Analog Aficionados Benny Junko and Nick Mendoza Offer Up Factory Sealed VHS and Beta Along with Original Art from VHS Releases via their New Site VIDEOSANCTUM.COM! Dig On Some Unprecedented Analog Acquisition, Tapeheads!
The Video Sanctum Logo! Learn it. Live it. Clickity-click it.Can you tell us about the impetus to start Video Sanctum, and how you got to that point? I’ve been collecting all types of media since the late 1990s. Around 2009, I started contributing to the Grindhouse Cinema Database reviewing genre films, writing profiles, and adding general info to the site. At some point, it dawned on me how many great exploitation films had fallen through the cracks. I forget the film now, but a fellow member of the GCDB forum was looking for a particular biker flick from the mid ‘70s (his dad owned two motorcycles that appeared in the film) and he wanted a copy – in any format – to watch and show off. I set out to help him but soon realized the movie was impossible to find…no DVD, no VHS, no nothing! From there, I started watching for rare films online through sites like eBay and Amazon. Like you and a lot of your readers, I witnessed the now legendary Tales from the Quadead auction go off for $600+and then the Demon Queen on Mogul that busted more than $700! At the time, I had 1000s of tapes, LDs, CEDs, and other items that I had collected over the years, and it interested me that the collecting community had grown to such an extent. On one hand, my collecting sensibility doesn’t lend itself to selling things outright, but I’m also not a hoarder, and I figured if there’s others out there who are looking for things I’ve been able to find, “Why not?” So in 2010, I started developing the concept… but that was a way’s away from what I initially envisioned. This story wouldn’t be complete without tipping a hat to Nick Mendoza. For all my efforts and angles, I have zero competencies when it comes to programming (I’m an analog head, not digital!). I first met Nick in 2012 and we became solid friends. Over time, he showed me a lot of things he had done (including his own SOV film!). About a year ago, we started collaborating on Video Sanctum, and when you log onto the website that is 100% Nick’s creation. I’m truly grateful to his efforts, and I hope that people can appreciate the ease and simplicity at which the site operates (it’s beautiful from a user standpoint)!
A peek at the site and the navigation. It's VHSmooth, mang! But don't take my word for it. CHECK IT.You guys are selling factory sealed, brand new VHS and Beta tapes, as well as original artwork used for video box covers. If you’re willing to spill it, where do guys score your stock, and how long have you been gathering? The first rule of business: Keep your cards close to your chest
Side by VHSide comparison of the video cover from Imperial and original artwork for WITCHTRAP from artist Corey Wolfe. More from Corey and VS RIGHT HURR, Tapeheads!About how many items do you currently have on the site? Can we look forward to analog updates with new tapes and slices of original artwork? Will you guys start to carry used VHS if the demand comes about? As of now we’re at about 100 items on the site (with 1,000s to add). We have an associated newsletter that’s easy to sign up, and our plan is to send out advanced notices to fans of the website when new titles are added. In time, we’ll be offering specials and free giveaways so the newsletter is the best way to get on the inside track. As far as inventory, we’ve got something for everyone including VHS, Beta, LDs, CEDs, Video 8mm cassettes, posters, flyers, standees, and a ton of analog weirdness from the video era. For now, we’re adding mostly our nicest stock to the website. Ex-rental items are always available on our eBay store (thevideosanctum), but we may consider adding some of these to the site over time.
An awesome example of the factory sealed slabs of analog glory awaiting you on the site. Sealed Force Video? BALLIN.How do you go about pricing the items on the site? I see some titles are really affordable, and some at premium collector prices… Experience is the main driver behind pricing. I’ve been actively buying and selling video tapes for more than a decade. After you’ve witnessed a certain number of deals, pricing can become second nature and we try to set everything at a rate that’s fair for both us and for the collector. That being said, it’s important to note that we love to negotiate! So, if anyone’s looking over the website and wants to make a reasonable offer, we’re all ears. Plus we’re nice guys, so there’s no harm in reaching out to us,
Ultra-fresh, factory-sealed FRIDAY THE 13TH PT. 3 Beta. Just look at that factory seal stamps. The beauty!You know Tapeheads love to haggle! There has been a ton of tape selling / trading going on through Facebook on forums like HVHSCU and VHS Misfits. Is VideoSanctum.com a way for Tapeheads to get that same analog outlet, only with secure checkout, customer service, quality assurance, et al? The short answer is “yes.” I joined HVHSCU when there were around 600 members, and I’ve had a lot of fun in that group getting to know other collectors. Sites like eBay and Amazon serve a purpose, and I’ve seen firsthand that video collectors are a worldwide community. We’ve shipped tapes to all parts of the globe. The problem is that these sites charge a premium for their reach. You can access more buyers with their sites, but you’ll forfeit 15% of your pricing for the privelege. In most cases, we’ve simply treated this as a cost of doing business, but some sellers tend to set prohibitively high prices to circumvent the loss. While Facebook groups provide a stellar option for averting these fees, it’s an inconsistent channel. As a seller, people sometimes drop out of a deal. As a buyer, you are often at risk as you can’t always know who you’re dealing with or if the tape they’re showing actually exists. These are very isolated cases and 95% of the business we’ve done through Facebook has been positive with no hitches. VideSanctum.com is a collaborative effort that provides us with more control over our business while giving us the freedom to offer specialty items without the normal mark up to cover fees. It’s essentially the same as doing a deal through Facebook with the exception of a secure shopping cart, and items are essentially “on hold” until you’re ready to buy. In addition, community standards are our own. While we don’t put hardcore adult tapes on offer, other items such as the Mondo films, Faces of Death, and anything considered objectionable via other sites are fair game on VideoSanctum.com. Our goal is to make finding rare tapes very simple and to alleviate risk, so that collectors can handle what’s really important…adding tapes to their shelves.
Stacks and stacks of factory sealed Unicorn Video Clams. Damn. Just DIZAMN. Dig it all the way to China, mang.Do you think you’ll ever stock fresh VHS titles if the demand is there? How about shirts, zines, etc., that relate to the VHS / Beta collecting community? As a matter of fact, we’re open to partnering on a number of fronts. We just recently reached an agreement with the authors of the newly published Video Hunter’s Guide to distribute their book through Video Sanctum. We spent several months vetting the guide to see if it adhered to our standards, and we honestly felt it was a solid contribution to the collecting environment. As far as other products, we’re open to offering anything that’s produced legitimately and within the general constraints of copyright laws. As mentioned, we are currently putting the finishing touches on securing additional artists to add to our collection of original artwork. In addition, we are always looking for further distribution deals with authors, filmmakers, and artists. Of course, our primary focus for now is the inventory, so we are focused on building that up first.
Video Sanctum is also stockin' radical VHS era ad slicks, promos, and things analog akin! Stay tuned, 'cause there's much more to come.What do you hope the presence of VideoSanctum.com will bring to the collector community? As the first of its kind, we hope that collectors will continue to build a relationship with VideoSanctum.com. We are collectors first, which means there are some things we will never sell, i.e. the Velvet Rope section! But in general, this website is about creating viable alternatives to the normal modes of transmission. Amazon and eBay are both great sources for finding rare tapes, but there’s often “mystery” intertwined when you don’t know the seller or the pictures are of low quality (or stock photos). A large percentage of these purchases end in ‘case management.’ We think it should be much easier, and VideoSanctum.com provides that option with ample images, simple descriptions, and a rock solid return policy combined with free shipping in the U.S. At best we hope that it sets a new trend, a new example of how collectors can access high-end analog gold. Anything else you wanna shout out to all the Videovores in Lunchmeat Land? We just want to thank everyone that has visited the site and purchased items thus far! We hope more of you will sign up for early notices. We should note, most of our inventory will be available on the website “first” (and at the best prices) so checking it out often is the best way grab new additions. We look forward to watching a community grow around Video Sanctum.
And I’m sure the voracious Videovores out there are eager to see that list of analog availability grow just the same, mang! This is undoubtedly an unprecedented opportunity for the video collecting community and should indeed blast a wave of excitement through the ever-growing assembly of Tapeheads the world over. And while it can’t exactly be compared to the thrill of raiding the depths of dirt malls and other secondhand locales for pure analog glory, the plastic format purveyors at VideoSanctum.com are prepared to bring some absolute analog gem dreams straight to your door. And that’s pretty groovy, mang. Groove your analog-lovin’ caboose on over to Video Sanctum and cruise the incredible cast of cherry video tapes and treats ready to be picked, packed and shipped to arrive just in time to accompany your next totally killer Chicken Nugget Feast. Just make sure you invite me over for it. You know I love the nugs.