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eBay tests new program to sell your items to Goodwill

A new test program dubbed "Sell it Forward" rewards you with 50 percent of the selling price on certain items sent to Goodwill via eBay.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Have a used item you don't think will sell on eBay? A new program could still fill your pockets with half the proceeds.

Recently launched on a test basis, "Sell it Forward" lets you send your used items to eBay in a free, postage-paid bag. From there, eBay hands them over to the San Francisco Bay Area branch of Goodwill Industries. If Goodwill can unload the items within 14 days, you score a 50 percent cut of the sales price, which is sent to your PayPal account. If not, you get a receipt for a donation that you can use for tax purposes.

The program has a few caveats, according to the Sell it Forward FAQ page.

eBay seems most interested in "fashion items," such as clothes, shoes, and handbags. Brand-name products are most likely to sell, at long as they're in new, like-new, or good condition. Items that are unusuable and can't be resold are instead donated directly. But other types of items qualify as well.

eBay provides a list of items that are restricted or prohibited, while Goodwill describes the items that it can't accept.

For now, Sell it Forward is open only to people in the San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin counties in California. eBay said it hopes to expand to other locations soon.

A spokesman for the company told CNET that results from the test as well as customer input will determine the future of the program. For now, people who sign up for Sell it Forward will be alerted once it's available in their area.