Usually when you pay $200 for something, you expect to get roughly $200 of value, especially when that thing is a gift card. Starbucks does not appear to subscribe to this philosophy. For Mother’s Day, the coffee chain is rolling out its first-ever limited edition gift card to “treat mom.” The card is “metal and ceramic” with “laser-etched floral details and satin ceramic finish.” It comes in a “beautiful gift box with matching design.” It’s preloaded with $50. It costs $200.
Starbucks plans to sell 1,500 of the, er, special gift cards this year, which it notes are “more than a gift card.” Crazily enough, this isn’t the first time Starbucks has tried a 300 percent markup.* Last holiday season, the company introduced a “silver” card that also retailed for $200 and came with $50 toward Starbucks purchases. With that item, Starbucks defended the cost as the actual value of the sterling silver that went into making the gift card and key ring it came on. The year before that, Starbucks marketed 1,000 limited edition “rose gold” cards, which cost $450 and were preloaded with $400 of value. They sold out in seconds.
At least according to Starbucks’ website, the Mother’s Day card is still available, so if paying four times the value for something is your jam, you can go order it online now. And hey, this isn’t a total ripoff. That extra $150 also gets you free shipping!
*Correction, April 21, 2015: This post originally misstated that the gift card markup was 400 percent. It’s a 300 percent markup, or 400 percent of the original price.