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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple's retail locations in Japan have begun sales of the "Fukubukuro", also known as a "lucky bag", which offer an assortment of products at a steep discount. Japanese blog Mac Otakara (Google Translate) was present at the Apple Store in Nagoya to discover the exact content of the various bags among customers, with some shoppers receiving big-ticket items like iPads and MacBooks.

luckybag20151.jpg
MacBook Air Lucky Bag (Source: App Bank, Google Translate)​
This year's lucky bags sell for 36,000 yen ($300) and come in four different configurations, with common items including an Apple TV, a 4000 mAh Mophie Powerstation external battery pack, an Incase Icon backpack, an iTunes gift card, and Beats by Dre Powerbeats2 wireless earbuds. For the most valuable Fukubukuro bag, Apple included an 11-inch MacBook Air with a Power Support Air Jacket and a Twelve South PlugBug dual charger along with the common items.

luckybag20153.jpg
iPad Air 2 Lucky Bag (Source: Mac Otakara)​
Other variants of the bag offer a fifth-generation 16GB iPod touch, a 16GB iPad mini 3 or a 16GB iPad Air 2 alongside the common items. The iPad lucky bags also feature Logitech's UE Boom portable speaker.

luckybag20152.jpg
iPod touch Lucky Bag (Source: App Bank, Google Translate)​
Apple's grab bags are sold as is, and returns are not allowed unless a product is defective. The promotion is limited to Apple Stores in Japan, although they are usually met with long lines of shoppers hoping to purchase their own lucky bag.

Article Link: Japan Apple Stores Kick Off 'Lucky Bag' Sales with MacBook Air, iPads, iPod Touch Featured
 

CFreymarc

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Sep 4, 2009
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Anyone with their own "ueito" in Japan for this?

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Why can't we have this in the U.S.?

Because it is considered a form of gambling. You are paying a fixed price for an amount returned with an house determined random probability that you will profit from it with no guarantee. This is effectively how a casino operates.

This was very popular in with the European sail traders (especially the Dutch) when unloading inventory at the end of a season. Eventually, it made its way to Japan.
 

swingerofbirch

macrumors 68040
I don't think there's a cultural barrier to bringing it to the US, as popular US holidays like Halloween have spread to Europe, for example. I think this would be very difficult to pull of legally in the US. Lotteries in which you pay to participate are generally only run by the government. This seems very similar to a lottery and it might be governed as such.

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Because it's part of the Japanese culture. It's like someone outside of the states asking why they don't have turkey on the last Thursday of each November.

You'd be surprised how fast these things spread. I had a cousin from Sweden visit for Thanksgiving. They (my cousins, not all Swedes) now celebrate it amongst themselves. People don't need much of an excuse to have fun. When I lived in Sweden as a kid they didn't celebrate Halloween (although they have something somewhat similar at Easter), but from what I've heard Halloween is a thing in Sweden now.
 

justperry

macrumors G5
Aug 10, 2007
12,157
9,269
I'm a rolling stone.
Anyone with their own "ueito" in Japan for this?

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Because it is considered a form of gambling. You are paying a fixed price for an amount returned with an house determined random probability that you will profit from it with no guarantee. This is effectively how a casino operates.

This was very popular in with the European sail traders (especially the Dutch) when unloading inventory at the end of a season. Eventually, it made its way to Japan.

It has been said in other threads on this topic that this is not gambling, there is more in the bag than what you pay for, you don't lose any money on it.

Dutch, tell me more about it, I am dutch, never heard of this
 

gnasher729

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Nov 25, 2005
17,980
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It has been said in other threads on this topic that this is not gambling, there is more in the bag than what you pay for, you don't lose any money on it.

Dutch, tell me more about it, I am dutch, never heard of this

The problem is, in the USA, if one guy figures out he got less than another guy, then the first guy will sue.

Years ago Apple used hard drives in some Macs that had roughly the same capacity but not identical. Like buying an MBA with 250GB hard drive, and some have 250GB, some have 255, some have 260. Apple was forced to format all the drives to report identical capacity to avoid legal trouble.
 

iMcLovin

macrumors 68000
Feb 11, 2009
1,963
898
Strange cultural thing. Personally I would never buy a lucky bag. Paying a lot of money for something you dont know what is and if you actually want it. The chances of getting a new laptop or something worth a lot more than what you pay is slim. I rather buy what I need and know what I get.
 

CFreymarc

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Sep 4, 2009
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It has been said in other threads on this topic that this is not gambling, there is more in the bag than what you pay for, you don't lose any money on it.

Call it gambling or not, this type of practice of packaging up items of various values and selling each package in a lot at the same price is against many US Federal Trade Laws.

Dutch, tell me more about it, I am dutch, never heard of this

The Dutch were the first to effectively trade with Japan as they broke their cultural isolation for most of the European Romance Period.

Dutch Jesuit Priests were some of the first westerners to learn Japanese to have this happen. There is a lot of this on-line in different sites.
 

obamtl

macrumors 6502
May 24, 2010
426
646
Because it's part of the Japanese culture. It's like someone outside of the states asking why they don't have turkey on the last Thursday of each November.

Well, Thanksgiving IS catching on in the UK, as well as American football. Globalisation...
 

justperry

macrumors G5
Aug 10, 2007
12,157
9,269
I'm a rolling stone.
The problem is, in the USA, if one guy figures out he got less than another guy, then the first guy will sue.

Years ago Apple used hard drives in some Macs that had roughly the same capacity but not identical. Like buying an MBA with 250GB hard drive, and some have 250GB, some have 255, some have 260. Apple was forced to format all the drives to report identical capacity to avoid legal trouble.

Makes sense.

Call it gambling or not, this type of practice of packaging up items of various values and selling each package in a lot at the same price is against many US Federal Trade Laws.



The Dutch were the first to effectively trade with Japan as they broke their cultural isolation for most of the European Romance Period.

Dutch Jesuit Priests were some of the first westerners to learn Japanese to have this happen. There is a lot of this on-line in different sites.

Cheers
 

Jsameds

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Apr 22, 2008
3,525
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Because it's part of the Japanese culture. It's like someone outside of the states asking why they don't have turkey on the last Thursday of each November.

Culture is international these days, especially commercial culture.

We had stampedes on Black Friday in the UK this year where as just a few years ago it was completely unheard of.

I really like the idea of an Apple lucky bag, let's hope it spreads beyond Japan soon.
 

CFreymarc

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Sep 4, 2009
3,969
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We had stampedes on Black Friday in the UK this year where as just a few years ago it was completely unheard of.

Some of the worst department store rushes I have ever seen was in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Illum chain over there is famous for their end of season sales with some very high end items discounted by at much as 90%.
 

peterh988

macrumors 6502a
Jun 5, 2011
623
1,024
Why can't we have this in the U.S.?

Apart from the lottery aspect, and although Apple may play fair with this kind of deal, how long do you think it would take other less scrupulous companies to jump on this as a way of clearing out all the old stock they can't shift?

Sure, someone will get a top spec laptop, but mainly, the bags will be stuffed with a PS/2 mouse, serial cables, a Hannah Montana 3GS case, a Knight Rider mouse mat and copy of System 7.
 

MH01

Suspended
Feb 11, 2008
12,107
9,297
Well, Thanksgiving IS catching on in the UK, as well as American football. Globalisation...

Black Friday sales are catching on, people could careless about thanksgiving in the UK, also 4 games of NFL in London is hardly making inroads into the UK , it's a good exhibition of the sport.
 

gluckett

macrumors regular
Sep 23, 2009
220
138
Because it's a lottery. Only the government can have those here.

I don't buy that - everyone that buys one gets something. "Grab bags" have often been sold in the US without the government getting involved and that's exactly what this is.
 

foobarbaz

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2007
655
1,010
People don't need much of an excuse to have fun. When I lived in Sweden as a kid they didn't celebrate Halloween (although they have something somewhat similar at Easter), but from what I've heard Halloween is a thing in Sweden now.

That's not just people seeing something they like and copying it. There are huge economical forces working to establish Halloween in Europe. The US Halloween industry is worth more than 10 billion USD after all.
 
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