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Jean McClelland: VHS Tapes are finding their way back on shelves

October 8, 2018

It is always interesting and surprising what folks find to collect. When things are very familiar to us it gives us a hiccup when we find it is not only a collectible but a hot collectible. Who would guess that VHS tapes are now one of the most sought after items by aficionados?

Before you get all excited and kick yourself for selling all your tapes for fifty cents each please know most of what was on your shelves was probably not that important. Even so you may have had a caveat tucked away and didn’t know it. Here are some suggestions of what might experts consider collectible.

Quite appropriate for this time of year are the horror films and not just any old horror film but the ghastly and low budget kind. Many of these films never made it from the film version to the digital age so for some stories the only evidence they existed is the old VHS tape.

Another surprising category are those tapes devoted to pro-wrestling. Though pro-wrestling has made somewhat a comeback in the past few years its golden age was from about 1980 to 2000 just when VHS tapes were at their most popular. Hold on to your hats because some of those tapes have been sold for hundreds of dollars.

It seems there is a following for the discontinued, the defunct, the banned and the second rate movies plus their low budget movie distributors. Because of all the above listed categories these movies are rare and that makes them appealing to collectors. For example some of us can remember the popular song Zipty Do Dah from the movie Song of the South that was once discontinued and now worth around $40.00.

Documentaries about musical groups like the Mick Jagger Rolling Stones Bee Gees tape or the last interview with John Lennon can sell for well over $100.00. Complete series of TV shows can be great sellers online and if they are in unopened packages they will sell even better.

Folks are just interested in the retro culture of the late 20th Century these days and the VHS tapes of that era bring it all to life. There are many groups online that can educate and offer pricing of VHS tapes and one should take advantage of that information. A little research could tell you if you have a ‘golden oldie’ that could bring in some real cash for this almost forgotten genre.

Jean McClelland writes about antiques for The Herald-Dispatch.

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