Building Your VHS Videotape Collection

What to watch for when buying rare and hard-to-find VHS tapes

Walt Disney's The Great American CowbyThere are still new copies of VHS tapes available in various marketplaces. This includes movies and films that have not yet and may never appear on DVD. These tapes can be extremely rare and if you find one, usually the seller only has one available. If you see a copy of a title that fits this category, do not hesitate and let it get away!Old video tapes come in very different states of repair. Some have been well watched. Often they have rental stickers and the boxes are in rough shape. Common sense will tell you that, if the outside of a tape is in rough condition, the inside might not be in great shape either.If you choose to buy a used video tape, it is very important that you consider the condition carefully. What condition is the box in? The cassette? In the event of an online purchase of a video tape, I believe that condition should be even more carefully assessed and discussed and, most importantly, that the seller should be willing to guarantee that the item is in working order. After all, paying the cost of an item plus a shipping charge is a considerable investment on your part.

Picture quality is a bit more difficult to evaluate. Remember that if you are purchasing a film originally made long before the advent of VHS and then put into VHS format in the 1980s, it will probably still look like an old film. However, the tape itself should play without any difficulties.

Rarity, popularity and condition of the cassette and the case determine the pricing. A brand-new VHS tape of a rare film may be a one-of-a-kind find. In that case, it is definitely worth more and the increase in cost may be worth it to you since you know you will be purchasing an item that has not been previously viewed.


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