CRA recommends that if a donation of a non-cash (in-kind) item is being made to a Canadian registered charity and it is worth more than $1000 that it be appraised by a knowledgeable, qualified and independent third party appraiser. For donations of in-kind goods of less than $1000 CRA suggests a “qualified staff member” can appraise the gift. I would suggest that if you are trying to determine the fair market value of certain items that even if the items are worth less than a $1000 it is a good idea to get a proper appraisal - for example items that have been commonly abused such as art or bulk purchases. Remember that the wholesale value of an item is often far less than the retail value and can sometimes be less than 1% of the retail cost. If you are buying 500,000 cans of Diet Coke (as I frequently do!) you would not do so through a vending machine! Also remember that if you cannot value either the donation or the advantage then the charity cannot issue a receipt.