eBay Case Study: Starbucks City Mugs

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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 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.

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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”.

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.

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. I decided to share what I learned during this eBay case study.

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

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

There are hundreds of Starbucks mugs out there. The more that I research and sell, I realize that most of them are not worth the big bucks. Looking at the sold listings on eBay is huge when it comes to these mugs. Do not guess 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 first started selling Starbucks mugs, I listed some of them too high. I thought they would sell just because of the Starbucks logo. I was wrong. Some of the mugs didn’t sell until I lowered the price. If you are going to sell Starbucks mugs, make sure that you have a good 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 I stated earlier, I was shocked when the mugs didn’t sell super fast. I still have some mugs that haven’t sold. 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 10 pictures 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

Don’t be afraid 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 as well. Different collectors have sites that go into detail about 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. I’ll say that 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 Starbuck mug that 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 that you can flip such as jerseys, shoes, board games, and more.

Have you ever sold any Starbucks mugs?



  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

    1. Yes, you should. Some of them can bring in a lot of $$$.

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

    1. It’s not too late to start.

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

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