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Stanley cup craze: As prices soar, scammers swoop in

As stores sell out and prices rise on the secondhand market, scammers lurk everywhere, as one woman learned.
Posted at 7:42 AM, Jan 10, 2024

You might not expect to see a frenzy over a water cup, but it is happening nationwide. And now, shoppers are scanning the resale market for these collectibles, hoping to get lucky and find a deal.

But increasingly, that deal is turning out to be a scam.

Camping out results in a win

Aria Munoz and her dad, Vincent Marcus, were some of the first people in line at Target recently for its limited-edition pink Stanley cup.

“We spent the night at Target for the new Stanley Starbucks cup,” Munoz said. “On TikTok, these just started blowing up and I was like obsessed with them.”

Her dad decided to go on the hunt, telling us, “It's just a cup, right? But she wanted to do it. And I'd do anything for her.”

Why are Stanley cups so popular and selling for hundreds of dollars?
One of Stanley's popular pink cups.

Why are Stanley cups so popular and selling for hundreds of dollars?

Regular 40-ounce Stanley tumblers go for $40–$57, but the limited editions are fetching $200–$300 on resale sites.


So they camped out in the cold outside Target, making it home with one of the coveted cups. Within hours, they saw the resale value was skyrocketing online.

“I think the most expensive one I saw was about $250 or $300,” Marcus said.

Scammers lure with discount ads

With demand for special-edition cups climbing, scammers are now taking note. Amy Wiebell is among the growing number of scam victims.

"I had come across an ad on Facebook," she said, "and it showed Stanley cups on sale for less than half price."

The ad had a logo of a major national retailer, and the website looked like the real thing.

"They were advertising the 40-ounce Stanley tumbler (normally $45) for $19 apiece," she said.

She couldn’t believe her luck, so she ordered five of them for Christmas.

 "I felt like Oprah," Wiebell said, "I was like, 'You're getting a Stanley cup; you're getting a Stanley cup,' and I even got one for myself!"

Unfortunately, it was all a scam.  Nothing ever showed up, the selling site disappeared, and Wiebell was out almost $100 on the debit card she used to make the purchase.

7 budget-friendly alternatives to the Stanley cup
7 budget-friendly alternatives to the Stanley cup

7 budget-friendly alternatives to the Stanley cup

If the original is just a little too steep for your wallet, these budget friendly Stanley cup alternatives are perfect.


Melanie McGovern of the Better Business Bureau warns shoppers to only purchase through sellers they know and trust.

“People want them. They want to be seen with them. That's where the scammers come in," McGovern said.

She says you need to ask yourself, “Do they have a good reputation? Have they been around for a while?” Next, watch out for copycat websites and ads on social media that seem too good to be true. The official site is She says beware of lookalike sites with slightly different URLs.

Wiebell now wants to warn other shoppers to be careful buying these cups from ads, especially if the price seems unusually low. As for Munoz and her dad, they say the memory of the time together waiting in line for a cup was priceless.

“You're gonna keep it? "Marcus asked.  "Yeah, forever," his daughter said.