If you have been to Japan during the first few days of a New Year you probably did see bags looking like this in shops. This a typical Japanese lucky bag that a lot of stores sell in the first business days of a new Year.
What is a Lucky Bag?
A lucky bag is a bag with random items from the store, usually items that didn’t sell during the previous year and are still left in stock taking up space. You do not know what is inside, but you will get a lot more value than what you pay for it. Traditionally the bags were sold mostly by clothing stores but nowadays many other stores sell them, too.
For example, a lucky bag with clothing can cost 10.000 Yen and can contain items worth several times that amount if you judge based on the price tags. Sounds good right? In theory, it is, in reality, it depends.
The problem with Clothing Lucky Bags
Considering that the lucky bag contains leftovers chances are they already had reduced sale prices, so the price tags do not reflect the actual value anymore. Also, don’t forget that you are buying a bag full of random leftovers that didn’t sell even at reduced prices. Sounds less appealing, doesn’t it?
A lot of brands found a solution for that. They don’t put leftovers in their bags anymore they make a set of clothes just for the lucky bag so that every bag contains the same items. In most cases the items are designed so that they go well together, and you have several outfits right out of the bag.
However, with this, a new problem arises. As the bags are sold at lower prices than the brand usually would sell their clothes, the clothes have to be produced cheaper, because no brand will produce clothes just to make a loss. Accordingly, you can expect the lucky bag items to be of lower quality. But as long as you are aware of that and want to buy a lot of clothes for cheap the bags can be a nice option to try out new brands or items you usually wouldn’t buy. If you prefer fair fashion, however, you should probably stay away.
Not only Clothing is sold in Lucky Bags
Nowadays lucky bags can be found everywhere. You can find them at electronic stores, at food stores, at stores that sell Anime merchandise and cosmetic stores. Especially when it comes to expensive items in a lot of cases the content is not random, and you can see what is inside before buying. But then the amount you safe is not that high. So actually they are just a different type of a New Year’s Sale.
Lucky Bag Lotteries
Some lucky bags, e.g. the one from the Pokémon Center or the one from Starbucks are quite popular and lead to long lines of people in front of the stores because they are only sold in limited quantities. At some places you can see people lining up already on the night of the 31st .
Therefore, some stores stopped selling at the store and switched to an online lottery system. Especially in 2021 online sales seemed to be go the method to avoid crowds at the store.
Some places offer a system where they give regular customers better chances to win the lottery but for other shops it is completely random, and you really need to be lucky to get one of the popular backs. If you were not lucky you can usually still get a bag at reselling platforms, but you should be prepared to pay a higher price.
Have you ever purchased a Lucky Bag in Japan? If not, would you like to try it out?