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.


1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings, Sign up for eBay, Search for something you want / research something you have (I’m a member of the eBay Partner Network so I make a bit of money if you buy things [even if they’re not mine] or sign up for an account via these links)
3. Help me pay off student loan debt / Contribute to the blog
4. Follow me on Instagram

Financial year in review! pt. 1

I’ve added up the financial numbers from the last year and will share the results with you in a few different posts. This one focuses on where I found the items I sold. I owe many thanks to my friend Sarah, who did most of the work designing the excellent infographic below!

Note that while I did achieve my goal of 20k for the year, the numbers here add up to something closer to 15k. This is because I don’t keep track of the origins of the items I sell at yard sales, the small change I deposit to my bank account, and much of the gold and silver I sell for scrap.



I should note a few factors that influence where I end up looking for trash.

The first is geographical convenience. In 2015 I became even less motivated to travel long distances for trash. It costs a lot more in gas and mechanical wear and tear to go somewhere like Pointe-Claire, and it takes a bunch of extra time as well. For reference, I live roughly around the location of the dot in the Plateau.

The second is the quality of the garbage day. The best is when neighbourhoods put out garbage and recycling just once a week on the same day (ie: Verdun, Mount Royal, Hampstead, Rosemont, much of the Sud-Ouest). Second best are neighbourhoods with two trash days a week, and a recycling day that coincides with one of the garbage pickups (ie: NDG, CDN). Roughly equal to that are those with one trash day and a different recycling day (ie: Cote St-Luc, VSL, Westmount, Lachine). The worst are neighbourhoods with two different trash days and also a separate recycling day (ie: Ahunstic, Plateau, Montreal North).

The more pickups there are the more spread out the good finds will be. At this point I mostly avoid those lower-tier neighbourhoods. The exception here is the Plateau, which I’ll often explore because I enjoy walking or biking around the neighbourhood. Fortunately, Montreal is apparently now moving to standardize the once a week trash pickup. Much of Villeray recently converted to a once a week pickup, making it a much better picking destination. I won’t necessarily know when a trash schedule changes, so if you’re living in Montreal let me know if they switch around your trash days!

The third factor is the wealth of the neighborhood. I’m more likely to travel to wealthier spots because they have a track record of throwing out the best stuff. Plenty of neighbourhoods have small enclaves of wealth, but only Westmount, Hampstead, and Mount Royal (of the places I regularly visited) can be characterized as generally wealthy.

My most profitable neighbourhood this year was Mount Royal, which I would rate very highly in all three categories. It’s worth noting here that the frequency of my visits is probably the biggest factor determining a neighborhood’s final profit numbers; I went to Mount Royal more than any other borough this year.

Let me know if you have any questions or suggested destinations! I may not actually make it to the places you suggest, but I always appreciate the information.

Check back soon for a regular post, or another financial summary. Whichever comes first.

List of neighbourhoods

Red (3000$ and up)
1. Mount Royal: 3795$

Orange (2000-3000$)
1. CDN / NDG: 1367$ NDG, 1270$ CDN, 2637$ total
2. Hampstead / CSL: 1629$ Hampstead, 580$ CSL, 2209$ total

Gold (1000-2000$)
1. Westmount: 1947$
2. Plateau: 1619$

Green (500-1000$)
1. Ville St-Laurent: 932$
2. Verdun: 887$

Blue (100-500$)
1. Outremont: 480$
2. Rosemont: 442$
3. Sud-Ouest: 247$
4. Montreal West: 165$
5. Park Ex / Villeray / St Michel: 140$
6. Ville-Marie: 130$

Light blue (1-99$)

1. Ahuntsic: 85$
2. Lachine: 70$
3. Pierrefonds: 30$

Grey: no sales of note.