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How to make money from your old VHS tapes

Nadia Krige 1st Nov 2020 37 Comments

Reading Time: 4 minutes

If you’ve been nursing a shabby box full of old VHS tapes – not able to let them go, but also unsure what to do with them – we’ve got some good news: that dusty pile of junk may actually turn out to be a goldmine.

As we saw with the huge uptake in vinyl record sales not too long ago, the post-modern appetite for all things vintage (how ironic!) is steadily growing, which means you could now be making money from your VHS tapes too.

With some input from the team over at LoveAntiques.com, here’s MoneyMagpie’s quick guide to earning some extra pounds by selling your unwanted videos.



Where to sell

Amazon and eBay apps on smartphones

Before we get into which VHS tapes to coddle and which to toss, let’s have a look at the best places to take them to market.

  • eBay

Probably the most popular online portal for vintage-lovers to peruse, eBay is a great place to test the waters for your VHS collection. Take some time to see the pricing of similar tapes and then mark your accordingly.

Read more about listing your VHS tapes on eBay.

  • Amazon

The online retail giant allows users to sell almost anything in their market place, as long as it’s legal and, right now, the VHS section is booming!

Go have a look at the VHS tapes that are currently on sale.

  • Vintage markets

No matter where in the UK you find yourself, chances are pretty good there’s a flourishing flea market within an hour’s drive. Setting up a stall at one of these markets is a really great idea, as it offers you the opportunity to meet vintage enthusiasts in person, many of whom would also be able to connect you to buyers on the lookout for your specific pre-owned product.

  • VHS enthusiast Facebook groups

In an effort to preserve VHS as cultural and historical artefacts, Yale University started their own rare collection in October 2015, sourcing most of the initial 2,700 tapes from a single collector they found via a Facebook group. Moral of the story? You never know who’s watching!


VHS investor guidelines

VHS tape

Now that you have a good idea of where to sell, it’s time to sort through your collection for what to sell.

Here are a few tips on what to look out for from LoveAntiques.com’s VHS expert:

  • Avoid common mainstream titles, released on labels such as Cinema Club and 4Front, as these would have been mass produced and are worth next to nothing
  • Aim for films that have never been released on DVD or Blu-ray and are original ex-rentals
  • The most valuable VHS tapes are the ones deemed as one-offs, released in small batches within the ‘video nasties’ category and on micro-budget labels such as Knockout and Trytel
  • Pre-classification titles are generally more valuable than post-classification VHS


10 most valuable VHS tapes in the world

Stack of VHS tapes

Still a bit confused about what to look out for? LoveAntiques’ list of the 25 most valuable VHS tapes in the world – many of which were banned upon release – might be able to give you an idea.

Check out the top 10:

  1. Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks (JVI) £1,500
  2. The Beast in Heat (JVI) £1,200
  3. Betrayed (Taboo) £1,100
  4. Celestine (GO) £1,100
  5. The Legend of Hillbilly John (Rainbow) £1,000
  6. Journey Into Beyond (Citycenta GO) £1,000
  7. Lemora, Lady Dracula (IFS) £900
  8. Don’t Open the Window (Films of the 80s) £900
  9. Flesh Eaters (Knockout) £800
  10. Black Decameron (Intervision) £800

Interestingly, the list correlates perfectly with Yale University’s collection, which is dominated by horror and so-called exploitation films from the late 1970s and 1980s.


The curious case of Disney cassettes

Disne Video tape

About a year ago, the internet went into an absolute frenzy when Disney VHS tapes started selling for thousands of pounds on eBay.

And when we say thousands, we literally mean £30,185.25 for a Walt Disney Black Diamond Edition of Beauty and the Beast.

No sooner had the hope-filled started rummaging through their junk pile, than the sceptics rushed in to rain on their parade.

As it turns out, there are quite a few of these exorbitant listings on eBay, but the truth is that very few (if any) actually sell for that amount.

Realistically, well-preserved rare editions of Disney films can go for anything between £55 and £300, which is really not too bad if you have a few lying around.

And don’t forget about tax. You probably won’t have to pay VAT as you’re allowed a £85,000 turnover before you have to pay it. However, if your taxable turnover is over £85,000 (which, admittedly, would be a lot of VHS tapes!) then you’ll have to contact HMRC to register for VAT. You can use a VAT bridging software to help you keep on top of this. 

Find out more about making money from the Disney Vault here.

Have you had any luck selling VHS tapes? Tell us in the comment section below!

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5 months ago

Hi I have 300 VHS tapes how do I go about to sell them

1 year ago

I sold 19 VHS tapes last year so yes they do sell, but not the most well known cinema blockbusters though.

Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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