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How Resalers Pass it on wisely to help save the Earth, by TGtbT.comPass It On ... Wisely!

Send your donations, expired consignments, and unsold merchandise to where they will do some good.

Resalers just can't STAND to let perfectly-good things go to waste. Even when they aren't saleable, there's still a lot of use left in so many things we come across. But often our local charities have a limit on what they can handle, and there are things that simply cannot be passed on with enough efficiency by them.  

So what do you do? Look for sources which need what you have to give. Yes, it's a little more trouble than bundling everything up willy-nilly, but our world is worth it!

Finding a worthwhile charity to redistribute items in a responsible manner:

Don't supply your competitors. Letting other retail outlets present merchandise that was once on your sales floor could well damage both your reputation and your sales. (This point is examined more deeply in the Manual.) Use, instead, free clothing/ home goods pantries in your area. 

When dealing with charities, if you do not know them, look them up. Try Charity Navigator

Do not burden your charities. Handling and disposing of unusable items costs time, effort and money. Make sure they want the specific items before you send them. Just like your shop, they can be overwhelmed with what is, basically, trash. You know it, they know it. Sometimes, things really are ready for the trash heap.

Make sure you agree with the charity's mission and approach. No sense helping groups with whom you disagree. 

What do YOU want to Pass On... Wisely?

Clothing: Clothes that can be worn to work are always needed. Some web sites to steer you in the right direction: career development nonprofits member shops locations and Dress for Success
Shoes: Wearable, just not terribly saleable, shoes? Soles4Souls distributes them.
Furs: Wildlife rehabilitation centers use furs to comfort wild animals in their care. Contact local groups, or participate in Buffalo Exchange's Coats for Cubs yearly.

Electronic Goods and Cell Phones: Use the search boxes on Earth 911, entering what you have to pass on, and what zip code you are in. If you have computers, printers, back-up drives, scanners, digital cameras, photo copiers, and multi-media equipment, ask if a local school can use them. If possible, it's nice to send someone over to the school who can set it up. If you cannot find a local group (remember, transportation can add to the cost of recycling...and of course to the cost to the environment!) check the EPA's eCycling Links.

Books: Your local library probably has a Friends of the Library Book Store or Sale. Boys and Girls Clubs often have libraries, if you have suitable books. Check Adopt-a-Library for libraries further afield. By donating coloring books to local emergency rooms, you can make a difference to a frightened child (be a sport and include crayons).

Eyeglasses: Most Lions' Clubs collect glasses of any prescription for redistribution.

Fixtures, equipment, and so on: Try FreeCycle, whose motto is "Changing the World one Gift at a Time". Join, and post what you have to give away. A great way to find an individual who needs just exactly what you have, and also, to look for something you might need. No selling, just gifting.

Household Linens: Towels and sheets can be used by almost any homeless shelter. If they are more tattered, try the animal shelter, which always needs bedding material.

Prom dresses, bridal gowns and accessories: Most prom-dress free/low-cost events are local; talk to your neighborhood's high schools to see if there's one you can help with. Donate wedding gowns to Brides Across America to help a military bride be beautiful. Severely outdated gowns can possibly be used or re-worked into theatrical costumes by your local amateur theater groups.

Suitcases, duffel bags, backpacks: Check local foster care agencies. A nice suitcase for his or her possessions can give a foster child a little more pride and self-confidence.

Wire hangers: As resalers, we get a lot of these. If your local dry-cleaner won't take them, here's a conscious-raising and word-of-mouth idea for your clientele: Go to Make Stuff for ideas on how to use them up...great suggestions that you could make into a customer service brochure for your clientele. Another alternative is to bundle them prettily with curling ribbon and your business card as a gift to buyers or an incentive to potential consignors.

Bag Sales, Dollar Racks & BOGO Deals from Too Good to be ThrewAn alternative: Raise CASH for your charity.  So many charities need things we cannot supply directly: baby formula, rent money, cleaning supplies. Have a Bag Sale, Dollar Rack, or "Name your price" event in your shop or borrowed space: Consider managing and manning a rummage sale with your (and your resale peers') unsaleables and donating the proceeds. 

Often, the charity can help publicize the event and provide manpower for transport, set-up, selling, and clean-up. You donate your merchandise, time, and talents, and your town wins. What could be better? TGtbT's Bag Sales, Dollar Sales, and BOGO Deals can help you raise the maximum amount from your cast-offs.

TGtbT.com is the premier web site for professional resalers. Start a consignment, resale or thrift store with free articles and Products for the Professional Resaler here on Too Good to be Threw. Want to know how to open a consignment shop, do a business plan, operate your shop, consignment software and selling secondhand clothes, upscale designer fashions, children's gear or used furniture? Consignment shops, resale stores, thrift stores & consignment sales use Too Good to be Threw. As a consignment consultant and two-award winner and lifelong member of NARTS, Kate Holmes creates all information and Products 
specifically for the resale industry

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