By now, everyone has heard of the terrible tragedy in Haiti. Many people want to give something to the relief efforts and some already have. But you may find yourself wanting to give more and, with the economy in the state it is, you may not be able to give as much as you wish you could.

If you have never used eBay Giving Works, it is a service on eBay by which you designate a percentage of the final sale price of your item to go to the charity of your choice. So, for example, you can list an item to be sold with 100% of the profits going to the Red Cross or other similar organization. Giving Works forwards the money from the sale directly to the charity once the buyer pays. On your end, it looks like any other sale except that you give the money to Giving Works to give the charity directly afterwards. (The option to opt into Giving Works is right there on the listing form when you are listing on item on eBay.)

The advantage to this is that it gives you a way to give more money to relief efforts than may be financially possible for you right now.

When the 2004 tsunami hit from the Indian Ocean, I wanted to donate but was very low on funds. I could have afforded to make a small donation but I realized I could give twice as much if I used eBay Giving Works. I took one of my best selling eBay items at the time which cost me $5 each (between item cost and what it cost to ship them each) and put them up as Buy It Nows with 100% profits going to the Red Cross tsunami relief at $10 each and free shipping. I donated 10 of these items to the cause so while I donated $50 worth of goods, I was able to raise $100 total for the Red Cross. I was able to give twice as much as I could afford because I used a little creativity.

Of course, I aimed low. If you offer the items via auction rather than Buy It Now, you will likely be able to raise more than twice the value of the item because people are willing to pay more if they know it is going to a good cause. In turn, if you are offering an item that costs you much less to get or make, you have the chance to help raise even more.

So if you have a craft you like to make, item you were going to sell anyway, or simply just some of your regular inventory that you could really part with, your donation of the goods can help your business raise even more money for the people in need than you yourself may be able to afford to donate.

eBay has set up a page to not only walk you through the process of how to sell an item with all proceeds going to the earthquake relief, it also shows you which items you should buy to support these organizations. If you were going to do some shopping anyway, this is a great way to get what you wanted and also give back at the same time.

Of course, if you can afford to make a huge donation directly to these organizations, please do so. However, if you were feeling bad because you weren’t able to give as much, consider listing some items through Giving Works as an way to give more with less.

I am going to get some listings together now myself this very Giving Works purpose but if you already have items listed set to benefit the earthquake victims, please feel free to post the link to your store or listings below.