Apple to sell $250 ‘lucky bags’ at San Fran retail store grand opening

“To celebrate the grand opening of Apple Computer’s new Union Square store in San Francisco, 200 shoppers will be given a dubious opportunity — spend $250 for the chance to win a new iPod mini,” Leander Kahney reports for Wired News.

[MacDailyNews Note: What’s “dubious” to Leander could easily be “fun” or “interesting” to others. To state the obvious: $250 is pocket change to some, while to others it represents a long period of savings; this particular “lucky bag” concept is for the former, not the latter. For the Grand Opening, before the curious, downtrodden, and besieged-by-the-“virus o’ the day” Wintellites begin to balance out the store’s traffic, we are, after all, talking Mac users here, not eMachines-buyers.]

“On Saturday morning, the first few hundred people through the door will have a chance to buy a $250 ‘lucky bag,’ which may or may not contain one of the company’s popular, just-released miniature music players,” Kahney reports. “Lucky bags are a shopping craze imported from Japan where, on New Year’s Day, many stores offer these bags full of surprise items, explained Ron Johnson, Apple’s senior vice president of retail, during a press tour of the store Thursday.”

Kahney reports, “He said Apple sold them during the recent grand opening of its Tokyo store, and the concept proved so popular the company decided to bring the idea to San Francisco. Priced at $250, nearly the same price as the iPod mini itself, the lucky bags contain seven or eight items worth a total of $600 to $1,000, Johnson said. ‘We’ve got a really popular product that sells for $249,’ he said, referring to the new music player, which went on sale last weekend. ‘So some of them might have a nice surprise.'”

Full article here.

39 Comments

  1. Well said MDN. I know I could scrape together $250 to buy one if I were going to be in SF for the opening. Anyone that wouldn’t when you’re going to get $600-1000 worth of assorted goodies in return needs to have their heads examined to see if they have anything left up there! Of course, we are talking about a Windows user here (Kahney) obviously, so I think that alone proves there isn’t too much going on up there…

  2. I hope this goes well and they try it at the new NYC store when it opens. My wife and I saw this article last night and started thinking about how early to show up with the lawn chairs…

    I wonder what the other items in the bag are? What was given away in Tokyo?

  3. It seems to me that you have a chance to get one of the lucky bags–a bag with $600-1000 in it. Most bags will have practically nothing in them. It’s like a raffle.

    Any Tokyo people out there who can clarify this?

  4. I don’t know what the Japan lucky bags contained, but I doubt that Apple risks in the USofA to fill these bags with items less than $250 of value.
    Imagine the bad press “…paid 250 for a bag with a shirt and a pencil…”
    Question is, will the buyers be happy with another volume of Panther, another volume of iLife and other (Software) items they already own ?
    Anyway, the worst case will be a flood of Apple products on ebay and forums full of “trade x for y” offers ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  5. Lots of software and probably at least one Apple product from the following:

    FCE, iLife04, iPod, iSight

    I can see a lot of games and fun stuff being in there: Halo, UT2004, THPS 4

  6. I don’t think it’s a raffle. You buy a bag for $250 without knowing what’s inside them. That is it. When you total the MSRP of the items inside, it comes out between $600-1000. You are guaranteed to win based on value, but you may lose based on not getting what you want/need. You may win an inkjet cartridge incompatible with your printer, for example. Of course, you can sell them but probably at reduced price and it’s a hassle. That is why it is called a lucky bag.

    Do you feel lucky, punk? Make my day! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  7. Although I have never bought a Lucky Bag myself they are really popular over here in Japan and from what I have heard of them artric got it right. You always have goods with a value of what you paid for them at the very least and often worth much more. The question is whether you get something you want/need. If you get really lucky you get something worth much more than you paid for it, that you really wanted and that is way cool.

    This also gives stores a chance to off load items they still have unsold stock of. If I was there I would buy one for sure and if I didn’t get something I wanted, I would walk around to other lucky baggers and see if I could trade. As a last resort you could always post it on eBay too I suppose.

  8. You know, the editor’s note is just wrong-headed and elitist for no good reason. I know plenty of people who had to scrape together money to purchase their Mac. I own a Powerbook myself, but I wouldn’t consider $250 chump change.

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