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Starbucks City Mugs Are Hot!

Updated on January 21, 2013
Starbucks City Mug--AACHEN, Germany
Starbucks City Mug--AACHEN, Germany | Source

If You Travel

When in Rome, do as the Romans do...go to the local Starbucks Coffee shop and enjoy your beverage of choice.

And while you're there, do yourself a favor--spend a few bucks and purchase a Starbucks city mug.

In just a few years, your small touristy investment could net you surprisingly huge dividends.

Replace Rome with the name of any other major global city...or island...or nation, and the same scenario holds true.

Starbucks city mugs are hot! Even when they're empty!

Case in Point

A great example is the Aachen mug featured here, part of the 1994 Starbucks Coffee City Mugs Collector Series.

Up until just recently, I had never heard of Aachen, so I did some casual research. From an eBay seller's perspective, I was specifically interested in the two images of the Starbucks mug's design.

Aachen is the westernmost city of Germany. It is located in the most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia, formed in 1946 as a merger between two former parts of Prussia, the northern Rhineland and Westphalia. Aachen is bordered on the west by both Belgium and the Netherlands.

The favorite residence of Charlemagne (742-813)--the first Roman Emperor since the demise of the Western Roman Empire three centuries earlier--Aachen remained an important city through most of the Middle Ages. It served as the principal coronation site of more than 30 Holy Roman emperors and German kings from the Middle Ages to the Reformation.

A statue of Charlemagne is featured on one side of the mug.

On the other side is an image of Aachen Cathedral.

Not a Jetsetter? Then How About Jaunts Through Town?

Recently, my good friend and fellow hubber, Karen Hellier, asked me a couple of generic questions about selling on eBay. Interestingly enough, the opening segment of this article is an almost verbatim account of my email response to her.

Karen and her husband, Chuck, do a lot of traveling. I simply suggested that it would behoove her to invest in a Starbucks mug from each major city along their itinerary.

But what about those of us who don't engage in any long distance traveling?

Well, you can do what my wife and I do...we aislin' hop (my apologies to the state of Hawai'i for a poor attempt at contriving a pun) through our local thrift stores and trip on over to the various yard, garage, and estate sales in our community. Sometimes we throw caution to the wind and even go out of state...all eleven miles to our Oregonian sister city, Milton-Freewater. Once a month or so, we hit another Oregon city, Hermiston, which is about an hour away. Back in Washington, we occasionally go on day excursions to the Tri-Cities--Pasco, Kennewick, and Richland--also located about an hour away. About four times a year, we make the five-hour drive over the snow-capped Cascade Mountain Range for a combination buying trip and visitation with my wife's siblings in the Seattle area.

I'm sure you get my point. Just plug in your own favorite thrift sites. Collectible Starbucks Coffee mugs can be found virtually everywhere.

Lest I forget, the most obvious place to find them are at Starbucks Coffee shops. A few days ago, that's exactly what I did. My wife had an appointment with a chiropractor in Hermiston, Oregon, so I had her drop me off at a Starbucks Coffee shop to do some eBay and HubPages work on my laptop. After placing my order with the baby boomer female barista (I think it's pretty cool to see members of my generation working at Starbucks), I browsed through the mugs on the shelves and purchased three cool looking ones--two with a Sumatra Tiger design and one that featured a Yukon Bear.

As is the case with all my purchases specific to re-selling on eBay, I mentally crunched the numbers before making my payment. The mugs each cost $8.95, so my total came to $26.85. There is no sales tax in Oregon, so that helped with my bottom line. I am going to auction the two tiger mugs together as a pair with a starting price of, say, $44.99, with a Buy It Now price of $54.99. I will tag the item with Free Shipping, the cost of mailing already absorbed into the price. The bear mug will be listed as a Buy It Now item for, hmm, $27.99.

At any given time on eBay, someone will pay the price I set for my items.

Surprisingly enough (but not to those who've been reading my meandering banter for some time), I digress.

This article is about the Aachen mug, and we need to be mindful of it.

Especially since the rest of this will be presented in real time as we track the progress of this beautiful mug on eBay.

But First, A Behind the Scenes Look at the Starbucks Aachen Mug

So one day not too long ago, my wife came home from shopping at SonBridge Community Center Thrift Store in our bedroom community of College Place. She has a penchant for showing me the various things she purchases on her solo buying trips, completely oblivious to the fact that I'm busily scrambling to get things packaged up so I can get them to the post office before it closes. But (sigh!), if I want a nice dinner, as I've learned over time, smart (and hungry) husband that I am, I'll stop what I'm doing, assume the role of a very patient and attentive spouse (very difficult for a Type A personality like me), and try hard not to glance over her shoulder at the ticking clock.

She brings out a couple of items, each time exclaiming, "Isn't this cool?"

18 minutes to 5! Yikes! "Oh, yeah, honey! Wow! Nice!"

"Wait! I'm not finished. There's one more thing."

Good thing the post office is just a few blocks away."Oh?"

My wife pulls out this orange and white mug.

Before she can say anything, I'm on it! "Oh, my goodness! It's a Starbucks city mug!" Now, I've never seen this exact design before, but the general pattern of the mug instantly triggers my recall of mug designs I've been recently researching on eBay. I know for a fact that these mugs can fetch top dollar from enthusiastic collectors.

"How much did you pay for this?"

"Oh, fifty cents." Okay, so with our 8.7% state sales tax, that comes to 54 cents. FIFTY-FOUR CENTS?(By now, the all too familiar eBay adrenaline rush has kicked in!)

"Honey, this is exciting! Wow! You did good!"

Later that evening, after successfully mailing my eBay packages and enjoying another delicious dinner, I did the research for this specific mug design, I found that the Aachen mug was quite desirable and had the potential to command a pretty decent price.

Okay, then, I've brought you up to speed. Here we go in real time mode!

Current Status of the Starbucks Aachen Mug

As I write these words, the time is 1:03 AM PST. The date is Saturday, January 19, 2013.

On Sunday evening, January 13, I listed the item with a starting auction price of 99 cents.

With approximately one day and twenty hours left to go on this auction, there have been nine bids placed. Currently, the item is at $42.00. Even if the auction were to end here, I've already made a decent profit.

But I have reason to believe that the price will climb even higher. The item has received 80 views, and there are 10 watchers, each of whom is a potential bidder.

I'm going to bed now. Let's see if things get a bit more interesting tomorrow.

Real Time Updates

It's the last day of the 7-day auction, Sunday, January 20, 2013. The auction will be over at 9:11:09 PST tonight.

  • With just under seven hours to go, there are now eleven bids. The bid amount is currently $51.00.
  • Nothing happened for the last five hours and forty minutes. But with just under 1 hour and 20 minutes left, two more bids have been made on this mug. The current high bid is $61.77. Maybe, just maybe, there's still some action just around the bend. Stay tuned!
  • At 9:11:01, just eight seconds prior to the auction ending, someone places a bid for $71.20. Does he win? No, he doesn't.
  • The reason he doesn't win is that someone else had placed a bid at 9:10:58, just three seconds before him, that was higher than the $71.20 bid. What essentially happened, then, is that the second place bidder ended up pushing the eventual winner's bid $1.00 higher than his own.
  • The winning bid, therefore, was $72.20!

A Final Reckoning

Okay, then, this was fun!

Let's take a look at the final numbers.

With shipping, the buyer paid $86.05.

Here are my expenses:

  • The cost of the mug was $0.54.
  • Fees for two prior failed attempts to auction the item off with initial prices much higher than 99 cents cost me $2.00.
  • Listing fee for an auction with a starting bid of 99 cents was $0.10.
  • The PayPal fee was $2.80.
  • eBay sellers in good standing who use eBay's shipping labels receive a discount on mailing. My shipping cost was $11.95.
  • The eBay final value fee was $5.19.
  • Total fees: $22.58.

$86.05 minus $22.58 equals $63.47 profit. Not bad!

My friends, I share this experience with you not to pat myself on the back. Some of you know very well that I've shared the disappointments as readily as I have the triumphs. When I ponder it all, both failures and successes are kinfolk along the learning curve of life.

So, no, it's not about showing off. I give the glory and thanks to God.

My mission in writing these articles about my eBay experiences is to demonstrate that it is possible to initially complement and eventually replace your regular job with your own business. I'm no expert by any means, but I do have the courage and motivation to share with you lessons learned along this entrepreneurial path of my Hawaiian Odyssey. If by chance you should learn even one small thing as a result of reading what I write, that would indeed be a blessing for the two of us.

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  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Radcliff

    Hi, Liz! I know, huh? But there's a method to the madness. I contacted the corporate office of Starbucks to inquire as to whether or not I could order retired mugs or other city, state, and country mugs from them directly, and I was told that it was not possible. One can order the current generic mugs and tumblers, but usually the market is so saturated with those. Keep your eyes peeled, Liz, and if you have friends, family, or relatives going out of state or out of the country, put a bug about a mug in their ears. You just never know. The thing about mugs...and tins...is that they may sit a few months, but someone will come along and surprise you one day. Every so often, since I have a store subscription, I will run a 10-25% sale just to pique people's interest. The way I look at it, I pay anywhere from 25 cents to $1.99 for a mug, so one sale pays for the inventory and maybe the listing fees, and the second sale puts me in the black. At this stage of the game, it's all about moving inventory because, quite frankly, I could soon be a candidate for "Hoarders." : ) Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Always a delight to hear from you! Alohha! (Double h in there for hugs!)

    Joe

  • Radcliff profile image

    Liz Davis 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

    It's funny, because a couple of weeks ago you said you bought a Starbucks cup and I was like, "But you live in Washington, why are you buying a Starbucks mug?" But I've been studying, and now I get it! That's so cool that you were able to get such a great return. I love how you started it out at a higher bid and it didn't work, but when you set the beginning bid to 99 cents it caught on like wildfire. So cool!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @howlermunkey

    Hi, Jeff! Thanks for stopping by and sharing you're always cool and unique thoughts. How are you doing? Hope all is well with you. Yeah, man, I've done well with Starbucks mugs, especially the city and country mugs that can only be purchased from that specific locale (as well as on eBay or Amazon or indie sites, of course). I'm also experimenting with, but haven't listed any yet, SBUX gift cards. Did you know you can go into a Starbucks shops (most of them, anyway), tell them you're a collector, and ask to take one each of their gift cards? You get them for free. Some might ask if you'd like to load money onto them, but you just respond that you collect them. I have dozens of them from 2012 and 2013. I'll sit on them until they no longer appear on the shelves, maybe a year to three years, and then list them. See for yourself by searching for them on eBay. Another way to make a few dollars on freebies! : )

    Aloha, my friend!! Have a great weekend!

    Joe

  • howlermunkey profile image

    Jeff Boettner 3 years ago from Tampa, FL

    I love eBay, I love Starbucks, so of course I thoroughly enjoyed this hub! Great story, got me excited about selling on eBay again. And, now I'm craving a Venti Café Mocha, so I'm off to go get my fix (and I'll be sure to check out the mugs while there) -- Nice read Brada! U-S-P-L (up, share pin, like)

  • xstatic profile image

    Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    Thanks! I will do that this afternoon.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @xstatic

    If you can message me via my profile page eBay item numbers corresponding with the exact mugs you have, I could take a look at them...or describe to me the colors or general design you see on each. You could sell them now for a small profit, or hang on to them. Starbucks usually makes limited runs of these geographical mugs, so after a while, they climb up in value. I can guess which ones you have, but I may be wrong. Once I identify which series they are, I can have a better idea what strategy you might want to use.

  • xstatic profile image

    Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    I acquired (a gift from my daughter) a set of two Starbucks mugs, one is China and the other is Hong Kong. It does not appear that they are really hot items on eBay however.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Karen Hellier

    Karen, good for you! Wish me luck as well! I am kicking off a brand new eBay niche tonight. I went to my local Goodwill thrift store and did something really daring...something I've never, ever done before in my life. I went over to the women's section and--mustering up all the confidence that a month and a half of walking has contributed to my self esteem--sorted through women's jeans. I saw a couple of brand names that looked interesting. Since the inside of the store is not conducive to iPhone internet connection, I stepped outside briefly to search for amounts sellers are asking for a jeans brand called Rock Revival. The numbers looked good, so I went back in the store and bought two pairs of jeans. I felt silly and embarrassed the whole time, and I kept hoping the female cashier was assuming that I was buying a gift for my daughter. Oh, well...if that's the worse part of this experiment, I'm doing okay! I paid $19.99 for each pair, which just about anyone knows is a high ticket price for a store like Goodwill...yet another clue that these jeans may go well. At this point, I don't know if I'll do the conservative thing and start the bidding at $19.99 or risk a lower price, maybe even a penny...or, to make the experiment more interesting, do one of each. If I start the hub about it tonight, and run at least one of the auctions for 5 days instead of the optimal 7 days, the timing would be perfect for this article to be the 9th or 10th article for the Ten Days Challenge. Yeeeehaaaah! I love it when a spontaneous and impulsive plan comes together. Now if I can just visualize those bids to come flooding in!

  • Karen Hellier profile image

    Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

    I'm in Las Vegas right now and am going to take your advice and buy a Starbuck's mug and see how it goes on Ebay. Thanks for the idea!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @xstatic

    The cool thing about "the hunt" for any special item--Starbucks mug or otherwise--is that along the way, one can end up acquiring something else of equal or greater value. Keep me posted...and, remember, if I can be of any help to you, eBay-wise, please let me know.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Aw, gee, thanks, Mary! Now you got me blushin' the color of monkeypod (which is another way of saying it's hard to tell when a Hawaiian guy is blushing!). Always so nice to have you drop by and leave your Gretel crumbs. : ) I was just re-reading the tribute hub to you this morning...every so often I do this to obtain inspiration to get past writer's block and to edit any mistakes...anyway, the thought came to mind that tillsontitan is truly a writing maverick and well-deserving of the plaudits. Nice to have you as a neighbor here in Hubsville!

  • xstatic profile image

    Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    Still looking for one o' those mugs, no luck yet.

  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

    I hope you realize have of hubville is now out looking for Starbucks mugs ;)

    Great hub with great information. I love the way you take us from start to finish. Including a break-down of the costs was nice too. Every time I read on of your eBay hubs I start getting my doll collection out, but then, back off. One of these days HawaiiO, one of these days!

    P.S. I loved 'aislin hopin' another sign of your always working, creative mind!

    Voted up, useful, and extremely interesting!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @blaise25

    Hi, Blaise! Thanks so much for participating in this experience. I had the luxury and privilege of reading a couple of your poems, and I must say, coffee and muffins are recurring and favorite love setting themes in your writing. I am passionate about writing in coffee shops, and several of my eBay-related hubs were written in such settings. You're an exceptionally talented writer, and in just a few minutes, I am going to officially sign up as a follower. Blessings to you, and continued success here on HP and elsewhere!

  • blaise25 profile image

    Fehl Dungo 4 years ago from close to you...

    A lot of my friends are collecting Starbucks mugs and tumblers from another countries. A cool way to remember moments and memories. Awesome hub!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @MartieCoetser

    Howzit? Hoe gaan dit? Thank you for stopping by, Martie! Africa has some very beautiful, colorful Starbucks mugs. I'm thinking of one in particular that is yellowish orange and has a picture of an elephant. It's kinda rare, I believe. If you ever come across one, hurry and post it on eBay!

  • MartieCoetser profile image

    Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

    Very interesting hub about Starbucks City Mugs, encouraging me to explore eBay. Thank you, hawaiianodysseus!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @xstatic

    Keep at it, my friend! What's really exciting to me is that you're on the safari hunt for these babies. Way to go! I like going to the Goodwills at Hillsboro and other parts of Oregon. Another tip--go online to starbucks.com and click on the tab or link to their drinkware (mugs and tumblers). Sometimes, they have these cool sales. After Christmas, just about every Starbucks offers highly discounted mugs and other paraphernalia. The best fun of all, however, is to discover these at thrift stores sitting in plain view along with the regular mugs. That's where my "young lady" found the Aachen mug...still can't believe we got it for 54 cents, tax included. I sure do appreciate your keeping in touch...let me know when you find treasure!

  • xstatic profile image

    Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    What a disappointment! I went to three resale stores and found none. Not giving up though. I alerted my daughter in Portland too. She already has a couple.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @point2make

    Thank you, Terry, for responding to my question about the extraneous book information. That's good to know. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me that eBay didn't always ask for all of that in the past. Maybe they were trying to compete with Amazon. In any event, it saves me a lot of grief knowing I can just do my thing. Aloha, and have a great week!

  • point2make profile image

    point2make 4 years ago

    You do not have to fill in all those fields on the eBay to sell your books hawaiianodysseus. You can skip that whole page and just enter as much or as little information as you wish. Just click on the "continue" button and a bookseller you will become. Good luck and let me know how you make out.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @GuitarGear

    Very interesting...fascinating, in fact! These are the kinds of "insider information" that one finds invaluable! Good for you for being aware of your local history and economics. Your lady friend has brilliantly capitalized on this information, and so can you! I would very much appreciate hearing more about American Mug & Stein as you find time to learn more. The thing is, I wonder why so many companies contract out to China to have these mugs made...well, even as I wrote that, the answer popped into my head...cheaper labor. Anyway, it's good to know that some of these items are still made in the USA. Have a great day, my friend, and thanks so much for sharing in this experience.

  • GuitarGear profile image

    Walter Holokai 4 years ago from Youngstown, Ohio

    For kicks I started investigating the Starbucks mugs and where they are made since I live about an hour away from the "Pottery Capital of the World" aka East Liverpool, Ohio. Well, voila, they are made by American Mug & Stein in East Liverpool. On my next day off I'm going to take a road trip and see if they might have an outlet store which most of the pottery companies do. I'll let you know what I find out. East Liverpool, Ohio once had a multitude of potteries and was known as the "Pottery Capital of the World". Homer Laughlin, maker of Fiestaware, is made just across the Ohio river from East Liverpool in Newel, West Virginia and has an outlet store that sells individual pieces for pennies on the dollar. A friend of mine goes down twice a week and buys pieces which she assembles into sets that she sells on eBay. If I had more time on my hands I might consider doing the same. Thanks for the great hub and for sparking my interest in pottery again.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @GuitarGear!

    Aloha, Walt! I seldom travel further than a 60-mile radius from home. Jaunts to Seattle, located on the other side of the state, take place about four times a year. However, whenever my wife and I do travel long distance, I'm always on the lookout for unique things to sell on eBay. Yesterday, I was going through the mugs section at our local Goodwill thrift store, and I came across a mug commemorating your state. A simple mug, but a novelty just the same...it kept stringing the name, OHIO, in one continuous chain, 360 degrees around the mug. Very cool! Speaking of cool, keep jammin', brother! How about hubs showcasing videos of you and your band? That'd be awesome!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @point2make

    Hey, Terry, thanks for stopping by! Thank you very much for your vote and uplifting comments. I have a question, Terry, about selling books on eBay. Is it mandatory to plug in all the extraneous details that eBay asks for, or can one just list as one sees fit? Whatever input you can give me would be greatly appreciated. In any event, have a great week!

  • GuitarGear profile image

    Walter Holokai 4 years ago from Youngstown, Ohio

    Thanks for the tip! I'll be on the lookout for them. What a cool item I never thought of and a cool story too!

  • point2make profile image

    point2make 4 years ago

    Another great lesson, in online selling, from our favorite eBayer. ...$63.47 profit for a Starbucks mug...well done my friend!! Voted up this hub and well deserved.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @xstatic

    As long as I live, I'll never be able to figure out the eBay phenomena! Things I think will do well never get out of the bargain basement; things that I think won't get a nibble end up orbiting the moon. Ah, but I'm having so much fun with it, and now that my wife has become an eBay seller as well, I have enough HubPages material to keep me busy for years. : )

    By all means, have your daughter bring you back a mug or two. As we write, several varieties of Starbucks Coffee Hong Kong mugs are doing exceptionally well!

    Thank you so much for stopping by and joining in the fun! I look forward to reading your next terrific hub! Have a full-of-life and memorable week!

  • xstatic profile image

    Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    This is amazing! My daughter is going to Hong Kong for a quick business trip, so will ask her to bring me a Hong Kong Mug.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Hawaiian Scribe

    Thanks for being an important part of this hub experience, Stephanie, and for sharing it with others via social media.

    It's a lot of work--this eBay thing--but I'm lovin' it! Was so happy when one of my sisters started selling Hawaiian attire a few months ago. And last month, my wife started doing her thing (I really have to look over my shoulders a lot because she's really good at it).

    Anyway, a bit of news to share with you...I will fly in to Kona in late March and spend a little time there as well as in Hilo. While on the Big Island, where I've been only one other time in my life, I hope to visit a couple of different Starbucks Coffee shops and do some site-specific hubs from and about each one. If I'm lucky, I might find a Hawai'i state mug at one of those shops and/or other treasures at local thrift shops. Family from Kaua'i will meet me there, and one of my sisters lives in Hilo. The occasion is the celebration of my mother's 80th birthday. Sure am looking forward to it! I had a lot of miles and was bound to lose them if I didn't use them by a certain date. I borrowed the rest of the miles needed from my wife. The transfer of miles isn't free, I learned, but when the dust settled, I was happy that my round trip was so many times cheaper than forking up the money outright. Anyway, the sale of the mug paid for almost 1/3 of the cost of the trip. God is good, and I'm jazzed about visiting your beautiful island! Aloha and mahalo, Stephanie!

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @kashmir56

    Always a pleasure to hear from you, Tom! I like how you so eloquently put things. It's really reinforcing to hear that people can draw different things of value from articles that I write, just as I do from reading their hubs. I really like your writing, and so your gracious compliments mean that much more to me. Thanks, Tom, and I do hope you have a wonderful week!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @twoseven

    You are most welcome! And thank you for stopping by to be part of this collective experience. The way I look at it, we all learn from each other, picking up bits and pieces of information that we can either directly make use of or pass on to others--like that really cool hub you did on baby intercom systems. eBay has been a godsend for me--it isn't a comfortable fit for some, but in this particular topsy-turvy economy, it's a great fallback position to have. I think you're wise to consider it, and if I can be of any help along the way, feel free to shoot your questions or comments my way. Have a great week!

  • kashmir56 profile image

    Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

    Hi my friend great interesting hub has always. Love reading your hubs because i know I'm in for a great read and enjoy every moment of it. Than i surf away knowing something i didn't before ! Well done !

    Vote up and more !!!

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Karen Hellier

    Thanks, Karen, for your lovely comments. Unlike my Spiderman bobblehead, I'm thankful we had a nice result with this item. Glad you've stopped by to share in this experience. Next time you travel to that city about an hour away from home, by all means, just for the fun of it, buy one of the Dunkin' Donuts mugs. Better yet, if that store sells the New England, Maine, or other mugs in the destination series, a set of 6 of these mugs, not counting shipping, have been selling for $75 - $85. I don't know enough about these mugs to figure out the profit margin, but it sounds like something I'd look into if I were near a DD. I love your feedback because it reinforces my hope that writing hubs of this nature (and certainly "humanizing" the entire experience) would potentially inspire others to do the same. Praise God for that! Gee, just think, I'm making a positive contribution to my HP community! LOL!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Mommymay

    I really enjoy hearing from you as well as reading your hubs. When I go to thrift stores, the first area I go to is wherever they keep their mugs. My wife has been blessed with a keen eye for mugs that sell well (when you have a chance, and if you haven't already, read the hub about the Pink Panther mug), and so I'm always thankful when she spots a little "treasure," even and especially when I initially think it's not going to do well. One thing I am good about is to tell her what a great job she did, and that I was wrong to doubt her. Thank you for sharing in this experience. Please know that if you ever have any questions or comments about eBay, I'm always glad to help or be a sounding board. Thanks for stopping by, and have yourself a wonderful week!

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @wetnosedogs

    Hi, my friend! I can always count on you to be loyal, supportive, and generous with the uplifting comments. Yes, I don't mind poking fun at myself or sharing my shortcomings and failures because that's honestly how things happen sometimes. That way, when the triumphs do come along, I can share those, too, knowing that there are others along for the ride who know very well that it's all part of the human experience. HubPages is so cool in that it isn't just a writer's site...it's also the potential to be part of a very close-knit community. Thank you for being a great HP neighbor, WND!

  • twoseven profile image

    twoseven 4 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

    As always, useful and entertaining! You have opened my mind to a whole new world of hunting for great deals on collectibles to try to resell on ebay. Thank you for sharing in such great detail - it is very generous of you!

  • Hawaiian Scribe profile image

    Stephanie Launiu 4 years ago from Hawai'i

    Voted up, useful, funny, interesting. Another great hub! I used to sell on ebay years ago. I really enjoyed it but wasn't as organized or successful at it as you, so clearly, are! Starbucks coffee mugs...what a fascinating subject. I'm gonna remember this on my next trip to the thrift shop in nearby Makaha. They always have magical finds. I just wrote a hub on Kona Coffee the other day. I'm gonna link it to this hub, and will tweet and share on Pinterest. Aloha, Stephanie

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    Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

    Wow, that was really amazing. I enjoyed reading the background on the mug as well as the minute by minute updates. I couldn't wait to get to the end of this hub to see what your final result might be. Congratulations to you and your wife on this adventure. And you can bet when Chuck and I travel in the future, I will be purchasing Starbuck's mugs. If only I had known about this when I was in Amsterdam last month!!! I was in Dunkin Donuts in a city an hour away over the weekend, and saw that they are starting state mugs. Is there a DD mug craze on Ebay???

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    Heather May 4 years ago from Ohio

    LOVE THIS ARTICLE and am a bit inspired. I know what will be on my next "thrift store wish list"! Great success story!

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    wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

    Well, this was an exciting adventure to read! I didn't even know that Starbucks carried city mugs and now I am curious what Starbucks in Alabama has to offer.

    You know I got a great chuckle how you demonstrated how to be the dutiful hubby and stream away from your packaging to pay attention to your wife -to get a good meal! And I know you are glad you did. What a great description of the mug and how the bidding went.

    I am glad you tell us both your failures and winnings; that's how life is and it shows us that no matter what, that you have the strength to carry on.

    Congrats on that great bid and also to your wife who purchased that great winner of a mug.

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    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @judygao

    Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you appreciate the aesthetic appeal of coffee cups/mugs. Looking forward to reading your material someday. In the meantime, welcome to HubPages, and best wishes for your success and connectivity with others here on HP.

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