Fukubukuro Crap in our Web 2.0 times

This has to be the offer of the century:

Bag o' Crappiness

Yes, that’s right. For just £2.99 at www.bigpockets.co.uk you can now buy a bag full of crappy items that would otherwise be cluttering up their warehouse. The contents will almost certainly have a value above £2.99, but not necessarily to you. The web site goes on to explain as follows:

"Are you ready?? We have got the worst deal ever for you. We are going to ask you to spend your hard earned pounds for a bag o’ crap. For £2.99 we will give you a bag or a box with three crappy items in it. These items are cluttering up our warehouse and we have two or 3 of them per line certainly not enough to list them individually on our website. So we thought we would put three of them in a bag and we would get someone to buy them…. "

Quirky! But here’s the really clever part. Everyone who orders a bag o’ crap gets the chance to win £500 if they post a link, review or a video of them opening the bag and discovering how crappy their crap is.

Net result: Big Pockets turns unsaleable goods into retail value, reduces its storage costs, and gets a tonne of free publicity in return. The chances are that everyone who orders a bag o’ crap will undoubtedly tell several other people about their purchase, and maybe also throw a few more items into their basket while they’re shopping. If it works, that’s pretty close to marketing genius!

As the Big Pockets website explains, this is an example of fukubukuro where Japanese retailers produce grab bags filled with random items for their customers to buy at Japanese New Year. More on the wonderfully named fukubukuro here.

[UPDATE: when I wrote this post there were 54 Bags O’ Crap in stock. 30 minutes later they were all gone! There’s no denying it, this fukubukuro thing is powerful stuff! Who’d have thought buying crap could be so popular]