May 17, 2007

Just me and my starbucks gift card

A very sweet client at the dog daycare sent me a Starbucks gift card as a thank you for loving her dogs. She likes coffee as much as I do and always brings it to the daycare when she brings Abbey. That's one thing, but me stepping foot into one of the 64 Starbucks in San Francisco (49 square miles) is quite another.

Last time I got one of these I gave it to my co-worker, who stops by Starbucks frequently. But I'm not a fan of advertising for Starbucks either. I'm betting the gift card is non-refundable, which means that if I don't do something with it, then there was straight profit.

Have you ever seen the Church of Stop Shopping's actions at Starbucks? Wouldn't it be nice if we all went together to return our unwanted gift cards? Hangin' on to the idiot piece of plastic until I find a solution.


Anonymous said...

Give it to a foodbank, a soup kitchen or a homeless person.(I don't patronize them either: dislike their packaged image and their coffee).

kevin said...

At my work's last holiday white elephant exchange, I ended up with a starbucks AND a jack-in-the-box gift card. Being an avid supporter of locally-owned business and a vegetarian who shuns fast food, I felt insulted. I still have the plastic things, and the best thing I've thought of is to find someone who appears homeless or hungry and give them away. At least then someone in need will be fed and the cards won't become straight profit for the corporations.

great blog :)

nm said...

I got one last year, I use it only at airports.

It has been a godsend for me in places DFW and SAN where there is no uncorporate coffee. I have to say I love SEA for the fact they have alternatives to SBUX = all local in the airport!

Give it to a homeless person or a shelter worker who can probably use it to.


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gr8fulsol said...

Hey, don't feel bad. I have a box of stuff with the same intention. I like the return the cards enmasse idea. If nothing else everyone drops them in a containe leave 'em there.

Yerba Buena

crystal said...

Go to a starbucks find someone buying coffee & sell it for a few bucks less than it's worth.

Christa said...

Gotta say, I don't really understand why so many people are down on starbucks. My attitude is that chain stores WILL exist and it's better to patronize the good ones than to let the bad ones take over. Starbucks gives their employees healthcare and treats them well. They put a ridiculous amount of effort into getting recycled paper into their cups (it's only 10% but that's more than any other coffeeshop has - none of my local indepenant shops uses recycled paper in their cups). They give a discount for bringing your own cup (some of my local independant shops do this but not all). And they sell at least some fair trade coffee and organic milk (even if I would prefer it were Organic Valley instead of Horizon at least it is a start). Oh, and their political donations are pretty damned blue.

When there's an independant coffee shop convenient that has good coffee I'll go there (and, seriously, the coffee at some of those independant places REALLY sucks). But when there isn't I will gleefully go to the local starbucks.

You don't have to agree with me. Do what you feel is right. I just didn't want people reading this to think that all liberals, environmentalists, whatever, are all down on Sbux.

Rochelle said...

I live in Seattle and though there's a million other indie shops on every corner, the cards are still the "thank you's" of the business trade. Instead of wasting the cards and putting another buck in Howard's pocket, I say use 'em. They sell cd's as well as coffee. If you can't use the item, re-gift it.

JD said...

I use mine only to buy the New York Times. After a few Sundays, it will be all used up.

CFC said...

Starbucks already has the money someone spent buying the card. Nothing you can really do about that. The best ways to do something you feel is constructive with the situation would be to:
Donate the card to a charity you wish to support.
Sell it and either keep the money or donate the money to a cause you wish to support.
I remember reading about a woman who had a small professional services firm that was hired to do work for a cause she found offensive to her personal beliefs. She did not feel she could refuse to do the work - and she didn't believe they were actively hurting specific people but she actively opposed their mission. She determined to give the revenue to the opposing side of the cause which she supported. This seemed like a useful option and I have kept it in mind on many occassions.

jessica lee said...

Reverend Billy is coming to Central Washington University next week! I'm in an art/hybrids class that's performing in the same building for the First Amendment Festival.
it sounds like our college is cool, but it's not. A few people had to pull teeth to make this happen.
Anyway, excited to see a mention of this.
And, by the way: the card is bought and paid for. Not using it will only benefit them.

CK said...

that's jolly good idea!
i don't like sb either just because they're too expensive for me & everywhere (in Seoul, they are a symbol of coolness somehow and quite expensive compared to the living cost)

first visit & comment in your blog. i need lots of help to be reborn as a compacter! Thanks!