Fake Mugs List

Updated November 30, 2015

Because of the vast growing interest in Starbucks City mugs, sellers have caught on and taken advantage of our passion. Thank you to the hard working collectors out there who help to put this guide together and especially thank you to  to Martin Kanz for all your efforts of putting this together!  Please visit this site for more information.



  1. Kristina

    I have a question. I was just in Dallas and my mug was free with purchase. Is that usually the case? I want a Chicago one but they are over $20 on Amazon.

    • Hong Luong

      If you got yours at a Starbucks store, then it’s real. Sometimes they give customers free things, coffee, latte, ect…You just have to be careful when you are buying online, like Ebay. Those can be fake, especially if they are shipped from China. If you buy them at starbucks.com, then they are real, but they don’t usually sell city mugs on their site, just very random.

      • Jessa Marquez Ferreras

        i think the 3 mugs i ordered from ebay were fake because of all the mugs i bought its lettering was a little bit bigger than my real ones i bught from the store. ill show photos if interested. should i return it?

      • Hong Luong

        If you have any doubts about any mugs you bought from Ebay, you should definitely return it. There will always be mugs sold online and it’s best to buy it from a collector. You can check their profile before buying. Many collectors do sell their mugs because they don’t have rooms in their house or they have other priorities so they stop collecting and want to sell their mugs to other collectors.

  2. Woz

    i got a seattle II mug from a friend, but it’s a 2011 collector series, but i check the guide, there shouldn’t be 2011 collector series, but all the printing looks like a real one.

    • Hong Luong

      If it an Icon series, then it’s part of that series because that series started in 2008 and lasted until YAH came out. I am pretty sure it’s a real one if your friend bought it for you at a Starbucks store.

  3. Steve

    I find it amusing that printing errors are used as proof that a mug is a fake. look at banknotes that are off centre a little when they are cut, those aren’t fake. Just like the notes, these mugs are mass produced, and as such, things will fall out of alignment on the machines from time to time. Until they are alignment error is caught, there will be mistakes. (less colour, text or images are moved left or right, things printed higher or lower etc. )

    Personally, in my collection of about 120 mugs, I have 3 so called ‘fake’ mugs and the corresponding ‘real’ mugs, Tokyo, Bali, Hong Kong, and each one including the ‘fakes’ were purchased at the same Starbucks store, at the same time whilst on holidays.

    Any mugs that have bad colouring or have improper alignment, are still sold at stores all over the world as the manager or the store can either put them on the shelves, or return them to the factory. You can be assured that every city or country that has the icon mug, could be looked at long enough until someone can find a difference and then the mug will be branded a fake. It is a shame really that people who have noticed minor differences on a mugs, put together a list and it is accepted as ‘the authentic list of fakes’ even though one of the first things said on the list is:

    “Any information given in here may be incomplete and/or incorrect.”

    • Hong Luong


      I am not an expert but some of these mugs are bought and sold from China so that might be the reason. Usually, if a mug is sold online, they are usually very expensive but there are some from China that are unusually cheap that’s why some collectors feel that it’s fake…again, these are just our thoughts and investigations. You certainly do not have to go along with us. There are definitely misprints like you said, but the ones that are, are recalled and a new version is released, like the Epcot mug…but again, these are just my thoughts and I appreciate all the effort collectors have put into making this document. I do not find their efforts amusing at all…

    • William

      You would not be saying that once you see these fakes in production in China. I visited China a few times, and there are many shopping areas in Guangzhou known for their knock-offs. I have seen my fair share of fake bags, watches, clothes, and etc. I guess essentially anything that they can turn into profit.

      I think you can safely assume Starbucks mugs listed on eBay from areas of China with quantity amount of 100+ pieces are fakes for such a low price.

  4. Arty

    There’s a milan barista mug that’s being sold on ebay, is that genuine as I know there are no nor has been any Starbucks in Milan or anywhere in Italy?

    • Hong Luong

      There is no Milan mug but the person can buy it from other place and ship it from his/her home in Milan. Just make sure you get the sku number. I can send you a list that a collector compile with the sku Number if you send me an en email at hongluong72@gmail.com

    • Jane

      Hi NO Strarbucks in Milan i been there LAST month. I been also looking for the SB Mugs but seems there are no store of it there.

  5. Roland

    I am a collector of the City Mugs and just bought a lot of 5 on ebay shipping from China. After reviewing the PDF, comparing to the pictures on ebay… they are all fakes. Not yet arrived though. Will ebay refund me? Looking closer on ebay, there are *a lot* of seemingly fake City Mugs posted for sale. Ebay needs to clamp down on counterfeits. I would think Starbucks would be watching ebay for fakes being sold?

    • Hong Luong

      You should put in a dispute with Ebay and see what happens. I don’t know what the policy is for returning on Ebay. Unfortunately, Starbucks is not involved in our collecting mugs. They only want you to go to the city that has the mugs to get the mugs…and

  6. John

    According to your Guide on Fake Mugs, one of the signs that a mug is fake is that the “4 in 473ml is bold.” I bought a Macau Icon Mug in a Starbucks Store in Macau [St. Paul’s Ruin]. When I removed the SKU [which was correct] from the bottom of the mug, I saw that the 4 in the “12 oz/473ml” was BOLD! Either the Guide is wrong, or the mugs being sold were mixed with fake ones!

  7. Geoff

    My wife and I started collecting the global icon series (not knowing it was a series) during a few international trips. So now whenever we go anywhere we look. We discovered this weekend after talking to a barista that those mugs are no longer available in the US. I would like to keep our collection growing but do not care one ounce if it is a real mug from Starbucks. Is there a good place to knock-offs?

    • Hong Luong

      Ebay sellers from China sells fake mugs. They are very reasonable prices, too good to be true so most likely, they are fake.

  8. rose ann sibal

    hi can you send me a photo of your authentic starbucks cup that can be colored with? someone was selling a cup to me and im kinda iffy about it
    thanks in advance

  9. Pingback: Starbucks Japan Christmas Tumbler 2011 – Starbucks International
    • Hong Luong

      If it’s from Alabama, it’s usually real and it’s the YAH series so they look real. Most fake mugs are shipped from China and usually consisted of discontinued mugs. You’re fine.

    • Hong Luong

      The mugs look real. It looks like he bought it while traveling..usually if they are from USA, they are real ones. The fakes ones are usually shipped from China and they are usually discontinued mugs.

    • Hong Luong

      Yes, mugs can be made in China or Thailand. The mugs seems real since it’s from TN USA. Most fake mugs are sold from China for a very cheap price.

  10. Alex

    Sorry for so many questions i have…!! Is his you are here Las Vegas 2015 mug can be mande in Thailand? Cause i checked with other people’s photo and it is all made in china and i also have some of made in Thailand… I have SKU number which is same as on here. I uploaded my photo here… I hope its not fake…

  11. Eugenie

    I bought a Starbuck’s mug (from the store) while still living in Santa Barbara in 1994. It was made in Thailand. One of the crosses on the top of the Old Mission is not erect, but instead ‘hanging’ off to one side (the base of the cross is in the correct place). Has anyone seen or heard of this misprint? Thank you.

  12. CFS

    I got a yah mug from Washington DC which is red inside, not grey. This is the only difference. Is this a fake or just a funny misprint?

    • Hong Luong

      If you bought it at a Starbucks store then it’s a real mug. Might be a misprint. It happens from time to time.

  13. Megan w

    Just bought a tumbler off eBay and its fake. The seller is in china and said it would be to much of a hassle to send it back so they want to send me a new one. But i just want my money back. Any advice?? They said the one I got is defective but i already have a huge collection and its clearly not real.

    • Hong Luong

      Hi, unfortunately, I don’t have any advice for you about this. Most of the time when I buy something online, I do check where it’s shipping from and China is one place I will stay away from buying. I also check out their profile as well. I am sorry you got scammed.

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