Apparently eBay has an option where you can sell things on their platform and have all the proceeds go directly to charity. This includes eBay waiving all their listing and selling fees and the charity you choose getting all the pre-fee proceeds.
So I’m testing it out by selling a $50 car stereo and donating 100% of the proceeds to GiveDirectly.
I’m glad eBay has the Giving Works program. It’s a great way to use their platform for good. And apparently they’ve done over $500,000,000 worth of good already. That’s impressive. That said, if someone at eBay gave me a day to help them improve it, I would recommend 3 easy to implement changes that could make their program even better:
- Right now, eBay sellers like me can only donate to charities who happened to register with the “PayPal Giving Fund“. So lots of organizations I would like to support (e.g., AMF) aren’t even available as options.
Recommendation: There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel. eBay can do the industry standard thing here and allow all GuideStar listed charities. That’s what major credit cards and every other company that allows 3rd party donations does. Come on, you’re spinning off PayPal anyway. Why use their lower-coverage charity database going forward?
- The 2 default charities eBay currently recommends are:
Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary, Inc.
Susan G. Komen – Global Headquarters
Recommendation: Outsource your default charity recommendations to one of the major charity evaluation organizations like GiveWell or CEA. They can help you incorporate fresh recommendations that change over time, and feature highly-vetted, great charities that do lots of good.
- It’s also a bit difficult to choose a charity other than the 2 defaults.
Recommendation: Make an Ajax-enabled text box where I can start typing the name of a charity I want and then select it from an auto-completing drop-down. I know that sounds complicated, but it’s really not. eBay is already doing this for several other text boxes on their listing creation page.