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2018 Fiscal Year in Review

2018 saw a lot of changes to how I do business. I’ll dig into the details soon enough, but first I’ll share my sales from December which haven’t yet been posted.


18 sales for 1488.50$.

Vintage Parker 75 ciselé ballpoint pen & mechanical pencil: 150$. Found in CDN.

Watch strap with 18k gold buckle: 400$. This was definitely produced for one of the luxury Swiss watchmakers, and bought by someone who wanted all original parts on their fancy timepiece. Found in Nouveau-Bordeaux.

Doc Marten 1B60 20-eye boots: 180$. These looked barely worn, and the buyer was very happy judging by the enthusiastic feedback I received. Found in TMR.

Two lots of Soviet dolls: 160$. I didn’t know if these would sell, but they were very clean so I figured I’d give them a shot. One buyer ended up buying both lots, and I made a decent profit. Found in Outremont.

Original Francois Dallegret “Atomix” desktop toy: 300$. I found this at the Questionable Judgment spot back in 2017. I took a while to list it, partly because it was impossible to find any comparable items online (especially for the original Canadian model, there was a limited re-release not too long ago but those were made in China). Eventually I decided to just make up a price, a high-ish one based partly on it being an uncommon concept art piece. Lo and behold, it sold the same night it was listed – someone must have had the relevant keywords on an alert list. Maybe I could have gotten more for it, I’m definitely happy with my profit here!

Local auction

37 lots for 516$ (after fees).

Lot of separatist literature & ephemera: 85$. Some of this stuff dated back to the 40s.

Old B&L optometry doohickey: 44$. This thing weighed a ton!

Vintage GE Percolator: 30$. This is one of those perfect auction house items. Shipping would be expensive (and thus cut significantly into my profits) if sold on eBay, and it’d be difficult to get a good price for it at a yard sale.

Total: 2004.50$, 27131$ in 2018. It’s worth noting that I’m sure I lost track of a bit of income over the course of this busy year, including some gold / silver scrap money and probably a few yard sales. Overall, I’d guess that my income last year was actually pretty close to 30k, but not all the way there.

As mentioned before, the way I do business has changed immensely since I was introduced to the concept of the local auction house. Thankfully this discovery took place in June, so I have an equal amount (six months) of data with which I can compare the different approaches.

My earnings from January til the end of June represent the “before.” This pie chart looks similar in proportions to a theoretical chart I would have made in previous years, had I gotten around to doing so (adding up this info used to be a lot of work, but the recent changes I’ve made to the format of my sales posts has made accumulating this information a fair bit easier). eBay is clearly my dominant source of income during this period, while yard sales and scrap gold & silver provide a much smaller but still essential source of income. I consigned my first finds at the auction house in June, and you can see a little 2% sliver of auctions sales at the top of the pie.

Here’s the after. That tiny sliver of auction sales ballooned to take up over 40% of the pie. eBay sales declined in both total profit and pie percentage and are now essentially in a statistical tie with the auction house, though it’s worth mentioning that this is still a pretty small sample size. Meanwhile Kijiji falls totally off the charts, its previous role (mostly selling furniture and other difficult to ship items) having been overtaken by the auction house and Instagram. My total income for this period also increased, from 13064$ to 15168.50$.

There are a few caveats in terms of using this information to project future income. For one, my auction sales were likely somewhat inflated by the fact that I used to have tonnes of quality junk just sitting around doing nothing, sometimes for years because I didn’t have time to deal with it all. Those things ended up going to the auction house and making me a fair bit of money, thereby creating profit from runs of yesteryear. Now that my storage areas are relatively empty my consigned items are all recent finds. That still constitutes a fair bit of stuff, but not quite as much as I brought there in those first months. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a drop-off in the auction house’s share of the pie if I do a similar chart in 2019, though I still expect it to be my second largest source of income after eBay.

I should also note that, while I take the auction houses fees into account in the pie charts, I haven’t subtracted eBay’s fees from its total. That’s mostly because the auction house’s fees are larger and easier to calculate, but eBay’s fees (which combined with Paypal average about 10% overall) are still noteworthy – based on the numbers above I’d estimate that I paid them around 1500$ last year. Maybe I’ll see if there’s an easy way to calculate these fees on the go while doing sales reports in 2019.

Regardless, 2018 was my most profitable year to date, and I’m thinking that I’ll finally crack 30k in 2019! It should also be a less stressful year, given that my garbage finds don’t pile up nearly as quickly as they used to.


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