Apple Japan Joins Fukubukuro

Apple Japan

Apple Japan announces it will join the country’s Fukubukuro, and set the date on January 2. To celebrate the New Year, Apple retail stores hold the yearly “lucky bag” sale, where customers fork on a specified cash in exchange for bags with undisclosed contents. The bag contents are various devices and accessories, which at times are much more than what the buyer paid; thus, the name “lucky.”

In Japan, Hatsuuri or bargain sale is among the most fun and special activities of the New Year. Hatsuuri’s highlight is “Fukubukuro,” or lucky bags filled with luck, and for the Japanese people, an exclusive treat for the New Year. The Fukubukuro concept is from a bag that is carried by God and is filled with luck. Lucky bags are limited, and they are sold during Hatsuuri, on January 1 to 3.

The stores sell grab or mystery bags which are filled with items, sometimes, very expensive ones, and sealed. In buying the sealed bags, the customers take risks as they do not know the contents of the bag. However, the items inside the lucky bags are almost always worth more than the amount paid. Fukubukuro usually saves customers hundreds of dollars.

Some consumers would line up as early as midnight before the daytime of Fukubukuro, especially in the physical stores of their favorite brands. Just like Black Friday sales in the United States, Japan’s national sale festivity has its history of skirmishes among customers who compete to grab the lucky bags. Many stores sold out their hot items on the first day of the sale.

Previously, Fukubukuro was only sold by fashion and department stores. Eventually, it has become diverse and includes cosmetics, food, electronic appliances, diamonds, round-the-world trip tickets, limousine tours and hotel stays.

Apple Japan joins the Fukubukuro tradition and will have its lucky bag promo set on January 2 in brick-and-mortar stores. The 2015 Fukubukuro has yet to disclose the pricing. Customers are limited to only a bag per day.

In the 2014 Fukubukuro, Apple Japan sold four various packages, priced 36,000 yen ($343) each. Some bags had 11-inch MacBook Air, original iPad mini and iPad Air. While those who got Fukubukuro bags with the mentioned items were sure winners, others got iPod nano, while the minimum they can get were an Incase backpack tagged $99, Mophie iPhone battery, a few accessories and an Apple device.

Items inside the lucky bags cannot be returned, exchanged or refunded. Unless they are confirmed to be defective, wherein stores require the showing of the original receipt and packaging within 14 days from date of purchase.

Apple Japan stores’ lucky bag promo is for end user consumers only. Purchasing the bags for resale is not encouraged and Apple may refuse or cancel orders if it suspects buying for resale.

The 2015 Lucky Bags promo’s terms and conditions are posted online, in the site of Apple Japan. It reveals that the company will join the Fukubukuro festivities. The promo will start at 8 a.m. this Friday. Many Japanese Apple physical stores will usually open two hours advance to accommodate the expected crowd of customers.

By Judith Aparri


The Japan Times
Japan Monthly Web Magazine

Photo courtesy of Laura Tomàs Avellana – Flickr License

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