Addiction is a terrible thing, as evidenced by the fact that Starbucks addicts are so far down the rabbit hole that they couldn't help themselves from plunking down $450 for an etched steel gift card sold through luxury online shop Gilt. USA Today reported that only 5000 of the cards were produced and it would appear that they completely sold out almost the moment they went on sale this week.
To be clear, that's a card loaded with $400 worth of coffee money and $50 worth of consumer status. The cards also confer upon you Starbucks Gold level VIP status which provides you with free drinks and other nice things.
If you were hoping to score one of these cards yourself your only hope is to bid on them on eBay. It would appear that a handful of these cards have made it into the "secondary" market and with scalpers opening bids as low as $400 and as high as $5,000. It would appear that the cards were made available to existing Starbucks members prior to the initial sale and doesn't seem unreasonable that they were all purchased by existing members before they even hit the market.
At least that's the charge being put forward by Eater.com. A quick look at the Gilt Facebook page shows that there are not an awful lot of happy would be buyers out there. While there are a few people who got the invite to the pre-sale nobody seems to have come forward indicating that they were actually able to purchase the card on the open market. There is also a great deal of criticism directed towards Gilt for being less than forthcoming about whether or not there were EVER cards available to the general public.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.