How to Calculate the Value of Clothing Donations

by W. Nicole Barclay
Clothing donated, money saved.

Clothing donations have a positive impact on the lives of people in need, but they also can help save money when the time comes to file your taxes. It's relatively easy to learn how to calculate the value of your donated clothing to accurately file these returns, whether you are about to donate or have donated all year long.

Calculate the Value of Clothing Donations

Make a list of items donated at the time you give you them to charity. Include the brand, condition and year of purchase on your list. You should always ask for a receipt from the charitable organization to compare with your own list.

Categorize the clothing donated by type. This means making a pile of shirts, another of pants and another for dresses. Continue in this style until every item is accounted for. If you are valuing items on receipts or lists you can make your categories on paper.

Before you price your categories, determine if there are certain items with exceptional value. If there are certain designer or vintage that you know sell for a price that is not generic, put these items in a separate pile.

Begin pricing. You should establish a range in price for each type of clothing item. According to the Salvation Army, shirts may be between $3 and $15, while pants may be between $4 and $15. You should move lower or higher between these ranges depending on condition, material and brand of clothing. For special items, you may want to research the resale value online.

Record your prices next to the corresponding clothing article on your itemized lists or receipts. It is a good idea to check your pricing by comparing it to online or in-store guides, which may be provided by your charitable organization. You can value your items after or during each donation if you make frequent contributions, or once a year before tax season.

About the Author

W. Nicole Barclay has been writing and editing professionally since 2004, focusing on the fashion and retail industry. She graduated from Parsons the New School for Design and holds a Bachelor of Science in history, international affairs and archeology from Northeastern University. She has completed master's degree work in public policy and nonprofit administration at Northeastern University and The American University in Cairo.

Photo Credits

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