Eyeglasses donation - Fair Market Value


P

purduephotog

As I am recently married, my wife and I are consolidating
our possessions. I expect to finish off the year with at
least $3000 in non-cash charitable contributions... and,
while fully expecting to be audited would like to minimize
the risk that they will disagree with the amounts I've
claimed.

That having been said, I can find no information as to what
a standard fair market value for a pair of donated
eyeglasses might be. Realizing that a pair of glasses may
cost easily in excess of 250$ at Lense Crafters and they
have a lifetime of 1-2 years, I would expect the 'value' to
be somewhere around 175-200$ given depreciation and 'use'.

Any suggestions as to where I might start for this?

Thank you,

Jason

(I'm going to add a few more 'search terms' so should anyone
search like I did they'll find at least one post) (donate
eyeglasses eyewear glasses eye wear)
 
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T

TxSrv

Realizing that a pair of glasses may
cost easily in excess of 250$ at Lense Crafters and they
have a lifetime of 1-2 years, I would expect the 'value'
to be somewhere around 175-200$ given depreciation and 'use'.
Value is probably near zero. Prescription lenses are worth
nothing, and a peek at eBay listings shows me used designer,
antique, and vintage frames like $25 tops. For value of
common items, picture yourself shopping at a yard sale.
Offer $200 for these glasses, and the homeowner might give
you the ratty lawn mower and the baby stroller as a thank
you!

The other items you said are worth $3000 total need to be
valued realistically also, and this question hints you may
be a bit optimistic in these matters.

Fred F.
 
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B

Bill

(e-mail address removed) posted:
As I am recently married, my wife and I are
consolidating our possessions. I expect to
finish off the year with at least $3000 in
non-cash charitable contributions... and, while
fully expecting to be audited would like to
minimize the risk that they will disagree with
the amounts I've claimed.

That having been said, I can find no
information as to what a standard fair market
value for a pair of donated eyeglasses might
be. Realizing that a pair of glasses may cost
easily in excess of 250$ at Lense Crafters and
they have a lifetime of 1-2 years, I would
expect the 'value' to be somewhere around
175-200$ given depreciation and 'use'.

Any suggestions as to where I might start for
this?
Well, you should first understand that you can only deduct
the Fair Market Value (FMV) -- which the IRS defines as what
that item would bring if sold "as is" on the open market.
For eyeglasses, that would mean you have to compare with the
frames which are sold in drug stores/discounted for any
prescription lens you required (which would have to be
replaced, since the likelihood of someone needing the exact
same refraction as you, is infinitesimal). My guess would be
more like $5 - $10, _max.

You're in for a rude awakening at audit time, if you go in
with the valuation technique you described. What a
nationally-franchised store receives at retail for a product
bears _no_ resemblance to FMV for the same product in a
thrift shop. With your technique of valuation, you would be
chewed up and spit out -- and if you've deducted $3,000
"worth," as you suggest, you'll likely be receiving a tax
deficiency determination for at least $400 up to $1,000+
(depending on your bracket).

One suggestion: Visit a thrift shop -- one operated by
Goodwill Industries, for example. See how they're pricing
equivalent goods.

At the very least, go to a Dollar Store. See how ordinary
people are able to buy an incredible assortment of goods for
$1 - flat pricing.

Bill
 
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B

Bill

(e-mail address removed) (Jason) posted a question on
valuation of property donated.

I neglected to add the standard reference which will answer
most of his questions:

Pub 561 - Household Goods. This has information on
valuation of household goods such as furniture, appliances
and linens.

But Fair Market Value is the key factor to keep in mind,
always.

Bill
 
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T

thetaxdon

As I am recently married, my wife and I are consolidating
our possessions. I expect to finish off the year with at
least $3000 in non-cash charitable contributions... and,
while fully expecting to be audited would like to minimize
the risk that they will disagree with the amounts I've
claimed.

That having been said, I can find no information as to what
a standard fair market value for a pair of donated
eyeglasses might be. Realizing that a pair of glasses may
cost easily in excess of 250$ at Lense Crafters and they
have a lifetime of 1-2 years, I would expect the 'value' to
be somewhere around 175-200$ given depreciation and 'use'.

Any suggestions as to where I might start for this?
I think the FMV is close to zero for used eyeglasses.
Donated eyeglasses are not sold, they are given to the
needy. Find a market if you can to determine the value. I
don't believe one exists except for antique frames or
designer frames. Try selling your glasses on eBay to find
the value. FMV is what a willing seller will accept from a
willing buyer.

Don in Colorado
 
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D

D.F. Manno

That having been said, I can find no information as to what
a standard fair market value for a pair of donated
eyeglasses might be. Realizing that a pair of glasses may
cost easily in excess of 250$ at Lense Crafters and they
have a lifetime of 1-2 years, I would expect the 'value' to
be somewhere around 175-200$ given depreciation and 'use'.

Any suggestions as to where I might start for this?
You might ask a charity like New Eyes for the Needy
<http://www.neweyesfortheneedy.org> which accepts donations
of used eyeglasses.

--
D.F. Manno | (e-mail address removed)
I don't trust organized anything: teams, religions,
corporations. People in enterprise together consistently do
two things: promulgate the enterprise, no matter what, and
protect miscreants in their midst. (Alfred Lubrano)
 
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B

Bob Sandler

That having been said, I can find no information as to what
a standard fair market value for a pair of donated
eyeglasses might be. Realizing that a pair of glasses may
cost easily in excess of 250$ at Lense Crafters and they
have a lifetime of 1-2 years, I would expect the 'value' to
be somewhere around 175-200$ given depreciation and 'use'.
Cost and lifetime have nothing to do with fair market value.
The fair market value is what you could sell them for. How
much would they sell for in a thrift shop, or if you listed
them on eBay? Probably not much, especially if they are made
to your personal prescription.
 
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P

Paul Thomas, CPA

As I am recently married, my wife and I are consolidating
our possessions. I expect to finish off the year with at
least $3000 in non-cash charitable contributions... and,
while fully expecting to be audited would like to minimize
the risk that they will disagree with the amounts I've
claimed.

That having been said, I can find no information as to what
a standard fair market value for a pair of donated
eyeglasses might be. Realizing that a pair of glasses may
cost easily in excess of 250$ at Lense Crafters and they
have a lifetime of 1-2 years, I would expect the 'value' to
be somewhere around 175-200$ given depreciation and 'use'.
Why do you think a pair of glasses only last 1 - 2 years?
Just because ~your eyes~ deteriorate doesn't mean the
glasses are bad. A few nicks and scratches yes, but the
lens doesn't go out of focus. Hinges are the most apt to
cause concern.

In any event, ask your optomitrist what they are worth.
 
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R

rick++

Since I can get two pairs plus exam at the local
discount chain for $79; discounting for age, I'd
say about $10-$15.
 
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S

Stuart A. Bronstein

Bob Sandler said:
Cost and lifetime have nothing to do with fair market value.
The fair market value is what you could sell them for. How
much would they sell for in a thrift shop, or if you listed
them on eBay? Probably not much, especially if they are made
to your personal prescription.
The last time I got glasses it was hard to find frames for
under $200. I imagine that if someone wanted to collect used
frames for resale, he could get at least half the original
price.

Stu
 
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S

San Diego CPA

As I am recently married, my wife and I are consolidating
our possessions. I expect to finish off the year with at
least $3000 in non-cash charitable contributions... and,
while fully expecting to be audited would like to minimize
the risk that they will disagree with the amounts I've
claimed.

That having been said, I can find no information as to what
a standard fair market value for a pair of donated
eyeglasses might be. Realizing that a pair of glasses may
cost easily in excess of 250$ at Lense Crafters and they
have a lifetime of 1-2 years, I would expect the 'value' to
be somewhere around 175-200$ given depreciation and 'use'.

Any suggestions as to where I might start for this?
Don't forget that the charitable deductions are limited to
the lower of FMV or basis. Others have given opinions about
FMV but if your glasses are fully covered or reimbursed
through insurance, you may have zero basis in them.
 
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P

purduephotog

Thank you Paul-

Prescription glasses are just that- you can't buy them at a
thrift store (I called a few and they won't take the items).
That leaves the FMV in limbo for determination by that
method.

I applied what I believed to be a logical step in the
reduction of prices- if there is no market for an item and
said item can only be prescribed... that means the price
will be fairly high. In one donation site it quoted a FMV
of 195$- still sounds high, but that's why I'm searching.

The $3K is realized at the thrift shop pricing for items.
There is ALOT of junk in this house that has been
'recommended' for immediate removal by my wife. Heh heh
heh..

Thank you again- I'll try contacting a few more places for
additional information.

Jason
 
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P

purduephotog

Thank you Paul-

Prescription glasses are just that- you can't buy them at a
thrift store (I called a few and they won't take the items).
That leaves the FMV in limbo for determination by that
method.

I applied what I believed to be a logical step in the
reduction of prices- if there is no market for an item and
said item can only be prescribed... that means the price
will be fairly high. In one donation site it quoted a FMV
of 195$- still sounds high, but that's why I'm searching.

The $3K is realized at the thrift shop pricing for items.
There is ALOT of junk in this house that has been
'recommended' for immediate removal by my wife. Heh heh
heh..

Thank you again- I'll try contacting a few more places for
additional information.

Jason
 
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P

Paul Thomas, CPA

San Diego CPA said:
Don't forget that the charitable deductions are limited to
the lower of FMV or basis. Others have given opinions about
FMV but if your glasses are fully covered or reimbursed
through insurance, you may have zero basis in them.

I don't agree with that as it stands. If I pay the premiums,
then by default, I paid for the glasses. So I have basis in
them of some amount.

Now, if the glasses or the insurance premiums were deducted
as a medical expense on Schedule A, or bought pre-tax through
a medical reimbursement plan, then I don't see where there
would be any room to take a second deduction just because your
eyes got worse.
 
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P

Paul Thomas, CPA

Prescription glasses are just that- you can't buy them at a
thrift store (I called a few and they won't take the items).
That leaves the FMV in limbo for determination by that
method.
There are groups that take glasses. Lions Clubs for starters.
A Google search turns up more.

In fact, May is "Recycle for Sight" month. Contact your local
chapter of Lions International.

http://www.lionsclubs.org
 
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D

DORFMONT

"It's Deductible" software values prescription reading
glasses at $10 for good condition (my eyes change every few
months), $7.00 for fair condition (my insurance entitles me
to a new presecription and new frames every two years so I'm
getting new ones), and $1.50 for poor condition (these ole
ratty glasses make me look like Dame Edna and don't see so
good either).

Linda Dorfmont E.A., CFP, CSA
 
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