Because sometimes people suck.

If you’ve browsed our site at any time in the past week, you’ve no doubt seen our plethora of posts about New Year’s lucky bags — those fun bundles of mystery which many businesses in Japan offer for a fixed price in the first couple of days of each new year. The feeling you get when opening one of these lucky bags is reminiscent of the thrill of opening a pack of trading cards as kid and not knowing what you’ll get, but with the added bonus of knowing that whatever is in there will be worth more than what you paid for.

▼ The unveiled contents of our own 2016 Starbucks 6,000-yen lucky bag


Year after year, Starbucks lucky bags prove to be among the most popular, with hundreds of people lining up from the early hours of the morning to get their hands on the limited goods. Of course, anything with so much popularity is bound to come with some drawbacks, and we’re sorry to report that a rather depressing incident occurred this year involving the distribution of Starbucks lucky bags.

Just like at the dozens of other Starbucks’ locations around the country, people began lining up from the early hours of the morning on January 2 at Tokyo’s Futako-Tamagawa Rise Dogwood Plaza Starbucks branch. The lucky bags were set to go on sale at 7 a.m., and this particular location had a total of 108 bags to sell. However, people’s hopes were crushed when the very first group of five people — who had saved their spots in line using folding chairs and were waiting in a car parked nearby — snatched up all 108 of the bags for themselves.

▼ The Futako-Tamagawa Rise Dogwood Plaza Starbucks branch in Setagaya, Tokyo


While many other Starbucks branches had a limit of three bags per person, the Futako-Tamagawa Rise branch had no such policy, so what this group did wasn’t technically wrong. Some net users even subsequently called out the branch, saying that the workers should have intervened when the very first group expressed a desire to buy up all of the bags for themselves. But regardless of who’s “at fault” in this situation, we have to conclude that based on the tacit rules of decent people, these five people nonetheless pulled a particularly dickish move. Just take it from one of the poor people in line who had waited in line but missed out on a chance to snatch up some coffee goodness because of the five jerks:

▼ “I took the very first train to begin waiting at the Futako-Tamagawa Rise Starbucks at 5 a.m., but the first person bought 60 lucky bags in boxes. Isn’t it just cruel that they could jump back in line just by saving their places with chairs?”

As terrible as it must be to be one of those folks who got nothing to show for their effort, the story doesn’t end here.

Net users quickly discovered that one of the perpetrators — whom I think we’ll refer to as Mr. A. Hole from hereafter — then proceeded to post pictures of his loot on Instagram, writing, “I’m going to give these all away as New Year’s presents.” Mr. A. Hole’s account was subsequently flooded by net users attacking him, posting comments such as:

“You’re just going to resell them, aren’t you?”
“Yeah, right. Gimme a break.”
“You’re making light of all the people who actually wanted what was in those bags.”

In fact, he apparently received so many spiteful messages that the account was deactivated.

As it so happens, over 2,000 “Starbucks 2016 lucky bags” are now listed on online Japanese auction sites such as Yahoo! Off, often for exorbitantly higher prices than the original  prices, which were 6,000 yen (US$50.81) for the larger lucky bag and 3,500 yen ($29.75) for the smaller lucky bag. Some of the auctions even offer partially picked-through lucky bags, with the sellers trying to make a profit off of any unwanted items through auction. We all know what happens when you assume, but is there really any doubt that at least a few of those bags up for sale belong to our dear Mr. A. Hole?

Well, at least we’ve got our monkey-cosplaying feline friends to console us in these troubling times!

Sources: Netallica, IT Media, Inc.
Featured image: Tabelog