Apple's 'Lucky Bags' discount promotion draws crowds in Japan

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple's participation in a cultural event in Japan known as "Lucky Bags" has drawn even more attention to the company's already popular retail stores.



"Lucky Bags" are a New Years Day tradition at stores in Japan, in which customers buy a mystery bag that features a number of items, usually at a discount. This year, some of the most sought after Lucky Bags in Japan are Apple's, according to Penn-Olson.com.



This year's Lucky Bag from Apple costs 33,000 yen, or about 435 U.S. dollars. Customers lined up overnight at Apple's retail stores in order to buy a mystery bag and see what's inside.



It's the mystery and surprise of what's inside the Lucky Bag that draws in customers, who are hoping for a pleasant surprise, like an iPad or maybe a Mac. Customers braved rain and cold in order to get their hands on a 2012 Apple Lucky Bag.



One bag grabbed by a customer and pictured at Japanese-language website Macotakara included an 11-inch MacBook Air. Apple's smallest ultraportable notebook typically retails for 999 U.S. dollars, which means the Lucky Bag recipient saved more than 500 dollars in their gamble.



Another pictured bag came with a 16GB Wi-Fi-only iPad 2, which is ordinarily 499 U.S. dollars Yet another pictured Lucky Bag came with an 8GB iPod touch, an iPod touch case, remote room monitor, Incase Reflex, Mophie Juice Pack, Apple t-shirt, and collectible pins.







Apple has a total of seven retail stores in Japan, located in Ginza, Shibuya, FukuokaTenjin, Shinsaibashi, Sendailchibancho, Sapporo and NagoyaSakae. Some of those stores played a crucial role last year following a devastating earthquake, allowing people to recharge their electronics and get in touch with loved ones.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    I hope you're not done editing yet. It still isn't right.
  • Reply 2 of 19
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple's smallest ultraportable notebook typically retails for 999 U.S. dollars, which means the Lucky Bag recipient saved more than 0 in their gamble.



    Still hungover, eh?
  • Reply 3 of 19
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Gosh dang it, I wish they'd do that here. The Japanese have all the luck.



    ?



    Oh dear, unintentional pun.
  • Reply 4 of 19
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Gosh dang it, I wish they'd do that here. The Japanese have all the luck.



    ?



    Oh dear, unintentional pun.



    That was a classic.
  • Reply 5 of 19
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hismastersvoice View Post


    Still hungover, eh?



    You should have seen it before the first edit.



    Not sure why they didn't correct the "savings of more than 0 dollars..." part. I guess it's technically correct. The savings is also some what less than infinite dollars. In the olden days they had a thing called proof reading.
  • Reply 6 of 19
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post


    In the olden days they had a thing called proof reading.



    Ugh... is that like bread proofing?







    These young whippersnappers don't know what "proof reading" means. Auto-correct does a fine job as is (NOT!).
  • Reply 7 of 19
    That sounds like a fun tradition! I want a lucky bag!
  • Reply 8 of 19
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by remik007 View Post


    Ugh... is that like bread proofing?







    These young whippersnappers don't know what "proof reading" means. Auto-correct does a fine job as is (NOT!).



    And they won't stay off my damn lawn. Or pull their pants up to an appropriate location.



    Okay, maybe I'm getting a little bit old.
  • Reply 9 of 19
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I think that tradition could catch on in other parts of the world. If anyone can start this trend worldwide it's Apple.
  • Reply 10 of 19
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,800member
    I lived in Japan for 13 years and am well aware of lucky bags. Usually you pay anywhere from 10,000 to 50,000 yen or more and break even on or do a little better compared to retail prices on a bunch of unsold crap they had sitting on shelves. Now if you are lucky some bags will have expensive items, but those bags are few and far in between. A very lucky few might get a Macbook Air, but most will get a bunch of accessories. Most of the stuff in the bags are items you don't want and wouldn't buy otherwise.
  • Reply 11 of 19
    citycity Posts: 522member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by grblade View Post


    That sounds like a fun tradition! I want a lucky bag!



    Just, go to a casino. It probably isn't legal otherwise. It would not be much fun to pay $500 for a iPod Shuffle even if it has a special 2012 case. The only way to do this would be to offer a free bag if you spend a fixed amount of money ($100) and maybe another bag with better basic stuff and better odds if you spend $1,000.
  • Reply 12 of 19
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by remik007 View Post


    Ugh... is that like bread proofing?







    These young whippersnappers don't know what "proof reading" means. Auto-correct does a fine job as is (NOT!).



    I like how some people simply add everything with a squiggly underline to their dictionary so after a few weeks, nothing is ever spelled incorrectly!
  • Reply 13 of 19
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by city View Post


    Just, go to a casino. It probably isn't legal otherwise. It would not be much fun to pay $500 for a iPod Shuffle even if it has a special 2012 case.



    What you get is at least worth what you pay for the bag. A few bags have more but they make up the difference in more sales of items they would not normally sell a lot of.
  • Reply 14 of 19
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,418member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hismastersvoice View Post


    Still hungover, eh?



    What!?!!??!?! More than 0 is Good!!!





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tallest skil;


    Gosh dang it, I wish they'd do that here. The Japanese have all the luck.







    Oh dear, unintentional pun.





    Yes, especially hilarious in light of Tohoku...
  • Reply 15 of 19
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gwmac View Post


    I lived in Japan for 13 years and am well aware of lucky bags. Usually you pay anywhere from 10,000 to 50,000 yen or more and break even on or do a little better compared to retail prices on a bunch of unsold crap they had sitting on shelves. Now if you are lucky some bags will have expensive items, but those bags are few and far in between. A very lucky few might get a Macbook Air, but most will get a bunch of accessories. Most of the stuff in the bags are items you don't want and wouldn't buy otherwise.



    I second that comment. Lucky Bags are a marketing ploy to pull customers into the stores around New Years. I have many friends who go out hunting for those every year, but I've never fallen for it.



    For every one person who receives a Macbook Air or an iPad, there are about a hundred people who will receive an iPod touch, some buttons and a t-shirt. You're pretty much guaranteed to at least break even, but you will end up with one "good" thing and about 4 items you would have never bought on your own. The system works in Japan because retail returns DO NOT HAPPEN.



    Even Starbucks has a "Lucky Bag" for $35 - $45 (mugs, tumblers and other seasonal junk).
  • Reply 16 of 19
    are pretty awesome. contrary to what some may have posted, i have been living in japan for four years and have taken advantage of the deals from "lucky bags" the last four new year's days. shopping fukubukuro (lucky bags) requires effort to take advantage of stores that offer "good" fukubukuro. there are sites dedicated to reviewing the contents of store's past lucky bags and there are stores that even tell you up front what the contents are. the good bags are thoughtfully planned out and not random bags of crap. stores' reputations ride on the quality of their fukubukuro and demonstrates the successful unique japanese retail tradition that is fukubukuro. nonetheless caveat emptor.
  • Reply 17 of 19
    mac'em xmac'em x Posts: 104member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rosujin View Post


    The system works in Japan because retail returns DO NOT HAPPEN.



    Er, except for the retail returns that DO HAPPEN. (Hmm, a side thought: are the Apple grab bags, or grab bags in general, sold with a "no returns" policy? Any buyers able to report on that?)



    Anyway, on the subject of "lucky bags", I'm surprised every year when I see people online writing from the US, apparently excited over this strange new concept. It's a grab bag. When I was a kid in the US (I live in Japan now), I saw grab bags in department stores around Christmas. Did stores in the US stop doing this sometime in the past??
  • Reply 18 of 19
    This concept was used when the Powell Street Apple Store opened in San Francisco. I think the price was around USD200. I did see the contents of one bag proudly displayed by a lucky person for the attending news crews, and was impressed to see it included an Airport Express and a wireless mouse, among other things.
  • Reply 19 of 19
    am8449am8449 Posts: 372member
    Reminds me of what they do occasionally at Woot
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