Many years ago I was quite the film buff and consequently also built up a quite substantial video collection. However, over time I came to realise that these tapes are just sitting on shelves unwatched and gathering quite substantial amounts of dust.
My tastes have changed and would struggle today to even know what films are in the cinema, let alone take time to go and watch them. With the tapes taking up space that could be more productively used for storing antique documents and maps, it is time to clear them out.
Fortunately, fairly near to to me is a charity shop, so off I went with a bag half filed with books and half filed with VHS tapes (a bag full of books is FAR too heavy!).
To my surprise though, the charity shop refused to take the VHS tapes.
Expecting some Daily Mail type excuse about VHS tapes being sold with unexpected porn clips in them or similar, it turns out that the ban is simply because they got lots of tapes donated, but couldn’t sell them.
While it is obvious that people are switching to DVD for new purchases, I really thought there would still be a large enough user base of VHS players in homes for the second-hand market to support. Seems not.
I could sell the tapes on eBay, but the last time I did that it was SO much hassle per sale to package up the tapes, take them to the allegedly award-winning Post Office where I live and post them out, for a couple of quid per tape that I really can’t be bothered to go though all that again. And that was with the rarer collectable VHS tapes – not just ordinary films.
Likewise, I could probably find some sort of specialist on the other side of London who will take them off me for free, but then I am faced with dozens of trips to dispose of them.
Seems wrong somehow to just throw them in the bin, but if the demand for second-hand VHS tapes is that minuscule, then the bin it will have to be.
Apart from my art-house film collection. That stays – well, at least until I can download them off the internet.