It’s that time of year again – Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! As usual, Starbucks is celebrating the holiday in style with their signature Valentine’s Day cups. These beautiful red cups with intricate white designs are available for a limited time only, making them highly coveted by Starbucks fans and collectors alike. As a Starbucks aficionado myself, I make it a point to get my hands on these seasonal cups every year. But it’s not always easy, given their limited availability. Over the years, I’ve learned some tips and tricks to improve my chances of scoring them before they sell out at my local stores. Below I’ll share everything I know about how to get Starbucks Valentine’s cups, from release dates to ordering tips.
When Are the Cups Released?
The first thing to know is when Starbucks actually starts offering the Valentine’s cups in stores. This helps you prepare and get an early start on obtaining them.
In the past few years, Starbucks has begun offering Valentine’s cups at the beginning of February. Often they are launched on February 1st or 2nd, but it can vary year to year. For 2023, my insider sources tell me they will likely reappear on Wednesday, February 1st.
However, some lucky customers have reported spotting them as early as the last few days of January at select locations. So if you’re eager, it doesn’t hurt to keep an eye out during the last week of January, just in case your store puts them out early.
Once launched, the Valentine’s Day cups are usually available for about 2-3 weeks while supplies last. So you have a nice big window to get them, though the sooner the better.
Check Your Starbucks App
One of the easiest ways to find out exactly when the Valentine’s cups will be launched at a store near you is to check the Starbucks mobile app. Open the app a few days before the suspected release date. Then click on the “Stores” tab and select your nearest location.
This will pull up the store’s menu and promotional offers. Flip through the menu category by category, scanning for any sign of the Valentine’s cups. Sometimes they will be explicitly advertised on the menu. Other times you may just see a general “New Cups Available” notification.
Once you spot them on the menu, you’ll know your local Starbucks has them in stock! Check back daily as the expected release date nears. This insider trick helps you get a head start on the crowds.
Ask Your Baristas
Baristas often know about upcoming cup launches and promotions ahead of time. A few days before the cups are set to come out, kindly ask your favorite Starbucks baristas if they have any insider info.
Say something like: “I heard the Valentine’s cups are coming soon! Have they told you yet when you’ll be getting them at this location?”
More often than not, the baristas will have been briefed on the exact date and time their store will begin selling the Valentine’s cups. This inside scoop straight from the source gives you advance notice so you can be first in line.
If they don’t have any launch date details yet, keep checking back daily as it nears. The baristas get access to updates before we do, so they can give you a heads up.
Order Ahead for Pickup
Here’s an underutilized trick that guarantees you’ll get the cups right at launch time without waiting in line: order ahead on the app for pickup on release day!
On the expected launch date, open your Starbucks app and order your favorite drink. Make sure to select the new Valentine’s cup as your cup option. Then choose the time you want to pick it up.
Show up at the designated time, and your pre-ordered drink will be waiting for you in one of the first Valentine’s cups of the season. This hack lets you skip the rush and get your hands on the coveted cups as soon as they’re available.
Get Them Early In Airports
Here’s a little secret you may not know – airport locations frequently put out seasonal cups like the Valentine’s collection a few days ahead of wider release.
Next time you’re traveling, check the Starbucks stores in any airports you visit in the days leading up to the suspected Valentine’s launch. There’s a good chance you’ll spot the vibrant red cups brightening up the shelves before most people even know they’re out.
Grab them while you can to get a head start on the trends. Your friends will be amazed and wonder how you got the cups before they did!
Check Multiple Stores
If your first few Starbucks stops don’t have the Valentine’s cups in stock yet, don’t fret. Try a few different locations in your area, as rollout dates can vary.
Mall locations, 24-hour stores, and larger Starbucks branches tend to get early access to seasonal cup designs. Drive around town stopping into each Starbucks and carefully checking for the cups. You’re bound to get lucky at one of them eventually.
And remember to revisit stores that didn’t have them yet – shipments with the new cups arrive daily. So even if a location says they’re not in yet, check back often. The coveted cups will surely make their appearance soon.
Buy Them Online
Once the Valentine’s cups officially launch in stores, your next move should be to head online for easier access. Check Starbucks’ website and app daily. Limited quantities of the cups are available for purchase online while supplies last.
Buying them through the website eliminates the hassle of driving around to different shops hoping to spot them. You can quickly purchase the cups and mugs from the comfort of your home once they go live online.
Plus, their online inventory tends to stay stocked longer than individual stores. So even if your local locations sell out, you can often still grab them on the Starbucks website. Act fast though, their online stock sells out quickly too!
Call Around to Confirm Stock
When you’re having trouble tracking down the elusive Valentine’s cups, calling around is an easy way to save time and confirm availability.
Don’t waste gas driving to Starbucks branches that may be out of stock. Instead, pull up a list of local store phone numbers online. Then politely call each one asking, “Do you have the red Valentine’s cups in stock right now?”
Make a note of which locations have them available and head straight there. This prevents fruitless trips to stores that don’t have any left or haven’t received a shipment yet. A quick call ahead gives you the insider info you need to find your cups.
Ask Baristas to Hold Cups
Once you locate a Starbucks store that has the Valentine’s Day cups in stock, ask the baristas if they can set some aside for you. Many are happy to hold at least 2 cups behind the counter with your name on them.
Just explain politely that you’re a big collector and would love to buy a set of the cups. But let them know you can’t make it there until later. Ask if they could possibly hold onto 2 cups for you to purchase in a few hours.
Most baristas are more than willing to briefly hold aside such a small amount. This ensures you’ll score the coveted cups even if you can’t get there right away.
Team Up with Friends
Enlist the help of all your Starbucks-loving friends to seek out the cups at various locations. Make it a fun challenge to see who can track them down first.
Tell your friends which store(s) you already tried that didn’t have any cups left. Then split up and cover more ground. Make plans to meet up later and compare your hauls.
With all of you searching different Starbucks branches, you’re sure to turn up the festive cups faster. It’s a fun way to hang out with friends and get your hands on those iconic Valentine’s cups.
Ask Other Customers
If you’re striking out finding the seasonal cups at your usual Starbucks spot, turn to your fellow customers for intel. Before you leave empty-handed, politely ask a few of them:
“Do you know which Starbucks locations in the area have the red Valentine’s cups right now?”
Fellow Starbucks fans will often know which stores have recently restocked the cups. Or they may have gotten tips from baristas that they can pass along. Other customers can provide valuable insights you won’t find anywhere else.
Many will happily share this coveted knowledge with a fellow Starbucks lover. You might just get pointed towards a store that has plenty of cups in stock but isn’t overrun with crowds yet.
Sign Up for Restock Notifications
If the Valentine’s cups are sold out everywhere you looked, don’t lose hope. Sign up to get notifications for when they come back in stock!
On Starbucks’ website, find the Valentine’s cup product listings. There should be an option to enter your email and get notified when they are restocked. Tap through the prompts to sign up for restock alerts.
Sit back and wait for an email letting you know your coveted cups are back and ready for purchase online. With the notification, you can order them right away before that next batch sells out again.
Follow Starbucks on Social Media
Starbucks often announces new cup launches, promotions, and restocks on their social media pages. Following them closely around Valentine’s Day is another great way to get early alerts.
Make sure to follow the Starbucks accounts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Turn on notifications so you don’t miss any of their posts leading up to the Valentine’s launch.
Keep an eye out for any reveal posts with a first look at the new cup designs. This signals their upcoming release. Likewise, watch for announcements of when the cups are coming back in stock after selling out.
Social media gives you minute-by-minute updates straight from Starbucks themselves. Use this intel to stay on top of the cups’ availability in your area.
Enter Cup Giveaways
In the weeks before Valentine’s Day, Starbucks often partners with popular social media influencers to give away some of the first cups. Keep an eye out for these cup giveaways.
Search relevant hashtags like #StarbucksCups and #StarbucksGiveaway to find active sweepstakes. Major Starbucks fan accounts may also announce giveaways when the cups first launch.
Entering as many giveaways as possible maximizes your chances of being selected to receive a set of the limited-edition cups for free. It’s a fun way to score the cups before stores run out of them.
Wait It Out
If you missed out on getting the Valentine’s Day cups during the initial launch period, don’t despair. It’s still possible to get your hands on them later on.
Avoid overpaying for marked up cups on eBay and other resale sites. Instead, wait a week or two until the initial buzz dies down. Then start checking your local stores again for any leftover stock.
Often a stray display set of the seasonal cups turns up later on at certain locations. As long as you’re persistent and patient, you’re likely to eventually find the cups at normal price.
And when all else fails, you can always plan ahead better for next year’s Valentine’s cups!
Frequently Asked Questions
How much do the Starbucks Valentine’s cups cost?
The Valentine’s cups cost the regular menu prices, which is typically $2-$5 depending on cup size. The only additional fee would be if you want to use a specialty milk or syrup.
How many Valentine’s cup designs are there this year?
For 2023, Starbucks has revealed 2 different Valentine’s cup designs – one with pink hearts, and one with red hearts and Cupid’s arrows.
Can you buy reusable Valentine’s cups?
Yes! Starbucks sells reusable plastic and stainless steel tumblers with the Valentines designs each year. You can purchase them in-store or online while supplies last.
Are the Valentine’s cups available hot or iced?
You can get any drink hot or iced in the Valentine’s cups! The cups themselves are not temperature-specific.
Can you buy previous years’ Valentine’s cups?
Unfortunately, once a year’s Valentine’s cups sell out, they are usually gone for good. Your only option is resellers who stocked up on extras.
Get Your Hands on Those Lovely Cups!
The release of Starbucks’ elegant Valentine’s Day cups has become a highly anticipated annual tradition. As a Starbucks fanatic, I absolutely love getting to carry around these festive cups full of my favorite drinks.
Hopefully these tips help you track down the cups at your local stores and enjoy them too. With some persistence and the right strategy, you can get your hands on these popular seasonal collectibles.
At the end of the day, don’t stress too much if you can’t find them. Did you know this about Mother’s Day? Just like the anticipation of discovering a new Starbucks cup design around the corner, Mother’s Day is a chance to unwrap the love and appreciation we have for the extraordinary women in our lives. So, while you embark on your Valentine’s cup hunt this February, take a moment to celebrate the unique warmth that Mother’s Day brings, much like the comforting embrace of your favorite coffee cup.