How to fight Chinese Fake Starbucks Mugs

I have been a Starbucks mug collector for some years now. It is fun, It reminds me the places I have visited, the people I met and the new tastes (or familiar ones with a local twist) on my many travels around the world.
Sometimes, the mugs I buy break on the way home

So, I went to eBay and saw this


I was happy, New mug, almost the same price and a wide veraiety to choose from. One stop shop!
The mug arrived after 2 weeks, no original box, fonts on the mug all wrong, and even the shape of the mug was a bit off. That was my first exposure to the huge Chinese fakes market.

We can fight this! I have been doing this for some time now and there are a few eBay sellers who are no longer daring sale Fake Starbucks. Some even quited all together. I will show you how. But first, the (very) clear signs you are about to buy a fake mug:

  • Location mugs are being solde only at the specific locations depicted on the mug. Only exceptions are airports and highway stores. If you see a seller who sells huge amounts of mugs from all over the world, those are not likely originals
  • A seller who ships from China/Hong Kong a new mug, for a total of $20 or less, When a new mug costs about $12 is not selling you the real thing!
  • Lastly, if you receive the mug in a box which is not the well know green or blue Starbucks boxes, you most likely revceived a fake. Below is the most common fake Starbucks box used out there.

Now that we know how do avoid fakes, I’ll show you how to fight them, if you so choose.

eBay terms of use prohibit the sale of fake items. If you where to buy a fake item, a mug, from such a Faker Seller, do the following to punish him:

Buy a mug or two.

When the mug arrives (and it will be clear that is a fake) Immediatly give the seller negative feedback and start a return request. The reason must be the truth, i.e. “Item does not seem authentic” or “Item not as described”. Choosing those option will make sure the return shipping fees will be paid by the seller and not you.
The seller will contact you and use a templated message (very long one) which will offer a 50% refund and that you sell the mug for a profit to another unfortunate buyer.
Resist that temptation. The seller can not force you to accept partial refund. Answer politely that he sold you a fake mug and you want a to return the mug for a full refund.
The seller will continue with those long messages for 4-5 days, after which, you need to escalate the case for eBay’s review. At that time either the seller or eBay will fully refund you within 1-2 days.
After that the seller will send messages asking you to remove his negative feedback, otherwise he will get fired and he is a very poor fellow.
Here you can put the condition he removes all the fake mug sales or just ignore him.
If you remove the negative feedback, he can continue to sell on eBay fake mugs, so don’t.

Let’s keep the market clean of fakes.


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