Starbucks plans to open 1,500 more cafes
over the next five years, and it looks like the company has found a clever way of raise a few extra dollars to offset the cost. There was an audible, “Are you kidding me?” in my office this morning when I was reading on USA Today
that Starbucks is offering the Starbucks Metal Gift card that's worth significantly less than its price.
Get this: the gift card is made of steel, and there will be only 5,000 of them sold. And, here’s the really appealing part — they each cost $450 but they’ll be loaded with only $400. What a bargain of a stocking stuffer!
You can’t just walk into your corner Starbucks and pick up one of these babies, though. You need to buy them at the luxury gift website Gilt
. They aren’t even for sale yet. The sale will start in two days.
The steel card will give holders a few extra perks like a free drink on their birthday and a free food or drink item after 12 Stars. These are the same perks offered to Starbucks Rewards
members, points that can be earned with any registered gift card — including the ones that you buy for $10 and are loaded with $10.
Starbucks has also recently started selling a $7 cup of coffee
that has some people excited.
I’m not anti-Starbucks. I go there once in a while. I like that when I’m in a hurry at the airport or train station, I know I can pop into Starbucks for a few quick organic food and drink options. But, I also know that these options are pricey. I don’t go there, or anywhere else, for my daily coffee. I brew it at home. We go through about one $7.99 12-ounce bag of fair trade, organic coffee a week in our house. That’s two cups of coffee a day for two people. We’d get two cups of regular Starbucks coffee for that price, once we paid tax and tip.
So buying a $400 gift card for $450 makes no sense to me. Neither does buying a $7 cup of coffee. USA Today calls it upper-end exclusivity. These things are status symbols.
If a status symbol exists to impress others, there’s something I want to know. Who will be impressed when you whip out a steel gift card that isn’t worth what you paid for it? What’s impressive about that? I'd really like to know.
If you have a different opinion about this, I'd love to hear it. Would you buy this card for someone? Why?