Who Buys Used VHS Movies?

Rob Pearce/CC-BY-2.0

Thrift stores and specialty shops sometimes buy VHS tapes, but most are sold to individuals. Many people are willing to pay for VHS tapes online. There are also communities where people trade tapes with each other.

VHS tapes revolutionized home entertainment, and they allowed people to watch movies at home. They also let people record television programs to watch at a future date. Now that optical discs have replaced DVDs and digital storage has supplanted home tapes, VHS tapes are far less popular. However, thrift store customers are sometimes interested in low-cost tapes, and some thrift shops are willing to purchase them. Most thrift-shop owners prefer donations, and used tapes are generally not highly valued.

The Internet provides a marketplace for VHS tapes. Many television programs and movies never made the jump to DVDs or Blu-rays and remain available only on VHS tapes. People interested in this material will often look for it online. There are also dedicated communities focused around certain shows. Mystery Science Theater 3000, for example, has an enthusiastic fan base filled with people who regularly trade recordings with each other. While most people in these communities are not looking to purchase VHS tapes, many are willing to trade them.