The tapes are becoming vintage gold among collectors who are bidding thousands to get their hands on home movies in tiptop condition.
Last month a VHS cassette tape of Back to the Future – still in its original wrapping – sold for a staggering $10,000 (£8,000) at auction.
Now a ‘rare’ version of Disney’s 101 Dalmatians with a clamshell fastening and the sealed packaging still in tact is listed on eBay for £15,000 – and has 108 watchers.
Meanwhile a set of pre-owned Disney black diamond VHS tapes is on the market for £10,000 and has 35 interested viewers.
A ‘rare’ version of Disney’s 101 Dalmatians with the sealed packaging still in tact is on eBay for £15,000 (pictured) – and has 108 watchers
This VHS tape of the classic children’s film The Little Mermaid (pictured) is on eBay for £6,200
Other classics on eBay include a ‘very rare’ edition of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) (pictured) – going for £8,490
This VHS tape of the iconic children’s move Aladdin is being sold on eBay for £5,065
Classic VHS tapes in tiptop condition are going for as much as £15,000 on eBay
Other classics on eBay include a ‘very rare’ edition of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) – going for £8,490 – and an unused VHS tape of Aladdin listed for £5,065.
In June last year a Back to the Future VHS tape sold for $75,000, according to WalesOnline, encouraging tape owners to check their cupboards.
A near-perfect condition first-print VHS tape of The Terminator (1984) sold at auction for $432,500 last year, reports said.
In order for the VHS tapes to be put up for thousands they must be in impeccable condition, preferably unopened.
But that does not mean a pre-owned VHS tapes cannot be worth as much as a car – with one pre-owned version of The Little Mermaid on eBay for £6,200.
So before you go sprinting to the garage or rummaging around the attic – proceed with care: the condition of these tapes is key to their sale price.
eBay says that around 250,000 VHS tapes are sold on the online selling platform every year.
Additionally, it revealed more than $3million has been spent on VHS tapes by eBay buyers.
Antiques expert Lara Kilner said that collectors are willing to pay ‘good money’ to own a VHS tape from the past.
She wrote in The Sun that the value of VHS tapes is ‘dependent on many factors – including films that have never been released on DVD or Bluray’.
Ever wonder how long your old VHS tapes last?
Some other valuable VHS tapes on the marker include The Goonies and A Nightmare on Elm Street
Their magnetic particles can degrade over time, causing a picture and sound quality loss. Under ideal conditions, you’re looking at 10 to 25 years.
That’s a big range, so let’s look at the factors that play into it.
● Storage conditions: Tapes stored in cool, dry places away from direct sunlight fare better. Humidity and high temperatures are no good.
● Playback wear: There’s slight wear and tear every time a VHS tape is played. Over time, this can lead to tracking issues and visible ‘lines’ on playback. That’s why your childhood favorites got so messed up.
● Mold is the enemy: If stored in damp conditions, mold can grow on the tapes and damage the video and audio. Once mold sets in, restoring the tape to its original condition is tough.
● Proper rewinding: Believe it or not, using a dedicated tape rewinder rather than the VCR’s rewind function can prolong the tape’s life. It reduces strain on both the VCR and the tape.
VHS tapes aren’t eternal. If you’ve got cherished moments or rare finds on VHS, consider converting them to a digital format to ensure they stand the test of time.