Learn what to do with your collection of old cassette tapes with this handy guide

Now that we’re well and truly in the digital age, it’s easy to forget what a transformation physical media has gone through over the years. From vinyl and reels to cassettes and DVDs, physical media has played a huge part in our lives over the past century.

Now with streaming and digital media, people are finding themselves with hordes of out-of-date physical media and might not know what to do with it. And if you’re like us, that might mean you have a stack of cassette tapes squirreled away in a box somewhere and no Walkman to play them on!

In this blog, we’ll be going through some of the options for what to do with your cassette collection.

What are cassettes?

Cassettes were first developed by Phillips in 1962. They feature a magnetic tape, on which the audio content is stored, housed inside a plastic shell and wound around two spools that pass the tape from one side to the other.

The whole idea of the cassette tape was to create a compact and portable alternative to existing audio recording formats, like vinyl. The small size and light weight of cassettes make them easy to store and handle, especially when compared to vinyl records. They first truly gained popularity in the 1970s and 1980s, particularly after the advent of the Sony Walkman.

Though cassettes enjoyed their heyday through the 1980s, CDs spelt the end of their success. While their sales may have declined, there is still a nostalgic fondness for cassette tapes, epitomized by their recent comeback –– but more on that later.

What to do with your old cassette tapes?

If you can’t bear to part with your old tapes for sentimental reasons, you’re certainly not alone. Or if you have a huge stack of old cassettes that you no longer need, there are great ways to give them new life.


Many thrift stores will happily accept old cassette tapes. It’s a special way to offer a second life to your music collection and can bring joy to someone else seeking out the iconic media of the past.

Additionally, the proceeds from sales made in thrift stores often contribute to charitable causes, so it’s a simple way to share the joy of music while supporting a good cause.

Many libraries also will take donations, if you have a local branch near you. Just make sure you check if your local library does actually take cassettes.

If your cassettes are in a bit of a rough condition from years of hanging out in storage, it’s a good idea to give them a clean before donating them, just with a bit of rubbing alcohol and a cloth. If you have a tape player, maybe give each one a play to make sure they work too!


Cassette tapes can’t just be thrown out with your regular trash as they contain metals that shouldn’t sit in landfills. Local recycling facilities often take cassette tapes, however, due to the plastics and metals in the tapes, not all facilities will accept cassettes. Maybe just call them first to make sure and hopefully, they’ll be able to dispose of your cassettes safely.

Craft something new

Do your cassette tapes hold special memories and links to the past that mean you simply can’t just toss them away? Why not give them new life with a little craft project, and repurpose them into something new?

There are plenty of projects you can try to tackle, even if you don’t count yourself as the craftiest person.

For example, a cassette with its tape removed can be turned into a nifty business card holder. Just unscrew the corners, and use tape to create a hinge on the bottom. Using the same technique, you can also create a little wallet or purse.

If you have four cassettes that you love, plus a little glue, you can easily create a succulent planter that will look great on a side table. With a similar method, you can also make a pencil holder for your desk.

Sell them

If you’ve been paying attention to recent music trends, you may have noticed that cassettes are having a bit of a resurgence of late. Everything retro is cool again, and tapes are no exception.

In 2022, Taylor Swift dropped her brand-new album, and even though we’re fully in the streaming era, she released Midnights on vinyl, CD, and cassette.

While the vinyl and CD sales were predictably successful, the sales of cassette tapes for her album were also impressive. Billie Eilish and Lady Gaga also released their albums on cassette tape, bringing the medium to a whole new audience, some of whom have never known anything but streaming.

Even listeners who don’t own a boom box or Walkman are investing in cassettes of their favorite pop artists, more as another form of merch they can collect. And the numbers speak for themselves — between 2015 and 2022, cassette sales boomed by a massive 443%.

So if you’ve got old cassettes lying around, it may be lucrative for you to sell them to someone who wants them.

Selling them online, through a site like eBay, is the easiest option –– search the site for similar titles to get an idea of what your collection is worth and how you can list them. Car boot sales are also a great way to part with your tapes and make a little cash in the process. Some record stores and music shops may also be interested in buying your collection.

Digitize them

Modernizing your cassette collection is a lovely way to preserve your music collection, and still be able to enjoy it without having to rely on old technology. Converting your tapes to digital formats allows for easy storage, accessibility, and longevity.

Magnetic tapes are likely to degrade over time, so by digitizing your cassettes, you’re preventing yourself from losing cherished audio memories.

A reliable digitizing service like EverPresent ensures your collection is safe and secure, meaning less stress and worry on your end. We’re a family-run company that knows the importance of preserving memories and the true value of our old media collections.

We have advanced barcode tracking and email technology to keep you updated throughout the whole process, so you know exactly what is happening to your memories every step of the way.

Get in touch with EverPresent today to get the process started, or find out more!