eBay Case Study: Starbucks City Mugs

This post may contain affiliate links. Feel free to view my disclosure here.

Starbucks City mugs

For years I have been reading about eBay sellers making money off of Starbucks coffee mugs. After reading multiple articles and an eBay case study over the years, I discovered that Starbucks mugs have a considerable following. People from all over the world collect them. They are also trendy in the resale market. I also found that certain 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 typical 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.

Need help with eBay? 

Check out the webinar eBay for Starters

After that, I went 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 the mugs together as a “lot.”

My eBay Case Study

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.


I started to get worried. By now, I had the other mugs for over a month. I 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. I decided to share what I learned during this eBay case study.

If you plan on selling Starbucks mugs, I have a few tips.

Make sure that you research the mug and that they are worth something.

There are hundreds of Starbucks mugs out there. The more I research and sell, the more I realize that only some of them are worth the big bucks. Looking at the sold listings on eBay is enormous regarding these mugs. Refrain from guessing when it comes to them. If the mug is not selling, it is not worth buying. I’ve had Starbucks mugs sell very fast (within hours), and I’ve had some take forever.

Don’t get greedy and try to sell them for too much

When I started selling Starbucks mugs, I listed some too high. I thought they would sell just because of the Starbucks logo. I was wrong. Some of the mugs sold when I lowered the price. If you are going to sell Starbucks mugs, make sure that you have a reasonable price for them.

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. I didn’t realize that at first. As stated earlier, I was shocked when the mugs didn’t sell fast. I still have some mugs that still need to sell. When you are looking for mugs at thrift stores, make sure you grab ones that sell fast.

Take excellent pictures and be ready to answer any questions about them.

When it comes to coffee mugs, make sure that you take as many pictures as possible. I take at least ten photos of each mug. You want the potential buyer to see as much of the mug as they need to see. Make sure you answer every question honestly. That could be the difference between getting the sale or not. People will ask you questions, so be ready to answer them.

Don’t quit

Feel free to grab Starbucks coffee mugs when you see them. There is money to be made from them. Just make sure that you are looking for the right ones. As I said earlier, make sure you research them on eBay. You can also check out Starbucks’ websites. Different collectors have sites that detail which mugs are worth more than others. Take some time to research. You never know what you may find.

Since my initial finding of six Starbucks City Mugs, I’ve found all kinds of them. 60% of them sell fast, while the others sit for a month or more. I’ve been able to sell some of the slow sellers as a lot to get them out of there. I also went from grabbing every Starbucks mug I saw to only grabbing certain ones now. I hope that this eBay case study on Starbucks Mugs helps you on your eBay journey.

Looking for other items to sell? Check out this post that features 100 items that you can sell on eBay. This list features things you can flip, such as jerseys, shoes, board games, and more.

Have you ever sold any Starbucks mugs?

Website | + posts

Jason Butler is the owner of My Money Chronicles, a website where he discusses personal finance, side hustles, travel, and more. Jason is from Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from Savannah State University with his BA in Marketing. Jason has been featured in Forbes, Discover, and Investopedia.