. But I do not know how to sell them online
JohnC235 on September 23, 2019:
My Father loved VHS tapes and he regularly bought pre-recorded movies and TV shows.
When he passed away, I found he had stored his collection throughout his house. He had acquired more than 4,000 tapes of all genres -- dramas, comedies, police/crime, westerns, musicals, children's, horror, Sci-Fi, sports, documentaries, etc. More than 99 percent were produced in SP mode for the best picture clarity and most magnetic tape.
From what I could tell, there are NO rarities -- he mostly stuck with names of studios he knew (MGM, Warner Brothers, Universal, Paramount, Republic, RKO, Columbia, Disney, etc.). He had a fondness for films and stars from the 1940s through the 1970s, though he also acquired quite a few films from the 1980s and 1990s. He also liked the mail subscriptions for TV shows. WRITE for a LIST of major films by major stars that I noticed while I was grouping all of the VHS tapes together (it is an MS Word document that is 23 pages long and it only lists maybe 10 percent of the films). Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org
About 25 percent of the collection are in new, unwatched condition still in unopened shrinkwrap. About 45 percent are used VHS still in shrinkwrap. The rest have no shrinkwrap and most of these were bought new by my father. All VHS tapes are Region 1.
Since DVDS and streaming are newer technology, the popularity of VHS is now much lower than it once was, but there are still some diehard fanatics of VHS tapes. So, I will sell 400 VHS tapes for $100, which works out to 25 cents each.
There are two catches to this deal:
1.) This is a RANDOM selection. If you want to cherry pick specific tapes, prices start at $1 each and go up from there.
2.) Because of the weight of VHS tapes and the fact that I have no shipping boxes, shipping is NOT an option. This sale is for Local Pickup ONLY. Be aware that you will need at least a full-size SUV or van to take 400 VHS tapes.
I am located less than 5 miles outside the New York City limits.
BONUS: For every two sets of 400 VHS (total of 800) you buy, I will give you 200 VHS tapes for FREE. So, if you buy 3,200 I will give you 800 VHS tapes for no extra charge.
Sales are cash-and-carry. No refunds, no returns.
Feel free to ask any questions or to ask for the list at email@example.com; remember to include a return email, your name and a phone number.
von burke on July 10, 2019:
i have about 100 or more vhs tapes to sell, im open to different offers and they all range from action to horror, if interested contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa on July 03, 2019:
I have black dimond walt disney lil mermaid to sell where do i go?
Jennifer Burgess on June 27, 2019:
I have 53 children's vhs videos all in nearly new condition for sale and I an open to offers for them. Can send a picture.
Barbara Mumphrey on May 03, 2019:
I have 2 black diamond vhs Aladdin Disney classic the original animated movie and the sequel Aladdin kinds and the thieves.for sale if interested email me at email@example.com
Hygy lion on April 27, 2019:
I Have some world war 2 vhs with Walter Cronkite
Cornelius Thompson on March 05, 2019:
I have a classic V.H.S. Beauty and The Beast ...
Maggie_may on January 23, 2019:
Angela Carter on January 09, 2019:
I have hundreds of VHS tapes if anyone wants them, I cannot use them now I live in the USA.
Carolyn Williams on July 19, 2018:
I have a lot of dvds vhs movies for sale so if you are in to buying some or alll text me and we can make a deal and i have a lot of them so lets make it happen
Brianna Koschak on July 03, 2018:
I have 5/6bins full of old vhs Walt Disney movies and looking to get rid of them to sell
FrmMT on May 31, 2018:
I have been collecting VHS tapes for sometime now. The fun is in the hunt for old movies, that I watched when I was a kid. Many of them I completely forgot that they existed. It is questionable, if most of them will ever be worth anything. If not, I am set up with a lifetime of tapes to record over, as I still record TV shows with a VCR.
By the way I cringed at your storage. The tapes should be stored upright. The tape should be forwarded to the end with the weighted side down. Forwarding the tape allows the exposed tape to be at the end so, if there is any degradation it occurs there instead of the most used end.
firstname.lastname@example.org on April 13, 2018:
i have several hundred vcr tapes about half are in the plastic covers and lots are the old disney cartoon movies plus lot more too im talking in the hundreds need to sell them but dont want to be cheated need to know the worth of them can download 790 pictures with old records too the vcr tapes are eight to a picture
Julie on October 30, 2017:
I have tons of VHS movies in mint condition I'm really wanting to know the best way to sell these because I replace a lot of them are already on DVDs any help would be appreciated!!!
sherry crothers on September 10, 2017:
i have old Disney vhs movies 3 of them are the black diamond series like beauty and the beast ,Cinderella,and 101 Dalmatians along with others
Lyn May on July 20, 2017:
I have a lot of VHS tapes that I am hoping are available on DVD. I was told to toss them, but they are Doctor Who, The Prisoner & other series. I'll look into Amazon. Maybe I can sell VHS & purchase DVD. I think some of them never made it to commercial because of copyright issues.
patricia Evans on May 15, 2017:
I have a lot of Disney Tapes and old movies
Danna Beyonce on April 10, 2017:
My Father recently passed away and he has collection of many old VHS tapes. We do not have a VHS and wanted to try and sell some of them online or I would bring them to a flea market.
Paula on March 11, 2017:
Where do I subscribe too? I want to see more. Im from NC. Grew up very poor. A good day for me as a kid was going to the landfill. Lol i picked.toys,purse,etc anything that wasnt broken. Yea i know..gross. Guess ive been a picker since i was 5 lol
Paula on March 11, 2017:
I buy storage lockers and get tons of these! Gone with the wind, james bond, cartoons i dont evem remember and im 44. Great article. I was aboutto give up hope trying to sell. Will try online!
Gregg on March 09, 2017:
I have a bunch of VHS tapes (including children's ones) and have been debating if I should Goodwill them or try to sell them. From what I can tell the article you posted was around 4 years ago. Do you think the same still applies today for selling VHS tapes or would I be better to Goodwill them? Also, do you know what the average price would be to ship one VHS tape (no insurance) via USPS--let's say from Albuquerque, NM to Atlanta, GA for instance?
email@example.com on February 26, 2017:
Great Information !!!
firstname.lastname@example.org on October 30, 2016:
I have a bunch of old western vhs tapes.
How much do you think i could get for the roy rogers tapes and the sunset carson tapes. Any info on this would help me a bunch. I have been looking it up and cant find info anywhere
Gary on September 29, 2016:
Just got five boxes of mostly new tapes from grand mother Thanks for telling what to do
H on September 22, 2016:
Walt Disney blackwater ones are worth alot of money i've seen some go for about $3000+
Cindy Guilfoy on September 14, 2016:
I have over 150 vhs tapes that I am looking to sell and a lot of disney ones too. I tried typing the bar code in the search bar on amazon and nothing comes up,please tell me how to do this as I am disabled and need to make some money for my meds and since I'm home I could do this online if its worth it
peter donchev on September 11, 2016:
sell tape movi
Andrea on September 04, 2016:
I have hundreds of VHS movies and don't have any idea what to do with them. HELP !!
Ruby2sd@aol.com on September 03, 2016:
Are you local ? Where is your location? can I give you mine? at least somebody will benefit from them because I won't take the time to do it.
Lisa Kaye on August 10, 2016:
Yes good article. Old what's a hub, lol. I looked on ebay and they selling some for $10k - I have those VHS tapes. I shall do the research. Thank you!
fest on July 31, 2016:
ive tried getting vhs tapes an most don't work so disappointed
Sagren on July 30, 2016:
A have Brand New VHS Blank Tapes for sale
BjsGoodies on July 22, 2016:
Thanks for the Hub information. I was just starting to try to figure out how to list these VHS's I have. Now I have a starting point.. Thank you so very much
Elaine McCormick on July 15, 2016:
I have lots of Disney videos, box sets including Star wars, Indiana Jones, Back to the Future. All tapes in good condition and most boxes too, few slightly worn looking. Got various popular films Gladiator, Titanic to name a few. Would be happy sell on to someone who interested.
louis on July 08, 2016:
What about vhs that have fungus on the magnetic strip?
Donna hummel on June 29, 2016:
I have like 400 vhs tapes and also some DVDs would like to get rid of them all.
eddie on June 16, 2016:
Ive been buying, selling and collecting vhs for 35 plus yrs. Sold literally 1000's online, on ebay, stc. Check the facebook group VHS MISFITS IRONFIST BLISS and get reay to be blown away about the value of vhs. It's a fulltime job for some of us.
Hal Chortell on June 07, 2016:
Great article!! I just sold an old VHS Of " Smokey and The Bandit" for $75.00. Would never have known.
shatay37 on June 06, 2016:
I am seeing that the Disney VHS tapes can be good for those who have them still. Who would be best to go to if you want to see the tapes?
Brittney on June 02, 2016:
I have a couple vhs classics that I saw had value and wondering who do I get in touch with to inform me more
Kim on May 29, 2016:
How do you know if a movie is worth anything? Is there a particular site that you use? Thank you!
d carr on May 11, 2016:
I have loads of musicals Al Molson story and Al Molson sings again
Ade from South Wales on January 03, 2016:
I've never really thought of pre recorded tapes. I've found quite a lot of blank VHS tapes that were still factory sealed these sell really well on eBay. Great hub keep it up.
Lostinlodos on October 22, 2015:
What's a dvd?
Marty on October 12, 2015:
Like the author said. Look for VHS tapes that are out of print, never made it to DVD. Most of the popular titles aren't worth as much as the older "B" movie titles. I went to a thrift store here locally and found hundreds of VHS tapes SEALED. They were $1 a piece. I used a scanner and found many to be worth $30-$300 on amazon. I will be going back for more soon.
terry on May 12, 2015:
I have a ben hur and ten commandments starring Charlton Heston on vhs for sale
tj on May 04, 2015:
I have like 3500-5000 vhs tapes stored at my moms i should really go through and see if i can't make a little money
Natalie Love on March 16, 2015:
I have several boxes of videos for sale with a range of titles. I have many children, action, thrillers and many others for sale.
Michael W Smith Jr. from Florida on November 05, 2014:
Well I have a cabinet full of old vhs tapes. I will check them to see if they are worth anything.
karen on November 03, 2014:
i have 300 vhs tapes childrens disney a great over 18 films is any one intrested in buying myen only i can't be bothed selling them on ebay or amazon x
Maggie.L from UK on September 21, 2014:
I wish I'd read this a few months back. I recently gave away lots of children's vhs tapes thinking they were worthless. After reading your hub, I've went to check on ebay and see some selling for £10 upwards. Oh well, I'll be looking in the charity shops now to see if I can get a hold of some to sell. Thanks for the super useful hub.
Marie Q. on June 11, 2014:
We have so many vhs tapes that I just want to get rid of them..I don't want to throw them away but can't use them all..
hi on May 08, 2014:
i found a you've been framed vhs selling 35$ lol
Vickiw on May 14, 2013:
Hi, pickingprofits, I have a lot of old VHS tapes. I must find out how much they are worth! Great Hub.
Hawaiian Odysseus from Southeast Washington state on November 16, 2012:
Looks like there's yet another section of Goodwill and other thrift stores that I can concentrate on. Thanks for the great information and references to your other sites.
Brad on October 26, 2012:
I'm devastated. I just threw out two boxes of tapes! Ugh!!
PickingProfits (author) on August 19, 2012:
I'm so happy to know that you enjoyed my hub! Thanks for following me!
TripleAMom from Florida on August 19, 2012:
Great hub. I love this type of info. Following to read more of your stuff.
PickingProfits (author) on July 01, 2012:
Alive and well, but quality counts!
marketingbloke on June 30, 2012:
I really thought VHS was dead. heh
Nancy Yager from Hamburg, New York on June 29, 2012:
My first business adventure was selling DVD's on Ebay for which I failed miserably at. I do however enjoy all your articles about your successes on E-bay. Voted Up and Shared.
PickingProfits (author) on June 29, 2012:
The best way to check it just by typing in the bar code numbers into the search bar at Amazon. It will tell you how much it is worth (approximately) new and used as well as how desirable it is. The lower the sales rank, the more popular it is.
Gracie L Sprouse from Virginia on June 29, 2012:
Well thanks, Pickingprofits, This is great. It just never occurred to me that I could sell the hundreds of tapes that are stashed in the living room. My shelf looks quite a bit like yours!
Maybe someone has published a VHS price guide?
DragonBallSuper on June 29, 2012:
PickingProfits (author) on June 29, 2012:
Unfortunately most are worthless but some can be worth quite a bit, good luck!
Peter V from At the Beach in Florida on June 28, 2012:
Well, like most people, I had no idea VHS tapes were worth much anymore! My family has a fair number, so I might just have to shuffle through! Thanks for the info!
Mr Tindle on June 28, 2012:
Interesting article, I didn't realize old VHS tapes could fetch such high prices. Good hub.