Do you run an op shop, a second-hand or other outlet to sell donated goods? If you do how do you handle it when you have to turn away items?

It’s a reality that not all goods offered can be accepted, with there being perhaps numerous reasons; being overstocked, hygiene regulations, state of the items and health & safety regulations. All are valid, but how do you deal with telling people who wish to donate that you can’t accept their items?

People could easily take offence unless the reason given is real, it’s delivered in a good way and that they’re reassured that their offer would normally have been accepted, and might be accepted at another time.

If people are only told “sorry we can’t take that” without an explanation they will feel offended and will be unlikely to offer donated goods in the future.

As many people use the web to source who best to donate goods to, it would make sense for organizations to have ‘donated goods’ information clearly visible on their site. This could include a list of items not generally accepted, goods urgently needed along with general information on what state goods must be in, regulations surrounding certain items (electrical) – this would make it much easier for those wanting to donate. No longer would they load their vehicle, arrive at your ‘store’ only to find out you can’t accept their goods.

How does your organization currently handle donated goods, what do you do when you’re ‘overstocked’ – do you offer suggestion on who might be able to take them?

Make it easy for donors to donate and make it clear, simple and give solid reasons as to why you might not be able to accept their items.

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