Determining Fair Market Value of Donated Eyeglasses


D

DAP

I've found plenty of places that are willing to accept my used prescription
eyeglasses as a charitable donation but none of them can provide me any
monetary guidelines for determining the fair market value so that I can claim
the donation at tax time. Any advice?

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N

NotMe

DAP said:
I've found plenty of places that are willing to accept my used
prescription
eyeglasses as a charitable donation but none of them can provide me any
monetary guidelines for determining the fair market value so that I can
claim
the donation at tax time. Any advice?
SWAG: Since it's illegal to sell used eye glasses/lenses I would expect the
FMV is zero,
 
P

Phil Marti

SWAG: Since it's illegal to sell used eye glasses/lenses I would expect the
FMV is zero,
I can tell you haven't bought frames for a while, if ever. But I agree with the SWAG for their value.

Phil Marti
VITA/TCE Volunteer
Clarksburg, MD
 
B

brianwallen

I've found plenty of places that are willing to accept my used
prescription
eyeglasses as a charitable donation but none of them can provide me any
monetary guidelines for determining the fair market value so that I can
claim
the donation at tax time. Any advice?
There are sites that sell used eyeglasses, but they sell the frames. Any fair market value would be limited to the frames, which likely would be negligible.
 
S

Salmon Egg

"NotMe" <[email protected]> said:
SWAG: Since it's illegal to sell used eye glasses/lenses I would expect the
FMV is zero,
What is the law that makes such sale illegal? State? Federal? Is it the
practice of optometry that is illegal rather than the selling of
eyeglasses? Certainly there is some non medical use for the hardware.

--

Sam

Conservatives are against Darwinism but for natural selection.
Liberals are for Darwinism but totally against any selection.
 
N

NotMe

Phil Marti said:
I can tell you haven't bought frames for a while, if ever. But I agree
with the SWAG for their value.

Phil Marti
VITA/TCE Volunteer
Clarksburg, MD
Actually I've been buying for over 60 years.

Likely a matter of professional bias , an excess of concern for mechanical
stress and the likelihood of failure I don't reuse my own frames much less
consider buying used frames.

Even with that, and assuming they are not made primarily of gold (gold plate
content is typically very low) I doubt there is much value there either.
 
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P

paultry

I've found plenty of places that are willing to accept my
used prescription
eyeglasses as a charitable donation but none of them can
provide me any
monetary guidelines for determining the fair market value so
that I can claim
the donation at tax time. Any advice?
I'd think anyone looking for a charitable deduction on used
eyeglasses may well have taken a medical expense deduction
at the time of purchase. I don't know if that would limit
the charitable deduction, but it seems like it should. To
me, dropping them in the Lions Club box where someone in
need could get some use would be sufficient. That said,
eBay currently lists over 9,000 used eyeglass items for
sale. Monitoring and documenting some of those listings
might help establish the willing buyer/willing seller
standard.
 
R

remove ps

There are sites that sell used eyeglasses, but they sell the frames.
Any fair market value would be limited to the frames, which likely
would be negligible.
Frames are very expensive. I've seen frames alone for $800. $300 to
$500 is quite common. So there must be a good salvage values.
 
R

remove ps

paultry said:
I'd think anyone looking for a charitable deduction on used
eyeglasses may well have taken a medical expense deduction at the
time of purchase. I don't know if that would limit the charitable
deduction, but it seems like it should. To me, dropping them in the
Lions Club box where someone in need could get some use would be
sufficient. That said, eBay currently lists over 9,000 used eyeglass
items for sale. Monitoring and documenting some of those listings
might help establish the willing buyer/willing seller standard.
Most people don't get to use the medical expense deduction because of
the 7.5% threshold. However, I know that many people pay for
eyeglasses with VSP funds and then FSA (or maybe HSA). If you did
manage to take a medical expense deduction for eyeglasses (after
considering AMT where there is a 10% threshold) or used FSA/HSA then
you have to recapture the deduction (on line 21 Other Income), then
take a deduction on Schedule A (assuming it is indeed legal to sell
used eyeglasses).
 
J

John Levine

There are sites that sell used eyeglasses, but they sell the frames.
Frames are very expensive. I've seen frames alone for $800. $300 to
$500 is quite common. So there must be a good salvage values.
I wouldn't count on it. After people have been wearing a pair of
glasses for a few years, the frames wear out. Screws and hinges wear,
solder and glue joints get fatigued and eventually give way. Frame
makers rarely sell the same frame for more than a few years, so spare
parts aren't available.

A few years back I got very expensive new prescription lenses and
thought I'd save money by putting them in my existing frames. What a
mistake! A couple of years later the frames broke, and even though
the lenses were still fine, I had to get a new set of glasses because
there weren't any replacement frames with the same lens shape.

So overall, I concur with the opinion that used frames have little if
any value.

By the way, when I look on ebay, I see very few pairs of used glasses,
and the few I see are all under $10.
 
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G

GlassesWearer44

FYI - Donated prescription glasses at Pearle Vision go to poor countries where the glasses can be recut to work for individuals who could not otherwise afford prescription glasses. See OneSight.org for information.
 

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