Cards from Russia

Cards from Russia

Postby ponzu » Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:13 pm

What is collecting Russian cards like? According to Bucks Cards, there have been 11 issues repeating US designs. Of those, four seem to be current according to the Starbucks Russia web site. One of those largely repeats the "Thanks!" card, but with "Thanks" written in Russian, so it's more fun to collect than the rest.

There have also been two unique ones, of which the "Matryoshka Doll" appears to be mega rare, and "Moscow" is current, but still somewhat rare -- I see "Get it now" auctions crop up on eBay at $50 and up, many of them going unsold.

I don't have any Russian cards (yet), but I have boots on the ground in Moscow. I could put people on the task, but I don't know how cards are made available in Russian stores. My impression is that they always need to be loaded, and with considerable amounts, too. The "Moscow" cards needs to be loaded with a minimum 1000 rubles, or $32. As a result, I imagine that most Russian cards being made available for sale or trade are used. What are they worth in the US?

Do mint cards ever make it out of Russia? I imagine it would have to be baristas themselves making the sale.

Any upfront information will be appreciated, and I will make my agents on the ground do the rest of the investigating and acquiring. Perhaps I will have some cards for trade later.

Thanks!
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Re: Cards from Russia

Postby newbharry » Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:13 am

It's hard to find mint russian cards. I know people already within Starbucks and I get fresh cards from the headquarter, and even those have scratches. The reason is because they are not kept in sleeves. I have been talking with the main director about implementing sleeves, but it's not easy.

Russian post is hard to work with. Whoever you have in Moscow will wait for 2 hours to send a couple cards, with the big chance of loosing them, or having to wait 2 months for others to receive. Unless you also know someone in the post office who can "expedite" your cards, it's hardly possible to sell the cards from Russia.

Starbucks cards do cost 34$, but consider the metro going to and from starbucks, which is 2$, and then metro to and from post office, another 2$. That brings it up to 38$. It will take the person 1-2 hours to get to and from Starbucks, in the extreme cold condition, and the same for post office + 2 hours of wait.

Not many people will be willing to do this. Just wanted to let you know why people are selling for 50$+ Why? the risk issue. when you loose a card, you send a new one, or full refund.

Matryoshka is rare because I believe less than 100 of them made it out of the country. I know i personally sold around 48 - 55 cards. I've seen some that were just thrown away.
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