The Great Stanley Cup Scandal
We know about fake handbags -- but beware the fake drinkware
It’s likely that you’ve read about the Stanley Target Cup debacle — or have been part of it.
In a nutshell, on January 3, people waited for hours and caused a frenzy trying to get their hands on two special Stanley tumblers at Target. Part of the store’s “Galentine’s” offerings, the Cosmo Pink and Target Red tumblers sold out almost immediately.
The $49.99 tumblers are now being offered on EBay and other resellers. One listing on Mercari offers the tumblers at the low, low price of $999.97 (looks like it was marked down from $1,600). The listing says there are 17 available, so I’m not sure if the grand buys you all 17 cups or if this person wants to make $17,000 off of these items.
Why is Stanley, a company that’s been making insulated liquid containers for 100 years, now suddenly causing people to melt down? Social Media.
Some say it can be traced back to a viral post about a woman whose car burned to a crisp (no one was injured) but her Stanley cup was recovered with ice still in it (the post received 60 million views on social media, prompting Stanley to offer to buy her a new car).
Others say mommy bloggers are the reason why Stanley is so popular. Whatever the reason, the company’s numbers are staggering. According to CNBC, Stanley has sold more than 10 million Quenchers, its large, handled 40-ounce cup that comes with a $45 average price tag.
Yesterday, I was working at my computer, when I received a pop-up from a site from Dick’s Sporting Goods. I recently purchased some running shoes so didn’t think anything of it. The ad said that Dick’s was having a flash sale of Stanley Quenchers: 50% off. I figured that sounded like a deal and clicked on it. After all, I was drinking out of a pretty banged-up cup and a brand-new tumbler at half the price sounded good.
There was the Target exclusive sold-out-everywhere cup offered for $19.99. At first, I clicked on it and put it in my cart.
Then I got suspicious.
So I opened a new browser and typed in Dick’s Sporting Goods. They, indeed sold Stanley cups — at retail. There were also no Target exclusive cups on offer — mostly because a Target exclusive wouldn’t be sold at Dick’s now would it?
So I went back to the other Dick’s site. And I cut and pasted the address into another browser and it took me to a sketchy clothing site. I’ve heard of counterfeit Prada purses but now there are counterfeit Stanley Cups?
Apparently, fake Stanley Cups are a real thing.
In June 2023, the Better Business Bureau issued a warning about counterfeit cups, saying to make sure that websites that look like vendors you know can be fake. Check the URL (like I did to verify). A sure sign of a fake site is if something is too good to be true — it is.
In the end, I decided to keep the Hydro Flask I’ve been using since 2017.
It’s pink and it’s been hiking with me in several states. Even in 116-degree weather in the Nevada Desert, my Hydro Flask kept my water cold and my ice frozen. Sure, she’s dented from dropping her a few times down the side of a mountain or two. But she’s covered in stickers from my favorite hikes and National Parks and she’s trusted. Plus she’s cheaper than a Stanley. Maybe I’ll make a TikTok about her and start a new trend.