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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Donating to Goodwill? Don't Donate Junk!

I am a lover of bargain shopping. Most of my wardrobe as well as my children's comes from Goodwill. We get great quality items for a great price. However, from time to time, we purchase something that is broken and not usable. What a bummer! Not only did the bargain we thought it was not turn out to be a bargain at all, but it actually cost us money to purchase something not usable.

Donating to Goodwill and other such organizations is a great thing! You can even deduct your donations during tax season on your taxes as long as you're using a long form and aren't already getting back everything the government can possibly give you. If you like to donate to Goodwill and other organizations that resell items, below is some great information for you. Not only will you get a tax deduction when you donate correctly, you'll be cleaning out as well as knowing that someone else is getting good use out of your items you're donated.

What condition should an item be in when donated to Goodwill? Here's what Goodwill had to say.
"If you’re unsure whether your item qualifies for a tax deduction, then consider this: if you would give it to a relative or friend, then the item is most likely in good condition and is appropriate to donate."

How much can you get from items you donate? Here's a link to an estimated resale value. Remember, the high dollar stuff are items that are high dollar and in like new condition items. Don't think you'll get $6 deducted from your taxes when the t-shirt is in raggedy condition and stained.
Goodwill tax donation guide.

What to do and not to do according to Goodwill.
Wash or dry clean clothing.
Test electrical equipment and battery-operated items.
Include all pieces and parts to children’s games and toys.
Check with your local Goodwill Industries agency to determine standards for donating computers and vehicles.

Leave items unattended outside a collection center.
Donate broken or soiled items.
Give items that have been recalled, banned, or do not meet current safety standards. For more information about questionable items, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

So, before you haul those boxes of items to Goodwill, think "would I give this bag to someone I know and love or would they think it was junk". If you're unsure, freecycle it. Let people know the exact condition it's in. Many times people want it anyway. However, the people that are actually going to pay for your items don't want trash. What spurred on this post you might ask? Purchasing a camera today that does not work, clothes in the past where zippers did not work, etc... It's frustrating to say the least.

So, happy cleaning out. :)


Anonymous said...

Great info, Mandi!

I'd add that if you do have items that are not in donatable condition and you happen to know a missionary taking a container to a deprived country, donate your goods to them. People may be able to use your white-collar shirts that are a little tatty about the wrists and neck. It might help a man get a job. Also, rags are very useful for hospitals (keeping babies warm, etc.). Nothing goes unused. Shoes are also very needed, as they can also mean someone may be able to get work.

Anonymous said...

I forgot, Oxfam and other companies want your old bras. They take them directly to women in African countries that need them.

Amanda Kaake said...

I had no idea. Thank you so much for posting that. Now I have to somehow find someone to give those things too. Thanks Beth!