If you’ve never held a massive garage sale to unload all of your 8-track tapes and other outdated technology, take a moment before just getting rid of these relics. Although the market doesn’t mean selling every single 8-track tape will yield big money, it may be worth trying to sell them. Are 8-track tapes worth any money?
The predecessor of the 8-track tape was the vinyl long-playing (LP) record. Although 8-tracks grew popular very quickly and were a vast improvement for playing music on the go, as with all technology, something better came along soon afterward — cassette tapes, then compact discs. Now, 8-tracks are much like VHS tapes in terms of how much value they carry.
What are 8-track tapes?
First of all, for those who weren’t alive during the 1960s and 1970s during their heyday, the 8-track was a type of audio technology. The 8-track tape contains non-digital audio data stored on a hard plastic cartridge. According to TechTarget, William Powell Lear developed the 8-track and patented his invention. (He was also the founder of LearJet.)
Although most people don't use 8-tracks for their daily audio consumption anymore — they’re all using various streaming platforms like Spotify — 8-track tapes still hold appeal for collectors. So, why do collectors want 8-track tapes? It’s likely because first of all, the technology itself has become outdated, and second, for certain rare albums or content on the tapes.
What 8-track tapes are worth the most money?
In general, if you’re planning to sell a few rare 8-track tapes, focus on that important word: rare. The rarer the recording, the better the chance that you’ll get a top price for your old audio tech items. In addition, just as with pop music, you want to focus on 8-track tapes of artists that are especially popular or have long-term appeal.
The website ValueYourMusic.com reported on some of the most expensive 8-tracks sold in the past month.
A recording of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” album on 8-track sold for $850 in October 2022.
A box set of “Superstars of the 70s,” that was still sealed, sold for $632 with 12 total bids in October 2022. The artists included were Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin.
A rare version of the Velvet Underground’s "Loaded" 8-track tape sold for $500 with only one bid.
Other artists’ work that has brought higher price tags online recently include Madonna, Creedence Clearwater Revival, KISS, and Talking Heads. Even if you don’t think your old 8-track tapes are worth anything, it isn't a bad idea to search online on eBay and other online auction sites to find out what kind of price you could get.
Frank Sinatra and the Beatles are some of the most rare 8-tracks and their worth can be impressive.
According to vinylom.com, one of the most valuable 8-track tapes sold was one of Frank Sinatra’s recordings. A dual recording with Antonio Carlos Jobim sold for between $4,500 and $6,000.
Another costly 8-track tape was reportedly one of the Beatles: their "20 Greatest Hits" album on 8-track fetched a $750 price.
An 8-track recording by Elvis Presley, "Blue Hawaii," is said to have sold for about $245.
Where can you sell your old 8-track tapes and players?
Although 8-track tapes and 8-track players may be out of style, there's still somewhat of a market for buying and selling them. Whether people like them for their nostalgia or for something to show off to guests, people are still buying and selling old 8-tracks and their equipment.
According to the website 8-Track Heaven, several businesses buy and sell 8-track tapes. Here are a few of the places in cyberspace where you can get 8-track tapes and players:
Kate’s Track Shack has been in business for over 24 years.
Mind to Sound Music also sells 8-track tapes
Discogs offers music and audio in all types of formats, including 8-track tapes
Of course, eBay is one of the best places for buying and selling 8-tracks.
Facebook is also a place to search for groups of collectors and sellers of 8-track technology.