4 April 2014
Why It Costs Money to Pick Up Donations
Answer: Recently, a customer reached out to our call center looking for a company to pick up some items that she wanted donated to a charitable organization. Our call center representative Alex started explaining our service and trying to get an idea of how many items she wanted picked up and hauled away. Unfortunately, this particular customer didn’t quite understand our service and began laying into Alex on the phone. She couldn’t believe that a junk removal company would charge customers to pick up used furniture and old clothes that were going to be donated to a charitable organization.
Alex, being the true professional that he is, exercised patience and let the customer vent her frustrations. After a 20 minute tongue lashing, despite Alex only being able to get in the words, “I understand, but…” before the customer would get into him again, Alex finally did get a chance to explain why it costs money to pick up donations. Unfortunately, the customer had hung up on him before he got a chance to finish. Afterwards, Alex asked me, “How could I have explained our service better in the beginning to avoid a customer getting frustrated?” I was happy to hear his willingness to help despite being unjustly chewed out; the first thing I thought we could do initially is write an article about it explaining why it costs money to pick up donations.
Yes, the act of donating items is inherently good, necessary and hopefully continues long into the future. However, when a customer calls us to donate the items on their behalf, it’s usually because they don’t have the means to get the items from point A to point B. Or, customers just don’t want to deal with the hassle, but would still like to be charitable. Either of these scenarios are fine by us and we are happy to do our part to help. However, we are a for-profit business and not a charity. We provide the labor, muscle and means to load, deliver and unload the items and then send the tax deductible receipt back to the customer after having successfully donated the items.
In order to make this service a reality, we incur a number of expenses. To make the muscle necessary available to load, deliver and unload the items, we have to pay a fair wage to reputable junk removal professionals. Along with that wage, we pay payroll tax, federal unemployment tax, state unemployment tax, workman’s comp insurance, business liability insurance, auto insurance, etc. Those fees are all dependent upon the wages earned. In addition to wages, we have to budget for fuel, vehicle maintenance and other expenses that are chalked up to the cost of doing business. However, an expense many customers forget about when calling for donation pick up services is a disposal fee.
WAIT, why a Disposal Fee on a donation? Customers forget that even though they think all of their items are capable of being donated, many donation centers have strict policies on what they will and will not take. When we get to a donation center and they won’t take some of the items a customer wanted donate, then we have to dispose of the item and thereby incur a disposal fee. Not to mention, certain items are no able to be donated according to state and federal law, i.e., mattresses, car seats, etc.
As you can hopefully see, there are number of expenses wrapped up into this service. While we would love to perform donation services for free, if we did so, we would not be able to turn a profit or remain in business to perform this service. It is our hope that this article effectively explains why it costs money to pick up donations. For additional information, call 317-291-DAWG or email [email protected]