The Disney Black Diamond VHS Prices Hoax

The vintage videos did not sell for thousands of dollars on eBay

Disney black diamond VHS tapes
••• eBay.com

There is a rumor floating around the internet about Disney Black Diamond VHS tapes being worth thousands of dollars. Despite what you may have heard or read on the Internet, it's just a rumor. These vintage videos are not commanding large sums of cash on eBay.

The Origins of the Rumor

The rumor started back in May 2016 when a writer from Tech Times erroneously reported what he believed to be the sale prices of these items. Misunderstanding how eBay works, he made some observations and assumptions.

The Tech Times article, titled "You May Have Hit the Jackpot If You Still Own This Disney Movie on VHS," was later debunked by Snopes, the myth-busting urban legends reference page. The piece wildly overstated the value of the video cassettes, presuming that the listing price represented the completed sale price.

"According to eBay listings, the 1992 animated film Beauty and the Beast is going for just under $10,000. It's not because the live-action reboot, starring Emma Watson, is coming out next year. This VHS is selling for so much because it is rare."
"The versions of Beauty and the Beast that are listed for $5K and up are those that are part of the rare 'Black Diamond Collection.' This collection features 18 animated features from 1988 to about 1993 that were first released for VHS. These editions come in a clamshell case and have a logo in the shape of a black diamond that says 'The Classics' on its spine."

The Asking Price on eBay Is Not the Selling Price

Active listings don't show what a buyer will pay, only what a seller is asking, which are two very different things. The eBay marketplace works a little like real estate. While anyone can assign a $1 million price tag to their home, that doesn't mean a buyer will pay the asking price.

The way to determine the realistic value of an item on eBay is essentially the same as in real estate: completed sales. Examing that historical data will show you what a buyer has paid in the past (known as comps in real estate), and the Black Diamond data doesn't correspond with those figures.

While a few completed listings do appear for prices in the thousands, those are most likely not legitimate listings. When seasoned eBay sellers see prices suddenly skyrocket for no reason other than misinformation on the internet, the conclusion is that these sales are an anomaly.

Actual Selling Prices of Disney Black Diamond VHS

Black Diamond videos are anything but rare. Currently, in fact, there are more than 10,000 active listings for Disney Black Diamond VHS tapes listed on eBay. Most of those listings will not sell, and the ones that do will not be purchased for anywhere near the thousand dollar range.

The going rate based on actual sales is as high as $150 for some titles, but the average is $50. "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin," and "Cinderella" are the ones to actually be on the lookout for in the Disney catalog.

Here is a list of all 18 tapes in the Disney Black Diamond collection, and the highest price of sold listings of the individual titles 30 days before the hype started. The outliers with unrealistic prices are not included in this list, as they were sold after the Tech Times article and payment for the items cannot be verified. 

  1. "Dumbo": $49
  2. "Bambi": $24.99
  3. "Cinderella": $102.50
  4. "Alice in Wonderland": $39.99
  5. "Peter Pan": $39.95
  6. "Lady and the Tramp": $59.99
  7. "Sleeping Beauty": $59
  8. "101 Dalmatians": $55
  9. "Sword and the Stone": $29
  10. "Jungle Book": $31
  11. "Robin Hood": $45
  12. "The Rescuers": $28
  13. "Fox and the Hound": $35
  14. "Great Mouse Detective": $20
  15. "The Little Mermaid": $100 (rare and offensive cover art)
  16. "Rescuers Down Under": $30
  17. "Beauty and the Beast": $147
  18. "Aladdin": $200