Tag Archive for 'woot'

Amazon buys Woot

In a joke-laden message on the company blog, Woot CEO Matt Rutledge announced today that the company is being acquired by Amazon which has been a minority investor in his company since 2006. The announcement is short of brilliant, I truly had a good laugh after reading the last chapter:

This is definitely an emotional day for me. The feelings Im experiencing are similar to what I felt in college on graduation day: excitement about getting a check from my folks combined with nausea from a hellacious bender the night before. I remember fondly that time when an RA turned on the lights and yelled WHO OWNS THESE PANTS? Except this time, the pants are a company, and the RA is you, and the sixty five hours of community service is a deal that will ensure the experience can continue to grow for years and years and years, like a black mold behind the Gold Box. Join us, because together, we can rule the galaxy as father and son. Also, there will be six muffins waiting in the company break room, courtesy of the nice folks at Welcome to the family!

Continue reading ‘Amazon buys Woot’

Woot team launches a deals site

Wine.Woot, Shirt.Woot, Sellout.Woot, Kids.Woot, and now Deals.Woot! Just in time for the holidays the team that basically invented deal a day shopping is expanding Woot-empire, and this time it is all about community… well… kind of. When you open the front page, roughly half of the screen above the fold is dedicated to sponsored deals - a moderated content provided by partners, so you judge how community friendly Deals.Woot really is. ;-)

Overall the site has a neat design and somewhat resembles Digg. Adding your own deal is easy and takes just a few mouse clicks. Interestingly that voting is restricted only to the members who have ever purchased anything from any of the Woot properties. Here is how Woot explains the restriction:

We restrict voting to users who have purchased something from one of the other Woot stores. It’s not just because we want your money (which we do) - it’s the best way to be sure all the votes are coming from real people and not spam-bots or phony accounts. The best way we can think of, anyway. For now.

When you submit a deal it is placed into the ‘Fresh’ list and will sit there until it gets promoted to the ‘Popular’ list based on deal activity and some other black magic. The FAQ doesn’t disclose how this exactly happens but one can guess that number of votes, clicks and comments gets involved.

In addition there is also a discussion area which is envisioned to be the place to go if you need a ‘deal question’ answered. Right now, since the site just launched, it is filled with questions related to the website functionality. You can find members bitching about expired deals and other typical ‘deal site’ stuff.

The sole most valuable asset Deals.Woot possesses is the active community of Woot admirers, many of whom are core bargain hunters. It is not unusual for a single deal to gather 50-60 comments, the only other deal site I know that can challenge Woot in this regard is SlickDeals.

I will be curious to see how well it fairs in the coming months. For some reason it reminds me of the first wave of social deal sites that launched in 2006. Not all of them have survived. What do you think, does Deals.Woot have a chance?

Related: Digg For Bargains: Deals.Woot Is Now Open To The Public (at TechCrunch)


Home cooking savings, Woot sells out, etc

Does cooking home really cost less than what fast food chains charge?

I have asked myself this kind of question many times. Is it worth cooking your lunch at home and if you do so, will you be able to beat Quiznos and Subway’s rock bottom prices?

For me this question is out of table since lunch out is not just a meal but also an opportunity to meet friends (which is priceless) and therefore I personally vote for the “not so cheap” food at a restaurant.

Where do you eat your lunch?

Source: Does Cooking At Home Really Beat The McDonalds $1 Double Cheeseburger? at SimpleDollar

Woot partners with Yahoo! Shopping

The most popular of one day a deal sites strengthens its position by partnering with Yahoo! Shopping, a price comparison and shopping portal. If you head to Yahoo! Shopping front page, it is very easy to spot the new “Deal of the Day” section in the middle. Powered by Woot it will however serve different deals than those on (no bag of crap for you, Yahoo? :-)).

According to the blog post at, there is no money involved as part of this agreement. What is in it for Woot then? “access to their gigunda audience of shoppers who’ve never met Woot”. Plus they probably get to keep all the proceeds from the suddenly increasing sales.

What is in it for Yahoo!? “Yahoo! gets to lure you all (old Woot users) through their front door”. I really doubt devoted Wooters is who Yahoo! really after. What Yahoo! gets is an experienced team and a smoothly running “deal a day” machine which is a great addition to their portal. Cnet has one and it is very popular.

Source: Woot Sells Out! at

Farecast flexes muscles with hotel prices

Farecast, the startup known for their air fare prediction service is testing waters in new area, hotel pricing. Just as airline tickets, hotels prices have seasonal changes and are affected by local events (conventions, fairs, etc). Farecast helps you decide if a specific hotel offering is a good deal or not by comparing historical hotel prices to the price on the day of your stay. There is not cross hotel comparison. Why?

We believe that supply and demand within a market is a fantastic indicator of the quality of a hotel. If Hotel B is inferior to Hotel C, Hotel B is not going to be able to charge a premium rate in the market and fill their rooms. Therefore, the prices other hotels have available is not relevant to whether the given hotel is a deal.

Makes sense to me. At least this is how it should work in an ideal market with abundance of information about the quality of services offered by all competitors.

Source: Finding Bargain Rooms at a Glance at New York Times

One Deal a Day Web Sites Roundup

The “fame and glory” radiated by Woot isn’t going unnoticed. Others have picked up the tab and there are probably more Daily Deal web sites today than there are traditional ones. Here is a brief list of those that I am aware of. Post a comment if you know a web site that I missed.

Dedicated One Deal a Day web sites:

  • Woot is probably the best known one. Their blog is fun to read even if you don’t participate in the auctions. They recently launched a wine section
  • Yugster is another very popular and well designed web site. They offer Second Chance Offer when the original item is sold out.
  • Stootsi lures customers by offering a full refund to the first person to buy a new product that they launch every day at noon (dead as of 06/02/10)
  • WaitYourPrice which I reviewed earlier offers a full Dutch auction with the price going to zero until the items are sold out (dead as of 03/22/07)
  • AtomicShopping is another reverse price auction offering a wide range of items for sale
  • Tanga offers daily deals and games
  • LunarLoot offers a daily offer on electronics
  • SteepAndCheap specializes in outdoor equipment
  • BFIZ offers fine jewelry daily
  • MidnightBox is more a game than a typical deal site. You have to guess what is offered for sale before you know what you are buying. The first person to guess gets a prize.
  • GamesDuJour just launched in December 2006. They sell one downloadable PC game a day at a deep discount
  • BitsDuJour features software for PC, PDA and smartphones. They don’t sell but rather arrange a discount and link you to the vendor
  • MacZot offers software for Apple Mac
  • GoingToday offers gear for musicians
  • Shnoop offers daily deals in general merchandise
  • Dealko offers daily deals on a wide range of products. You get perks like a prize if you guess the “sold out” time. Today every 20th sale was free.
  • ChickChock is another deal of the day site. Their slogan is: One Day. One Chance. One Choice (dead as of 02/15/09)
  • RadCru is a daily deal site for wine lovers
  • DealDotCom with the help of their minions are selling one internet marketing product a day. Useful for people with online presence, blog owners and webmasters

Around the Globe:

  • iBOOD offers an online offer daily and covers most of the Europe
  • Zazz is the oldest Australian One Deal a Day web site
  • CatchOfTheDay has recently joined them with a very similar front page design

Also worth mentioning:

If you feel overwhelmed, here is a helping hand:

  • DODTracker lists a ton of Daily Deal sites and shows details on the current deal for each. With over 50 deals listed it looks like a real time saver

Last updated: 03/11/2008

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