PDA

View Full Version : Question for VHS collectors



Andrew Ellis
10-03-2010, 04:58 PM
I have a hobby where I buy a lot used OOP VHS tapes of movies not available on DVD, which I then put on DVD-R. So I occasionally run into the hardcore VHS collectors. Many of these movies are not particularly good and many of them are so obscure they were probably only ported onto VHS once (and not typically a glorious anamorphic transfer). So I'm curious first off why some of these are listed on Amazon as "collectible" for several times the price of the others. What makes them collectible? In some cases it seems to be nothing more than the condition of the box.

However, recently I was looking for a British movie "Something to Hide" released on VHS as "Shattered". The "collectibles" were selling for around $10, which seems perfectly reasonable. In the "used"section, however, there were two for sale, one for $2.65 and the other for $999.98! (I thought about it and decided to go with the first one). What is the story with that? Is the second seller just an asshole? Is he engaged in wishful thinking that somebody, somewhere is going to want a used VHS tape of this obscure movie REALLY bad?

I understand the concept of rarity, but this particular VHS tape obviously wasn't THAT rare. And even if something is rare, there should be a strong demand for it to make the price go up that high. (Pink-colored, petrified human feces is no doubt pretty rare, but I can't image anyone paying $1,000 for a piece). What the hell is the story with something like this

Wayne Schmidt
10-03-2010, 06:35 PM
I sell on Amazon (not VHS though) and I see that with OOP dvds quite often too. I don't know if it's delusional thinking or what they think they're doing.

Gary Banks
10-03-2010, 06:57 PM
I'll use the comic book analogy on this. You walk into a store and see a copy of Wolverine #1 on the wall. It has corner bends, a subscription crease and general wear yet the price is for the near mint condition instead of a very good minus. Now the seller is either a doofus who doesn't have a clue and that book is going to rot away or they are hoping you are a doofus without a clue with money to spend.

Robin Bougie
10-03-2010, 08:25 PM
The thing that bothers me about the sellers section of Amazon is how people are constantly using it as some sort of reference as to what the collectors value is. When I'm working in the video store that is my day job, I'm constantly trying to explain to people that those prices on there aren't a good indicator of actual market value, by any means. They come in with some dvd that is about as common as dirt, and wonder why we won't at least give them half of "what it is selling for on amazon" -- which is usually in the hundreds of dollars.

A copy of something that is worth $5 being sold by some guy for $999.98, is simply that. Nothing more. It is to be ignored.

Mike DiRoma
10-04-2010, 09:41 AM
Perhaps the seller
a) made a typo and never re-checked the entry
b) really doesn't want to part with the tape, but will if the price is right
c) is I N S A N E

I have sold old VHS on Amazon (and will return soon) and I'm constantly amused at what some sellers consider "collectable." I tried to keep prices in range w/ the visual condition of the tape and box (stickers, shelfwear, etc). If the sleeve is in very good condition you can charge more- and I've paid more for intact boxes.

Still, some of these sellers either raided old stores or were store owners selling their back stock and for what's essentially found money their prices are a little... hopeful.

Blake L.
10-04-2010, 11:17 AM
Well, there's the person on Ebay who is selling Christine and Fright Night on VHS for $5000.

But for both, that's a steal! :rolleyes:

Ryan O
10-04-2010, 02:28 PM
This happens a lot with vinyl too. It's annoying. Also skews the market so prices go up on items that really shouldn't be that expensive.

Travis Sheldon
10-04-2010, 11:14 PM
You mean my DVD of 7 Lucky Ninja Kids ISN'T worth $100?

Ian Miller
10-05-2010, 03:13 AM
Was the trailer on 42ND STREET FOREVER #5? If that's what I'm thinking of (sorry, too lazy), that movie is elusive as heck, at least in my travels.

Richard C
10-05-2010, 08:28 AM
Agree with everyone elses comments on Amazon prices i.e. ignore them. It's the same for shitebay. Some people actually rack up stupid amounts of listing fees on an item that is obviously overpriced and has no chance of selling. Don't understand it myself but then I've always been honest with my pricing...

Andrew Ellis
10-06-2010, 10:26 AM
Ebay might be even worse because of the bidding. Besides the delusional pricing, you have these stupid bidding wars where two or three people drive the price of an item into the stratosphere, not because it's worth it by any means, but just because they want to "win".

I really got fed up with Ebay because some people were making bootlegs and putting them up for bid. I don't mind people making bootlegs, but they should honestly state that they are bootlegs and sell them at a fixed (and reasonable) price. I'm thinking of putting the Guttenberg Bible on Ebay and whoever "wins" the bidding war, I'll then send xeroxes of a bunch of scanned pages I found on-line.

Garrett Sorensen
10-06-2010, 01:16 PM
That is a crazy price for that title. When I'm pricing stuff on ebay I often see a certain VHS seller who has the VHS I'm pricing at a triple digit price with many others available at a reasonable price. I tend to think of it as laziness and not really having much supply to restock the store. Some sellers are willing to go way above 10 other current copies on the assumption that those other 10 will some day be bought up and someone will get truly desperate for the film and pay this high price that will pay off the fees and then some. Now, I do understand a high price when there aren't any others online to price to. I once sold Screams of a Winter Night for $40 (in the good cover) because I had no other title on Ebay to price under. I thought $40 was a lot.

Troy Howarth
10-06-2010, 02:09 PM
Who's worse, though? The one asking for the sky, or the sucker with money enough to pay it? :D

RichardDoyle
10-06-2010, 05:20 PM
It looks like a mistake, given the large number of collectible ones for drastically lower prices.

John K
10-06-2010, 07:31 PM
Ebay might be even worse because of the bidding. Besides the delusional pricing, you have these stupid bidding wars where two or three people drive the price of an item into the stratosphere, not because it's worth it by any means, but just because they want to "win".

I really got fed up with Ebay because some people were making bootlegs and putting them up for bid. I don't mind people making bootlegs, but they should honestly state that they are bootlegs and sell them at a fixed (and reasonable) price. I'm thinking of putting the Guttenberg Bible on Ebay and whoever "wins" the bidding war, I'll then send xeroxes of a bunch of scanned pages I found on-line.

Occasionally this is true, but generally when I want a better price on a used title, I'll go to ebay. The sellers on amazon just list undercutting each other by a little. But if you find an item on ebay with a reasonable starting bid, it will generally go for a reasonable price at the end of the bidding war. Of course, there are anomalies, but if you're looking for something in particular and watching for a while, I think you'll generally find prices falling in a fairly close range of each other. When I wanted a copy of THERE'S NOTHING OUT THERE, for example, auctions would usually end between $14 and $17, pretty dependably. Maybe a few dollars either way. On amazon I think it started at like $25, used (and this was for new copies). So provided there are a number of copies, just figure out what is a reasonable price for it, and bid accordingly. Then don't get frustrated when you lose a few times, and keep plugging at it. Your turn will come too.

Lorne Marshall
10-06-2010, 11:29 PM
Then don't get frustrated when you lose a few times, and keep plugging at it. Your turn will come too.

This is excellent advice. I lost out on the Ocean Shores VHS of the Hong Kong horror film WICKED WIFE more than once, then finally got it for $7.

Andrew Ellis
10-07-2010, 01:41 PM
Yeah, but you also have to take the time factor into account. I was in Turkey and an auction ended at 4 AM Turkish time, so I had to get up at that time to make sure no one outbid me at the last minute, but I still lost thanks to a slow DSL connection. So the next time I just bid the item up high to start with and paid more than I've EVER paid for what was a crappy VHS tape that was cropped so bad the burnt-in subtitles were half off the screen.

Now if I'd gone through all that and some asshole had sent me a bootleg. . . T'aint worth it to me. But if you enjoy the bidding process. . .

Andrew Ellis
10-07-2010, 01:46 PM
Oh, yeah. There was some merchant who selling some of his stuff cheaper on Ebay than he was on his site. I "won" the bid, but he claimed he didn't have any more of the item. But strangely he was still selling it on his site at the higher price. Hmmm. Now if it had been bid up HIGHER than where it was on his site, what do you think he would have done? I get sick of that kind of outright dishonesty. Ebay sucks.