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What To Do With Old VHS Tapes [Everything You Need To Know]

WRITTEN by CHRISSY, LAST UPDATED ON July 19, 2022

& FILED IN Home Decluttering 


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If you have a bunch of old VHS tapes taking up space in your home, you may be wondering whether to keep them. If you decide to let any go, then there are a few options for what to do with old VHS tapes, and we’ll look at them all in this article so you can make the best decision for you and your needs.

What To Do With Old VHS Tapes - Everything You Need To Know

Should You Keep Old VHS Tapes?

Let’s tackle this question first – because it’s crucial to know whether you’re getting rid of all or just some of your tapes.

Even if you have a VHS player available to watch them, you need to be aware that VHS tape can deteriorate over the years.

As such, to keep the recorded material for as long as possible, it would be better to transfer what’s on your old VHS tape to a digital format instead.

Places such as https://www.digitalconverters.co.uk/ will make the process easy for you (and will dispose of the tapes after converting them, which saves you the hassle too).

This would also mean you can have more than one copy, which can be a great idea if you’re giving old family films / home video to your children and want them to each have a copy (My parents did this and it was such a special present to receive. We each got a copy that we can watch with our families for years to come, perfect!).

Reasons You May Want To Get Rid Of Your VHS Tapes

  • You have digitised them all and now want to let go of the originals to free up storage space.
  • They have been damaged and no longer play.
  • You have duplicates of whatever is on the tapes, and so don’t need them anymore.
  • They are blank – never used – and you don’t need them.
  • You just want to let them go. It’s time.
2 VHS Tapes

5 Great Options For What To Do With Old VHS Tapes

Some of these are easier than others, but all are worth looking at so you make the best decision for the tapes you have.

Let’s get started…

Sell Your Old VHS Tapes

You may be wondering if there’s a resale market at all for tapes, because they are such an old form of media.

But there absolutely is – to the right buyer…

Just like vinyl records haven’t gone away since the dawn of CDs / Digital music, there will always be a second hand market for them.

In fact – some of the more unusual tapes have sold for thousands! including things like Star Wars or Disney movie special editions etc…

This is great news for you if you want to sell them, and have anything that’s not available in digital form or quite rare in some way as that could be a valuable vhs tape.

Some of the places you could sell them are:

  • eBay
  • Facebook marketplace
  • Specialist shops
  • Facebook groups

Depending on what type of old tapes you’re selling, you can search for similar online. See where is selling them, what price they are getting, etc….

Give Your VHS Tapes Away For Free

This can be a really hard option because VHS players are needed for the tapes to be played – and not many people have these any longer (add to this fact that any players for sale now are pretty rare and expensive in comparison to DVD players etc..).

With that in mind, you could donate to charity shops if they will take them, offer them on Freecycle, or give to friends and family if they have a VHS player.

Or you could put a post on Facebook to find someone who wants them.

It’s always worth asking around before getting rid of anything for free – as you never know who might want it (and it saves you from having to take it to the tip too).

Upcycle / Repurpose VHS Tapes

Now – if you’re creative at heart, your old VHS tapes could be perfect to make something you DO need in your home.

There are all sorts of things you could make, and the great thing about this option is that it doesn’t cost you anything to do it (apart from time).

One of my favourites is to create a lamp from them like HERE. This would be perfect for a teenagers room, or a TV room.

Not only that, but it’s a fun idea to upcycle something you would have otherwise thrown away.

For inspiration, you could take a look at Pinterest – this is my favourite place to find out what projects are possible from anything and everything.

Recycle VHS Tapes

Check with your local recycling centre because not many will take VHS tapes.

They aren’t the same as recycling plastic, because they contain chemicals, and so often aren’t able to be recycled.

Ouch. Not good news…

Which only leaves the last option for you.

Throw VHS Tapes Away

I put this option last because it’s not the best thing to do from an environmental perspective and really should only be done as a last resort.

However, I know that sometimes you just need to get rid of something and don’t have any other options.

With the lack of recycling availability it may be that you have to throw the tapes away, but always try and do something else with them first if at all possible.

What To Do With Old VHS Tapes - Everything You Need To Know

So there you have it – all the different ways to get rid of your old VHS tapes that you don’t want anymore.

Whether you’ve now got them all on digital file, or you just need the extra storage space – there are options for everyone.

Which will you choose?

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