eBay Case Study: Starbucks City Mugs

Starbucks city mugsFor years I have been reading about eBay sellers making money off of Starbucks coffee mugs. After multiple articles over the years, I found out that the Starbucks mugs have a huge following. People from all over the world collect them.  They are also very popular on the resale market. I also found out that certain types of the mugs were more popular than others. One of those types is the Starbucks city mugs. People will pay top dollar for them.

During the last three years, I’ve been trying to find them. I’ve seen regular Starbucks mugs before, but the city mugs have eluded me. The regular Starbucks mugs do pretty well for me. They sell between $10-$15. That’s good because I typically pay $0.60 for them. A few months ago, I went thrifting to one of my usual spots. I checked the aisles that I usually do and didn’t see anything. I made my way to the coffee mug aisle. Something caught my eye immediately. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!! I found the, Not 1, not 2, not 3, but six Starbucks city mugs. I was ecstatic but quickly remembered that I didn’t have a shopping cart. I ran back to the front of the store to get one and quickly grabbed the coffee mugs.

After that, I then made my way to the cash register and paid for the mugs. Can you guess how much I purchased them for? *Drumrolls* I paid $3.60 for all six of the mugs. That’s a damn good deal.

Once I got home, I checked eBay. I saw similar mugs in groups of 5-6 selling for $60 – $100. Seeing that, I decided to list mine at $150. I took pictures and listed all of the mugs together as a “lot”.

I thought that they would sell that first night. They didn’t. I had a couple of watchers, but no buyers. The listing ended without the item selling.  I was a little shocked. I decided to sell the mugs individually instead of as a group. After a few slow weeks, one of the mugs sold for $26. With that one sale, I made my money back and more. I figured the other mugs would sell faster since the first one finally did. Wrong, the other five listings expired without selling.

IMAG0145I started to get worried. By now, I had the other mugs for over a month. I definitely did not expect them to last that long. I decided to list them as a group again. Fast forward a couple of weeks and they finally sold. The group of mugs sold for $60. Combine that amount with the other mug and I made $86. That’s a pretty damn good come up.

If you are planning on selling Starbucks mugs, I have a few tips for you.

  1. Make sure that you research the mug and that they are worth something.
  2. Don’t get greedy and try to sell them for too much
  3. Be prepared. They might sit for a couple of months. Those mugs are popular, but there are a lot of sellers out there with the same ones.
  4. Last but not least, take excellent pictures and be ready to answer any questions about them. Make sure you answer every question honestly. That could be the difference between getting the sale or not.

Have you ever sold any Starbucks mugs?




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  1. Few cups for coffee with a nice design that invites you to taste the magic potion. Good for Starbucks mugs collectors!

  2. I just saw Lauren Greutman of I am That Lady talk about the SAME thing today! Must mean I should look out for these puppies…LOL
    Aja @ Principles of Increase recently posted…Savings ToolKit Breakdown- How I Pay Cash for Large PurchasesMy Profile

  3. I should have been looking with all the cities I have been going through.

  4. Interesting! I shall be on the lookout for these as well.