A reasonable person may expect a Starbucks gift card with $400 on it to sell for, well, $400, perhaps even a bit less. However, when it comes to limited edition Starbucks cards, conventional thinking doesn't always apply.
Currently up for auction on eBay is a Limited Edition Starbucks 2013 Rose Metal Gold Card with $400 on it. According to the auction's description, only 1,000 of the cards were produced.
Want to own it? It'll cost you a lot more than a decaf latte. As of press time, the high bid was $1,675 with a little more than 20 hours to go before the gavel bangs.
The cards were originally sold through luxury retail site Gilt.com on Friday. They sold out quickly. Very quickly. As in two seconds, according to a report from CNBC. Though it comes preloaded with $400, the card actually cost buyers $450 because it also brings the buyer Gold Level status, which gives the holder extra benefits like free refills on brewed or iced coffee or tea. Plus the card itself isn't your ordinary, everday plastic.
Starbucks spokesperson Linda Mills told BusinessWeek: "It’s completely handmade and features an artisan rose metal base with rose-colored coating. Starbucks lettering is laser-etched on the front, and since it’s in such a small quantity, we do incur quite a bit of expense to produce them."
Last year, Startbucks produced 5,000 of the Limited Edition cards. This year, they produced a fifth of that number. The desire to get one surged in response.
Brand consultant Steven Addis told USA Today, "If something is hard to get, it takes on irrational value. By making it even harder to get, the irrationality goes up."
Limited edition gift cards from Starbucks have a history of selling for more than what most people would consider them "worth." For example, a Limited Edition Yahoo co-branded gift card to the coffee house with $5 on it is currently going for over $24 on eBay.
What can we say? We're valuable.