Boost 2017 Profits - Sell Custom Travel Mugs

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If you own a coffee shop, buying branded travel mugs is a smart investment. They pair perfectly with your coffee business and your customers are looking for other things to buy while they wait in line. Tempt them with quality travel mugs at different price points and you’ll find a nice boost in sales.

Not only do custom travel mugs make you extra money but every mug you sell becomes a walking billboard as soon as they leave your coffee shop. Plus they save on paper and plastic waste which is good for all of us. 

There are 3 key steps to selling custom drinkware. The more thought you put into the process, the more branded merchandise you’ll sell. 

Vacuum Cece Tumbler

1st - Get creative with your artwork. We can print pretty much any logo on our lineup of coffee mugs and your customers will most likely buy them. Infact, we do that for the majority of our clients. We even get a lot of repeat business on those so we know they sell. However, our customers who have fun with their designs and artwork make a whole lot more money on merchandise. It’s also a good idea to change up designs once and a while. For example, the Kind Coffee logo on our Cece tumbler (pictured right) is not their everyday logo. The owner changes designs several times a year and keeps a nice selection on the shelves because she knows she'll sell more that way. Believe it or not, some of your customers will buy more than one mug. You can do something as simple as printing your logo one one side and something from our coffeeology board on the other.

Vacuum Insulated Polar Tumbler

2nd - Merchandising is key! It’s important to setup a retail area in your shop. It doesn’t have to be huge but make a statement so your customers know you’re in the retail business too. It can be something as simple as a bookcase. Just make sure you don't put only one mug out on your counter and expect many sales. Nobody likes to buy, what looks to be, the last coffee mug. Customers want a section and they want to pick their favorite color. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our coffee mug displays board on Pinterest.

Other things to consider when merchandising is timing and your location. Coffee mugs make great stocking stuffers at Christmas time so be sure to stock up for holidays. And if you’re in a popular tourist destination, make sure you capitalize on the sourvenir business. Your customers will be looking for something to take home for friends and family. Coffee mugs and water bottles are one size fits all and get a whole lot of love.

3rd - Get employees involved! Getting your employees to sell coffee mugs may sound like a lot of work but it’s quite simple. Coffee shops are already fun places to work but you can make make it even more fun with contests. There are many ways you can have a contest. One example is, if you choose to give a free drink with each travel mug purchase, your baristas can simply ask each customer if they would like to upgrade. Contests and prizes are personal to each shop. Get creative and you’ll be surprised how hard your employees will work for a free travel mug, gift card or other prize.


I know what you’re thinking. Is it really worth it and can I make any real money selling custom travel mugs in my coffee shop? Like most things, it really depends on how much effort you put into it. I’ve been selling to coffee shops for more than 10 years and have seen the numbers. The answer is YES! You can make additional income from selling custom merchandise. The chart below shows some basic numbers. I’m using round numbers for simple math. Today our best selling items wholesale for $10 each and we recommend you sell for $20 so that’s where I come up with the numbers below. If you only sell one mug a day, you will still generate a few hundred bucks a month of extra income. That’s not bad considering your customers are buying something with your logo on it. Most businesses have to pay to get their logo out there.

As you can see, buying custom printed travel mugs is a smart investment for your coffee shop or other retail shop. We can help with product selection, art and pricing.

Profit Per MonthProfit Per Year
1 Mug a Day$300$3650
3 Mugs a Day$900$10950
5 Mugs a Day$1500$18250
10 Mugs a Day$3000$36500

*Figures are based on 30 days in a Month and 365 days in a year.

About the Author:

Aaron C. Daywitt is the founder of RetailMugs.com. His company helps coffee shops increase profits by merchandising and selling custom travel mugs and other logo'd gear. He is also working to raise awareness of the dangers of single use plastics on ocean life.


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