5 posts • Page 1 of 1
I know that a lot of collectors like to have mint items in their collections. But with many countries requiring you to deposit a minimum of five bucks (or Euros) on a card in order to acquire it, and the machine leaving a mark on the card as a result, how strict are collectors of Starbucks cards about such marks?
Thank you for your help!
I can't speak for other collectors - - but I hate the scratches caused by swiping the cards at the point-of-purchase machines!
So, for the past decade or so I've been placing cards with a magnetic strip in a plastic collector sleeve first, before purchasing them and while activating and using them. (This is not necessary for cards with bar codes only, like Target, obviously.) The sleeves are crystal clear, very thin plastic, that I bought from a dealer years ago. He has since passed on, and I have not been able to find more, so I continue to reuse them, until they fall apart or are no longer usable. I've bought different sleeves from another dealer, probably made from polypropylene, but they are not thin enough to use for anything other than storage.
I've successfully used this method hundreds of times at stores - from Taco Bell to Walmart to Starbucks - and even pay at the pump gas stations. Sometimes it takes more than one try. I usually explain it to the cashier / store associate first - - and watch to make sure they don't take it out of the sleeve to swipe it (and then put it back in the sleeve). That's happened more than once.
Is this an inconvenience? You bet. But despite repeated use, the gift cards show absolutely no wear and tear from the experience, and stay in mint condition. The bottom line: If you have 2 cards, side by side, one with scratches, one without - - which one would you prefer to have in your collection?
I don't know why people keep saying that cards from the US and Canada are free. You need to load a $5 minimum in it and new collectors learn from others that you can just take as much as you want from the stores because they are free. No they aren't for free.
Anyway, I usually tell the one running the register not to swipe them hard. Not everyone does it but most do if you tell them you are a collector. I, on the other hand, don't care much for the swipes because all countries that offers cards need to be swiped so what is the point of collecting only "mint" cards when most of them have a swipe mark or two? You can also try to do what the previous person suggested about the plastic sleeves. It will take a while but it does help.
On rare occasions the cards can be picked up for "free"...like if you know someone who works for Starbucks and you are a regular for the last 13 years, such as I am. I have gotten to know people so they know I collect the cards for the artwork and don't mind handing off a card or two.
That being said, though, now that I have done a little research on these as collectibles, I prefer the mint as well.
5 posts • Page 1 of 1
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