How Can I Donate?

If you are a publisher, developer, or trusted journalist, please visit our “Auction How-To” page.

Unfortunately due to the overwhelming response, Play For Japan has its hands full. For right now, we’re asking private collectors and gamers to run their own auctions outside of the Play For Japan loop until we can determine if there’s a way to include you in our efforts.

I Have a Cool Item — Why Can’t I Donate?

Many collectors have valuable and unique items in their collections, and no doubt pondering selling them on eBay to help Japanese relief efforts. We absolutely applaud these efforts — they’re exactly what Play For Japan stands for.

However, Play For Japan is run by a small number of volunteers who all have full-time day jobs. We simply don’t have the resources to verify every auction that comes our way. Until and unless we get a handle on the offers we’re getting from within the industry, we’ll have to cheer you on from the sidelines. Thanks for your interest and support!

The good news is that you can still list your items using eBay Giving Works, and donate the proceeds to charity. We’re deeply grateful to anybody who decides to do this!

How Can I Tell If a Play For Japan Auction Is Authentic?

There are three ways to tell if a PFJ auction is authentic:

1. It will be marked as an eBay Giving Works auction. All Giving Works auctions are clearly marked with special ribbon graphics in the auction title, and all PFJ auctions will explicitly state in the description that 100% of proceeds are being donated to charity.

2. It will be listed on the official PFJ blog at http://www.playforjapan.org. If it’s not there, it’s not real. Since we are manually adding items to the blog, there may be some lag before they hit. We will do our best to keep these updated as quickly as possible, so check back if an item looks legitimate.

3. There will be a link in the auction to its official PFJ blog entry. If there is not, we don’t know about this auction. Again — this is going to be a manual process, so be patient and check back!

How do I know my bid will go to help Japan?

We have suggested two charities which are verified to be directly helping in Japan now. We will keep an eye out to make sure that these charities continue their relief efforts.

The American Red Cross supports relief for many disasters, but sellers who follow our instructions will be sure to direct their aid toward Japan.

Why Aren’t You Accepting Donation Items and Posting Them?

After research, we discovered that the levels of complexity associated with taking in donations and auctioning them ourselves work against the intention of Play For Japan, which is to quickly pool together our resources to raise money for relief efforts.

The complications of creating a non-profit organization and attaining certification far outweigh the alternative of creating a network that will highlight, promote, and encourage gaming industry representatives’ individual auctions.

Beyond that, the volunteer staff that comprises Play For Japan all have full-time day jobs. The requirements to set up a non-profit, accept deliveries, run auctions, and ship items are simply too demanding at this time.

If you do not have an eBay account or would prefer not to use your personal account, you can easily create a new one by following eBay Giving Works’ guidelines at http://givingworks.ebay.com/.

I’m Interested in Selling, But I Don’t Live in the US. How Can I Help?

Please research eBay Giving Works to see how to manage charitable donations while avoiding any potential tax liabilities that we can’t account for. Check http://givingworks.ebay.com/ for more information.

My Play for Japan Auction Ended. What’s Next?

You can find a comprehensive guide to eBay Giving Works here. The guide provides an overview of your responsibilities after a charitable auction has concluded. That being said, we’ve been through the process several times and have a few important points to convey.

1. eBay uses a nonprofit – MissionFish – to handle the administrative aspects of your donation. MissionFish screens qualifying nonprofits and processes donations to ensure they end up in the proper hands.

2. eBay Giving Works does not directly transfer the donation to MissionFish. The buyer will transfer you funds as with traditional auctions. If let be, MissionFish will not invoice the account on file until the fourth Monday after the auction closes. Our goal is to provide aid to Japan with a sense of urgency, so we suggest a more proactive approach.

3. The transfer of funds can be initiated through your eBay Donation Account (My Account > Donation Account > Donations Due). Select the donation in question, and click “Pay Donation Due.” Choose your payment option and continue as directed.

4. The final step in the donation process is a critical one. MissionFish will hold onto your donation for 45 days unless otherwise indicated. This is a default window of time intended to accommodate buyer returns. As the bulk of Play for Japan auctions don’t offer refunds, it is important to waive the option and expedite the process. We suggest that you select “I’d like my donation to be delivered to the benefiting nonprofits as soon as possible by waving my right to a refund.” Hit “Submit” and you’re golden!

You can find the applicable tax receipt via the “Donation History,” page. Select the donation in question and click “Request a Tax Receipt.” A PDF will be generated for you.

If you have any additional questions, visit eBay’s donation FAQ here.

I Received the Donation Total via PayPal to Send to My Organization, and the Balance Is Less Than the Auction Closing Price. Why?

As we’ve just discovered from our initial auctions, PayPal is charging a transaction fee of what amounts to 2.9% + $0.30–or roughly 3%– of the closing price of an auction for individual account holders. Assume that a transaction fee will come out of the sale of your auction if you include PayPal as a payment option.

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