Sunday, January 08, 2006

Fortune Bags

This is my most favorite time of the year. SALE SEASON!
I didn't expect anything much since everything here is super expensive and 50% off of super expensive still equals expensive.

But like many things, the sale season is done a bit differently here. In addition to the regular "Sale" items, they've created these fortune bags (also called happy bags). They are like fortune cookies - you buy them for a set price and hope that there are good things inside.

Just about every type of store use fortune bags. You can get them with electronics, or jewelry, or clothes, or handbags, or toys. They can even be filled with groceries, or various types of bread. Even Starbucks was getting in on the action.

Shoppers line up hours in advance to get happy bags offered by the best department stores. In the past people have found fabulous surprises such as car keys and airline tickets. This year, someone got a night in a hotel and a ride in a Rolls Royce.

Most people go away very happy with their bags but not everyone. After all, these bags are designed to move inventory and are mostly filled with items that are not selling well.

For the sake of all my loyal readers... ok for my one loyal reader, I had to get a happy bag and see just how "happy" it can make me.

I bought one accessory bag from two different stores. The first I bought for 1,000yen ($10) and it contained 16 pieces approximately valued at $80. The second I bought for 2,000yen ($20) and it contained 6 pieces approximately valued at $120.

But it's addictive. You become addicted to the surprises and find yourself wanting to buy more and more just to see what else could be inside.

Was I happy? Yes Indeed!

The Japanese are brilliant. The whole world should be doing this!


vincy said...

Wow.. your description of Japan almost makes me wanna go there :) can i getme a happy bag?!!! thats a great marketing tool that can be used in the US... hint - how about setting up your own Happy bag company to help companies get rid of unwanted stock :).. hey dont steal my idea!!

Japanese Island Girl said...

You're always with the bright ideas! I think you have something there...