Fair Market Value of Used Children's Clothes for Charitable Donation Purposes?

Myself having recently been, shall we say, “snipped”, my wife gathered up all of the clothes that our two daughters (ages 6 and 3 in May) have outgrown over the years. I took them to Goodwill in tall kitchen garbage bags (13-Gallon size). Each bag was about half-to-three-quarters filled, maybe weighed 20 pounds each. The number of bags is embarrassingly and disconcertingly high. Each bag had about 20-30 pieces of children’s clothing, in “good condition” as far as that can be said for having been drooled or spilled on usually by both girls. Generally brand-name stuff, Gymboree/BabyGap, that sort of thing. I tried ask the Goodwill guy for advice but he wouldn’t give me any sort of a clue.

Can I get some estimates from the gallery, The Price Is Right style, about what would be the highest reasonable amount I can put down for tax purposes as the fair market value of each bag of clothes?

I work for a few thrift shops. The person at the counter gives you an estimate. Frankly, it really won’t
matter what you put down. I would estimate $20/bag. Hope you used black bags, because
we don’t take dirty clothes in some of our shops.

To clarify, the clothes are washed. It’s just that some stains don’t come out entirely and so even to be “clean” and in “good condition” implies normal wear and tear on the clothes.

Take a walk around the thrift shop and see what they are charging for similar items. That is the value that you may use for tax purposes. On the part of the form where they ask you how you valued the stuff write it “thrift store value.” It should be considerably more than $20 a bag.


According to the IRS, it varies from thrift to thrift.

Here’s a list I use supposedly compiled by the Salvation Army and Goodwill: