it may seem a bit intimidating at first, video tape trading is easy and
certainly a lot of fun if you're willing to take some time and network with
What follows are some basic tips to get started in the world of video tape trading and
could call it "tape trading etiquette"
- Be certain all connections from VCR to VCR are via the audio
and video OUTPUT and INPUT jacks, using RCA or PHONO plug cables. Using a coax
cable, rather than the INPUTS and OUTPUTS will result in poor quality.
- Always record in Hi-Fi when possible. If only one deck
out of your two is Hi-Fi, use the monaural one for playback.
- Always use new tape stock when recording for traders.
It is common courtesy never to use "recycled" stock
- Be sure to agree to name brand of tapes between parties
before videotaping and shipping of tapes.
- When starting a recording or "dub" of a program,
allow at least 30 seconds of black or "VCR blue" at the beginning (usually
achieved by selecting an un-tunable channel or "line") . This avoids the
problem of tape wrinkles or other anomalies possibly found at beginning of VHS tapes.
- Tape about 10 seconds of black or "VCR blue" in
between programs if possible.
- Tape commercials, cartoons, or anything of even mild interest
as filler to completely fill-up tapes if possible.
- Make sure you have a clear signal when taping.
- Always be sure to include open and close credits.
- Never try to edit out commercials. Let your tradee make
that decision if he or she so desires.
- Always assume your tradee wants material recorded in SP
unless otherwise requested.
- Don't write on the manufacturer supplied VHS label.
Instead, perhaps include a 3 x 5 index card with a written description of the tape's
contents. Let your tradee use the label for him or herself.
- When trading with a new person, begin with a one or two tape
swap to see if the exchange is satisfactory for both parties. After that, larger
volume trades can be comfortably arranged.
- It's often a good practice to ship tapes to your tradee in
the same postal manner that he or she will be sending yours (i.e. priority mail, fourth
Think of others not listed here? Please E-mail them to us, and we'll add them.