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Sell It Forward - Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the Sell It Forward beta ending?
We are coming to the conclusion of our initial Sell It Forward beta program. Our plan is to incorporate all of the customer feedback we've received and re-launch at a later time.

What if I signed up, but was never invited because I don't live in San Francisco, Marin or San Mateo counties?
We will continue to keep your name and email address on file. You will be the first to know when the Sell It Forward program re-launches.

When is the last day that I can request a bag?
Wednesday June 19, 2013 is the last day to request a bag to be sent to you through the Your Account page.

When is the last day that I can send my bag in (and when is the last day that I can get paid for items that sell)?
Friday July 5, 2103 is the last day you can send your bag in to us. We will process all payments for items that sell on eBay within one week after the buyer has paid.

What will happen if I send my bag in after July 5th?
We will return your bag with all of the items you sent in to us free of charge.

I sent my bag in, but haven't received any updates - what should I do?
If you've already sent in your pre-paid postage bag, we'll send you an email just as soon as we review the items in your bag and provide you with ongoing updates along the way. As a note, due to the high volume of bags returned, there may be a slight delay in processing your items.

Who can I contact if I have questions?
You can email us at

Why is eBay doing this?
eBay is testing ways to give our customers more options for easy ways to earn money via selling on eBay. Try it out and let us know what you think!

What kind of items can I send in?
This program is designed for fashion items, specifically clothing, shoes, and handbags. Items most likely to sell are clothing, shoes, and handbags from recognized brands that are in good, like-new, or entirely new condition. Items in unusable condition due to tears, stains, or strong odor or little resale value will not be sold and will be donated directly.

How do I send items in?
As soon as we are ready to launch in your area, or as soon as we have room for you in the program, we will send users who gave us their email and mailing address a free postage pre-paid mailing bag. After receiving the bag, simply fill it up with like-new or gently used clothing, shoes, and handbags, and send it to us via USPS or UPS. You can choose to drop it off at the nearest post office or UPS drop-off location or put it in your out-going mail, whichever is most convenient to you. eBay pays for the cost of shipping via the pre-paid mailing bag. So to start making money, all you need to do is start sorting through your closet for great items to sell!

What happens to the items that I send in?
Items will be sent to eBay's authorized partner for this program, Goodwill of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties. Goodwill is an experienced seller on the eBay site in the categories of clothing, shoes, and handbags. Based on prior eBay selling experience, our partner will determine, in their sole discretion, which items they believe can be sold in 14 days (or less) and for $10 or more, and will list these items on eBay. You will receive half of the proceeds from any items that sell in that 14 day window. Items not sold will be accepted as a donation. Users will also receive a donation receipt for all items that are donated. Items that are donated will help fund the work that Goodwill does locally.

What determines if an item is listed for sale vs. donated?
Based on several years of selling on eBay, our partner will determine, in their sole discretion, whether they believe an item will sell successfully on eBay. They will list items they believe have a reasonable chance of selling within 14 days and for at least $10. Items they do not believe will sell within 14 days or will sell for less than $10 will be donated and you will not receive any of the proceeds. Factors that influence this include: the condition of the item, the brand of the item, and whether or not the item is usable.

Should I send in items I want to donate to the Goodwill?
Please send us items that you think can be sold successfully on eBay. While we will donate your items in the case the item cannot be sold or does not sell, our goal for you is to provide an exciting new way to earn money selling with eBay!

What happens if items sell after the 14 day window?
Items that do not sell within the initial 14 days will be donated to Goodwill. Goodwill may attempt to sell these items online, through their eBay store, or in their off-line stores. Proceeds earned from any items that sell after the initial 14 day window will go to Goodwill to help fund their operations. You will not receive any money for these items but will receive a receipt for your donation.

What percentage of the proceeds do I get?
You will receive 50% of the proceeds for any items that sell. The other 50% will go to Goodwill to help fund their operations and the operations of this program.

What if I want to get 100% of the proceeds of my items?
In this case, a great option is to sell your items on eBay yourself. It's easy to do, and with access to a global base of millions of buyers, eBay is a great place to sell almost anything. If this is your first time listing, we suggest you start with an item that is smaller than a breadbox and easy to ship. Easy to ship items are items that would fit into a standard sized box or envelope and which are unlikely to break during shipment.

The best type of item to start with is something you already own in your house that you no longer want or need. We recommend for your first few items that you list something you would be ok selling at a low price. Then, as you learn the ropes and feel more comfortable selling you can graduate to selling more expensive items.

Learn more about starting to sell:

What if I disagree with how an item was listed?
If you have concerns or disagreements with how your item was listed, please email us at

What should I do if I want to change the address that my bags are sent to?
You can update your email or mailing address by accessing the My Account page and clicking "edit" next to your contact info.

Is there a limit to the number of bags that I can request?
There is no limit to the number of bags that you can request, but you are only allowed to have three bags out at any time. A bag is considered "out" from the time you request it until it is delivered by UPS and scanned at our location.

This is awesome! How do I tell my friends and family?
Thanks! We think it's pretty great too! Please click here to share via facebook, or here to share via twitter.

How long does it take to receive my bag after I request it?
Typically you should expect to receive your bag within seven to ten business days of requesting it assuming that we are already live in your area.

How and when will I get paid?
Payments will be made via PayPal within two weeks after a buyer has paid for an item. You may notice that payments appear as pending before this. This means that the buyer has paid but that we have not yet processed the payment to your account.

When I look at my account or click through to see my listing, my item is marked as sold. Why haven't I received my money yet?
There may be a delay between when your item is marked as sold and when funds are available in your PayPal account. We make payment after the buyer has paid for your item. Occasionally, for items sold via auction, there may be a lag between when the buyer wins the item and the item is marked as sold, and when the buyer returns to the site to pay. Once the buyer has paid, our partner will process the payment and you should see your funds in your PayPal account within two weeks.

In the rare case that the buyer doesn't complete the payment, we will automatically relist the item for sale again – you don't need to do anything. If the item is relisted and sells, you will be paid after the item has sold and the buyer has paid. Our partner will process the payment and you should see your funds in your PayPal account within two weeks.

What determines how much my items sell for?
Items that are listed will be posted on, where they will be exposed to eBay's global buyer base. Based on prior selling experience, our partner will determine, in their sole discretion, whether your item will be most likely to sell successfully via auction or fixed price format. If the item is listed auction format, the price it sells for will be determined by the market. If the item is listed via fixed price, the price will be determined based on the asking price set by eBay's selling partner, the Goodwill of San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin.

What if I don't have a PayPal account?
Don't worry. We will deposit any payments via PayPal using the email address you have on file for Sell It Forward. You will receive an email that tells you how to set-up a PayPal account to access your money. PayPal is the only payment method available through this program.

What is PayPal?
PayPal is a fast and safer way to send and receive payments online without sharing your financial information. PayPal is owned by eBay Inc. With PayPal, you can:

At PayPal, your financial security is our highest priority. We use the latest anti-fraud technology, and you're 100% protected against unauthorized payments sent from your account.

Can I withdraw the money from my PayPal account? How do I do this?
Yes, you can withdraw money from your PayPal account either via check, credit cards, or deposit to your bank account. The process is outlined below. For more information on withdrawing funds from PayPal, see below or click here.

Here's how you transfer money to your bank account:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account and click My Account.
  2. Click Withdraw at the top of the page.
  3. Click Withdraw funds to your bank account.
  4. Enter your information and click Continue.
  5. Click Submit.
Here's how to get your money by check:
  1. Log in to your PayPal account and click My Account.
  2. Click Withdraw.
  3. Click Request a check from PayPal.
  4. Enter your information and click Continue.
  5. Click Submit.
Here's how to withdraw money to your credit card:
  1. Log in to your PayPal account and click My Account.
  2. Click Withdraw.
  3. Click Withdraw funds to your bank card.
  4. Enter your information and click Continue.
  5. Click Submit.
For additional information on any limits based on the country of withdrawal see here:

Do I have to create an eBay account to access My Account?
As part of Sell It Forward, you will be able to track the progress of your items and download your donation receipt on your My Account page. To get access to this page, if you are not already an eBay member, you'll need to set-up an eBay user ID. This only takes a few minutes and can be done either by going to and clicking on My Account in the upper right corner or by going to and clicking on register in the upper left corner. However, if you do not want to create an eBay user ID, you can still participate in Sell It Forward, however, you will not be able to track the progress of your items. You will still receive payment via PayPal for any items that sell. But we strongly encourage you to create an eBay account so that you can watch your items as they are up for sale- it's exciting!

Are there any prohibited items?
Yes. Excluded items include items that are prohibited for sale on eBay ( and items that Goodwill is prohibited from selling (

Can I get my items back if they don't sell?
No, items sent in to this program cannot be returned. But remember, they will be donated to Goodwill and will help others.

How do I know the selling experts won't donate my item from the start? Or sell it for a low value?
Our partner is incentivized to sell items for the highest price point they can- it benefits the money they earn and the money you earn from that sale. As mentioned, our partner will not be able to sell items that aren't â€Å"sell-worthy”. This would be items that have tears, stains, odor or are deemed to have low resale value.

How long does it take for items to be listed on eBay after I send them in?
Our partner will list items within two weeks of receipt.

The shipping label on my mailing bag says both UPS and USPS. Who am I actually shipping with?
This label allows you to drop your bag off at any USPS or UPS drop-off location. From either drop point, bags will be brought to a UPS shipping point and will be shipped from there by UPS. This is a service offered by UPS to bring you the convenience of both USPS and UPS.

What happens if my items get damaged or lost when they are in transit to eBay's Sell It Forward?
If something happens to your mailing bag between when it is scanned into the UPS system and when it arrives at Goodwill's office, please contact You will be made aware that this has happened if on your MyAccount page, your bag continually shows up as in transit for more than two weeks. Once packages sent via USPS or UPS using our pre-paid shipping label are scanned into the UPS system, they are covered by UPS's standard claims procedure and are covered up to $100. If a package has been tendered to the USPS, but there is no scan showing UPS received the package, then we will not be liable. Packages which show as having directly entered the UPS network will fall under standard claims procedures.

What happens if not all of the items I included in my mailing bag are included in the itemization I see on My Account? What if my items were lost once they arrived at Goodwill?
Should this occur, please contact us at

Where can I find out more about what Goodwill does?
You can learn more about what the Goodwill of San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin counties does here:

When will this program be available in my neighborhood?
This program is currently available only to residents in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin counties.

We hope to expand to additional areas soon.

Why can't my friends and family who live in a location outside of San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin participate?
eBay's Sell It Forward is currently operating only in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin counties. We hope to expand to additional areas soon. You can encourage your friends and family to sign-up at and we'll let them know when we expand the program to their area.

What do I do with my donation receipt?
This is for your use. Some people like to have a record to keep track of items they donated. Others, who itemize deductions in their tax return, may choose to itemize donations. Alternately, you may choose not to print this receipt.

If I choose to itemize donations, how much should I put for items donated through Sell It Forward?
Participants are responsible for self-declaring the value of items donated for tax deduction or other purposes and assume all responsibility for accurately reporting this information.

Where can I get help with filing my taxes using a donation receipt?
You should consult with your tax advisor on this matter.