Why Local VHS to DVD Service Is Hard to Find

If you have been thinking of transferring your old home movie VHS tapes to DVD, you will realize that it’s not easy to find a local service near your house to convert the VHS or VCR tapes. Everyone you know has VHS tapes, and they all eventually will want to transfer them to DVDs, so why is it so hard to find a store locally that offers the service? Here are some reasons why:

1. Starting up a VHS to DVD transfer business is not a hot business idea that draws entrepreneurs. In fact, the perception is that there are only going to be fewer and fewer old home movie tapes to transfer, so this market will shrink very rapidly until there’s no demand any more. Why jump into a business with shrinking demand?

2. The tape transfer equipment is not easy to find. Do a Google search on VHS to DVD transfer equipment? Now click on the product links and a lot of them point to pages that has these words at the bottom of the product photo: Out of Stock, or Not in stock, or No Longer Available. How are you going to run a video transfer business if you cannot easily purchase the equipment to do the work?

3. Like all brick-and-mortar stores, today, you need to compete with online retailers. While it is hard to find a local VHS to DVD transfer lab locally, there are several online video transfer labs competing for your business. They charge as low as $15 for a short VHS tape, or under a dollar for photo scanning because many of them ship the work to India, Mexico, Pakistan… It’s difficult for a local video lab, paying U.S. wages to U.S. technicians to compete with online retailers. That’s another reason it’s difficult to find a local VHS video transfer lab near your home.

Unfortunately, many people are very uncomfortable shipping their home movie tapes away. Stories of online retailers going out of business before they return the tapes to you, or tapes getting lost or damaged enroute, make it very difficult for people to have peace of mind shipping off their precious and irreplaceable home movie tapes.

So, what is a person to do? Magnetic media, whether they are VHS tapes, Hi8, 8mm tapes or miniDV tapes have a shelf life, and the best time to transfer them to digital formats is: Yesterday. Waiting too long is unwise. There is no shortcut. You need to do your homework to find that local on-site video transfer lab that will not ship your tapes out, and that is within driving distance from your home. Google the web, ask friends – everyone has video tapes in their closet, right? Go on Craigslist, ask your local libraries where they go to transfer their legacy media. One word of caution: make sure they are not hobbyists, but a bonafide video transfer lab. Video equipment that is not used and maintained regularly fall out of condition and can damage your precious tapes.

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