POLL: 73% Of Americans Think Starbucks Is Overpriced, 21% Are Unsure, And The Rest Were Probably Being Sarcastic

A new survey says that 73% of Americans think Starbucks is overpriced, 21% said they were unsure, and only 6% came to Starbucks’ defense. (We were kidding about that sarcastic thing. Teehee.) The survey also found that the vast majority of American’s don’t go Starbucks for their daily coffee fix:

Starbucks coffee shops seem to be on nearly corner in major U.S. cities, but surprisingly 76 percent of American adults say they rarely or never visit one of the shops, and only 14 percent say they visit occasionally.

That might be because the java giant’s prices are too high.

This may explain why we’re so bored of “personal finance experts” telling people to stop going to Starbucks for their daily latte in order to save a million billion dollars a year. Apparently, you’ve already stopped.

Starbucks coffee is too expensive, new survey says [Star-Tribune]
(Photo: iwantamonkey )

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Bladefist says:

    Anybody know what their margin is? That would clear it up pretty quick.

  2. I think for what you get it is overpriced. At least from what I remember from their prices.

    I haven’t been to a Starbucks in about a year now … maybe as little as 6 months.

  3. VA_White says:

    I love a pumpkin spice latte but I don’t commute to work anymore so there is no reason to go out of my house in the morning to get one. I’d have to get DRESSED for goodness sake. I bought stovetop moka pot and started making my own mochas at home.

    I get Starbucks once in a while now instead of three or four times a week. I calculated the other day that I’ve saved at least $290 on coffee since April.

  4. The one option should say, “Strbcks’ cff tsts brnt.”

  5. shoegazer says:

    heh @option3.

    However… in London, Starbucks is actually cheaper than Costa Coffee and the other UK chains. At least with the espresso-based drinks. I wonder how many people forgo Starbucks for an even pricier chain store coffee?

  6. bdgbill says:

    I do not currently think Starbucks is overpriced because of the quality of product and level of customer service I usually receive there.

    Unfortunately, Starbucks seems to be trying to turn itself into McDonalds lately. I have seen stores making and selling breakfast sandwiches and some products seem to be designed to appeal to children.

    I am a daily Starbucks customer but will stop going if I have to wait in line for 20 minutes because someone in front of me ordered 5 bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches.

  7. mariospants says:

    Sorry but my wife and I – and many, many of our friends – are Starbucks addicts. If I could find a tasty alternative to the Javachip Frappucino elsewhere I would, but Tim Horton’s blended beverage is hardly cheaper (it only costs less because it generally comes in smaller sizes) and doesn’t taste nearly as good. My wife just gets a tall or grande decaf at something like $2 which is basically what decent coffee costs elsewhere. Call me a shill, but I love the place and the food, and if they were more generous on the freebies for regulars (a points card or just bring back the overflowing service coupons) I’d be more inclined to say their prices are just fine.

    Anyway, it’s a treat. If you limit yourself to $30 a month, you’ll be ok.

  8. MayorBee says:

    I think it’s overpriced, but this post really got me wanting a caramel frappuccino.

  9. gmoney says:

    @shoegazer:

    Actually Starbucks and Caribou are in fact a little cheaper here (NC) than the local independents. But if it’s a $4 drink you’re after in the first place, spending the extra 20 cents to have it made with beans roasted two or three (or sometimes fewer) days ago is sort of a no-brainer.

  10. Angryrider says:

    For $5 I bought half a friggin’ muffin and a small tea in an act of desperation uptown. Is there anything wrong with that? YES!
    I can get that for about $1.50 at that Chinese bakery a few blocks away from another Starbucks.

  11. gmoney says:

    Starbucks makes a bad Cafe Mocha, the worst I’ve had outside of McDonalds. Sweet and weak.

  12. gorckat says:

    On occasion, I suck down a White Chocolate Mocha.

    It’s pricey, but a fun splurge.

  13. milk says:

    It is overpriced, but that doesn’t stop me from going. Hooray fiscal irresponsibility.

  14. DraconWolfX says:

    For a regular coffee I don’t think they’re that overpriced. They’re roughly on par with Dunkin Donuts and I think the coffee tastes better at SB. The specialty drinks are very overpriced though.

  15. TVarmy says:

    Starbucks is high quality, even though their drinks are pretty carbon-y. However, to get their quality of drinks, it doesn’t take much work at home. Buy an Aeropress ($35) and a cheap blade grinder ($10) and a milk frother ($10), and you have a pretty good setup for under $60. As of now, you can drink pretty much any coffee you want daily and the setup will be cheaper than starbucks in a few weeks if you are the daily latte kinda guy, or wish you could afford to be that guy.

    Of course, if you’re on a budget like me, you can go with Eight O’Clock whole bean Colombian, a cheap coffee that is surprisingly good. No, I’m not being paid to pitch them. I just like them, and Cook’s Illustrated agreed with me. They cost about $5.69 at my grocery store, while starbucks runs a good $9 a bag, for a bag which is slightly smaller, and in my opinion, is not as good.

    Of course, I figure a lot of the price at Starbucks is paying for image and atmosphere, but they’re rapidly losing that. People don’t care much about atmosphere when the economy is bad and they just want a caffeine fix, and image fell apart when Starbucks became mainstream. The way hipsters operate, it’s no longer cool if other people think it’s cool, so Starbucks effectively had a ceiling on how much they could penetrate the market from day one, regardless of the economy.

  16. anibundel says:

    @bdgbill: Your complaint is outdated. They have already begun phasing out the breakfast sandwiches for “interfering with the coffee smell.”
    This is why I now frequent Dunkin Donuts. Because it was ok to stop at Starbucks in the morning if I was also picking up breakfast, but there’s no reason to stop for overpriced coffee if I then have to go elsewhere to get a decent breakfast sandwich.

  17. dieselman8 says:

    A while back, a study found that kids in kindergarten thought everything tasted better when it came wrapped in McDonald’s packaging than when it didn’t.

    Starbucks is doing the same thing, but with atmospherics.
    It’s coffee that’s packaged up and served in a trendy atmosphere in a fancy paper cup with a starbuck’s logo. That’s why they feel justified in charging more.

    Some consumers, unfortunately, fall for it.

  18. AD8BC says:

    I enjoy a Caramel Mocha or a Frappucino on occasion. Overpriced, yes, but yummy.

  19. regenerator says:

    The major flaw I see in this poll is that they’ve singled out Starbucks. It would have been more accurate to poll adults on how often they visit coffee shops in general, or more specifically how often they purchase coffee rather than brew their own. Saying that 76% of the population doesn’t go to Starbucks doesn’t tell me much; what if 90% of those people just don’t purchase coffee anywhere? This poll makes it look as though people specifically avoid Starbucks, and while that could be the case, it isn’t necessarily.

  20. backbroken says:

    Uh, if you still get your drinks there, then you don’t think it’s overpriced.

    Also, the way the article portrays the statistics is misleading. So 76% of Americans rarely or never visit Starbucks?

    Let’s see here…325,000,000 X .24 = 78,000,000.

    So, roughly 78 million Americans do visit occasionally or regularly. That’s 1 out of 4. Think about that. Imagine you had a business where 1 out of 4 Americans at least occasionally patronize your store. Yeah, I’d say that kind of business can support a store on every corner. I’m shedding no tears for Starbucks.

  21. timmus says:

    Well, there’s a difference between expensive and overpriced. Expensive? Yes. Overpriced? Well, they’re usually in prime locations, they sell mostly just coffee, and the benefits are said to be good. So maybe not really.

  22. krispykrink says:

    I hate the place, always have. The coffee there is just nasty. I posted before, I’ve been going to a local place since 1992. They roast their own beans daily, better flavor, better prices, better people and a wider menu with real food.

    About 5 years ago I won a $25 Starbucks gift card at work. I was never going to use it, so I gave it to some homeless guy I passed on the street.

  23. Amiga_500 says:

    I don’t like coffee, but there Apple Cider is quite good.

  24. Lin-Z [linguist on duty] says:

    I’m sure their coffee is overpriced but their cream-based stuff is probably just expensive. I only go to starbucks to study/bask in their air conditioning. So…$5 for sitting there for two hours is actually a very good price.

  25. TVarmy says:

    @DraconWolfX: Dunkin’ Donuts tastes worse than Starbucks, costs more. I think they’re trying to cash in on the conscientious objector, who hate Starbucks for the pseudo-Italian names and menu items, and the fact that Starbucks is big, and they’re better than falling for it like the supposed masses. It kinda reminds me of how Toby from The Office once said on his NBC blog (Yeah, I’m that dorky) that he didn’t like buying books from Amazon because he wanted to support his local Borders.

    Speaking of Borders, has anyone ever seen the prices of coffee at those bookstore coffee shops? The base prices are $4.50, meaning that before you even get to customizing the drink, you’ve already spent a ton.

  26. Legal_Eagle_In_Training says:

    I usually only go when I’ve received a gift card or when it’s a special day – like a friend is visiting from out of state and we HAVE to stop there in the morning before our first outing.

  27. redwall_hp says:

    I’ve never been to Starbucks. They’re ridiculously overpriced. Come on, the stuff smells burnt.

  28. goodcow says:

    Is Starbucks expensive? Yes.

    But just like Apple, there’s a quality to it, both in the products and customer service.

    Plus, they spend more on healthcare costs for employees, including part timers, than the coffee beans. Dunkin Donuts doesn’t provide health care.

  29. I stop at Starbucks when its the last resort. Its the McDonald’s of coffee. I make a vanilla latte every morning with four shots of espresso, the beans I buy are roasted every Monday. At Starbucks it would be $4.50 for this drink. I think I average that a week now. My espresso machine has paid for itself, a simple 99 dollar DeLonghi unit.

    The real problem with Starbucks is that they drove coffee prices up everywhere. I can’t go to an independent to save any money since they raised prices to SB levels.

  30. SuffolkHouse says:

    They are too expensive.

    You can’t just get a cheap cup of coffee there.

    And their fancy drinks, well they might as well be blended danishes with whip cream on top.

  31. scamps says:

    I go to Starbucks for an occasional treat. Otherwise, I go to Dunkin’ Donuts for my regular coffees.

    Here in New England, DD is king. We’re very picky about our coffee. It’s why almost every Krispy Kreme closed within a couple of years – their coffee wasn’t up to par.

  32. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @Legal_Eagle_In_Training: “…we HAVE to stop there in the morning…”
    Are there guns involved in this choice??

    solution: Buy some real coffee (Peets?), a decent grinder, and a decent coffeemaker. Make it at home. Take the money you save and buy yourself something nice.

  33. Triborough says:

    I don’t drink coffee and refuse to set foot in Starbucks.
    Someone once thought they were doing me a favor and got me a hot chocolate from there. It tasted like dishwater.

    Then I got a $25 Starbucks gift card for Christmas. I traded it for a unique New Jersey license plate for my collection.

  34. mzhartz says:

    Personally, I like Starbucks because it’s a treat. I get something maybe once a week. I see it as the same as eating out. Usually I can make good food at home for cheaper, but not having to make it myself is a reward, and I’m willing to spend more for it.

  35. katylostherart says:

    i miss coffee shacks. the little roadside drive thru ones that were all over washington. there’s like two in this state. their coffees were always so much better and about a dollar cheaper per cup.

  36. katylostherart says:

    @goodcow: i’ll definitely agree that the way their employees are treated is great. part time with health care and 401k? GOOD. i can’t agree with people who think starbucks is quality coffee though. it’s really really really just not done right.

  37. regenerator says:

    @doctor_cos: I don’t think you accurately interpreted Legal Eagle’s comment; he was saying that the only time he goes to Starbucks is if he has a guest in tow that wishes to go. In such a case, I think it would be pretty rude to refuse to go. He’s certainly not required to make a purchase, but it’s just good manners to agree to such a small request from a guest.

  38. NTC-Brendan says:

    People are still buying it. No problem with that here. I choose not to pay $3+ for a cup of whatever but I will not throw stones at someone who chooses to do so.

    What kills me is people whining about fuel prices (or whatever the economic gripe of the day might happen to be) while sucking down beer from the pub at $30/gallon, Bottled water from 7-11 at $16/gallon or knocking back Starbucks at $50/gallon. Get Real, LOL.

    Starbucks is more than I care to spend on a coffee/tea but if one wants to use a part of their discretionary spending on it, then go for it and enjoy!

  39. jakesprincess says:

    “The survey also found that the vast majority of American’s don’t go Starbucks for their daily coffee fix:”

    I’d like to know what the Americans in the above sentence are possessing.

  40. JulesNoctambule says:

    I think I’m one of the small percentage of people who has never bought a Starbucks product. I don’t like liquid-candy-bar-in-a-cup-style ‘coffee’ drinks at all, and a few sips from friends’ cups of their brewed coffee convinced me that was not to my liking either, so I’ve never bothered going there. Somehow, I doubt I’m missing much.

  41. imwm says:

    How about who gives a crap, maybe it is overpriced. Go to the gas station if you want a crappy cup of coffee for $.69.

    I will continue to enjoy my overpriced Starbucks coffee.

  42. imwm says:

    @mzhartz: I’m with you there. It’s a treat.

    Why does everyone love to hate Starbucks so much?

    It’s not very original… everyone thinks they’re above it now. It’s laughable.

  43. enm4r says:

    What percentage of Americans don’t drink coffee? I’ve never purchased coffee anywhere, Starbucks or otherwise.

  44. JoshMac says:

    @dieselman8: Not you, you’re so enlightened.

  45. RandomHookup says:

    @krispykrink: Who then promptly resold it for the equivalent of 2 pints of Popov and a pack of cigarettes.

  46. hellinmyeyes says:

    I think that they are overpriced for coffee, but really they’re selling the “experience”, the calm, yuppie getaway where you can get all-you-can-listen-to John Mayer, etc., and take your cute little MacBook you bought two days prior to do some public online surfing. 95% of my friends don’t care for Starbucks, but the 5% that do are really, insanely rabid about Starbucks. They stop there two to three times a day. I honestly don’t understand the phenomenon. I admit, it’s a well-thought-out marketing package that Starbucks puts together that appeals to a lot of people, whether they’re on the run or looking for a place to visit and meet hook-ups.

  47. JoshMac says:

    @doctor_cos: What if he’s saved money and the “something nice” is Starbucks?

  48. hellinmyeyes says:

    @enm4r:

    Exactly. Count me in!

  49. lalaland13 says:

    I only drink wussie coffee, not straight stuff. And that’s rare. But I do like Starbucks, I admit it. Especially their holiday drinks. However, it was hard to find time to go there in the morning, and by the afternoon I don’t need a latte or frappucino or anything with that much caffeine if I want to sleep. Then the one where I work closed, and while there’s one on the way to work, sort of, it’s a pain in the ass to get in and out of. And again, the time thing. I used to go all the time in college, but that was college and I could go to a Friday morning class then grab a drink with some friends.

  50. PDX909 says:

    Overpriced and not really that tasty. I prefer the new coffee that McD’s is brewing as I’m not into the high-falutin’ fancy-folk drinks, and to be really honest the over the top caffeine fueled ‘let’s go-go-go’ attitude of the staff kinda irritates me too. It’s 7am, I haven’t had coffee yet, my brain’s not working as fast as yours, how about you give me a darn minute.

  51. JoshMac says:

    As far as quality goes I can’t say that their quality is bad it just depends on the franchise and the employee. Sometimes you get a really good one done right, even in a Target’s Starbucks then others are just strange tasting. Not every single drink sucks and usually the one like that does was just made wrong by that one person. They still have to go through the whole process of fabrication and if one thing is off the whole cup is ruined.

  52. JoshMac says:

    @NTC-Brendan: That’s a disproportionate argument that is tired and old. People drive cars more than they do drink gallons of beers.

  53. HogwartsAlum says:

    I’ve never been to Starbucks. I just drink one cup of coffee in the morning at home and then maybe one at work if I’m especially sleepy.

    But I have had those cold frappucino things in the little bottles. I would drink those all the time if they weren’t so damn expensive. Mmmmm.

  54. JoshMac says:

    @NTC-Brendan: Maybe you laugh at me for paying for printer ink and Visine with is soo much more by the gallon. Compared to that stuff gas is cheap.

  55. raab says:

    @TakingItSeriously:
    I think that alot of the people saying starbucks is expensive are saying it out of perception. I just looked at my receipt for my morning tall coffee and it was $1.65. If I were to get around the same size from Dunkin Donuts it would be about 10 cents cheaper. So for ten cents more I get something that I want and not brown sugar water. Now if you were to order a triple foam extra hot cinammon mocha latte with soymilk you’ll probably pay $6 for it. But if you order something that off the hook you deserve to pay $6 for it.

  56. severn123 says:

    Let’s not forget to look at the numbers. The survey says that 76% of American adults don’t go to Starbucks and 14% of them rarely go.

    So first, we’re not including all the teenagers who go there all the time.

    Secondly, that means that 10% of American adults frequent Starbucks or by my math and crappy recollection of census data, 20 million people. Most companies would kill for a loyal fanbase of 20 million adult Americans

  57. brennan_bm says:

    clearly it isn’t overpriced or people wouldn’t be paying. The higher price at starbucks is for the convenience factor.

  58. Gopher bond says:

    There’s no such thing as “overpriced” from a consumer perspective. Items are priced as they are and vary according to demand or the needs and expectations of the seller.

  59. SigmundTheSeaMonster says:

    I like DD latte. Its under $3 and kicks my hiney in the mornin. Then, my hiney needs some quiet time in the lav’try.

  60. generalassembly says:

    “Starbucks coffee shops seem to be on nearly corner in major U.S. cities, but surprisingly 76 percent of American adults say they rarely or never visit one of the shops, and only 14 percent say they visit occasionally.”

    haha! liars. I bet the you’d get the same result if you said the survey was about porn usage.

  61. TPS Reporter says:

    Went to a Starbucks when we were in Vegas a few years back. It was ok. I got a cappucino. Not the best I’ve had but not the worst either. They are expensive though. There is a difference in expensive and overpriced. Maybe their stuff is worth what they are charging, but that doesn’t make it inexpensive. After all maybe a porsche is worth what you pay for it, but it’s still expensive.

  62. krispykrink says:

    @RandomHookup: HAHA no doubt! Although I think he was a whiskey kinda guy.

    Back onto Starbucks… I think the main thing that annoys me about them is the sizes. The one time I had to go there when I was out of town I ordered a Cappuccino at about 9:55AM, so I was 5 minutes shy of the standard Cappuccino cut-off time. The girl asks me “what size?”. What!?! There is only 1 size for a Cappuccino woman! Syrup? For the love of all that is Holy, NO!

  63. Gopher bond says:

    @generalassembly: Well, we all know that no one on the internet buys coffee at Starbucks, shops at WalMart or even owns a television. Plus, they all ride bicycles.

  64. marsneedsrabbits says:

    Way, way too expensive for what you get. We stick with local shops or grind & brew it ourselves

  65. nkpatel says:

    If it were overpriced, people wouldn’t be paying for it; you wouldn’t see lines out the door every day. It only makes sense that a business will charge as much as they think people are willing to pay.

  66. DePaulBlueDemon says:

    For me it really comes down to the convenience factor. In Chicago there’s a Starbucks on nearly every corner… If I need a caffeine fix I’ll go to the closest place to my office. I’m in and out the door in a matter of two or three minutes…

    Also, I have found that the customer service at Starbucks is fairly decent. There are plenty of independent chains in the city as well, but I found that the customer service is awful and rude. (Why?!)

  67. @Bladefist: 50+ comments and nobody answered your question? Maybe they meant to say Reuters via Google Finance is your friend: The 5-year net profit margin is 7.29% compared to sector average of 5.11%.

    But does that mean they’re overpriced? Not exactly. High margins have little to do with this question of value. To answer this question, we need to calculate the value by determining how many utils of happiness I get from Starbucks and the alternatives, and compare it to the cost:

    value [utils / $] = happiness [utils] / prince [$]

    So with that, I’ll do a comparison for a double small hazelnut cappuccino:

    Starbucks
    Roast is too dark for my tastes, the beans are of typically unknown age. It tasts like a cup of mass-market appeal. Also, the fauxristas have a corporate sort of irrationally peppiness.
    Happiness: 3.5 utils
    Cost: $3.50
    Value: 1 util / dollar

    Alternative: Java Jitters
    A local shack that’s more convenient for me. The coffee’s much better and the baristas are cuter and somewhat more naturally friendly.
    Happiness: 6 utils
    Cost: $2.00
    Value: 3 utils / dollar

    It’s a landslide. I get 300% more value out of an alternative. So the answer is yes: Starbucks is overpriced.

  68. Atsumi says:

    I’m kind of in love with their Hot Chocolate though.

    I only go once a week (less, actually).

    My boyfriend boss buys the whole crew Starbucks after work.

  69. chiieddy says:

    @anibundel: Your outdated is outdated. They’re bringing back the sandwiches and newer SBUX that were opened without ovens are having them installed! :-)

  70. goodcow says:

    @DePaulBlueDemon: “There are plenty of independent chains in the city as well, but I found that the customer service is awful and rude. (Why?!)”

    Because they think they’re better than Starbucks by simple fact that they aren’t Starbucks.

  71. IAmMarchHare says:

    @imwm: Well, I for one hate Starbucks because it’s lousy coffee. I honestly have never had a cup of coffee from there that I liked. Aribica or eve Dunkin Donuts does a better job.

  72. Bladefist says:

    @Michael Belisle: That was precious. Thanks! Question answered.

  73. amandarp says:

    @redwall_hp: how do you know its coffee is burnt tasting/smelling if you’ve never been in a Starbucks? don’t believe everything you hear unless you experience it for yourself

  74. chiieddy says:

    @TVarmy: The cafes in Borders are run by Seattle Best, owned by… Starbucks…

  75. Rock79 says:

    I don’t find their coffee overpriced but I also don’t buy their desserts in a cup that cost like $5-6. I buy coffee… coffee flavored coffee.. Black.. Yes I like Dennis Leary as well.

  76. PinkBox says:

    As long as people are willing to buy their drinks at the current prices, you can’t really say they’re overpriced, can you?

  77. meg9 says:

    Overpriced? Yes. Will I buy it? Yes. Although, now that I have a Keurig single serve thing-a-maj-ig my home coffee is delicious, and I will only get starbucks if I’m wandering by in the middle of the afternoon. Otherwise I have coffee at home.

  78. meg9 says:

    Wait, Seattle Best is owned by starbucks?

    Pretty sneaky, sis.

  79. harvey_birdman_attorney_at_law says:

    It would be silly to go to starbucks just for the coffee, you might as well go to McDonalds or make the stuff at home. But I go there to scam on the local college girls who work behind the counter in an attempt to get a handy. That more than makes up for the extra $.

  80. theblackdog says:

    Say what you want, I still have to enjoy their Gingerbread Latte’s around Christmas.

  81. dry-roasted-peanuts says:

    @Rock79: Leary is good, but he is no Bill Hicks.

  82. pauljunk says:

    Coffee: $1
    + Employee Health Insurance: $3
    ——————————-
    Total: $4

    That’s why you should never tip at Starbucks. You are doing the barista’s a favor by paying for their insurance.

  83. brother9 says:

    I always get my coffee from the place with the bikini baristas. That way, I can say that my $4 coffee is a bargain because it’s cheaper than a lappie.

  84. sventurata says:

    @amandarp: You can smell the burnt factor outside many locations – especially underground ones.

    Ambiance, convenience, free/quiet study space: priced accordingly, not to mention the reasonable employee compensation. The coffee itself is not my favourite, but I understand why those too rushed to seek out gourmet beans and brew at home appreciate the service.

  85. brother9 says:

    @dry-roasted-peanuts: Yeah, you’re right. Leary isn’t Hicks. Bill Hicks couldn’t make it on TV.

  86. RhodyDave says:

    If you tried some of your local, independent coffee shops, I bet you’ll find much better coffee at slightly better prices. I live out in the sticks near the University of Rhode Island and there’s a local little shop that roasts their own which is superb. Starbucks is marketing, nothing more.

  87. chiieddy says:

    @meg9: Yup, you have to dig a little and go to the career page on the Seattle’s Best site but:

    Seattle’s Best Coffee was started in 1970, and over the past 30 years has grown into a global coffee company. Our corporate headquarters are in Seattle, Washington and our cafes are found throughout the world. Seattle’s Best Coffee operates together with Torrefazione Italia® coffee under the name Seattle Coffee Company, which is owned by Starbucks Corporation, the leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee in the world.

  88. TorrentFreak says:

    Starbucks is expensive. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t go there often but when I do I buy expensive crap that tastes good. It’s like a treat for me.

    Their regular coffee just plain sucks, I go to Cinabon for my coffee or I make my own at home and I drink it black. I don’t know why but regular Starbucks coffee just tastes like ass but most of everything else they have is pretty good.

    So, I guess it is overpriced, I mean its just coffee /w espresso and heavy whipped cream. I mean come on how much does that possibly cost?

    O yeah if you like their teas, all starbucks uses is Tazo Chi type teas, most of them are organic, just in case you want to make your own at home.

  89. splendic says:

    Nothing’s “overpriced” until the masses stop buying it.

  90. mariospants says:

    @gorckat: YES to White Chocolate Mocha, although that is right up there with the most expensive drinks on the menu.

    I just did a comparison and the local indepedents (2nd Cup, Bridgehead, etc.) charge pretty much the same for their drinks, sandwiches, desserts, etc.

    Frankly, it’s the price you pay if you want to conduct business with a grown-up operation. I can’t imagine hanging out with work buddies at 10:30AM at McFuckingDonalds, but the thought of checking out the cool young ladies at Starbucks as we sip our drinks and shoot the shit before we head back to the office is gold. Although I’ve had some stellar customer service at McD’s, the whole attitude is so much better at Starbucks. It’s worth the extra $1, I’d say.

  91. theysaidwhat says:

    @chiieddy: Well that explains why the Starbucks in my local Acme suddenly became a Seattle’s Best. I used to only go to the Acme to buy the Starbucks beans from Starbucks, where it was roughly $10/pound, vs. the shelf price, 3 feet away, of $9.50 for 3/4 of a pound. Buh Bye Acme!

  92. TVarmy says:

    @chiieddy: My point is that they’re extremely expensive even compared to the chains. Of course, I’m not the type to buy a drink and sit down and read a book there, mainly because I can’t afford to spend $20 on a book that I could get on the waitlist for at the library. I personally just buy books for longer vacations and reference/cookbooks from those stores when I’m not happy with Amazon or want a look at the book first.

  93. 3drage says:

    Fall/Winter never fails to bring me to Starbucks. I enjoy their White chocolate mocha and the Peppermint one they had last Christmas. At that point it’s worth the price for something to make me feel warm inside, any other time it’s too expensive :)

  94. stacye says:

    The only time I stop at Starbucks is if I’m running late for work, and I didn’t have enough time for breakfast.

    Yes, it’s overpriced. But my choice is either a Starbucks mocha and donut (which are WAAAAAAAAY over priced), or McDonalds coffee and breakfast sandwich.

    Starbucks doesn’t leave me in the bathroom for most of the day :)

  95. howie_in_az says:

    Starbucks is a fashion boutique that markets burnt water as liquid jewelry. Without fail, every morning there are at least 3 SUVs (usually a mix of Tahoes and Escalades) idling at the drive-through Starbucks across the street from my office.

  96. buckinggrimace says:

    A few years ago I was consuming at least one, sometimes two latte drinks a day. I realized after weeks of half-drunk lattes that I was addicted to the ritual, not the coffee itself.

    I rarely venture into a Starbucks now – if I do, it is for the tea (also overpriced, in my opinion).

  97. springboks says:

    I also love how starbucks prices vary from one store to the next. – also why do my comments never post.

  98. lore says:

    Love Starbucks. Wish there was one in Sweden, but the nearest one is in Copenhagen Airport :*(

  99. drjayphd says:

    @anibundel: Technically, your comment’s outdated too. They reversed course on that a couple of weeks ago and are instead looking at (ahem) “less stinky cheeses”: [www.bloggingstocks.com]

  100. drjayphd says:

    @testsicles: Comment of the epoch. :D

  101. mythago says:

    @NTC-Brendan: Nobody has to buy a gallon of beer or coffee just to get to their job. And even if you use biodiesel, you probably can’t say “Nah, I’ll just make gasoline at home instead of buying some, it’s cheaper.” You also aren’t paying higher prices for other consumer goods because of all the beer and coffee it takes to get them transported to market.

    I like Peet’s better, but they can’t seem to figure out how to make a paper cup that doesn’t leak.

  102. picardia says:

    I haven’t stopped going to Starbucks yet, but I go much less often than I used to, and every single time, while I’m in line, I have a moment where I go, “Why do I come here?” I think it’s down to 2 or 3 times a month, now.

    Of course, if Starbucks ever goes out of business, we in NYC are going to be screwed, because Starbucks essentially provides the public toilets. Maybe they could just charge people for a quiet place to sit down and toilet use. That would make money in New York.

  103. mdoublej says:

    Wait, I can brew coffee at home? In my own house? What kind of special equipment do I need for that?

  104. CharlesjP says:

    I don’t see myself stopping going to Starbucks anytime soon. I stop everyday after school and get either my own 5-shot concoction or a doubleshot on ice.

  105. Grive says:

    At the drive-through? yeah. Over here the 7-11 coffee is decent and half as much for a bigger cup.

    Inside the store? nah, not really. Of course, for a cup of coffee with flavor, 4-5 bucks sounds expensive. However, I am fully convinced that Starbucks isn’t about buying a coffee. It’s a nice atmosphere, they don’t bother you, you can work or talk for as long as you wish, and they do have decent snacks.

    If you’re looking for “coffee”, then yeah, starbucks isn’t a good idea -but then again, if you’re looking for coffee, starbucks isn’t for you.

  106. cwlodarczyk says:
  107. narq says:

    Yeah it’s funny how that poll works out. I’m sure that over 90% of the people who took that poll purchase starbucks drinks anyway. The starbucks coffee is nothing special and the espresso is absolutely horrid. I’m surprised people haven’t noticed. I actually find gas station coffee or espresso to be about the same. Ask an honest starbucks employee, they will tell you the beans are really really cheap. As in quality, taste, and price. If you actually like coffee, go local or purchase imported beans from Costa Rica.

  108. cwlodarczyk says:

  109. Rider says:

    Seems like they are charging exactly the right amount. If you don’t like the price don’t go there. Not sure where this whole “companies that make a profit” are evil trend came from. Who cares what the margin is there a a hugely successful company that has costumers willing to pay that mark up.

  110. I smell burnt dog hair.

    Oops, sorry, I was driving past a Starbucks.

  111. legwork says:

    @Rider: Excuse me, but you seem to have missed the “Kick ‘em while they’re down” sign. :)

  112. Colage says:

    I’m not quite sure why Starbucks is considered to be “overpriced” – it’s just about the same as anywhere else you’d go. If anything, I think Starbucks just demonstrated to independent coffee shops that coffee was previously underpriced and others adjusted accordingly.

    As far as margins go, they’re insanely high. But it’s not Starbucks’ responsibility to give you a low price, their goal is to get you to pay close to the highest amount you’re willing to pay.

  113. ShariC says:

    I wish that any thread devoted to Starbucks in which the topic is not about how palatable the coffee is would be heavily moderated to weed out the people who just want to bash to coffee so it could stay on topic. Would the Consumerist moderators consider this, please?

    I don’t think the coffee is overpriced because I believe that any time you decide to pay someone else to prepare your food or beverages, you are paying for a form of “servitude” and that shouldn’t come cheap (because those jobs should be decently paid). If you don’t want to buy an espresso machine, grind the beans and tamp them in, add the water, steam the milk, and clean up after all of it, then paying someone else $4 or so to do it for you isn’t unreasonable.

    It’s not just about the value of the resulting product but about all the factors that go into preparing that beverage for you like the rent on the facility, the purchase and maintenance of the equipment, cleaning the facility, and paying the staff. Of course, you can make coffee more cheaply than they can at home, but that’s not even the point. It’s a luxury having someone do everything for you, so it’s going to cost more.

  114. duncanatrix says:

    @TVarmy: It’s actually the other way around–the Frappuccinos cost practically nothing, whereas the espresso beans and coffee are the priciest things there. Frappuccino mixes are made with bag coffee, premade mixes…they make a killing off of it, because they charge $4 for something that probably costs less than $1 to make.

  115. Grive says:

    @Colage: Mainly because few people truly understand the basic truth that price is not related in any way whatsoever with cost. Price is only related to market conditions.

    That, and people forget that Starbucks doesn’t sell coffee. It sells an image and an atmosphere. For some people it’s worth it, for some it isn’t.

  116. cloud-on-a-bike says:

    I love Starbucks, but I’m aware it’s VERY overpriced for what you get. I actually don’t think any coffee, but I love their creme fraps and their passion tea and lemonade. As a result of things getting tighter financially, I have definitely made less visits there. Last year at this time, you would see me there every night after work for a drink and a slice of coffee cake, but the only times I’ve been there since January have been recently because I got some gift cards from co-workers when I moved as a good-bye present. I know when the gift cards run out my boyfriend and I won’t be there because we can’t justify spending $4+ each for a drink, even as a treat…

  117. u1itn0w2day says:

    Well duh just about sums it up.

    Starbucks had it’s run,the party’s over,cash in,go home,forget about it.

    @Grive:I agree it’s as much atmosphere as about coffee but it’s also a $5 coffee,$2 donut and $10 for internet for some atmosphere-uh???

    I always felt Starbucks and some others attracted the same crowd that hung out in places like Barnes & Noble during the 1990s-yuppies nursing a drink,reading,trying to show how ‘intellectual’ they think they are-AND NOT even buying the book or magazine.Barnes and Noble isn’t in great shape either.

  118. Brazell says:

    They’re cheaper than almost every small coffee shop, their coffee is always very consistant, and it’s not that much more expensive than Dunkin Donuts or anywhere else. It may not be the same price as the gas station coffee, but the idea that Starbucks regular coffee is somehow ridiculously overpriced is absurd. It seems like a regular occurance that some Dunkin donuts drinker tells me that I’m paying so much more for my coffee, when I’m not… a 16oz coffee at Dunkin Donuts is like $1.92 and it’s $2.05 at Starbucks. Considering that, at DD, you put up with some of the worst service known to man and that the coffee ranges in flavor from being “barely drinkable” to “absolute garbage,” I’ll pay the extra… $0.13, once a day… totalling up to a staggering $0.85 a week that the average drive-thru user probably spends idling waiting for their nasty over-creamed and over-sugared french vanilla blueberry crap.

  119. Brazell says:

    Just wondering: Since when has starbucks been FIVE DOLLARS for coffee? Like where is this coming from? It’s $2.05 (tax included) in Massachusetts.

    And just drop the “image oriented yuppie” idea. I’ve listed why I go to Starbucks before, but most of it comes down to two things: I like their coffee and I love their service. They treat their customers like they’re important, the coffee people there are friendly and welcoming, and you don’t put up with the same haggard malcontents that fill up the Dunks or Honey Dew’s around here. Going to Starbucks is one of the better moments of my work day.

  120. drjayphd says:

    @MichaelBrazell: At least with Starbucks, the coffee tastes like coffee. No idea how many times I’ve gotten iced coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts only to be given iced tea… although I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened more often and I just couldn’t tell.

    I do wonder if Dunkin’ Donuts employees around here think “at least we’re not Tim Horton’s”… ;)

  121. Justifan says:

    the regular coffee is only a dime or two over mcdonalds these days.
    and you can be sure the starbucks is reasonably fresh.
    mcdonalds, if its not rush time it might have been sitting there for hours on the warmer:P
    and mcondalds workers are less trust worthy than starbucks workers, slightly lower standard and pay me thinks. plus its out in the open. i’ve bought mcdonalds coffee a couple times that has tasted rather stale. either its not fresh or the equipment has not been washed recently. worst is the order mistake at mcdonalds where the drive through attendant barely speaks english. even if they do, since they aren’t the one handling the coffee mistakes are made anyways. i get cream added when i ask for none, i get too few sugars, sugars added for me, or claimed added sugars when in fact there was none. its like coffee is a bit too complex for the staff to deal with:P

    as for 7/11, the cleaning issue comes up again. i think their standard is probably a lot lower in many stores where the 7/11 dude just can’t be bothered to do anything more than the bare minimum. and of course their stuff can be rather stale at times as well. it does cost slightly less, but with price increases over time, its not that significant these days.

    everyones raised their standards of course, mcdonalds more so than 7/11. but they still arent as good as starbucks.

  122. yetiwisdom says:

    Never visit. Waste of money IMHO – I use a decent single-cup maker at home that costs ~$.18/cup. Occasional Dunkin visitor for b’fast sammich & coffee.

  123. Consumerist-Moderator-Roz says:

    @cwlodarczyk: Let’s keep the image size a little bit less epic next time, please.

  124. drjayphd says:

    @Consumerist-Moderator-Roz: Can we also keep the image content less “see, if you change the name” HI-LARIOUS and more… well, original and witty? ;)

  125. dracona1031 says:

    Starbucks is *definitely* overpriced. Unfortunately, I’m a chai fanatic and they’re the only place near me where I can go to get my fix. I tried buying powdered chai, but alas, it’s just not the same. Every time I go for my iced chai latte I curse Starbucks for their overuse of ice – the entire cup is full of ice which they then pour about a half cup of chai over. Total ripoff. I long for the days when my local Dunkin Donuts starts selling chai.

  126. regenerator says:

    @dracona1031: Easy solution: request light ice. Problem solved.

  127. katbron says:

    I love Starbucks, but do have to limit my addiction to once a week, otherwise it is too expensive. However, with all the closings in my market, finding one now will be the tough part.