Yet oddly enough, the space-consuming, antiquated, and generally unwanted VHS format still commands a dollar a piece and has for years. No matter the condition or age, a buck seems to be the unwritten suggested price, despite the much newer predominant disc-based format now being a mere one hundred cents more. All this really hit hard yesterday at one of my swap meet haunts. The first guy I spotted with tapes had a few of the Elm Street series. I picked up a beat-all-to-hell copy of Media Entertainment's 1989 Dream Child VHS. A dirty, dog-earred ex-rental complete with a small bottom rip from someone who couldn't grasp the concept of taking a cassette out of a slipbox. The thing was I needed this unrated copy for comparison purposes as an overseas tape is currently flying across the Pacific en route to my mailbox.
While I'm standing there examining a heavily abused, twenty-one-year-old tape I hear, "Yeah, the tapes are a dollar and DVDs are two." For shits and giggles, I pick up a nearby disc of Casino Royale (full screen, of course). The cover, disc, and case are in perfect condition. For one dollar more. Possessing haggle skills passed down by my father and honed for years in the weekend trenches, I work the tape down to fifty cents. This is the nice price for tapes and should be mandated as the revised normal rate for swap meets and yard sales. A dollar is understandable if one obviously babied their collection with kit gloves, but the vast majority of tapes look tossed around in a dryer and left to rust in storage. There's no justification for trying to pass off VHS (and especially Beta) for a George Washington in '10. Instead, let those quarter pieces satisfyingly jingle in your pocket after a day of selling...