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Make Money Transferring VHS Tapes

This article is going to be long (you’ve been warned) but I’d like to give you a few ideas of how you can make money transferring VHS tapes. Maybe it’s something you have thought of, maybe you haven’t.

It’s interesting to note that mobile phones and social media have you covered for capturing birthdays, weddings, kids dances, holidays etc.

You name it, it’s captured and shared.

But what modern phones can’t do, is capture the past and I mean the 80’s, 90’s and even up to 2010, that past.

And if there’s one thing I can definitely guarantee, as people get older, they want to find ways to preserve their past and update those memories to a modern format.

No app can really do a VHS transfer any justice (sort of) but more importantly people want to save on the time they have now – so they’re happy to have someone else transfer their memories into a modern format.

I encourage you to do your research into the equipment needed and see if this is a side job that would interest you. Remember these are just my views. You may find other views that contradict mine and that’s perfectly fine. As long as it leads you onto a path where you decide if this is something you can do.

How Video Transfers are the New Passive Income

So what I’m about to write goes against the mantra of selling time for money but that’s what I’m telling you to do, sell your spare time for money.

The reason why I think this type of second job is worth it is because you are in charge of the whole process:

  • You market to potential customers
  • You set the price
  • You set the quality and standards
  • You get to control the customer satisfaction
  • You set the time the job can be completed

I want you to imagine everyone as a potential customer (or as someone who knows someone) that has home videos that they want to get transferred, but just don’t have the time.

These people will pay you to transfer the videos, put it onto a DVD or a USB that will work with their current TV or computers.

If you give your time to do the work.

And while that may sound sound like a bold statement, I want you to now imagine the exact opposite and pretend everyone has already had their videos transferred and you’re just late to the party.

Do you believe that everyone has already had their home videos transferred?

Really? Everyone?

In my opinion what you really need to ask yourself is, what type of customer am I looking for?

For me, the answer was simple. I wanted to do this service for ordinary people that you see on the street. People who are willing to spend their money on their memories.

On the other hand, you might see a potential in archiving old VHS tapes for companies, who knows? While there may be big money to be made in creating accounts and contracts with such firms, that’s certainly not my thing.

What Equipment Would You Need to Start a Video Transfer Side Hustle?

You don’t need to buy all equipment from the get go, at some point though if you want to cover different formats, you will need to expand your equipment.

You could simply start with VHS tapes only and try to cater to people who only have those tapes.

While I do look at eBay for devices, the prices are becoming too expensive for used items (but that may be the case from now on?).

Facebook Marketplace will only give you the very basic of VCRs for sale, so I wouldn’t waste time there. Places where you could buy higher end equipment are:

The Digitalfaq Marketplace – There can be good deals that happen across there from time to time.

TPG Sales – They not only sell VCRs but also time base correctors. A great website with helpful articles that’s worth a read.

VCR Shop – This store caters more for Europe and PAL regions. They are based in the Netherlands. This is where I bought my Phillips VR1100 from. A lot of effort goes into packaging the VCRs as so there’s no damage. They also have an eBay store.

Super VHS

A Super VHS VCR will certainly be at the top of the suggested list if you are to make money transferring VHS tapes.

To give you an idea of the types of higher quality VCRs to be on the look out for, there is a list on the Digitalfaq forums by lordsmurf (synonymous for his knowledge on VCR high quality). It is definitely worth a look, then deciding on a model and trying to find a place that sells it.

Phillips VR 1100 VCR front view

This particular model is a Phillips VR1100 that was bought from a store in the Netherlands that caters (mainly) for PAL units.

Having a VCR with a built in time base corrector (TBC) will help alleviate some issues that can occur with tapes, especially ones that may have deteriorated over time.

Unfortunately you can never tell how someone else has kept their tapes.

top view of phillips vr1100 vcr

A lot of wedding master copies will commonly be in the S-VHS format. By saying that, not all the videos will be strictly just wedding videos or 21st birthdays.

Higher end machines that have a built in TBC and/or a digital noise reduction DNR can set you back over a $1000. Again this depends on the brand that you purchase. JVC is considered one the most popular and reliable brands as far as professional consumer decks.

Make Money Transferring VHS Tapes

This Phillips VR1100 is considered a clone of a JVC model. There are numerous brands that appear very similar.

Lower Quality VCRs

So what about alternatives?

Generally I would still recommend the list by Lord Smurf above to give you a better idea of equipment that you should purchase.

That being said, are the lower models floating out there really that crap?

Yes, there are bad VCR models, but not all are crap in my opinion. I tend to use the Samsung models for test videos but not for actual client videos.

I personally like Panasonic VCRs and when mixed with a Panasonic DMR-ES10, I found the video quality to show no tearing.

That does also depend on the tape at hand.

Once I had one tape that I transferred, that was so bad. that the picture was practically unwatchable.

This Panasonic combination was the only way to get any resemblance of a decent picture. I’m not saying it was perfect, but it was drastically better – that’s for sure.

Using a reasonable (but still high quality VCR) mixed with the Panasonic DMR-ES10 does stop video jitters to an extent.

The Panasonic DMR-ES10 is a DVD Recorder but it’s not advisable to use it for actual DVD recording, but more as pass through for the video signal. There were several DMR-ES models considered acceptable for making a better picture, but the DMR-ES10 seems to be the most favored.

I own two ES10 recorders (that was by accident mind you) and I now use them during transfers with my equipment.

Over at the Digitalfaq forums there are several posts made regarding the quality of these DVD recorders. Some people think they are not great.

They are not a replacement for a time base corrector, but I will tell you this, trying to get hold of a TBC that is in excellent condition and not sold at exorbitant prices is extremely hard. Would I buy one if the price is right?


But if I don’t have a TBC, I’m not going to let that stop me from transferring a tape in the best possible way I can. I’ve also never had a client say they want their money back because I didn’t run the signal through a Data Video 1000.

You might see a potential to convert old professional U-matic tapes from TV studios of yester year, in which case, I would recommend searching high and low for a TBC to do those type of transfers.

Above is a sample video showing how a Panasonic DMR-ES10 and ES15 compares to just a VCR TBC by itself. For clearer information regarding TBC correctors there is a forum post here.

Best Output Solutions From a VCR

In order to try get the very best quality from a signal will depend on the equipment you have, keeping in mind most consumer VCRs had a basic composite output until the DVD/VCR combo drives started to become popular. Not including Europe, where SCART was the most common AV use.

The very basic connection is composite which is what most everyday consumers were use to. Most capture devices only cater for a composite input anyway. The AVerMedia CE310b (that I use quite a bit) only has composite and S-Video.

S-Video will give a better video signal than composite and is what I’ve used with numerous tests. It seperates the color signal when compared to composite.

Component separates the video signal into the Red, Green and Blue channels and gives a clearer picture quality. While there are a few type of capture devices that can record from component signal, none have ever really beaten the Live Gamer Portable in my opinion.

SCART connection was popular across Europe and is certainly the most flexible when it comes to changing its signal output. You can find SCART to component cables, SCART to composite cables or even SCART adapters that output S-Video.

The VR1100 VCR only outputs via SCART so I found myself venturing into that connection. When connected between two SCART devices the signal is impressive.

Looking at the back of a Panasonic DMR-ES10, you can see it caters to four of the output signals. Using this device as a pass through I would sometimes input via the SCART and output via component, but that also depends on the capture device I might use.

The back of the Samsung VR355 it allows for HDMI out, although it is not up scaling, it is just sending the standard definition through a digital signal. The advantage though is there are better devices that capture through HDMI.


Everything you will be using will more than likely be second hand. If you already own a high end PC, then you could use that. I do recommend that you have a computer dedicated for this type of work.

The VCRs you acquire will be bought second hand, any video cameras will be the same. So why run all that equipment through a new PC? Just seems like overkill.

Again this is just my personal view, but considering as the prices of half decent VCRs go up in value, you’d think you would try and save money elsewhere right?

It all varies on the price you are willing to spend, but I will mention this, the above model is an i5 Dell Optiplex 7010 and it runs just a little slow. It captures without any issues but when it comes to rendering videos, a faster CPU will give a performance boost.

The next PC for transfers I’ll be adding will at least be an i7 (continuing in the second hand market).

I still prefer using a PC due to the flexibility of adding internal cards.

If something was to go wrong with the PC, I can pinpoint what is causing the issue and replace it. The yesteryear Mac Pro models (2015 and under) are going to be harder to find replacement parts.

While I do like the older MacBook Pro model I use for these tests, if something was to go wrong (or maybe when it does), I’m going to have dramas to get it fixed.

Capture Cards and Capture Devices

What I have found personally for reliability are PCIe cards. Since these pictures were taken I have separated the cards into two different PCs.

The card along the top is a Firewire PCIe card which allows for importing from cameras with a Firewire port. There are plenty of variations available on Amazon and they are extremely cheap. Most current video editors will accept import through Firewire.

The bottom card is called AVerMedia CE310B and thankfully can still be bought on Amazon and Aliexpress. It does only do composite and S-Video but can import as AVI or MP4 formats.

There are older used AVerMedia cards that can be found on eBay like one called AVerMedia C729 DarkCrystal HD that can import from component. I couldn’t tell you if it is any good.

Hauppauge ImpactVCB-e PCI Express Video Capture Board 1381 is another card that is comparable.

The downside to having a setup like this (two cards connected into one PC) if you end up with mixed tapes (some digital and VHS), you can only do one tape at a time.

While there is the quality factor to be considered, there is also a time factor to think of when dealing with client’s videos. Having a speedy workflow has to come into play as well.

Using a game capture device like the AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable pictured above can import VHS tapes at a high quality. The original version is no longer made, you can buy them on eBay but be warned of ridiculous prices.

The reason why I like this version is due to the component connection and HDMI connection. The second version that was released only had HDMI connection and dropped the component altogether. Why?

There are other brands that have component connections like these digital converters but when you cater in capture software the C875 is still king.

Devices from AVerMedia that are close to this device but would require a composite to HDMI adapter are:

  • Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus
  • Live Gamer Portable 2
  • Live Gamer Lite

This chart shows them side by side. Please keep in mind these devices are being replaced every few years.

While I don’t consider using this as an option, I just wanted to point out that transferring videos onto Windows tablets is possible. The amount of space you need to capture videos though makes this not viable.


Don’t expect yourself required to buy all these types of cameras. I’m placing in order the popularity based on the tapes that I’ve transferred over the years.

The following is only my opinion and I certainly recommend that you do further research if you are interested in buying these camcorders.

I’d like to point out, that I don’t asked to transfer rare video formats. That could be a coincidence.

VHS-C Format

Besides full size VHS tapes, VHS-C would be the next common size tapes to transfer, so investing more in VHS-C adapters would be wiser than worrying about VHS-C camcorders. while I own one, I’ve never found myself needing to use it.

Some VHS-C tapes have issues playing correctly in certain VCRs and that’s where playing the cassette from a camcorder can be beneficial. Otherwise having multiple VCRs is an easier solution.

MiniDV Format

Mini DV cameras are definitely a popular format that you will encounter often. While they are reliable devices, I find having a spare camera for an emergency will make life a little easy.

Not saying you have to buy two, but over time, if you can have a back up camera this will assure your longevity in this sort of work. Most MiniDV camcorders can playback tapes from other formats.

Video8 / Hi8 Format

A Video8 or Hi8 camcorder will certainly be needed as these tape formats were popular as well. Purchasing a Hi8 camera will allow you to play back both Hi8 and Video8.

The cameras are somewhat becoming rare, but thankfully at the time of writing this article, the prices don’t seem to be ridiculously high.

Digital 8 Format

Some Digital 8 camcorders will allow you to playback all three formats Video 8, Hi 8 and Digital 8. If you can get hold of one these camcorders it will cover three types of ‘8’ tapes and allow you to not worry from which camera it was originally recorded on.

The other main benefit of this type of camcorder is the S-Video and more so the DV input via FireWire, which is going to help you when importing into an editor.

The next collection of equipment you really don’t have to acquire as work required from them has been few and far between.

DVD Camcorder Format

DVD camcorders are rare but not uncommon. From my experience, I have had a few clients over time hand me the mini DVDs to convert into a larger DVD for playback. Once finalized

Having one of these camcorders only helps in the odd chance if someone gives me these discs and they are not finalized. They have to be finalized before any computer or DVD player can read them.

Super 8 Film Format

While I do own the Wolverine Super 8 scanners and use them, I clearly tell any clients before hand that this is not a high end scanner. Most people are OK with that.

These machines are limited and they are known to constantly stop scanning if the film has a slight tear in a sprocket hole. So it can be cumbersome, with a stop/start stop/start time trying to transfer one film.

Once you do have it converted into an MP4 format, you can enhance contrast and color correction using an editor.

There are some extremely beautiful high end super 8/16mm film scanners out there and I have seen prices exceed $8000 – and I’m going to assume that’s still second hand. That’s a lot of money to make back for a very niched down market. Not everyone has film reels they want transferred, where as VHS tapes has been a constant supply.

Sometimes it’s okay to not accept a certain type of work.

Hard Disk Camcorder Format

While you won’t need to keep a portable hard drive camcorder, you may find people who don’t own a computer but still want the files transferred into a DVD or MP4 file saved onto USB.

If that’s the case they’ll usually supply you with a bag full of tangled cables and power adapter, assuming it is all there. Then it’s up to you to find the software that the manufacturer has made to transfer the files. That was a case I had regarding a Sony hard drive camcorder.


I don’t transfer Betamax tapes.

I’ve had three people ask me over the years. In two of those cases, the people were holding a single cassette in their hands. The third case was just someone inquiring.

With that much demand, I can’t justify spending up to $1000 on a Betamax deck. I came close to buying one a while back at a reasonable price but was outbid on eBay.

Again it’s a personal thing if you decide to spend the money on one.

VHS-C Adaptors

VHS-C adapters can be bought from Amazon or eBay. The motorized variants will be the main types on the market. You can get a non motorized adapter but they are becoming very rare (from what I’ve seen).

DVDs and USBs

While I do get quite a few people still preferring DVDs for transfers, I am more trying to guide people into transferring their home videos onto USB or hard drives. It’s become a do you want fries with that? type of questioning to do at the start to at least give clients more options.

Besides most wedding videographers these days only supply their video packages onto USB, so why not follow suit?

While I am on the look out for hard drive deals, I won’t go and buy dozens at a time. Half the time a client will supply a hard drive of their own for you to add the videos to.

You can go the route of personalized USBs similar to the image below but there has to be a balance. If you go too cheap, there’s a chance the USB may not work at all on any computer. If you go too expensive, it raises the cost of your transfer.

If you’re interested in these styles you can find them at DartshopCrafts on Etsy. These USB styles add a special touch and I’ve seen them used numerous times for weddings.

Other options like these custom USB drives allow to have your own logo (at a cost).

For clients who still wish to have their videos transferred onto disc, the preferable media is DVD-R. Most DVD players can read the -R discs without issues.

Amazon and eBay will have deals for blank spindles of 50 or 100 at a time. There’s also the cost of DVD cases or DVD sleeves (paper envelopes) that have to be factored in.

Printing a scene from the video transfer and onto a blank DVD will raise your costs.

Ink is expensive.

And all printers regardless of brand will screw up the printing process at some point. (I try to be Tony Robbins positive – but not when it comes to printers!)

If you tell your client in advance what you can offer in the transfer, you may be surprised that most people aren’t bothered by a colorful disc, they just want the video file to work on a DVD or USB.

Most modern TVs will play a USB transfer as an MP4 file, which begs the question, if people are updating the home viewing entertainment, then why do they need a physical colorful disc that can scratch or damage easily?

One last thing I’ll mention (while not considered in the USB/DVD realm) is the need for a sales order book. The type that is a duplicate invoice.

You will need to write down how many tapes are handed over to you at the time, in case (God forbid) something was lost.

Choosing a Video Editor

Learning the basics of a video editor is going to help you in the long run.

While there are many various brands of editors, you don’t need to purchase the most expensive product out there. Most video editors allow you to color correct, burn to disc and export to most popular formats that will be compatible with most electronic devices like smart TVs.

If you are serious about converting other people’s videos as a side income then yes, you are definitely going to need to know at the very least, the basics of video editing.

I will tell you now I prefer Magix as my editor. It does everything I need from importing to burning a disc. If I need to cut the footage and rearrange it for whatever purpose, it can be done with ease.

Other editors that are worth considering are Adobe Premier (although I personally don’t like their import options), PowerDirector, Pinnacle Studios, Vegas Pro.

Just to give you an idea, an old video of me playing the piano that was transferred to DVD in the late 90’s only had a bitrate of 600kbps! And that was an expensive transfer at the time.

The latest editing software will give you results miles ahead of the sample above.

Virtualdub & Virtualdub 2.0

For free options, nothing really beats Virtuadub and the newer version Virtualdub2.

The original software is considered an unbeatable capture tool and is open source and free. The only downside for the original Virtualdub is that the last update was in 2009. Forum users have had issues trying to get the software to run on Windows 10.

Older operating systems up to Windows 7 will be fine.

The software when combined with certain codecs will give a lossless quality when compared to the original source.

Another free tool that compliments Virtualdub is Handbrake. This software helps reduce the size of the captured video without losing quality as well.

Tips For Repairing VCRs

I’d like to point out I’m not a fan of repairs, but this type of work will eventually force you to learn, one way or another.

The most common problems are generally keeping clean the head drum and pinch rollers. But there will be times when the machine has a more serious problem that requires actual repair work.

You have the option to google a repairer near your city or see if the issue is something you can solve.

There will come a point when something may go wrong and you have VCR issues. It could be something easy as cleaning the head and general cleaning.

There could be moments where your VCR or video cameras could stop functioning or playing back correctly.

Capacitors can randomly die which would need replacing, so that brings up the questions: Do you learn to fix the VCR or buy another model?

The same can be said about the various video cameras, trying to get some of those repaired can be sometimes next to impossible. Replacements parts are not made anymore so repairers have to rely on used camera parts to hopefully fix your camera.

You could go the opposite extreme and buy up spare equipment yourself (VCRs/MiniDV cameras/Hi8 cameras) just in case your current model randomly dies. Then, if you’re not interested in repairing, you could keep the broken model and use it for parts.

Personally I do a little of both. Fixing a VCR for common issues is not a problem and you will be able to do the same as well.

VCRs will age and capacitors will eventually leak. That’s a given.

They are easily purchased from electronic stores and are cheap. If you decide to go down this route, you can learn to solder and thus saving yourself the costs of a repair.

The above picture shows a test VCR I have that needed the capacitors replaced. If you think this type of soldering repair is something worth trying then I suggest to find a free old VCR first and practice on that.

Replacing capacitors requires soldering and soldering requires practice. But the above video gives you an idea of what is involved around the 20 minute mark.

For my example I actually thought it was just one capacitor that had to replaced until I examined the others.

The VCR was working fine for quite some time, so it makes me think the worst looking capacitor on the left was long gone but still worked?

Each location is given its own specific numbering on the board which is duplicated on the under side as so you know where you will be de-soldering.

This is a very simplistic example regarding soldering issues that can occur with VCRs.

There are a few channels on YouTube I recommend watching regarding repairs, one being 12voltvids. His videos help explain (in depth) the issues that certain model VCRs or cameras can have.

This example is to do with the VCR path alignment – and I used this exact solution to adjust a model I own. You’ll find it cheaper to purchase an older CRT TV than to pay for repairs for possible simple issues.

Parts For Cassettes

I have a few articles related to tape repairs that can help with any unfortunate damaged videos.

I do think it’s advisable to have spare empty tape cases to do an emergency swap if needed.

There has been quite a few times where tapes are given to me that are already have broken shells and simply will not work inside a VCR. I’ve got spare tapes that I use to swap any broken customer tapes into then swap back when the transfer is finished.

Sometimes a client may not want the original tapes once they receive their digital versions.

I thought I would add the mold scenario as well. There can be times when you encounter a tape that has gathered mold inside the case. If you let the tape play as is, there’s a high (let’s just say 100%) chance the tape will snap.

You have to separate the mold from sticking to the tape.

The video above shows a clever way to slowly unwind a tape and de-mold it. I had to do the same thing once, with a complete tape, using my hands to gently unwind the spindles.

It did take quite some time.

Video Camera Repair

I guess as cameras become rare to purchase, I decided to purchase two of the same models. One of these cameras strictly didn’t work for video signal, but I figured I’d use it for parts for my working model.

You don’t have to buy two cameras at the same time, but if the opportunity arises where you can get the same camera at a later stage, then I’d advise to do so. Who knows how long these cameras will exist on the market? And at what price?

Watching the repair video channels as shown above will give you an idea of common faults that can happen with these devices. And if you do have two cameras (one that already doesn’t work) then you can practice with taking it apart slowly and at your own pace.

These two cameras sat in a plastic tub until I was ready to sit down patiently and swap parts out.

One of the more recent issues with one of the cameras was this ribbon connection for the VCR playback making it inoperable.

It’s parts like this that can’t be found from Sony. If you were to encounter a scenario like this, you can either buy another different camera online or search for the same model and use it for parts. Hopefully not costing you more than the working model did.

If you were to take this exact problem to an electronics repairer, there’s a great chance they won’t accept the job because they can’t order parts like this.

Just saying, it pays to be prepared.

Most Effective Tactics To Market Your Side Hustle

Marketing would probably be the scariest variable to starting your own type of transfer business. I mean you’re trying to convince people to let you transfer their private memories for a price.

I mean how do you compete with the big boys?

By gaining potential customers trust.

As I stated earlier there’s no shortage of customers for the time being and not everyone has found the time to get their home videos transferred.

You, being a one person show, have the advantage of negotiating with a customer what you can do for them and how much you will charge.

If a customer has three boxes of videos they want transferred to a hard drive, I’m not going to split hairs over a discount they may ask for.

Large companies have a mentality that says: Send you videos to us! You come to us! You bring it to us!

Do you think they’ll take responsibility if tapes were to get lost in the mail?

If people don’t have time to transfer the videos then there’s a chance they don’t have time to send you the tapes. If you can offer a collect and deliver service then that alone puts you ahead of the competition.

There is also the possibility of having to redo a job.

As it turns out, not all technology is compatible with each other. I

‘ve had a few cases early on when starting this (not many thankfully) where the MP4 file would not work on a client’s TV. It would work on my TV, any computer I tried it, but not their TV.

It turned out they owned a way older model television that only played MP4 files in a certain enclosed container. The client didn’t know that, I didn’t know that – but it was only due to backtracking and trying to find out why the files didn’t play was I able to work out a solution.

I transferred the videos again and saved them into a format specifically for that client’s TV. They were happy and I learnt a lesson for any future issues.

Working with clients in a one on one environment will allow you to cater to what they specifically want.

A Gordon Ramsay quote is don’t shoot too high, start local.

Facebook Groups

Joining local Facebook local suburb groups is one way I get clients. Though I don’t speak on there, I do get people saying I was recommended by Facebook groups.

In order for that to work, I initially made a post asking if anyone wanted to have their videos transferred for free while I tested capture software. Of course, I had people accept the offer and after a few back and forth (assuring nothing would happen to their tapes) I was able to test the capture process and quality.

Nothing is going to beat word of mouth advertising and by joining Facebook groups I was able to get my foot in the door.

Old School Letterbox Drop

I know letter box drops sound really old but think about this, the amount of email spam we get bombarded with daily actually empties your physical letterbox from competing attention. A simple little business card would be read in an instant.

While companies are trying to get our attention online – they’re not willing to spend money on physical ads.

Maybe it’s time to go back to basics? As long as people still have letterboxes outside their premises, you have a higher chance of enticing them with a service they know would be beneficial to themselves and their family.

Creating a Simple Business Card

As a special touch for customers you could create a thank-you card or a business card for letter box drops using the free version of Canva. Whether you decide to have them printed at a card printers is entirely up to you.

In the search bar type black and yellow business card.

You can obviously change the color scheme to your liking. I find having something more striking contrast than a generic plain white backdrop and tiny black font.

The sample card comes with a front and back. Unless you plan to submit this to card printing facility like Vista Prints, the front cover could give your details and along the back could have a thank you.

So for this example I’m going to simply show the front side but the same method could be used for the back side of the card.

So we’re not going to make anything too complex. There’s an article from Creative Bloq called the 10 commandments of business card design which states as it’s first rule: Though Shall Not Bombard, so make the your card message simple.

The above sample card picture is what we’re going to mimic. Yellow writing on a black and white backdrop.

You will need to click on the sample image then click delete. We just want the plain colored card as the backdrop.

Along the left hand side there is the option to use royalty free images. The images with a crown require you to be a paid Canva member.

In the search bar type VCR and choose a free image.

The image will overlay across the whole sample, so right click then select Send Backward.

Along the top menu choose Adjust and drag the Saturation slider all the way down. You could have a color card, that’s up to you, but I prefer simplicity.

Now in the top right corner, click on the Transparency tool and drag the slider down.

Change the text to describe your service with contact details.

Once you have completed the card, download the file to your computer.

If you plan on using Vistaprint to print out the card be aware of some issues that can arise with the print quality.

This video explains issues that arise if you’re trying to upload a business card made in Canva to Vistaprint. He has a workable solution that can be used.

How To Make Cheap Business Cards

An alternative to having the cards printed on card paper, you could go the alternative route and print them onto photographic paper from an online store like Walmart (as an example). With some print prices be as low as .9 cents per 6×4 photo, you can actually fit four business cards onto one 6×4 print.

Generally online stores don’t have wallet size photos as an option but there is a way around if you follow these steps.

I’m going to use my site for the example. Canva allows you to resize images but only in the paid version.

First things we need to do is resize the card that was downloaded from Canva.

Click on Open Photo and upload the image you created earlier.

The click on the Resize Tool along the menu.

By default this card size is 1000 pixels by 591 pixels but we need to change the width to 900 pixels. If you make sure the Maintain Aspect Ratio is checked then all you need to change is the width. The height will change as well.

With the new resized card simply save the file to computer.

You can give the file a new name.

Click the refresh button on your browser and Photogenic Moments page will be back to the normal home screen.

This time click on the Create New button.

A new window will open asking for you to create a size. Change the width to 1800 pixels and the height to 1200 pixels. This is equivalent to a 6×4 photo print.

The new sized blank canvas will appear.

In the top left corner click on the Open tool and select Overlay Image.

Choose the new smaller image you created earlier. You can move the image around the canvas.

In the far left corner there is an option to Duplicate the current image. Do this three more times.

Using the mouse, simply rearrange the images to fit in the 6×4 canvas. Once complete, save the file and you will be able to use this to print online as a 6×4 print.

Of course, there is the issue of cutting the images into four separate cards, but I am showing a cheaper method to creating simple cards.


If you got this far, congrats.

It’s not hard at all, but I think customer service helps sell this type of work.

For me, providing this type of service to people is fulfilling because I get to know they will keep treasured memories and be able to hand them down to their next generations.

Will it make you rich? Not really. But it can help as an extra income, and these days that comes in handy.


Author: Matt

My name is Matt and I'm a bit of a nerd for software that helps people digitize cherished memories including photos and home videos.