Saturday, June 18, 2016

Why I Donate Through eBay For Charity

FTC disclaimer:  The post contains affiliate links.
eBay for Charity was created after 9/11.  Originally, eBay only had things set up to donate to the Red Cross and the program was called "Auction For America".  After that time, it began to develop into what it is today.  For a while it was called Giving Works, and now it's "eBay for Charity".  I have been using it with my eBay listings since about 2008.  For the 2016-2017 year I am giving 10% of all my eBay sales to charity.  Here are a few reasons why.
 Let me explain with an example from November 2013. . .



I found boxes of hot chocolate K-cups for $2.50 a box with a best if used by date by mid-January 2014. I do not like chocolate, nor do I have a Keurig but I knew that there was some money to be made. I bought 30 boxes to make six lots of five boxes (total of 60 K-cups) and here is the breakdown. Of course there is the variable of what day of the week and what time of day these ended but keep in mind all six auctions ended in the same month. On the second chances I was thinking both of profit AND of quick turn around as I only had $12.50 invested per lot.

Auction 1: sold for $36 (keeping all money myself)
Auction 2: 10% of money going to the non-profit Nuru International. $39 -- meaning I kept $35.10
Second chance A: $35 (again 10% to Nuru)
Second chance B: $31 (again 10% to Nuru -- was hesitant to even make this offer since it was so little)
Auction 3: sold for $29 (keeping all money myself)
Auction 4: $41.00 (donating 10% to Nuru -- meaning I kept $36.90)

So, looking at the numbers, there was only one time (and that was a second chance) where I made LESS than the lowest selling price where I kept all the money myself. On one auction I still made almost $1 more than my highest if I kept all the money myself. (And 10% may seems little when we are talking about donations in the $3-4 range, but $3 can be the difference between life and death to a farmer in Ethiopia.)  I realize I could have likely made more money without offering second chances, but because of the short date on this item, fast turn around was also a big consideration here for me.

In addition, eBay fees are prorated based on the amount you give.  For instance, if I designate 10% to a charity, I will have 10% discount on my fees for that item!  This means you can give more than if you just sell the item on eBay and give the proceeds to the charity yourself.  (You still get receipts for tax purposes!)  I also like how there is a little emblem beside the listing in search that says your item is being listed for a non-profit.

I also think if there are identical items from other sellers, it will work in your favor because you are donating and they are not. I once had a toy that I was trying to unload and I gave 10% to the Texas Rustlers Guinea Pig Rescue. There were dozens of the same toy in the same price range. I got a single bid it on. The buyer told me she was buying that toy for her daughter and her daughter has guinea pig the whole family enjoys and that was why she decided to buy from me rather than someone else. I sold my toy in a market over run with that item, still made a small profit, and provided fresh lettuce to a guinea pig for a week.

It would be nice if I could sit here and tell you that I donate through eBay Giving Works solely out of the goodness of my heart, but that wouldn't be the total truth. I look at the bottom line too. I did this same experiment with some special edition video game controllers I won back in 2007. On those I made up to $10 MORE to keep for myself than if I had kept all the money myself (and that was when you had to donate a minimum of 25% of an auction sales amount.)

Of course, your experience with eBay for Charity may vary, but it's worth a try if you are selling something that you want to stick out from the crowd. Pick a favorite charity or two, and try it out on a few listings. With the minimum donation being $1, you don't have much to lose excepting helping out a charity.

Be sure and check out my listings at BooksBargainsBlessings on eBay.

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