I was very excited when I learned VHS could be sold profitably via Fulfillment by Amazon (and that anyone still bought VHS). I was making a steady $100+ a month off VHS for some time, though lately that has been on the sharp decline. It didn’t take a crystal ball to see this day coming, but I’m sensing that the days of VHS being a thriving revenue stream are drawing to a close.
First, the price drop in VHS of the last year has been noticeable. I go to reprice tapes I bought a year ago that were selling at $20 and up, and most are now in the sub-$5 range. The number of VHS tapes I scan that are worth picking up has plummeted. I used to leave every source with a half-dozen or more, and that has dropped off significantly.
Second, Amazon is now restricting the listing of certain VHS tapes, and the list is likely to expand. According to a recent ScanPower newsletter, VHS just isn’t selling anymore, and Amazon has a glut of certain titles in it’s warehouses. So it is no longer accepting them.
This is a “tragedy of the commons” we are likely to see affect other categories soon: Too many people “catching on”, selling their items through Fulfillment by Amazon, and forcing prices to the floor.
There are still a lot of profitable VHS tapes out there (I give a list in Amazon Autopilot), and films that never made it to DVD will always have value on VHS.