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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Selling Coffee Mugs Equals Steamy Profits!

Everybody should believe in something.  I believe I'll have another coffee.  ~Author Unknown

If you are looking for an easy niche to sell on Ebay this could be a profitable area for you to try!  Coffee mugs are found everywhere.  You can find these in your thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales and even in your own kitchen cabinet.

There is a secret to making coffee mugs pay off.  You must forget about what YOU would PAY for a coffee mug.  You must change your mindset and understand that coffee mug collections are a global phenomenon particularly in Japan.   In fact, Japan is driving the US market on mug purchasing at this time.  I've been watching the trends and as I was updating prices on my mug documents I noticed that the pricing for some brands have tripled since November.   I'll show you a few examples of high priced mugs below.  Remember to right click on these links and open in a new window or tab so that you can keep this article open as you check out the information.

Right now, Fire King remains the leader in mug sales.  Fire King can be found at yard sales, sometimes thrift stores but most certainly you will find these at flea markets.  The advertising mugs are going sky high!  Here are a few examples:

You can see the full completeds on Fire King here To learn more about Fire King, the best resource on markings and on types, I suggest this site to bookmark.

In November the highest prices were running around $150 to $200 on the average.  As you can see, this brand is super hot!!  (remember we are talking Advertising Mugs... Some mugs that are not advertising will just sit there)  Study those completeds!

Starbucks is off and running again!  For awhile the sales had cooled off, but now even the travel cup pricing is rising!  That is good news for the thrift store shoppers!

Pricing and Buying

The biggest question I get on mugs is how to price and what kinds of mugs to pick up. This is one category that I can safely suggest an auction when it comes to Fire King and Starbucks, but remember to NOT start your auction low.  Start your auction on a high note, and if it does not sell, do not be disparaged, put it in your store for a high price!  Consult the completeds to make sure you do not UNDER PRICE.  Raise the bar on the pricing!  I normally put a mug in twice the price that I would like to receive and include the "Best Offer".  I let it ride, waiting on that one special buyer.  I set a price that I won't go under in my store.  My mugs are all $19.99 and up.  (I'll accept half of what I list it for.)  It has to be worth your while to mess with mugs. 

, I am very picky on choosing mugs.  The mug must have one of these qualities:
  • The mug has to have that Wow Factor.  Is it beautiful?  Is it unusual? Does it look expensive?  Is it an advertising mug?
  • I'll always pick up cat mugs.  The cat collectors love these!  Check out the cat mugs here.
  • Is it old?  I'll always pick up a vintage mug.  I'll also pick up children's mugs, craft and home made mugs.  
  • Is the mug colorful? My mug buyers love vibrant color mugs.
  • I'll always pick up a Disney mug.  Completeds HERE
  • I'll always pick up a Laurel Burch mug.  Completeds HERE
If you have any questions on coffee mug niches and selling tips, be sure to visit our Facebook group:  Ebay Underground

Ebay Underground is a large group of seasoned sellers and upcoming sellers joining together to help each other be successful in the coming year!  We share our information for free, we do not use your information for personal gain like some sites do!  We are here for you!


  1. Great Post Tina! Thanks for sharing your Knowledge with us!!

    Happy eBaying,

  2. Thank you so much for posting this info! I scour the mugs at GW whenever I am able to go there.. but this will give me a better perspective and a keener eye! :)

  3. Loved this info! thanks for posting it!
    One question...I noticed in your search parameters on Ebay you've used -mara.
    What exactly is that excluding?

  4. Hi Terri, When I did the first search I noticed a huge amount of listings for Mara mugs. Actually I was tired of looking at those.. lol! If you take out the -mara you can see those prices. I suspect that this is an artist collection that is current as the mugs were by the same seller. Good Catch, I didn't know if anyone would notice that !