Acceptable & Not Acceptable Donations

Acceptable & Not Acceptable Donations
Posted on in ReStores

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Donations are the livelihood of every ReStore. But not everything makes a good donation for your store. Does your ReStore have a list of acceptable and unacceptable items able to be dontated?

Some people wishing to donate items to your store may not realize that some items can potentially be a liability. There are items that are not safe to re-sell and can even cause injury or contamination to your employees, volunteers, and shoppers.

Many ReStores do have a list of acceptable (and unacceptable) donations some are basic, others quite comprehensive. Either way, it’s important to have a list and be sure that it is accessible to the public. An easy-to-read sign should be placed inside and outside of your store as well as posting the list on your website. Handing a flyer or handout to customers at the checkout counter ke also communicates the information to your patrons.

You may want to also consider providing specific requirements for different categories of donations (such as appliances, cabinets, electrical, etc.) to help people better understand the condition in which items must be in, in order for them to be donated.

You may have items in addition to those listed below that you choose not to accept, but the following items should never be accepted for donation.

Do NOT Accept These Items as Donation:

  • Appliances in disrepair
  • Partial cans of paint
  • Appliances of significant age
  • Oil based paint
  • Anything broken
  • Pesticides
  • Mattresses
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Unframed glass or mirrors
  • Unmarked containers


Your ReStore should have clear guidelines about accepting items — including a requirement that items being structurally sound to perform as intended, be fully-functional and be cosmetically appealing. You may want to include age limits on some items, such as appliances.

Additionally, consideration should be made as to whether an item may cause any potential risk to the end user and/or those exposed to it.

Whether you send a truck to pick up donations or donations are brought to your store (or both) you should always do a very thorough inspection of the items prior to accepting them. Some items may even require testing. Your inspection of items will ultimately determine if your store should accept the donation. It’s also important to include a disclaimer on your donation guidelines indicating than any item may be returned if found to be faulty or misrepresented.

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