View Full Version : Where's the best place to buy a VCR?

Isaac K.
10-04-2010, 08:36 AM
A weird question to ask in today's digital age, perhaps. I was just thinking that my VCR ain't going to last forever and when it goes, where am I going to get a new one? I can only assume a never before used one is going to get harder and harder to find as time passes. I still own (as well as rent) quite a few videotapes and I wouldn't want to take a chance on a used player destroying them. I guess what I'm looking for is maybe a site as well as some brands and models to check out. What's the most "top of the line" VCR you can find today? I'm not really keen on VCR/DVD combo players, either, but if one is really, really good I'd like to know that, too. Thoughts? And thanks. :)

Marc Morris
10-04-2010, 08:47 AM
I always use eBay for buying VCRs.

Isaac K.
10-04-2010, 09:43 AM
I always use eBay for buying VCRs.

The fact that you've used ebay more than once tells me that it isn't exactly the best place in the world to buy quality product. lol. Not that I need one right at the moment, but when I do I want a good VCR that will last me for the long haul. My current one I've had for more than a decade now.

Marc Morris
10-04-2010, 09:54 AM
Try finding a decent brand new multi-system VCR anywhere ;)

Isaac K.
10-04-2010, 10:02 AM
Try finding a decent brand new multi-system VCR anywhere ;)

That's why I'm asking. There isn't a doubt in my mind that somebody has a bunch stored in a warehouse somewhere gathering dust.

Marc Morris
10-04-2010, 10:06 AM
Try here.


John K
10-04-2010, 07:43 PM
eBay's about your only choice for a standalone NIB machine - I believe the manufacturers stopped making these years ago, so whatever's still floating around is it. DVD/VCR are still being manufactured, though, and I don't see why you shouldn't trust them. I have a Sony and I love it. It works great, plays even finicky tapes (an old 80s LP-speed for example that others give me a completely shitty picture with works fine, for example), and rewinds at the speed of light (though I've since purchased a rewinding machine to prolong the VCR's longevity). I'd say stock up on these, personally.

The alternate route is to go find a Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc., and grab some used ones for $5 or so. The place by me is always full of them, and if you look carefully, you can usually get a pretty nice machine in good working condition.

Robin Bougie
10-04-2010, 08:31 PM
Destination: Thrift store.

Instructions: Pick the 10 best looking vcrs out of the stacks, and 10 Richard Simmons exercise tapes, then run the tapes through each player a bunch of times and see which ones eat 'em. The ones that don't are your new players. The ones that do go in the garbage.

Result: You've now got a bunch of studly vcrs at a fraction of what you'll be paying on ebay for a single player.

Isaac K.
10-04-2010, 08:38 PM
I know they're not making standalones anymore. I'm asking about places that still have some "like new", as in never before taken out of the box. I mean, obviously places like flea markets and ebay would have used VCRs. Those things are a dime a dozen. But somebody must still have a stock of unused ones somewhere. I could go into a long winded explanation about why I don't want a latter day vcr/dvd combo deck but I won't, because it doesn't matter. Simply put, it just isn't what I'm looking for.

10-04-2010, 08:41 PM
Best Buy, etc., MAY carry one DVD/VCR combo at the most, my brother was looking for one last year and had a hell of a time finding one (I think he finally ordered a machine online).

I went the thrift store route and bought a Beta machine for $5 about a year ago, and also bought one on eBay (in fact, an identical model to the original I purchased in 1982) to finally convert my Beta tapes to DVD-R (I ordered the one on eBay first since it was cheap, and picked up the thrift store machine as insurance).

Now, when I watch a VHS tape, I always convert it to DVD-R at the same time. You're right, your machine will not last forever and these will get harder and harder to find. Sadly, even the shops which used to repair these machines are getting scarce. Nobody has a malfunctioning DVD player repaired now, if it's out of warranty you just toss it and get a new one.

Steve R
10-05-2010, 01:29 PM
Panasonic AG -1320 was the latest VHS I got. Stand alone just VHS.

Very nice quality with good transport. They were probably some of the last made so would still be "current".
I am thinking this one is no more than five years old... maybe four at the latest
I got it with that same OMG what if they don't make these anymore mindset.
Without a doubt much stronger and better than any of the combo units out there.

There is a scene in that Harlan Eillson documentary where you see he has this special shelf
in his storage area...just stacked with typewriters. When one breaks, there is a new one.
Crazy but perfectly understandable thinking.

10-17-2010, 07:47 PM
The one I have hooked up now, a Sylvania 6260VF VHS Hi-Fi VCR, was obtained 17 months ago at Target.
But one night in March 2009 while I was price shopping on-line, I spotted a refurbished Emerson VHS VCR at Heartland America {it usually sends a print catalog} (http://www.heartlandamerica.com/) for $39.99.
I ordered two. They're in storage downstairs.
That would be where I would look.