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STARBUCKS CARDS- MINT vs USED/ACTIVATED as of Sept 2011

lina-mallows
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STARBUCKS CARDS- MINT vs USED/ACTIVATED as of Sept 2011
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STARBUCKS COLLECTIBLE GIFT CARDS

For the UNITED STATES, CANADA, and the UNITED KINGDOM:

Starting September 1st., 2011, when using Starbucks automated systems (1-800-STARBUCK), Starbucks now requires that a Gift Card's PIN number be entered, to ascertain the card's balance; or whether the gift card has been activated.

As most any collector will tell you, maintaining a collectible item in as close to original condition, as issued, is the ultimate goal.  And, to remove the PIN coating to ascertain the card's PIN number for verification, would grossly compromise the integrity of what may be a truly MINT, and UNACTIVATED card!  As such, after September 1st., 2011, it has become increasingly difficult to ascertain by using the automated systems that Starbucks has provided, to ascertain the status of any given collectible Starbucks Gift Card.

As we would rarely* consider offering card's without their original PIN coating, if issued in such a manner**, we are put in the difficult position of, at times, not being able to ascertain if a card is MINT, or activated.  For some, the physical condition of the Gift Card is what matters, and we try to very accurately describe the cards we offer as collectible items.  However, with the current situation we, as well likely most other sellers, are at a loss as to how to try and ascertain the status of those Gift Cards purchased/acquired through third parties.   As such, we would simply ask that for those who are concerned about purchasing truly MINT and UNACTIVATED Gift Cards, know your dealer, and their track record.

It is possible, with a bit of patience, to call the 1-800-STARBUCK number, and ask that an actual person verify the Gift Card's status, by quoting them the Gift Card's serial number, without revealing the PIN.  Though time consuming, this is likely the easiest way to determine that what you have purchased, is what was described.  We at lina-mallows believe that happy customers are a good thing.  We also believe in delivering to our customers collectible items in the manner, and condition, that they have been described.  We hope that others offering similar collectible Gift Cards share our concerns, and can offer their customers the same assurances.

* Some earlier Starbucks cards had very fragile PIN coatings.  And, with some scarcer issues, many of the few that do show up in the  market have partial or missing PIN coatings.
** Several Starbucks Gift Cards issued in rigid paper carriers, for retail display, do not have a PIN coating on the card, as issued.
Though at first glance, it appears that the PIN coating has been removed; closer examination will reveal that the PIN coating was never present.  The telltale rectangular impression of the PIN coating's application which is most often seen, is missing, or the plastic carrier that the PIN coating was applied to is not present.  As such for those issued without a PIN coating, the PIN presents itself as being printed on a smooth, and even backround, like the Gift Card's serial number.


STARBUCKS CARDS- MINT vs USED/ACTIVATED as of Sept 2011
©2011Sir Mark L. Alter - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
REVISED 2011/05/10 SMLA (Iwuiltm, Iwuiltm. Wtswyomm.)
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