Determining original price of sold item

GLSmyth Member Posts: 2 Newcomer

I have sold a number of things on eBay and cannot find documentation as to how much I originally paid for them. When tax time comes around next year I assume that I will need to pay taxes on the capital gains of each item.

Any idea how I should go about this? Should I guess what the original cost was? Is that sufficient or will I need to pay the full taxes on the paid amount?

I am just guessing that someone here has had that same issue.



  • CoryF
    CoryF FreeTaxUSA Agent Posts: 65

    Thank you for joining our community, GLSmyth.

    Depending on the nature of your items sold, you can treat the income as Capital Gain only as collectibles which can be taxed at higher rates depending on your total taxable income. However, there are two other options, treating these sold items as personal hobby income which would be classified as other income on the tax return, or you could classify them as a Small Business Schedule C income. The latter classification would allow you to report the Sale amount as income and also the cost (expense) showing profit for the tax return.

    This can be as easy as making a good faith estimate for the item in similar condition on other websites like Amazon or Store specific sites. However, if you bought these items before the current conditions for inflation, you may have to just make a good faith estimate to apply the cost to the items for when you bought them. You may find more helpful information in this FreeTaxUSA community article.

  • GLSmyth
    GLSmyth Member Posts: 2 Newcomer

    Thanks, that is helpful. The items are numismatic in nature. I am thinking about doing a Schedule C and it looks like I will just need to make a best guess. I bought the items many years ago and can only make a guess as to what I may have purchased them for.