eBay for Charity

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There's a non-profit that I help out regularly that operates a brick and mortar thrift store in town. I was looking for more efficient ways to help them generate revenue. I came across eBay for Charity, which allows individuals to put up listings to sell where 10-100% of the proceeds go to the non-profit. Has anyone done this before? How was the process? 

Also, I'd like to better understand the tax deductible nature of selling via eBay for Charity. For example, if I bought a bunch of discounted tech gadgets on Black Friday for $10 and was able to sell them on eBay for Charity for $20. Would my deduction be $10 or $20? Not that this would affect my decision, but it's just an interesting thought experiment.

Another idea is to have the non-profit setup its own seller account and list the items that are donated to them. I've noticed several non-profits have their own seller accounts (e.g. many Goodwill branches have their own seller account).

Related Information: http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/nonprofit.html

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The deduction would be whatever proceeds go to the charity I would imagine. You are not giving the item to the charity, you are giving them cash, right ?

I have done it a few times in the past. As kb2120 mentioned, the deductible amount is the dollar amount you donate. Nothing else really matters.

Assume 25% tax bracket.

1) You donate $20 to charity. You get a $5 deduction. Charity gets $20. Your net cost is $15. Little time and effort.

2) You buy items for $10 (assuming they all arrive in perfect condition and you have no rebates to process), using your time and possible gas to acquire them. Then you spend your time to list it on eBay, and sell it for $20, and let's assume you charge shipping equal to your cost to ship. You box it up (box and tape cost?) and spend effort to ship it. You get $20, minus fees except for insertion and final value fee (let us assume that is all the fees you incur), which eBay credits back to you. Plus 2.9% + $.30 to PayPal. Charity gets 19.12. You get to deduct 25% of $19.12 or $4.78. Your net cost is $10 - $4.78 = $5.22 minus all that time and effort and possible packaging costs.

3) You buy an item for $10 and donate it to the charity. They sell it for $20 and get $20 minus handling costs. You deduct $2.50 because you have no way to know they will sell it for $20. Your net cost is $10 - $2.50 = $7.50.


Option # Charity    You
    1       +$20        - $15
    2       +$19.12    - $4.78 plus time and effort
    3       +$20         - $7.50 plus time and effort

How much is your time and effort worth? Will anyone really pay $20 for the crap you bought? Mail the check already.

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