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How To Buy Lucky Bags (Fukubukuro) From Japan

Lucky bags, also known as fukubukuro 福袋, are sought after in Japan during the new year because they often offer limited items, and are worth more than they actually cost! If you love surprises or know someone who does, then lucky bags are the perfect present or shopping haul for you.

Fukubukuro selling in Japan

Fukubukuro (lucky bags) being sold at a Japanese shopping mall. 

What is Fukubukuro (Lucky/Happy Bags)?

what is fukubukuro?

The origin of "Fukubukuro" in Japan has various explanations. It is believed to have its roots in the Edo to Meiji period. During that time, kimono fabric stores, in order to clear their remaining inventory, would randomly pack leftover fabric into bags and sell them. They started promoting these bags as part of promotional events during the New Year's period, particularly during the festival of Ebisu, who is a deity associated with commerce and trade in Japan.

These lucky bags unexpectedly gained popularity and became a trend. Over time, various industries began to emulate this idea. Today, Fukubukuro comes in a wide range of types and forms, including fashion, skincare products, food, household goods, electronics, and more. People look forward to buying them during the New Year to bring good luck and try their luck at getting valuable items.

 

Why Buy Fukubukuro?

Why buy fukubukuro?

Many department stores and retailers release promotional lucky bags during the New Year season at the end of the year. These bags offer a cost-effective way to purchase a variety of items, often with discounts of 50% or more. Because the contents are typically a surprise and not revealed in advance, buying a Fukubukuro is filled with mystery and anticipation. Many people hope to take advantage of their New Year's luck and see if they can find hidden treasures.

"The biggest discount of the year," "getting a variety of items in one go," "the thrill of unboxing surprises," and "buying for a dose of New Year's luck" are the reasons why Fukubukuro remains so popular in Japan.

How to Choose Fukubukuro?

When it comes to the most popular Japanese Fukubukuro (Lucky Bags), they would be fashion for both men and women and beauty and skincare products. However, there are also Fukubukuro available for snacks, household items, general merchandise, and electronics. Depending on the store and the item categories, the sale period and rules for Fukubukuro may vary.

Here are some tips for choosing Japanese Fukubukuro:

❖ Pay attention to the sale period:

The primary sale period for Japanese Fukubukuro is from December through the New Year's holiday. However, with a growing variety of promotions, many stores now start pre-order events as early as October or November, with announcements of Fukubukuro contents and prices in advance. Each month leading up to the New Year may have different special offers and combinations.

It's recommended to identify the stores and types of products you want to purchase and keep an eye on the release dates starting in November to make sure you don't miss pre-order opportunities and limited-time discounts.

❖ Pay attention to the product description and rules:

While Fukubukuro may seem like a great deal with 5-6 or more items in one bag, it's essential to check the item combinations and sale rules for each store's Fukubukuro. Here are some key points to consider when choosing Japanese Fukubukuro:

  • Contents: Look at what items are included in the lucky bag to ensure they match your preferences and needs. The contents are often kept secret and what you get depends on sheer luck. Take note that usually for fashion lucky bags, you will not be able to choose styles and colors. Sometimes, a lot of the items' sizing would be free sizing (one size fits all). 

  • Price: Check the price of the Fukubukuro and compare it to the estimated value of the contents to determine if it's a good deal.

  • Return and exchange policies: Understand the store's policies regarding returns or exchanges for Fukubukuro items in case you receive something you don't want or need. Usually, there is no return and exchange service for Fukubukuro.

  • Limited quantities: Be aware that Fukubukuro is often available in limited quantities, so it's a good idea to act quickly if you want to secure one.

  • Unboxing Reviews: We also suggest searching for unboxing reviews of the Fukuburo online to evaluate whether you are interested in the content inside the lucky bags.

By keeping these considerations in mind, you can make the most of your Japanese Fukubukuro shopping experience and enjoy the excitement of uncovering surprises during the New Year season.

Where to Buy Fukubukuro?

Have you already decided on your shopping list for this year? Many brands will sell their Fukubukuro online on their Official Websites. To ensure that everyone can have a fulfilling New Year, we have also compiled information about the online channels and platforms where Fukubukuro is sold, making it easy for you to shop to your heart's content!

  • Online Shopping Platforms

Integrated e-commerce platforms in Japan, such as Rakuten Ichiba, Amazon Japan, and Yahoo Japan Shopping, are known for offering a wide range of common brands and products, covering everything from food, clothing, housing, and entertainment. These platforms not only feature Fukubukuro from official brand stores but also often collaborate with brands to release exclusive limited-edition Fukubukuro.

Furthermore, each platform has its strengths in terms of product categories. For example, Rakuten has a dedicated Fukubukuro section for beauty and fashion items, while Amazon Japan offers a diverse selection of electronics, household goods, and food products. It's a good idea to compare offerings from different platforms to find the Fukubukuro that best suits your preferences and needs.

 

 

  • Fashion and Beauty Online Sites

For the purchase of Fukubukuro in the fashion and beauty categories, in addition to official brand stores, Japan's major online fashion and beauty platforms also have dedicated Fukubukuro sales pages. These pages allow you to search for all kinds of deals on men's and women's clothing, children's clothing, beauty and hair products, footwear, bags, fashion accessories, home fragrances, lifestyle goods, and more all in one place. This makes it convenient for shoppers to browse and find the Fukubukuro that suit their style and preferences.

 

  • Department Stores

During the year-end, Fukubukuro events offered by major department stores are highly anticipated by everyone. Besides taking note of the physical sale information for New Year's Fukubukuro, one cannot afford to miss the pre-sale battle on department store online shopping websites.

In previous years, the pre-sale of Fukubukuro on department store websites typically starts around late October to early November. Many specific department stores offer exclusive brands and items during this pre-sale period. Items such as cosmetics and skincare products, high-end fashion for both men and women, luxury bedding and sleepwear, New Year's gift sets, and more are often the highlights of department store Fukubukuro pre-sales. These items tend to sell out quickly once the pre-sale event begins.

 

 

How to Buy Fukubukuro?

Purchasing Japanese Fukubukuro primarily comes in two forms: "In-store sales" and "Online sales."

  1. In-store Sales: This refers to physically going to the stores or shops to buy Fukubukuro during the designated sales period. Many people in Japan enjoy the tradition of lining up at their favorite stores early in the morning to secure their desired Fukubukuro on the first day of the New Year

    Large department stores and shops in Japan typically offer Fukubukuro for in-store sales at the end of the year or the beginning of the new year. These Fukubukuro are often limited in quantity and available for a limited time, creating a sense of urgency, and it's a first-come, first-served situation.

    Popular brands and stores often generate excitement by revealing some of the high-value items included in their Fukubukuro in advance. They may also arrange on-site lotteries, where only those who are fortunate enough to win the lottery can make a purchase. This adds an element of excitement and surprise to the shopping experience and further drives demand for Fukubukuro during the New Year's season in Japan.

  2. Online Sales: Online sales of Fukubukuro have become increasingly popular in recent years. Various e-commerce platforms, as well as official brand websites and department store websites, offer Fukubukuro for pre-order or direct purchase online. This option allows shoppers to conveniently browse and purchase Fukubukuro from the comfort of their homes, and it's especially useful for those who cannot make it to physical stores.

    Many brands and online stores in Japan open up online pre-orders for Fukubukuro as early as October to November, offering exclusive Fukubukuro items for purchase online. These Fukubukuro are typically shipped out gradually after the year-end or the New Year's holiday.

    For those who want to buy Japanese Fukubukuro but cannot physically queue up at the stores or encounter difficulties with online platforms that don't offer international shipping, there's no need to worry! You can simply add the desired items to your ZenMarket shopping cart, and our team will assist in confirming inventory, prices, shipping fees, and other details. This way, you can easily get your hands on the latest Japanese Fukubukuro from the comfort of your home! Below is an example of buying Fukubukuro with ZenMarket.

     

Example: Ordering ZOZOTOWN's lucky bags

There's nothing more simple than ordering from ZOZOTOWN with ZenMarket. You don't need a ZOZOTOWN account or a Japanese address, just follow the instructions below.

1. Click on a lucky bag that interests you. 

zozotown - fukubukuro 2018

 

2.  Copy the item's URL. 

This lucky bag costs 20,000 JPY but contains items with a total value of 56,000 JPY (about 560 USD). What a bargain!

zozotown - fukubukuro 2018

 

3. Paste the link in our search bar and press the [Enter] Key.

This will take you to the item's page on our site. 

fukubukuro Japan Zozotown 2018

4. Specify your desired size.

If you forget to specify your desired size, one of our operators will ask you for your size when confirming the purchase. When you are ready, click the "Add to Cart".

fukubukuro japan zozotown 2018

5. Our staff will check the availability of your item.

When your item has been confirmed by our operators, you will receive a notification via email. 

ZenMarket zozotown lucky bags

6. Pay for your item.

Happy lucky bag shopping! 🧧

 

 

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