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Earlier this month, at COMEX, one of Singapore’s biggest annual tech shows, a retailer created a frenzy selling parcels containing “mystery” items for $6.

In a video posted on The Auction House’s Facebook page, bargain hunters can be seen rushing to buy parcels purported to contain household goods and high-tech gadgets.

However, the retailer’s activities may become illegal if they are found selling mystery boxes, which are prohibited in Singapore.

Although not yet formally defined in Singapore law, such boxes usually contain surprise items of greater value than the price consumers would normally pay.

2018, a merchant who operates a vending machine that sells mystery items I was told by the police to stop driving Because it was considered a form of lottery.

In response to a question from The Straits Times on Tuesday, police confirmed a report had been filed against the auction house and an investigation was ongoing.

When I contacted The Auction House, they said they were aware that Mystery Boxes were illegal, but that the parcels they sold were not considered Mystery Boxes because the content was shown on a Facebook livestream. .

A spokesperson said, “We have opened quite a few parcels. There are some repeated items, like shoes and bags.”

In one of the videos streamed live on her Facebook page during COMEX, which took place Sept. 1-4, Auction House founder Melissa Wicks showed audience items such as eye massagers and vacuum flasks. can be seen showing In four parcels she opened.

However, the prices for these items were not mentioned in the comments section nor were they mentioned during the live stream.

Rajah & Tann Singapore Attorney and Head of Intellectual Property, Sports and Gaming Lau Kok Keng said that mystery boxes are not defined in gambling regulations but the case is still a game of chance. Stated.

Mr Lau said: “Shoppers are paying the same amount to receive randomly assigned boxes. Each box may contain different items with different values. You might get a box with items of much lower value than you might receive.”

Gambling regulators have previously announced they plan to regulate mystery boxes and introduce safeguards such as a $100 cap, but experts need more information on what will be allowed. said it is.

Mr Lau said:

Professor Sharon Ng, head of marketing at the Nanyang Business School (NBS) of Nanyang Technological University, said the authorities are asking companies to provide mystery boxes for a limited period of time during promotions or less frequently, such as once a month. said it could consider allowing it to do so. , reduce the risk of addiction.

Experts recognized that properly regulated mystery boxes could be a fun selling mechanism for consumers and a convenient selling mechanism for retailers.

NBS Adjunct Associate Professor Lynda Wee, Ph.D., pointed out how mystery boxes can be sold for less than the item’s regular retail price when retailers want to clear inventory.

Professor Ng added: Police report filed against online retailer selling parcels containing ‘mystery’ items at tech show, latest Singapore news

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