Starbucks sure knows how to cause a stir.
Whether it’s their popular seasonal coffees and drinks or the latest decorative holiday cups, the marketing folks at the world’s most biggest coffee chain have the formula to get people lining up for their products. And they don’t need to advertise to get diehard fans whipped up into a frenzy.
On Nov. 2, word got out on social media that Starbucks had released its exclusive 40-ounce, bright-red Stanley + Starbucks “Quencher” Tumbler to its stores just in time for the holiday season. Fans quickly swarmed their local shops to snag the double-walled stainless steel mug that keeps drinks hot or cold for hours.
TikToker @czayyy shared her Starbucks Stanley holiday cup score, courtesy of her husband, who took an early hit for the team, arriving at 4:30 a.m. to get one.
@czayyy Scored!!! My husband woke up at 4:15am to get me this #starbucksxstanley cup Boot from @Gritandgrace1971 #starbucks #stanley #starbucksstanleyedition #starbuckscup #stanleycup #starbucksholidaycup #starbucksholidayrelease #starbucksholiday2023 #starbucksstanley #spoiledwife #starbuckscollector #stanleycollection â¬ Gorgeous – Taylor Swift
However, many customers — even the ones who showed up super early — were disappointed to find none of the cups were left when they arrived. According to social posts, some shops explained to customers that Starbucks corporate only sent a few cups to their locations, and they had no idea when they would get another shipment.
One barista confirmed on Facebook (in a comment to the post below) that her store only got four of the elusive mugs, and only two made it to the shelf because employees got the first crack at them.
Some customers posted angry videos on TikTok about employees getting access to the cups before customers, especially because of the low inventory sent to stores. A Starbucks employee shared a reaction to these videos, asking people to “not throw a temper tantrum as an adult over a cup and berate employees.”
@lally_v #greenscreenvideo just my thoughts but dont throw a temper tantrum as an adult over a cup and berate employees who work so hard and should be able to spoil themselves #starbucks #starbucksstanley â¬ original sound – lally_v
Customers’ frustration over a cup that is supposed to commemorate the jolliest time of the year also flared when they found it available on various online shops at drastically marked-up prices. Normally sold for $49.95 at Starbucks stores, resale merchants have them listed for at least double the price and often more. We found one Etsy seller offering one for $216.99 (shown below), which is listed as a 30% mark down for a limited time.
Meanwhile, on eBay, many people have the cup listed for $100-$200, with some listings going up to $500.
Will there be more? Starbucks told Insider that the viral holiday cup is a limited-supply item, but that “some stores will be restocked throughout the season.”
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