Monday, October 27, 2008
Collectibles - How to Donate When They're No Longer Valuable
You caught on to the Beanie Baby craze in the late 90's. You've been collecting Star Wars figures for years now and have run out of space and interest.
What do you do with these collectibles when they're no longer worth more than you paid for them?
Collecting collectible toys/action figures can seem like a good idea at the time - low starting prices which may increase in value over time. You figure if you keep them intact, still in their original packaging, they'll double, maybe triple in value. Unfortunately, most of the time that isn't the case and worse yet, you weren't the only one who thought that way.
My recommendation comes from personal experience in this area. Other than one wingless yellow duck that I sold for big bucks back in 1998, the Beanie babies I collected for my daughter became a big burden for storage and display space. What I decided to do was donate them to a senior citizen center who had a fundraiser for a local children's orphanage. I tallied the value of each Beanie Baby based on current Ebay values at the time, and took that as my tax write-off.
My husband did the same thing with his large collection of carded Star Wars figures a few years later. We created an Excel spreadsheet of each item and its value. We gave these spreadsheets to our accountant at the end of the year and took the tax write-off. The toys were donated to the local Salvation Army who works directly with children's charities in the area.
So don't despair - there is a place for every collectible - whether you sell it on Ebay and make a profit or donate it to a good cause and just take the tax write-off.