Thursday, 2 February 2012

Old VHS Videos - Trash or Treasure?

Old VHS Videos - Trash or Treasure?

For those of us *ahem* old enough to remember the old VCRs - ah, what joy they brought.   Wiggly lines on the screen - rented videos you got that hadn't been rewound properly.   Shoving the darn thing in and hitting rewind and listening to that whirring sound that seemed to go on forever.   Surely the tape couldn't be that long???

Those days are long gone - or are they?    Videos are making a return to the wanted list.  People are hunting them down for those movies that never made it to DVD.    They are buying kids videos in bulk for their little darlings to sit hypnotised in front of and gain some precious quiet time.    

Videos are getting hard to find.  Op shops are beginning to re-think stocking them.     I went to my local St Vinnies the other day and saw a sign on the window ~ "We are no longer accepting video tapes."    Well no wonder - they had them priced at $1 to $3 a tape - that's why they never sold them.    Some op shops virtually give them away - they know few people have VCRs now.   Others are overpricing them and wondering why their shelves are filled with dusty video tapes - this makes them want to trash them entirely from their stock - this is NOT a good thing.

I visited my local op-shop the other day and found a nice haul of videos.  They only charge 10 cents here - they've moved into a smaller premises and no longer have the space to store towering piles of videos - they are pricing them to get rid of them.    I like!!!     I got these 20 videos for a total cost of $2.   

As I was walking out with my haul, one of the ladies who worked there said "You're a regular, and nobody else seems to want videos - why don't you look in this box, there's a pile of videos I'm throwing into the bin.   Have a look through and take what you want."

Woohoo!  How could I say no - I scrabbled through that box and saved these precious gems from the jaws of death:

Another 11 videos in all.  That's a total of 31 videos for $2.  Sweet!  

 Videos are hard work - because you don't know if they work properly when you buy them.  That's why I only buy them dirt cheap.   If I buy a video and it doesn't work - I recycle the paper cover insert, and keep the plastic container (if its clean and intact) as part of my replacement stock.  The tape gets binned.  I don't want someone else buying a tape that doesn't work, and I don't want to end up picking it up and buying it again myself.

I have piles of videos around the house waiting to go up on Ebay.  I bought a Video player from an op-shop for $5 - and during the day, if I remember, I put a pile of videos in front of the unit, and hit the play button.  I let the video run a while (about 10-20 minutes) and peek in every now and then.  If the video is running smoothly without any wiggly lines and the sound is good - I put a little coloured sticker on the cover to show that I've tested it and then it goes up onto Ebay.

What kind of videos do I look for?   I've learnt the hard way - hit and miss.   I researched the videos that were selling.  I looked at the two largest video sellers on Ebay, and checked out what was selling.   I learnt the ones that can go for surprising amounts, and the ones that are a sure-fire seller.  I still have so much to learn.

Here are some choice videos from my purchased lot.  Why did I choose these in particular?   These videos fit in with part of my Hit List for videos:

Trashy Action Videos - Rated R a Plus!   Look at these beauties.  Aren't you just dying to see the fantastic acting, hear the awesome dialogue,  and enjoy the well-rounded characters in these?    Look, they are both Rated R.  These are so trashy, there's a great chance they didn't make it onto video.   There are people that collect these crappy action-filled movies!   I get them even if the cover is a little shoddy, or they are ex-rental.  It's worth the risk.   Both these babies were in the to-be-trashed box.  Can't imagine why.  (*snigger*)

Appalling 1970s/80's Science Fiction :   These two were also saved from the jaws of death.  Hands up who thinks these movies are probably so awesome - people were screaming for them to be put onto DVD.   Uh-huh.  Thought so.

Any Trashy Horror - Rated R a Big Bonus +  :   Lookee at these.  I'm pretty sure Toxic Avenger is on DVD, but I got it anyway as it's a Director's Cut edition.  My ex forced me to look at that frickin' movie many times.   Believe me, it's pure projectile-vomit material.   In any movie like these - you can be sure a woman or two or three will be getting their titties out for no apparent reason.  They are awesomely craptastic.

Any Music Videos - especially 80s/90s/heavy metal/punk  :   For those of you lucky enough not to have heard John Farnham in the 80s/90s - himself and his mullet "serenaded" us for many years in Australia.   There are FANS still out there - they want to revisit the music of their youth, no matter how atrocious it really is.   

Sports of any kind - especially older matches.    Our football season doesn't start for a couple of months yet.   All the meat-heads   yobbos   sports-loving-men are itching to watch men chase balls around - They live for it.  Yes, it's exciting and if the one wearing the right coloured jumper kicks a goal - tiny minds are easy to please.    This works with soccer and rugby as well.  We have a lot of English ex-patriots here and they want to look at men chasing different shaped balls into different shaped goal-posts.  Go with what works for your country / state / customer IQ.

Crappy adventure movies - from 80s/90s.   A couple more saved from the jaws of death.  What do we have here - a Chuck Norris movie.  Chuck is awesome - he's a legend, he's a symbol - what can't he do?  (hint:  act).    And here we have Gary Busey and his teeth in a wonderful Rated R video.   I'm getting all warm and fuzzy just thinking about what's inside these ones.

Other trashy videos :  these are ones I've gotten from personal experience, or gut instinct, or just because I'm a bit pervy.   Traps is a HTF Aussie movie - I've sold a copy before, I think I got $15 for it.    Tale of a Vampire - it's got vampires, it's got JULIAN SANDS.  Anything he's in is bad and sleazy (except Warlock, one of my all-time favourite films).   

 Sands is naughty and gorgeous and he's just dishy as a bad man, and his lovely English accent .....   Oh, am I still gushing .....??   Pardon my drool.

Well, that was my reasoning behind these videos.  I hope you learnt something from my choices - even if it's just that I'm crazy

 Keep an eye out on the video piles and grab anything that makes you think "Eeeeek!" or "Who the hell would want to look at that?"   It's a sure-fire thing!  There's a lot of weirdos on this planet, and we all know a great percentage of them shop on Ebay.   ;-)


  1. Treasure!!!Good find, great story.

  2. Love your sense of humor! I saw a shopper (a man) at the Goodwill just last week with a load of old monster/horror movie tapes in his cart. He looked like he knew what he was doing! thank you for the insights!