DVDs and Blu-rays are selling for more than ever

DVDs have largely been replaced by streaming but that hasn't reduced their price - UnSplash +

Prices surged after Best Buy ended sales this year

Some DVDs and Blu-rays are selling for big bucks, sending prices of physical media to new heights in the age of streaming.

Prices for “video discs and other media” rose nearly 29% in April 2024 from a year ago, following a 30% yearly spike in March, according to the Consumer Price Index.

By month, prices climbed by 1.9% in April from March, down from a record-high increase of 14.7% in March since 2020.

Price tags on DVDs and Blu-rays have shot up after physical media has become rarer. Few movies and shows have a physical release these days and, in February, Best Buy stopped selling DVDs and Blu-rays. Discs also often come with special content, such as quizzes, interviews and reading material.

“Physical formats are having somewhat of a renaissance,” Liam Howley, chief marketing officer at online reselling service Decluttr, told ConsumerAffairs. He said Decluttr has seen average prices of DVDs and CDs increase by 6.8% this year compared with 2023 and 20% compared with 2021.

The fragmentation of streaming services, rising costs for subscriptions, storage of media on the cloud and crackdowns on account sharing are driving people toward physical copies of movies and TV shows, he said.

You might want sell those old DVDs, CDs and VHSes

The rarity of physical media has created a strong resell market. From January to the end of April 2024, people on eBay searched “DVD” items more than 17,000 times per hour on average, according to figures provided to ConsumerAffairs by eBay.

Between Jan. 2022 and May 2024, the most expensive DVD sold on eBay was the “Matthew Barney Cremaster Cycle Films 1-5,” which fetched more than $8,000.

On Decluttr, some of the highest-priced DVDs in 2024 have been “Assault on Precinct 13 (Widescreen Edition)” at $54.30, “The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Full Screen Edition)” at $53.30, “South Park: The Complete Second Season” at $33.98 and “The Thing from Another World” at $29.99.

CDS and VHSes are also having a renaissance.

Top-selling CDs on Decluttr this year include Beyoncé's "4" at $54.44, Billy Joel's "Piano Man" at $54.42, Marc Antoine's "Madrid" at $54.01 and Avril Lavigne's "Under My Skin" at $53.55.

Sales of “VHS” listings ballooned more than 40% on eBay globally in 2023 compared to 2019. Three of the most expensive VHS tapes sold on the platform were copies of "Raiders of the Lost Ark," but the most expensive VHS tape was a VGA 80+ copy of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," which fetched $16,000 in Nov. 2023.

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