Old tech is new again… is VHS making a comeback?

Entertainment / Movies
eBay VHS tape

As one would expect, Disney titles top the list with 22 listed in the 25 most expensive VHS titles being sold on eBay.

For a long time, VHS was king. Then it slowly got squeezed out by DVD and Blu-ray formats. According to eBay, however, VHS sales on the auction site have increased 5% each year since 2016 while DVD and Blu-ray sales have declined in the past year.

As one would expect, Disney titles top the list with 22 listed in the 25 most expensive VHS titles being sold on eBay. Depending on the condition, a single VHS tape can go for US$60,000! That honour goes to a Black Diamond Edition VHS copy of Beauty and the Beast in 2017. Other top Disney titles and their selling price include:

  • Beauty and the Beast – $60,000 (2017)
  • Aladdin – $28,000 (2017)
  • Toy Story – $25,000 (2019)
  • Mulan – $21,111 (2019)
  • The Fox and the Hound – $19,999 (2018)
  • The Little Mermaid – $14,995 (2017)
  • The Rescuers – $14,399 (2017)
  • Cars – $13,100 (2018)
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – $13,000 (2019)
  • Alice in Wonderland – $10,000 (2019)
Movie Sales on eBay by Format, 2017-2019
Movie Sales on eBay by Format, 2017-2019 (image provided by eBay).

Of course, other VHS titles fetch a decent sum as well. Most of these tend to be classic titles like The Wizard of Oz, Star Wars, Jaws, and more.

  • Barney: Once Upon a Time – $4,900
  • The Wizard of Oz – $1,000
  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre – $1,000
  • The Goonies – $800
  • Star Wars – $600
  • Terminator – $580
  • Citizen Kane – $500
  • Jaws – $468
  • Stephen King’s It – $406
  • Halloween – $400
  • Critters 2 – $383

There are definitely a number of reasons why VHS tapes are making a resurgence on eBay while DVD and Blu-ray sales decline. With streaming services like Netflix and Disney+ offering up tons of content on demand, people may be less likely to purchase physical copies.

However, with Disney’s practice of putting older titles in “the vault” partially explains why some VHS copies fetch a pretty penny. Even though sales are up, it doesn’t necessarily mean purchasers are buying these to actually watch them. Additionally, some older titles like The Joy of Painting, Susan Powter’s Stop the Insanity, or Richard Simmons’ Reach for Fitness are only available in VHS format and, as a result, are harder to find and thus more expensive when you do find them.

At any rate, if you have some VHS tapes you’re looking to offload, you can definitely check out what’s currently selling on eBay to get an idea if any of your boxed up titles are a potential hidden payday.

Do you still watch movies in or collect VHS tapes? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook, or MeWe.

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