How To Sell Disney VHS Tapes

How To Sell Disney VHS Tapes

In the 90s, most households were well equipped with a VCR and a plethora of VHS tapes. Home entertainment had exploded, and you had so many options of things to watch whenever you wanted. Rewatching movies over and over was a relatively new concept. Those of us that came of age during this time look back on it fondly.

Times have changed, and VCRs are obsolete. Finding one can be difficult and even more if you want one that works. On top of that, modern televisions might not also have the capability to use VCRs. Luckily, we have Disney+ and other streaming platforms. We have access to almost unlimited entertainment. So what can you do with all your VHS tapes collecting dust?

robin hood vhs tape displayIf you click on this to find out how to get rich selling Disney VHS tapes, you’re in for some bad news. The myth that Disney tapes are worth thousands was disproven. I wrote about it here if you want to see more about that. Nevertheless, there is a market for Disney VHS tapes. You won’t be able to enjoy early retirement, but you could pad your savings a little bit by following these tips.

How To Determine The Value Disney VHS tapes

Disney VHS tapes can vary in their value. Like selling collectibles, it often depends on the buyer. Some people might be willing to pay more for a beloved, long lost tape from their childhood. Rarer tapes can also sell for a bit more, especially if they are sealed. Here’s how you can determine the value of your VHS tapes:

  • eBay Search

    • eBay is great because it is so widely used. However, it is also the very platform that perpetuated the get rich quick with Disney tapes myth. When you want to find the real value of a tape, start with a basic search. You will see a list of current tapes for sale. That will give you an idea of how much people are trying to sell. To find the real value, you want to view the listings that have sold. On the left sidebar, scroll down to “show only” and click the “sold” box. This will show you the recent listings that made a sale. Determine the value by merely comparing and contrasting the prices. Keep in mind that some listings offer free shipping but charge more for the tape. Consider the shipping cost before deciding.

Let me walk you through a listing to give you a better picture. I have an unsealed, black diamond copy of “The Rescuers.” I searched “the rescuers black diamond VHS tape.” The current listings greatly vary. The first hit shows $7.99 with free shipping. A little further down, another listing shows $2.70 with $2.80 shipping. To simplify things, you can add the price and shipping to compare to free shipping listing. We will think of this one as being priced at $5.50. So how do you figure out how much to list your copy?

After clicking the “sold” box, you will see a recently sold listing. The first hit shows a $5.00 with $2.80 shipping. I am doing this search on June 16th, so I know this tape sold just yesterday and is in line with the $7.99 price from our initial search. Scrolling down, the next one sold for  $1.99 and $3.75 shipping (or $5.74). This tells us that the value can range between $5 and $8. Depending on the condition of your tape, you can decide to price it on the lower or high end of that range.

BEWARE!

If you come across a listing that shows the tape sold recently for something way higher than everything else, it is a scam! This is how people became convinced that Disney tapes are worth tons of money. Scammers create these listings and manipulate them to make it look like it sold at a high price. In actuality, it didn’t. They hope that you will see tapes sold at a ridiculously high price and then decided to buy a tape you want at a way higher rate.

How Do I List Disney VHS Tapes?

There are tons of different ways you can sell Disney VHS tapes. Garage sales or individual posts on social media might help you find buyers, but you will be limited as to who sees the posts. Using an online platform is a great tool. Millions of people could potentially come across your listing, so it is just a matter of time until the right buyer finds it.

These sites so generally charge a fee when you make a sale, so you want to keep that in mind before picking the platform you wish to use. You could use multiple platforms; however, that can get complicated if multiple people buy it, and you only have one copy. Sticking with one will help you grow a presence on the platform and get higher ratings. The better your ratings, the more likely people will choose to buy from you over someone else.

We will walk you through how to list on each platform and update accordingly as things change. Here are some of the most popular platforms that you can use:

  • eBay
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Etsy
  • Mercari
  • Let Go
  • Offer Up
  • Craiglist
  • Poshmark

winnie the pooh vhs tapeWho Buys Disney VHS Tapes?

Once you sell a Disney VHS tape, packing it is reasonably straightforward. You will need an 11×14 bubble mailer. These are manila envelopes that are lined with bubble wrap. They are pretty easy to find at local stores or even dollar stores. You can also purchase a box online, so you always have some on hand. Simply slide the VHS tape into the envelope and seal it.

If the envelope does not have its seal, you should use packing tape to seal the top. I would discourage using scotch tape as it can tear and break much easier than packing tape. You should also use packing tape to attach the shipping label making sure they cover all of the edges of the label. The envelope will keep the tape safe as long as it remains sealed. Properly sealing the top and shipping label ensures that nothing will snag on the corners and possibly damage the envelope or tape. I have sold many VHS tapes on eBay and have never had a buyer say it arrived damaged.

How To Ship Disney VHS Tapes

Shipping a VHS tape in the United States is easy if you have the right information. All you need to do is use Media Mail. You are limited to only certain items to use this service. The Postal Service says items that qualify as Media Mail are books, sound and video recordings (including CDs and DVDs), scripts, manuscripts, printed music, computer-readable media, 16mm or narrower film, printer educational reference charts, or loose-leaf pages and their biners with medical information to doctors, hospitals, medical schools, and medical students.

VHS tapes qualify as a video recording similar to a DVD. Keep this in mind if you sell additional items with your VHS tape. You can only use media mail if you are only sending a form of media. A VHS tape and a plush toy cannot be sent as Media Mail and should be mailed as first-class or priority depending on the weight.

Rare Disney VHS Tapes

Like any other collectible, rare Disney VHS will usually sell for a higher amount. Because of the misinformation regarding high-value tapes, there are a lot of misconceptions about what tapes are rare. For instance, many assume that the original Little Mermaid cover that was banned due to an inappropriate picture is scarce. This is simply not true. In my thrift store hunts for VHS tapes, I came across a copy of this tape multiple times. If you want to find a rare Disney VHS tape, you want to find tapes that had limited regional releases, were promotional releases or were released before 1984. Some examples of rare Disney VHS tapes Song of the South and A Day At Disneyland.

What Does Black Diamond Mean On Disney VHS Tapes?

When some people talked about black diamond Disney VHS tapes, they make it sound like a holy grail. When the rumors started that Disney VHS tapes could make you a fortune, people highlight the black diamond sets. Black diamond refers to the symbol on the spine of the VHS case. This series was officially known as “The Walt Disney Classics.” From 1984 to 1994, Disney films were released under this title. It contains many adored films, including Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid, and The Jungle Book.

How To Tell If A Disney VHS Tape Is Black Diamond

The easiest way to tell if a Disney VHS tape is a black diamond is to inspect the spine of the case. If it has the black diamond with the words, “The Classics” in white and “Walt Disney Home Video” in red, you know you have one.

If you are missing the case or if the spine is worn, you can also tell when you play the tape. 90s kids known the image and sounds of a black diamond tape because they typically used the same Mickey Mouse introduction before the film began. When inspecting the physical tape, you will find additional evidence of the black diamond in the upper lefthand corner of the label, next to the film’s title.

Remember: Black diamond tapes are nothing special when it comes to monetary value. They were mass-produced, so they are not considered rare by any means. You will find several titles at any neighborhood thrift store. They do have a high amount of sentimental value for the right buyer looking to get a dose of nostalgia.

Can You Sell Disney VHS Tapes? Will Anyone Buy Them?

The short answer is yes, you can. But remember, it won’t be much. If your tapes are just gathering dust, a little something is better than nothing. One practice that can help you move a lot of tapes fast is to create an eBay auction. You can set the shipping price for a tape to cover fees and materials, then list it for as little as one cent.

This way, you will at least make one penny when it sells. You may find that the auction will end without any buyers, but that’s okay. You can relist it until the right buyer comes along. If you need to get your tapes out of your home, donating them to a local thrift store is still a cool thing to do. VHS fans seek out old tapes. You won’t make any money from the donation, but at least your tapes will go to a good home.

open dumbo vhs tapeDo Pawn Shops Buy VHS Tapes?

Pawnshops are some people’s go-to when looking to earn some extra cash for their old belongings. Often you can buy or sell just about anything at a pawnshop from jewelry, video games, car parts, electronics, and so much more. Generally, pawnshops will only accept items that are in working condition that the owner could turn into a profit. Overwhelmingly, you will find that most pawnshop owners will not be willing to take in VHS tapes. Buyers of tapes will seek thrift stores and the internet almost exclusively. If they are looking for a specific title, they may venture out to other places to see if they might come across it. Most likely, they will just stick to the internet in that case. A profit of a couple of cents will probably not be enough of a draw for a pawnshop.

Should I Keep Old VHS Tapes?

The answer to this question depends on you. Personally, I have a collection of Disney VHS tapes. Most of the tapes from my childhood are long gone, but when I discovered how cheaply I could get some of my favorite films, I decided to build up a collection. It did not take long at all for me to find all my childhood favorites, and ones I never owned. My reasoning for holding onto them is because I like the look of them on shelves next to books and figurines. Also, I know that if the internet goes down, I can still enjoy a movie so long as my old VCR cooperates.

I have found that some of my friends are too used to the improved technology and cannot stand watching movies in VHS format. For them, the poor sound quality and fuzzy pictures are distracting, so they like to stay digital. It comes down to a matter of preference. I would equate the decision to keep an old VHS tape as similar to deciding to toss a childhood stuffed animal. You might not use it the same as when you were a kid, but it’s nice to hold onto and appreciate now and then.

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