Are VHS Tapes Worth Anything?

Ahh, nostalgia an old friend that loves to comfort and remind us of the good ol’ days. Remember late nights of rummaging through the movie cabinet, trying to find just the right one to fit the vibe?

Having to either lift the little plastic piece on the back of the VHS tape and blow the dust off or rewind the movie because someone didn’t do it last time.

Man, but it was all worth it when you popped that tape in, hit the play button, and rushed back onto the couch. Did you ever think that those tapes you used to toss around would be valuable someday?

I mean, we’d always hear people say ‘Ya outta hang onto that, it could be worth something!’ but did we really believe that could be true?

Now that we’re in such an advanced time with technology and resources, items from the past are being brought back into the light and selling for big bucks.

One of those nostalgic items is, you guessed it, VHS tapes. Could your tapes be worth something? 

By the end of this article, you’ll be digging through your old boxes so let’s get started!

Read: 3 Things That You Can Do With Old VHS Tapes

Which VHS Tapes Are Worth Mula? 

Of course, not every single VHS tape created is worth more than the garage sale sticker price, but there are some rare gems out there you can keep an eye out for!

There are a few different sections we’ll cover to really break it down nice and easy, for there are a lot of intricate details to be aware of when you’re getting into the VHS game.

And, if you can recall that booming narrator voice that would just about burst your speakers at the beginning of the movie trailers, COMING SOON:

  • Disney Classics
  • Star Wars Movies
  • Classics, Cult Classics, & Horror

Disney Classics

Maybe when you first heard about VHS tapes being worth some dough you thought about those classic Disney movies that would sit in stacks by your old box TV; hey every household had at least one Disney movie right?

Read: How Much Are Disney VHS Tapes Worth?

But how can you weed through the family collection and know for certain which ones are of monetary value and which are of heart value (aww)? There are some key things to look for, and specific titles worth a large amount. 

Key Details:

  • Although it’s not completely necessary it does go a long way if the tape was sealed and never opened. You shouldn’t try to fabricate that it was never opened and trying to seal it yourself; being truthful also goes a long way in life! 
  • The condition of your VHS tape is also vital, when people buy used items they like them best lightly used. 
  • A highly sought-after edition of Disney movies is referred to as ‘Black Diamond’ tapes (manufactured from 1984-1994). In the VHS bis, this is referring to the black diamond shape located at the top of the VHS box that reads ‘The Classics’. It’s important to know that the popularity and prices of these Disney movies are subjective; they are getting a lot of attention from huge Disney fans/collectors, there isn’t an actual set price market but still, some of these tapes go for hundreds of dollars
  • If you think you’ve got your hands on a unique copy (sealed, limited edition, misprint mistakes, etc.) it may be worth your time to get it graded. A company by the name of Investment Grading Services is well known for its professional evaluations. We’ll get into the details on that later in this article!

Big Ticket Titles:

As mentioned before the success of sales can fluctuate based on buyers personal preference, but based on recent eBay sales here were the top 10 best selling Disney VHS tapes:

  • Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers Double Trouble, 1994 — $8.95 
  • Disney Cartoon Classics V. 13 Donald’s Scary Tales — $14.44
  • Disney Baby Einstein Beethoven Symphony of Fun — $8.49
  • 101 Dalmatians, 1961 — $29.99
  • Bambi — $10.99 [Sealed copy sold for $29.99]
  • Fantasia — $8.17
  • The Great Mouse Detective — $25.00
  • Bear in the Big Blue House Berry Bear Christmas — $10.19
  • Toy Story & Toy Story 2 — $15.00
  • The Sword In The Stone — $8.17

Were you slightly underwhelmed by those results? It can feel like a bit of a downer after hearing the buzz that tapes have been selling for thousands, those stories typically result from very rare tapes.

Read: Best VHS to Digital Converters

But, let’s say you have a few tapes just sitting in a box that isn’t being used and you sell them each for around $8 dollars, that’s still some fairly easy money for your old items, plus you’re getting rid of clutter you don’t need!

Are VHS Tapes Worth Anything

Star Wars Movies

Right next to the diehards of Disney, in a galaxy far far away, are but of course the Star Wars fans. It’s well known that pieces of Star Wars merchandise and content can go for those high and pretty prices!

Narrowing that down to VHS tapes, here’s what you should know if you’d like to potentially sell your Star Wars VHS.

Key Details:

  • Authenticating your VHS is a big deal if you’d like to get a decent price for your item, plus its dope just to find out the value of your close to heart item! As we skimmed over in the Disney section, getting your VHS graded is the route to go if you truly feel like you have something of worth in your hands. Stay tuned to get all the important steps on getting your VHS graded!
  • According to The Auction Professor, there are dozens of different versions of the Star Wars VHS tapes but there are specific things to look for to know if your tape is worthwhile. One of those details is a UPC code that is printed on the back of the tape, this indicates that it was manufactured by the official company. Sealed copies are also a big deal when it comes to top-selling Star Wars VHS tapes, and even more so when there are authentic promotional price stickers on the sealed plastic

Big Ticket Titles:

Going back to our trusty pal eBay, we’ll once again be taking a peek at what the top 10 most recent sales in the Star Wars VHS galaxy were, and if you perhaps have a similar copy of your own that you didn’t know could be worth something!

  • Star Wars Trilogy 3-Tape Set, 1995 — $8.95
  • Star Wars Trilogy Box Set, Red Label, 1992 — $29.99
  • Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi — $44.95
  • Star Wars CBS/Fox version, Red label, 1984 — $29.99
  • Star Wars A New Hope, Sealed, 1995 — $10.84
  • Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back, Fox edition, 1992 — $9.99
  • Star Wars Return Of The Jedi, CBS/Fox edition, Hi-Fi Red Label, 1986 — $19.99
  • Star Wars Trilogy [as first shown in theaters] — $11.93
  • Star Wars Trilogy 3-tape set, 1995 — $10.00
  • Star Wars, sealed, 1995 — $12.99

If you switched over to DVD a while ago or even got yourself a Disney + subscription and no longer feel the need to hold onto your Star Wars VHS tapes, you can try your hand at selling them and getting some cash to save up for some cool new merch!

Classics, Cult Classics, & Horror

Now we have boiled down to our last VHS section which is a little bit timeless as to how in the heck did this get produced. The requirements for this section are pretty loosely based since it is such a weird variety, but here are some common elements and themes that we’re seeing in VHS tapes that are selling. 

Key Details:

  • Timeless and classic movies that are in prime condition can sell for some nice amounts, you never know when a super fan is cruising through eBay and wanting to get their hands on a vintage copy. 
  • Of course, along with classics are cult classics, these are movies that gained a large following and a fandom so-to-speak. Because these types of movies have such a dedicated group attached to them, there are times these VHS tapes can go for big bucks because collectors are willing to pay a nice price for an authentic item. (If you’re unfamiliar with the term cult classic, here are the most well-known ones for reference: The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Room, Blade Runner, Fight Club, and TONS more!)
  • Horror films are very popular in the VHS tape buying world, perhaps for the thrill and horror movie fanatic seekers who want to experience genuine golden age horror in its true fashion. From the legendary titles like Halloween and Nightmare on Elm street to obscure films, you didn’t even know existed. If you’ve got a horror movie on tape type it into eBay and see if it’s going for anything, you may be shocked! 
  • Another big seller is VHS tapes of specially aired fighting matches, who would have thought!

Big Ticket Titles:

As we went over in the last 2 sections, here we’ll be viewing the top 10 most recently sold VHS tapes on eBay (this search does not include Disney or Star Wars items).

  • Paint Your Wagon, 2 Tape Set, 1969 — $5.99
  • The Flintstones: 1 Yabba Dabba Do, 1998 — $10.99
  • Cannibal Campout, sealed, minor dent — $200.00
  • You Can Read: Orbis Friends, 12-set, Educational Tapes, 1990 — $184.09
  • Making Michael Jackson’s Triller, 1983 — $8.95
  • Godzilla, Raymond Burr Horror Classic, 1985 — $9.99
  • Dying Young — $2.59
  • Cabbage Patch Kids VHS Tapes, Screen Test & Clubhouse edition — $9.74
  • Night Of The Living Dead, media release — $400.00
  • Friday the 13th: Part 1 — $24.00

There’s quite a large variety in there, apparently, people are still loving the VHS experience! 

Authenticating Your VHS

Earlier we briefly talked about the case of having what you believe to be a unique or rare tape in your hands that it could be worth the time and energy to get it graded by professionals, and these professionals are Investment Grading Services.

These pros will be able to determine the value of your item and give you all the details you need in terms of selling it. IGS is in the business of grading not only VHS tapes but also do DVDs and Videogames!

The price to have VHS tapes graded is $65 and they are only accepting sealed copies. Check out more of their grading process here!

Well look at you, now you’re even more equipped will cool vintage knowledge and what VHS tapes are in the hype! 

A short piece of advice if you are planning on trying to sell some of your old VHS tapes, or even purchase some online, be wary of scammers and bootleggers.

Typically if your gut is telling you something along the lines of ‘This feels too good to be true,’ ‘This is an uncomfy interaction,’ ‘Something doesn’t feel right,’ the situation is most likely not the best. Please be safe out there in the wildlands of the online market!

And if this article brought you back to the warm and fuzzy days of VHS movie nights and movie store rentals, that’s just as grand.