VOGONS

Common searches


Reply 280 of 678, by zyzzle

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
feipoa wrote on 2021-12-15, 04:17:

zyzzle, if your comment was directed towards my charity plan, then either you mis-intepretted my writings, or I was not clear enough. I've bolded the term proceeds in my response. The plan is not to donate the physical items in the collection, but to sell them individually at open auction and donate the cash proceeds to a charity. I agree that donating the physical hardware would be foolish and irresponsible. If I'm already dead before liquidation, it will be difficult for my wife to list them, thus I've given her the e-mail of a place which can sell them via consignment. Alternately, if one of my kids takes interest, and are of the age of majority, perhaps he/she/they can figure out how to list them on eBay or wherever.

No, comment was not directed specifically toward you, but stated in the general sense. Actually, if a person knows someone (friend, family, forum member?) it would better serve the provenance of the hobbyist items in his collection if he *specifically* makes a bequest of all the hobbyist / retro items in his possession at date of death, to that person whom he knows will continue to get get good, non-monetary use out of the items. Much better than just "donating to charity" because that sets up a big headache, and an indeterminate means of transmission of those items. So, if Uncle John believes nephew Bob, or even Vogon forum member xxx should get the best use of his retro collection, the will should specifically be worded with a specific bequest, etc. I'm sure 0.001% of people have actually done this, but some on this forum should consider very seriously that it might continue to keep our hobby growing and thriving -- in a non-monetary, non-greedy spirit of intention.

Reply 281 of 678, by feipoa

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

I've proposed that very strategy before, e.g. creating master lists for who might get what upon death. Donating the whole lot to one collector might not work all that well because most collectors only want a small portion of another's collection. You'd then be relying on your benefactor to also donate to other members the items they don't want. Also, trying to package up a whole collection for shipment is fairly daunting. Creating such a large list would take quite some time and would be very dynamic.

After some time, I decided the best way to ensure everyone gets what they want would be to list them all individually on ebay, amibay, cpu-world, or wherever, and donate the cash proceeds. You might even screen your buyers if you feel they might be speculative investors, or flippers. A hybrid approach would also work, whereby you have a master list for a few dozen items to other collectors, and the rest sold on auction for charity. Perhaps there is a non-drug related addictions charity, hungry kids of Canada, or whatever, that could be of benefit. Solely bequeathing items to other collectors doesn't generate the merit like that of feeding a starving child would. The more wholesome your benefactor/charity is, the greater the merit to oneself, and the greater the impact to humanity.

Ultimate 486 Benchmark | Ultimate 686 Benchmark | Cyrix 5x86 Enhancements | 486 Overkill Graphics | Worlds Fastest 486

Reply 282 of 678, by SpectriaForce

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Brace yourselves anonymous commies: I don't really care what people think of me trading / flipping old computer hardware (that's not all I do, but it's part of my business). I'm a genuine capitalist in my heart (genuine capitalism means progress and is self correcting). I've been doing this since I was a teenager. Almost all people I buy from are very happy. Over the years I have bought collections from the relatives of deceased people, seriously ill and old people a couple times. They were all happy that I (almost) bought everything. They wanted to get rid of the stuff a.s.a.p. Really no one of those people cared that I was going to resell most of the stuff individually. They were happy that I bought so much and passed it on to other enthusiasts. Most people I buy from understand the amount of work involved in reselling items and they allow me to reap the benefits. Retail is work. If you have ever had a retail job then you probably understand the amount of work that's involved with selling something and that earning a profit is hard. Like others already mentioned old computer hardware is stuff that nobody really needs to survive. It's not like housing, water, food or medical care. I don't feel any guilt what so ever for trading old computer hardware. I have bills to pay just like all of you. In fact I don't have much money nor assets, I can't even afford to buy a house, because some old people (gen. boomer and x) like speculating on the housing market but yet here they come tell me and other young people that it's unethical to flip 'their' collectibles / nostalgia for a profit?! Haha! I don't have the idea that as a small trader I have much influence on the 'market value' of old computer hardware (as if that even exists in this very niche quite illiquid market). If you think that the costs of old computer hardware are high (don't know where that nonsense comes from), well then good luck looking for other hobbies (e.g. photography, model trains, cars, boats), because you are going to be in for a proper shock.

for ready to use retro game pc's click here

Reply 283 of 678, by libby

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

There are some kinds of hardware which have risen in cost dramatically in a relatively short timeframe, such as mechanical keyboards, 68k macintosh systems, Y2K era high end bling products and gamer components, and high end VLB systems and parts.

Commodore 64/128 systems have also risen in cost dramatically because of the recent invention of multi-SID tone generator cards used for crafting new electronic music. There are FPGA SID replacements, but those don't replicate the purely analog output nature of the original chips, which had a wide variety of manufacturing variances and flaws.

I think that sticker shock for these items affects people psychologically when they were things you often couldn't even give away a mere 5 years ago. But largely the market has not changed an awful lot, costs have risen steadily along with inflation and market growth. The increasing prevalence of YouTube content creators and personalities, and the growth of 80s-90s nostalgia, have also greatly contributed to interest in the hobby. To me this is nothing but good, not because it makes me more money, but because the hobby's growth means new ideas, new products, and new developments in old platforms. There is also certainly some growth which is rooted in the ease of borrowing and the troubling increase of consumer debt, or cryptocurrency windfalls creating whales who can throw crypto lottery winnings around recklessly, but I don't think those are primary actors.

Look at how many new games are being made for things like the Game Boy and Commodore 64. Developers of these games armed with the leaked or reverse engineered arcane knowledge of the platforms which was unavailable 20-30 years ago, have created games which do things you would never have thought possible outside of a warez greets demo you got when loading your pirated copy of Test Drive 3 or whatever.

Video games are an art form, and the growth of the retro hobby means more artists enter it armed with their talents like brushes, to paint upon the canvas that is the hardware we cherish and love.

Reply 284 of 678, by Claris

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

BIG IMO: I think most of the disgruntle over how expensive parts are would be alleviated if we had more interesting hardware clones. Yes there's Mister, but Mister is also just a box with an motherboard inside. A very capable box as it can replicate multiple systems, but I can't plug in an actual 3DFX Voodoo, or GUS, or whatever into it. Its a solely software experience.

*Please note, i am not an engineer or hardware nerd. So i say all this hypothetically, i have no idea what goes into an FPGA*

Reply 285 of 678, by libby

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Right now it's not what goes into an FPGA so much as getting the FPGAs from chipmakers. Lead times are 12-18 months out now and global supply chain issues compounded with massive demand from consumer electronics vendors, automakers and consumer processor/GPU vendors means a limit to manufacturing capacity. Costs have also gone way up. Development of FPGAs and frontend software does require talent which needs to be paid, but much of the work has already been done with open source or easily licensed code behind it.

Clones serve their purpose as ways for laypeople to merely play the games, but don't replicate the whole experience of building and maintaining a retro PC system or using its original controllers/inputs. Some people don't care about or want that experience, so the MiSTer and other solutions are perfect for them.

For us, there is plenty of capable and original hardware out there to build with still. People just need to learn to be less picky or less concerned with benchmark scores. I can buy or build a whole VIA Pentium 3 1GHz system or ECS K7S5A 1GHz Thunderbird system with 512MB-1GB RAM, AGP Geforce 2 MX or 4 MX 440 or whatever, SB live, linksys ethernet card, DVD-RW drive and random 80GB IDE hard drive right now with a cheap PS/2 keyboard and mouse for perhaps $75-100USD. It will install Windows 98 flawlessly and run perfectly and play probably 85-90% of games from 1995 - 2000 at their max settings without a hitch, and will play a lot of DOS games fine too. Buy a 5:4 LCD monitor at a thrift store for $10-15 and you're set. Note I am not offering this service, as this isn't a sales forum and my own build queue is extremely backlogged, but there are plenty of people out there who do.

You don't NEED a Geforce 3 TI 500 or an ASUS P3B-F with 1.4GHz Tualatin in a PowerLeap slotket or Voodoo5 5500 or whatever other particularly expensive high end hardware, just to play games at above average framerates for the period.

The people who want those expensive parts are people who are trying to fulfill a dream of building the absolute best possible PC from a specific year or time period in their youth, now that it won't cost $4,000 Y2K era dollars to do so. Those are the parts that speculators and flippers including me identify and scoop up to put online at going rates, because they were very expensive and sold way fewer units at the time, so are very scarce today.

Whereas, there were probably hundreds of millions of Geforce MX series cards and billions of sticks of random unshielded DDR1 RAM and SDRAM sold. Billions of CPUs and GPUs and memory and boards and drives which were midrange options at the time and are still plentiful today. Those are the backbone of systems which you can build for under $100 and can then plug a Voodoo or GUS into should you acquire one and want to experience it.

dell.jpg
Filename
dell.jpg
File size
112.02 KiB
Views
518 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

This right here is one's multi-platform system that you can plug a Voodoo or GUS into - because a Pentium 3 1GHz can run MAME or whatever and can emulate every 8-bit and 16-bit console flawlessly, Playstation 1, Sega Saturn, Dreamcast, N64 etc. You don't need an 8 core 11th gen I7 or a custom FPGA to emulate old systems on, you just need a computer.

Reply 286 of 678, by zyzzle

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
libby wrote on 2021-12-16, 23:34:

There are some kinds of hardware which have risen in cost dramatically in a relatively short timeframe, such as mechanical keyboards, 68k macintosh systems, Y2K era high end bling products and gamer components, and high end VLB systems and parts.

Commodore 64/128 systems have also risen in cost dramatically because of the recent invention of multi-SID tone generator cards used for crafting new electronic music. There are FPGA SID replacements, but those don't replicate the purely analog output nature of the original chips, which had a wide variety of manufacturing variances and flaws.

Good point. I have always used mechanical keyboards, since they're truly the best. Every keyboard I've ever seen since ~2005 has been pure, unabashed garbage. Modern laptop keyboards are just awful. Laptops from the early-mid '90s at least had real keyboards. It is almost axiomatic that mechanical keyboards were sure to increase in value. Although, this, of course, is NOT the reason I've acquired so many over the years. I actually *use* them, and appreciate them. Sadly, I don't think any mainstream, retail system has even shipped or been offered with a mechanical keyboard since the days of the original IBM PS/2 system and the original, absolutely outstanding IBM mechanical keyboards of that era. Also, keyboard with a full-sized space bar are all that I use. The space bar has shrunk to less than half the size it was in the early-90s, with windows, fn, arrow keys, etc, etc in the way. I guess "modern" retro people remember how GREAT it is to actually be able to type on a mechanical keyboard, with some feel, pressure, feedback, and actual *distance* that the keys themselves travel. I've done it continuously for 40+ years, so I've missed nothing. And have probably 20+ mechanical keyboards to prove it.

I 've never found a good full-sized USB mechanical keyboard (I'm sure they existed?), so I can see people might be searching for them now.

Reply 288 of 678, by libby

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
zyzzle wrote on 2021-12-17, 03:20:

The space bar has shrunk to less than half the size it was in the early-90s, with windows, fn, arrow keys, etc, etc in the way. I guess "modern" retro people remember how GREAT it is to actually be able to type on a mechanical keyboard, with some feel, pressure, feedback, and actual *distance* that the keys themselves travel.

Actually, modern mechanical keyboards have grown into a massive hobby industry of their own which can't meet demand quickly enough either, with many new items retailing for $1000 or more. Group buys for 200-500 units of some boards, retailing for $500-1000USD or more, can sell out within minutes and crash vendor websites.

Modern custom/hobby keyboards frequently come with a 7U spacebar (the size of the one on an IBM model M 101 key). The acronym for modern keyboards which replicate the classic 101 key bottom row is "WKL" or "Windows KeyLess", and they are a very popular option.

I 've never found a good full-sized USB mechanical keyboard (I'm sure they existed?), so I can see people might be searching for them now.

Yes, people do seek these boards out. There are now many hundreds of different keyswitch variants and options, thousands of custom keycap sets with cherry, OEM and SA profiles, the latter being keycaps that have the same shape, height and scoop as 70s terminal keyboard and typewriter keys.

NCR80.png
Filename
NCR80.png
File size
1.31 MiB
Views
485 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Here is a modern TKL (TenKeyLess) USB keyboard which is currently being sold as a group buy, it costs $80 and you solder or insert the keyswitches and provide caps yourself. It's a clone of a popular NCR keyboard sold in the late 1980s just without the numpad.

Last edited by libby on 2021-12-17, 03:41. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 289 of 678, by BitWrangler

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

At one point 3 decades back I had a bag full of assorted "typewriter" style keycaps, I think they came off '70s terminals. At that time though it was past the late 70s, dawn of the 80s stage where it was sensible to spend $100 on keyswitches to build your own keyboard because an assembled one was $250 and keyboards were becoming more of a commodity item, and there were also plenty of complete surplus units appearing.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 290 of 678, by Claris

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Iv thought about building my own keyboard! It certainly looks like a fun project, but I'm happy enough with my Razer Huntsman Mini.

"It just works". I don't have to worry about my shitty non existent soldering skills or whatever. I got it for a decent price and there are a few easy mods you can do to quiet the mini down if needed. I'm in no rush to buy/build another keyboard.

Reply 291 of 678, by zapbuzz

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

If its going to be expensive retro it has to be new old stock. Refurbished is not just removing dust. Collectables are worthy expense in good tested working order. Untested crap is usually dead or dieing. Thes best is getting it elsewhere than online like at garage sales and opportunity shops they are cheap. Selling it expensive 20 years later or more from manufacture it should have its caps and regulators replaced if its refurbished and expensive..

Reply 292 of 678, by Claris

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
zapbuzz wrote on 2021-12-17, 08:08:

If its going to be expensive retro it has to be new old stock. Refurbished is not just removing dust. Collectables are worthy expense in good tested working order. Untested crap is usually dead or dieing. Thes best is getting it elsewhere than online like at garage sales and opportunity shops they are cheap. Selling it expensive 20 years later or more from manufacture it should have its caps and regulators replaced if its refurbished and expensive..

If its gonna be expensive, the *least* you can do is not take pictures of the item on a carpet. Seriously, the lack of ESD awareness on Ebay these days for retro computer parts is...yikes. I mean, who knows what abuse the components have been through prior? So i guess its a mini-moot point. But still, if your asking top dollar i expect you treat your merchandise top dollar!

Don't put a motherboard on your 70s shag carpet floor! Or your bed!

Reply 293 of 678, by libby

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
zapbuzz wrote on 2021-12-17, 08:08:

If its going to be expensive retro it has to be new old stock. Refurbished is not just removing dust. Collectables are worthy expense in good tested working order. Untested crap is usually dead or dieing. Thes best is getting it elsewhere than online like at garage sales and opportunity shops they are cheap. Selling it expensive 20 years later or more from manufacture it should have its caps and regulators replaced if its refurbished and expensive..

A recap is usually a good idea for premium motherboards and video cards. I usually recap the motherboards and some power supplies, and all of the mac stuff.

You are going to begin seeing a dramatic shift in prices once again as even motherboards which were not sold during the capacitor plague years, will also all need recaps simply because of age. Everything with electrolytic capacitors especially the surface mount ones, so IBM, Dell, Compaq, HP and other OEM desktop systems, is going to begin to fail soon in the same way that Amiga and 68k apple systems have been for some time. PowerPC and G3 apple systems will also be needing recaps soon too.

The bad caps are going to start to kill every PC system which has not yet been unearthed and employed them, taking a decent chunk of supply off the market.

Reply 294 of 678, by leileilol

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
libby wrote on 2021-12-17, 01:36:

because a Pentium 3 1GHz can run MAME or whatever and can emulate every 8-bit and 16-bit console flawlessly, Playstation 1, Sega Saturn, Dreamcast, N64 etc.

it's going to take a lot more CPU (and GPU) juice to get anywhere near that superlative. Emulation research and progress didn't stop at Project64 1.x, ePSXe, Gens, ZSNES, FCEU, SSF and Chankast.

apsosig.png
long live PCem

Reply 295 of 678, by TrashPanda

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
leileilol wrote on 2021-12-17, 11:56:
libby wrote on 2021-12-17, 01:36:

because a Pentium 3 1GHz can run MAME or whatever and can emulate every 8-bit and 16-bit console flawlessly, Playstation 1, Sega Saturn, Dreamcast, N64 etc.

it's going to take a lot more CPU (and GPU) juice to get anywhere near that superlative. Emulation research and progress didn't stop at Project64 1.x, ePSXe, SSF and Chankast.

I doubt a P3 1ghz could emulate a N64 well at all or any GPU you put on it have enough juice to handle the 3D emulation all that well, the dreamcast would be even harder it had a pretty robust GPU in it IIRC.

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 296 of 678, by The Serpent Rider

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Depends. Dreamcast is somewhat "easy" to emulate, if you consider subpar visual quality with various software hacks. Same goes for Nintendo 64. Correct emulation requires level of Core 2+/DX9+ hardware.

I must be some kind of standard: the anonymous gangbanger of the 21st century.

Reply 297 of 678, by zyzzle

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
libby wrote on 2021-12-17, 03:32:
Actually, modern mechanical keyboards have grown into a massive hobby industry of their own which can't meet demand quickly enou […]
Show full quote

Actually, modern mechanical keyboards have grown into a massive hobby industry of their own which can't meet demand quickly enough either, with many new items retailing for $1000 or more. Group buys for 200-500 units of some boards, retailing for $500-1000USD or more, can sell out within minutes and crash vendor websites.

Modern custom/hobby keyboards frequently come with a 7U spacebar (the size of the one on an IBM model M 101 key). The acronym for modern keyboards which replicate the classic 101 key bottom row is "WKL" or "Windows KeyLess", and they are a very popular option.

I 've never found a good full-sized USB mechanical keyboard (I'm sure they existed?), so I can see people might be searching for them now.

Yes, people do seek these boards out. There are now many hundreds of different keyswitch variants and options, thousands of custom keycap sets with cherry, OEM and SA profiles, the latter being keycaps that have the same shape, height and scoop as 70s terminal keyboard and typewriter keys.

NCR80.png

Here is a modern TKL (TenKeyLess) USB keyboard which is currently being sold as a group buy, it costs $80 and you solder or insert the keyswitches and provide caps yourself. It's a clone of a popular NCR keyboard sold in the late 1980s just without the numpad.

That is quite amazing. I guess pretty much anything you can think of from the '70s or '80s that was an electronic product has a niche following now -- with terrible prices, to match. Anything that's so esoteric from that era as to still be a 'bargain' won't be for long. The scalpers and speculators will create artifical demand, they'll see to that.

No, I'd never, never pay $1000 for a mechanical keyboard, but I do remember the good ones back in the early to mid '80s cost over $100 each (in early 1980s dollars, so, what, equivalent to over $300 or $400 today?).

But, if some catastrophe happens and somehow all my treasured mechanical keyboards are destroyed, it is a little comforting to know that they are indeed still being made. Even at an extreme, vastly premium cost relative to the cheap, crappy keyboards most people have been weaned on during the last 20 years...

Reply 298 of 678, by feipoa

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

I have recently spoken with a US and Canadian accountant (CPA/CGA/CA) concerning the eventual liquidation of computer items. I will relay what I was told for the case of Canadian persons and for the case of US persons.

USA
In the USA, any appreciation in value for an item sold is reportable. Generally, the 0%, 15%, and 20% rates apply depending on your income threshold. However, if the item is considered a collectable, as determined by section 408(m), https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/investme … d-plan-accounts , then it would fall under the 28% capital gain rate. Upon reading section 408(m), there are certain classifications which easily fall under "collectable", and then there is another category, "Any other tangible personal property that the IRS determines is a "collectible". Looking for further explanation on this, it says anything the "Secretary" determines as collectible. lol. The accountant was hard pressed to say whether a vintage computer collection is "collectable". So I have no answer there. It is not like we are selling an Apple Lisa. However, with the current trend and inflation, it is hard to say that some of these items are not collectable. A Cyrix 5x86-133/4x for example, or a Voodoo 5 6000. There aren't many of those, they are in demand, and fetch top dollar.

Also, if you have no record of your cost basis, whether it be collectable, or not, then you are to report $0 as your cost basis on your IRS 1040-Schedule D.

Previous reading lead me to believe that yearly Paypal deposits greater than 10K greatly increase the probability of scrutiny from the IRS. They may ask where the funds came from, and if if you aren't reporting your computer items capital gains on your 1040 Schedule D, you might be in in hot water. Perhaps you can share your personal experience in this regard. In the past, I've only ever sold household items at a capital loss.

If not considered collectible, then in the US, you normally are allowed $40,400 in capital gains at a 0% rate. So if you are liquidating your "collection", then you best not sell securities in that year particular year, if they are have a gain which puts you over the 0% rate category, or 15% from 40K-435K. In Canada, we don't have anything like 0% rate on $40K worth of capital gains, even for Canadian elligible stocks. I can see why someone might want to retire in the US - living off of passive income - you get $40K free, plus another 12.5K free (e.g. REITs) if you are under your standard deduction. Wow, the USA truly is the land of plenty!

Selling computer parts isn't great for the US, unless you stay under 40K in capital gains (from all sources). But, if you have a non-citizen spouse who is not considered a US person for income tax purposes, you are allowed to gift up to $159,000 per year without triggering a gift-tax. Or you can gift up to 15K per year to your kids without the gift tax. So if you have 40K+ in capital gains for a particular year and have a non-US spouse, it may be beneficial for you to gift your collection to your non-resident spouse and have him/her sell the lot, assuming whatever country he/she is resident of has beneficial tax treatment for personal items. I suspect this would mostly be the case for US expats.

CANADA
Now for the case of Canada, if you have acquired and sold these computer items for the purpose of resale or investment, then they are not considered "personal use property", nor "listed personal property" and you must report the cost basis and sale amounts on your T1 income tax return each year. As I have never bought anything with the intention of reselling it, my computer hobby parts would be considered "personal use property" or "listed personal property". The difference being that with "personal use property", you cannot claim a capital loss, but that doesn't matter here with the current prices. I didn't ask what other difference there was between these two definitions, but what the accountant said next shocked me. He said that for personal use property or listed personal property, they automatically have a $1000 CAD cost basis. As I do not envision any single part in my lot being worth more than $1000 CAD, I can sell each item individually without having to to hassle reporting them. But for items selling for more than $1000 CAD, they need to be reported. I was told that I could lump them all up as a one-liner on the tax return., while keeping detailed records if asked for it by the CRA.

The accountant also said to check attribution rules for gifting in Canada - which I think only applies to the case in which there is some appreciation above $1000 CAD. Also, as in the case of the US, in Canada legal partners/spouses can gift to each other indefinitely, subject to some special case attribution rules, e.g. https://www.taxtips.ca/personaltax/attributio … minor-child.htm For the case of gifting to a spouse, "Your spouse or common-law partner is considered to have bought the capital property for the same amount that you are considered to have sold it for." Therefore, each gifted item also has a cost basis of $1000 CAD and is considered personal use property or listed personal property.

I did mention the intention to donate all proceeds, but he seemed to think that finding a charity to accept the whole lot was the best approach. The charity would assess the value and this amount would be used as a charitable donation on the T1. I told him I didn't think there would be a local charity willing to accept the collection and properly assess the value. Thus, my previous plan to sell individually at open auction, and donate the proceeds, is the way to go. Not having to deal with tabulating each item individually greatly simplifies the approach.

If anyone has heard contrary to this information from a reputable source, please relay the information.

Ultimate 486 Benchmark | Ultimate 686 Benchmark | Cyrix 5x86 Enhancements | 486 Overkill Graphics | Worlds Fastest 486

Reply 299 of 678, by Claris

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
feipoa wrote on 2021-12-18, 00:32:
I have recently spoken with a US and Canadian accountant (CPA/CGA/CA) concerning the eventual liquidation of computer items. I […]
Show full quote

I have recently spoken with a US and Canadian accountant (CPA/CGA/CA) concerning the eventual liquidation of computer items. I will relay what I was told for the case of Canadian persons and for the case of US persons.

USA
In the USA, any appreciation in value for an item sold is reportable. Generally, the 0%, 15%, and 20% rates apply depending on your income threshold. However, if the item is considered a collectable, as determined by section 408(m), https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/investme … d-plan-accounts , then it would fall under the 28% capital gain rate. Upon reading section 408(m), there are certain classifications which easily fall under "collectable", and then there is another category, "Any other tangible personal property that the IRS determines is a "collectible". Looking for further explanation on this, it says anything the "Secretary" determines as collectible. 🤣. The accountant was hard pressed to say whether a vintage computer collection is "collectable". So I have no answer there. It is not like we are selling an Apple Lisa. However, with the current trend and inflation, it is hard to say that some of these items are not collectable. A Cyrix 5x86-133/4x for example, or a Voodoo 5 6000. There aren't many of those, they are in demand, and fetch top dollar.

Also, if you have no record of your cost basis, whether it be collectable, or not, then you are to report $0 as your cost basis on your IRS 1040-Schedule D.

Previous reading lead me to believe that yearly Paypal deposits greater than 10K greatly increase the probability of scrutiny from the IRS. They may ask where the funds came from, and if if you aren't reporting your computer items capital gains on your 1040 Schedule D, you might be in in hot water. Perhaps you can share your personal experience in this regard. In the past, I've only ever sold household items at a capital loss.

If not considered collectible, then in the US, you normally are allowed $40,400 in capital gains at a 0% rate. So if you are liquidating your "collection", then you best not sell securities in that year particular year, if they are have a gain which puts you over the 0% rate category, or 15% from 40K-435K. In Canada, we don't have anything like 0% rate on $40K worth of capital gains, even for Canadian elligible stocks. I can see why someone might want to retire in the US - living off of passive income - you get $40K free, plus another 12.5K free (e.g. REITs) if you are under your standard deduction. Wow, the USA truly is the land of plenty!

Selling computer parts isn't great for the US, unless you stay under 40K in capital gains (from all sources). But, if you have a non-citizen spouse who is not considered a US person for income tax purposes, you are allowed to gift up to $159,000 per year without triggering a gift-tax. Or you can gift up to 15K per year to your kids without the gift tax. So if you have 40K+ in capital gains for a particular year and have a non-US spouse, it may be beneficial for you to gift your collection to your non-resident spouse and have him/her sell the lot, assuming whatever country he/she is resident of has beneficial tax treatment for personal items. I suspect this would mostly be the case for US expats.

CANADA
Now for the case of Canada, if you have acquired and sold these computer items for the purpose of resale or investment, then they are not considered "personal use property", nor "listed personal property" and you must report the cost basis and sale amounts on your T1 income tax return each year. As I have never bought anything with the intention of reselling it, my computer hobby parts would be considered "personal use property" or "listed personal property". The difference being that with "personal use property", you cannot claim a capital loss, but that doesn't matter here with the current prices. I didn't ask what other difference there was between these two definitions, but what the accountant said next shocked me. He said that for personal use property or listed personal property, they automatically have a $1000 CAD cost basis. As I do not envision any single part in my lot being worth more than $1000 CAD, I can sell each item individually without having to to hassle reporting them. But for items selling for more than $1000 CAD, they need to be reported. I was told that I could lump them all up as a one-liner on the tax return., while keeping detailed records if asked for it by the CRA.

The accountant also said to check attribution rules for gifting in Canada - which I think only applies to the case in which there is some appreciation above $1000 CAD. Also, as in the case of the US, in Canada legal partners/spouses can gift to each other indefinitely, subject to some special case attribution rules, e.g. https://www.taxtips.ca/personaltax/attributio … minor-child.htm For the case of gifting to a spouse, "Your spouse or common-law partner is considered to have bought the capital property for the same amount that you are considered to have sold it for." Therefore, each gifted item also has a cost basis of $1000 CAD and is considered personal use property or listed personal property.

I did mention the intention to donate all proceeds, but he seemed to think that finding a charity to accept the whole lot was the best approach. The charity would assess the value and this amount would be used as a charitable donation on the T1. I told him I didn't think there would be a local charity willing to accept the collection and properly assess the value. Thus, my previous plan to sell individually at open auction, and donate the proceeds, is the way to go. Not having to deal with tabulating each item individually greatly simplifies the approach.

If anyone has heard contrary to this information from a reputable source, please relay the information.

That is.....a lot of words. So uhh...what does this mean for the average ma 'n pa ebay retro parts seller?