Cassette Tapes

This is in no way an advert

In the process of clearing out the stuff from my Mums house I have come across the hoard of blank still in original wrapper C90 tapes
Before they get consigned to the skip is there a market for them


Have you checked eBay?

Yes there is and for more money than most commercial pressed CD’s are fetching these days. I see them for sale a fair amount and depending on the type (does not need to be high quality) the price can be quite high. There is a market for sourcing the same tapes that bands put demos out on (bootleggers) and people who have either never given up on tape or those who are getting back into it.

Depending on quantity you could have a nice earner. I would sell them individually or in the sealed multipack quantity for maximum return.

Yes, sites such as eBay are your best bet here.

There’s a good market for sealed blank cassette tapes, particularly if they are premium high performance types such as any bar the most budget Type I and Type IIs, and any type IVs. Cassettes from the “golden age” from the late '70s through to the late '80s can carry a fair premium, especially if particularly rare. Top Super Metals also command high prices, in particular Sony Metal Master and Super Metal Master, Maxell Vertex, and TDK MA-XG, with up to £50 or more per tape being paid in some cases .

If you need help in identifying a particular cassette tape then this reference site is invaluable;


Thank you. I’ll delve deeper.

I have a Nakamichi Dragon and I use TDK MA-XG90s which sound great. (Not for main listening- for when I have a darts evening and I don’t want to change vinyl…)
I looked for some more of the TDK tapes and the prices are just crazy. Don’t know if they really sell for those prices but if they are good quality they could be worth a lot!
Ebay is a great place to sell.
Good luck

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There certainly is. Sealed TDK, Maxwell, Sony, Nakamichi metals and good quality chromes especially from about 1978/9 to 1990/91. Also some Denons, BASF chromes, That’s, and Fujis. A trawl of eBay should reveal what the going rate is. Good luck!

As they have been in the loft, i would open one and make sure they are ok.
As the tape can degrade, the dreaded white spot, or the backing can come away. In both cases it would mean its worthless

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Not necessarily. There are plenty of tape collectors. I know someone who has hundreds of sealed blanks from all over the world and he hasn’t even got a cassette deck. Lots of people collect them, like people collect stamps or wine. They want the thing for itself, rather than to use it. And most serious tape heads on the lookout for sealed blanks to actually use know there’s a risk involved, given the age of most of these things.

Well thats great then if they are knackered, but being just C90 tapes, unless they are very rare ones, i can’t see many tape collectors wanting them or needing them.
But then what do i know.

Yes, once upon a time I was probably one of those collectors. Around 15-20 years ago, I was still using cassette tape regularly and realised that what was available was starting to dry up, especially metal tape. With prices for many tapes still quite cheap I ended up buying quite a lot (thousands). And I also spent time looking out for old stocks of some of my favourite tapes from the early '80s. It was fun and every now and then you’d make some really interesting discoveries. I’ve sold off the bulk of them over the years, in particular many of the boxes of ten or a dozen, but I’ve kept a handful of examples of each cassette and still have good stock of my favourites such as the early Maxell XL-IS and XL-IIS with the wonderful smoked cases.

Some of the earliest tapes you wouldn’t really want to use though. Formulations improved markedly during the '80s, so it’s just not worth using sealed '70s tapes. Better to sell them on (you’ll probably get a decent price as they are collectible) and buy more later ones for cheaper but with superior performance. I have a number of early tapes that I really wouldn’t recommend anyone actually use. For example, I have some boxes of TDK KR, which was TDK’s original chrome dioxide formulation. It’s a rare tape, especially sealed with mint and intact wrappers, as once out of the box, the wrappers on early TDK tapes would go brittle and would split easily. It’s a tape that’s an exciting find for a tape collector but you would probably be disappointed of you tried to use one, mainly because it wasn’t particularly great shakes when new, and as Chrome in particular doesn’t tend to hold up well with age, I would expect it to be pretty poor 50 years down the road.

KR didn’t last long in the TDK range before being dropped and eventually replaced by a pseudo-chrome by the name of Super-Avilyn, or “SA” for short…


7 here….

Yes, one purchase was actually for over 1000 tapes, having been found in a distribution warehouse. They were one of the best super Chrome tapes ever made in c90 length and came in boxes of 100 tapes. A great find.


You do need to seek help, Richard! :sunglasses:


I can still play cassette tapes in the car (yes it is that old)


Somewhat amusing to me is the amount of time spent with SA in the mid 80s-90s, mostly TDK SA 90 tapes, but a heck of a lot of this as well:


I found my old Denon cassette deck not too long ago - hoping it still works.

Can’t remember the model off the top of my head but probably Denon DR-M14HX or 12HX.

I used to do a lot of cycling back in the 1980s, and whilst out on the bike in them days one would occasionally notice a discarded cassette tape lying in the gutter or on the road side, usually in a state of having de-spooled itself into knotty entanglement and most probably forcibly ejected though the manually wind-down window by irritated motorist :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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That’s why one should always keep a cheap Biro in the car…the hexagonal cross-section type!

Or perhaps they were copies of Greatest Hits albums by insert name here.


Wow. People will collect anything. I probably still have some Maxells around when I abandoned that media decades ago. Same with VHS. Maybe I have enough to buy me some new vinyl. :joy: