Mission Fish: eBay for nonprofits

A few months back, I registered C3 on MissionFish, which allows eBay sellers to designate all or a portion of their listings to go to a charity. Charities must apply to be listed in this way, so eBay/MissionFish can make sure that only legitimate 501(c)(3) organizations are involved.

We didn’t make a big deal about it, but we did mention that we were a MissionFish charity in an e-newsletter.

I just listed an item on eBay with 100% of the proceeds going to C3. My Mom bought these really, really expensive sneakers (MBT Sport) last year, wore them once and hated them. I suggested putting them on eBay for C3. I wanted to do this both to raise some extra funds for the organization, as well as to understand how the process works since I’m the person that people will ask about it.

MissionFish listings have a nice little ribbon which tells buyers that a portion (or all) of the proceeds go to charity:

I’m very, very impressed at the improvements that eBay has made to the listing process. Before you had to spend some time researching before hitting the “sell” button. Now all the research you want to do happens from within the listing pages. Want to find the best category? Search for the item and it will auto-select (that’s been in for a while). Relatively new (at least since the last time I listed) is the ability to search out completed listings for similar items to find the best price, and the ability to price out what shipping would be with the major carriers.

With MissionFish, you click a button that lets you add the charity of your choice. You have to register a credit card at the time of the listing (separate from your eBay credit card) so when you receive payment for the item from your buyer, the money you promised the charity is automatically deducted and sent to the charity, minus the fees. MissionFish handles the tax letter for the seller. I’ve used the “ask a question” feature in eBay to send a personal “thanks!” to the folks who have sold/listed for us. If we directly list items, eBay eats the listing fees. I decided to list under my personal account because I have a 100% feedback rating and it would look a little weird for a colon cancer nonprofit to be auctioning off sneakers, don’t you think?

So…anyone want to buy a pair of shoes for a good cause? 

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