Lucky Home: Where Bangkok hunts for treasures in Japanese ‘junk’ (Photos)

A monk digs through crates of vinyl on Sept. 21, 2022, at Lucky Home warehouse in Bangkok’s Samrong area. Photo: Coconuts Bangkok
A monk digs through crates of vinyl on Sept. 21, 2022, at Lucky Home warehouse in Bangkok’s Samrong area. Photo: Coconuts Bangkok

Is one person’s trash another’s treasure? Bangkok can judge that axiom inside a pair of nondescript warehouses in an industrial area near BTS Samrong.

For those who love sifting through piles of second-hand odds and ends, Lucky Home Samrong is akin to that scene at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but instead of hundreds of crates, there are tons of used electronics, instruments, cameras, and vinyl records – all imported from Japan by a secretive Japanese collector.

The place suits the most ardent audiophiles and hobbyists. Rows of sound systems and speakers are neatly arranged on shelves in the middle of a wide storage area. They range from the retro to the modern. Guitars hang on another wall. Instruments, and their cases, lay cluttered about another.

But what many will find most rummage-worthy are likely to be the rows of crates containing vinyl records. Dusty and plentiful, crate-diggers can find records by Japanese artists as well as international hits, complete with record spines minted exclusively in Japan.

Photo: Coconuts Bangkok

A reporter at the site found various records from The Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Pat Benatar to soundtracks for The Godfather and Ghostbusters. There was also a plethora of large aluminum-plastic discs hailing from the long dead age of the LaserDisc, if anyone fancies such things.

A li’l further down the aisle are crates containing VHS tapes, music CDs, and video games which, unsurprisingly, include erotic hentai computer games.

In a separate warehouse, budding photographers can scavenge through hundreds of cameras on display, as well as a great number of lenses. 

Photo: Coconuts Bangkok

We wanted to find out the story of its owner, Japanese businessperson Shoichiro Yanai, and what led to him opening the sprawling space six years ago, but a store manager named Kik, would only say that Shoichiro wanted to import things that might be considered junk back home but would be valued in Bangkok.

Asked if purchased items that turn out to be broken or nonfunctional can be returned, a staff member gave a wry smile. The answer was no.

“We encourage you to test or try it before buying,” the woman said. “If you have a good eye, you get quality items at the best price. But if it’s broken, that means you’re unlucky. That’s why we call this place Lucky Home.”

Photo: Coconuts Bangkok

Lucky Home hosts auctions every Friday where customers can compete to take home treasures like shiny guitars at a low prices.

There is another branch located further out from downtown, just past the end of the BTS Sukhumvit Line in Bang Pu, Samut Prakan province. Instead of stocking hobbyist items, it focuses on more ordinary goods such as tableware, furniture, and bicycles. Most are in excellent condition.

Photo: Coconuts Bangkok
Photo: Coconuts Bangkok
Photo: Coconuts Bangkok
Photo: Coconuts Bangkok
Photo: Coconuts Bangkok
Photo: Coconuts Bangkok

Lucky Home (Samrong branch)

Lucky Home (Bang Pu branch)

Additional reporting Chayanit Itthipongmaetee

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