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Type of site
|Key people||Matt Rutledge, Founder (and former CEO)|
|Products||Electronics, Household Goods, etc.|
|Revenue||US$164 million (2008)
39.7% from 2007
Woot (originally W00t) is an American Internet retailer based in the Dallas suburb of Carrollton, Texas. Founded by electronics wholesaler Matt Rutledge, it debuted on July 12, 2004. Woot's main website generally offers only one discounted product each day, often a piece of computer hardware or an electronic gadget. Other Woot sites offer daily deals for t-shirts, wine, children's items, household goods; two other sites offer various items. On June 30, 2010, Woot announced an agreement to be acquired by Amazon.
- 1 Sales model
- 2 Marketing style
- 3 Customer service
- 4 Special events
- 5 Related sites
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 Bibliography
- 9 External links
Woot's tagline is "One Day, One Deal". Originally, Woot offered one product per day until its stock of that item was sold out, or until the product was replaced at midnight Central Time with the next offering. If a product sold out during its run, the next item would not appear until midnight, except during Woot-Off promotions. However, post-acquisition from Amazon, if a product sells out fast enough (generally before Noon CST), a new product will be offered for purchase.
Products are never announced beforehand. This sales model means that defective products cannot be replaced, only refunded. The company also does not provide customer support for the products it sells; in case of problems, customers are advised to seek support either from the manufacturer or through the online user community on the Woot forums.
Woot does not reveal sales figures unless the item sells out or a new item is for sale. Except for Shirt.woot, items are shipped only to the United States, using FedEx Ground, FedEx SmartPost, or United Parcel Service. All items, regardless of size or weight, are shipped for a flat fee.
Woot sometimes sells refurbished items. In 2011, sales of 6,200 refurbished Motorola Xooms included a small number (about 100) which weren't refurbished properly, and may have been sold with data from the devices' previous owners.
The company's marketing style is irreverent and often acknowledges its community of customers. Product descriptions commonly mock the product, the customer, or Woot itself. Product drawbacks are preemptively acknowledged, and buyers are advised to beware. For those only interested in serious details, official information about the product is always listed below the Woot-written description. Community users often do their own product research and post their opinions on the user forums. Woot staff tags the most useful posts and features them at the top of the forum.
Woot's main site previously featured a daily podcast by Matthew Shultz, that briefly described the item up for sale and included a humorous song or skit. This has since[when?] been replaced by a weekly video podcast. Photoshop contests among Woot forum users for prizes, including cash, free shipping on Woot orders, and the Monkey Prize (typically a random monkey-related item of little or no value) were other promotional events.
Community members have contributed back to the site by offering Woot-related services. These include status checkers, Dashboard widgets, and Windows Sidebar widgets to report when the next product is listed; there are also webcasts and other means to monitor the site's status. Woot has an official Twitter account, which is among the 100 most-followed accounts on Twitter (as of May 24, 2010).
As of June 1, 2016, the Better Business Bureau had reported 505 complaints closed in the last three years with 136 of those closed in the last twelve months. A majority of complaints dealt with problems concerning Product/Service and Delivery Issues. The BBB has given Woot an A- rating on an A+ to F scale.
The site occasionally deviates from the one-product-per-day model for a "Woot-Off". A Woot-Off lasts for an unannounced length, usually 24–72 hours. During a Woot-Off, products usually sell out quickly, and when one product sells out, it is replaced within a minute or two by a new product. A percentage bar shows how much stock of the current product remains. However, Woot never gives the exact quantity available until after the item has sold out.
Beginning with the "gamma" launch of the Neuros MPEG 4 Recorder on February 9, 2005, Woot has occasionally partnered with another company to launch a new product with a one-day exclusive Woot sale..
Starting in July 2005, Woot began occasionally offering a blind grab bag officially called "Random Crap", in lieu of typical product sales. While today its accompanying picture of a paper lunch bag with a question mark has kept its unofficial name "Bag of Crap", (BOC) it was originally dubbed "Bag of Crap" during the early years of the site when a physical bag of some kind (notebook, iomega zipper bags, etc.) was sold with the 1–3 "craps" and was part of what you were buying. Today, the BOC contains at least three "crappy" items and one bag whose value and quality are not guaranteed, but sometimes expensive items are included. The BOC typically triggers millions of order requests and sells out within seconds, causing server lag and even a server crash. During the January 25, 2011 selling, the website received a record 3.1 million requests, and the product was sold out within eight seconds.
During April Fool's Day 2008, Woot staged a Woot-Off offering the same product repeatedly, except for a few brief periods when Woot sold Bags of Crap instead. Three years later on April Fools' Day, Woot staged a "Bag of Crap" flash game, which users were instructed to play in order to win the privilege of buying Bags of Crap. On April 1, 2011, eight thousand Bags of Crap were sold. Later in the day, once the Bag of Crap selling period was over, a Woot admin said that there were over seven million attempts to get the Bags of Crap.
Debuting on March 10, 2010, Woot ran limited one-hour versions of the Woot-Off called Happy Hour. These events were promoted solely via Twitter, and did not appear on woot.com's front page. Happy Hour didn't quite work out and was put on an indefinite hold by August 2011.
On January 10, 2006, Woot began offering two-packs of products every Tuesday. Woot has also used this day to offer quantities greater than 2, such as 3-for-Tu3sday, 4-for-4uesday, 5-for-Tue5day, 6-for-Tue6day, 10X-Tuesday, 12-for-Tu12day, Two Dozen Tuesday (24-for-Tue2day), and Three Dozen Tuesday (36-for-Tu36day). On June 28, 2011, Woot decided to take a step back from the "two for Tuesday" promotions to focus on quality over quantity, though noting that they have not completely retired the idea.
World of Wootcrap
A special event was held on July 11, 2014 celebrating Woot.com's tenth birthday.
Woot has created several spin-off sites, some following a similar business model as the main site, others providing other retail-related services.
Wine.woot was launched in the summer of 2006 and offers wine and "wine-related" products. It initially offered one item per week (often a set of multiple bottles from the same winery), but has since expanded to offer a new item every day. Unlike the main Woot site, Wine.woot will occasionally offer new deals outside of the regular schedule if an item sells out.
Due to wine shipping laws in the United States, Wine.woot items may only be delivered to a limited number of states. As the wineries are the seller of record (not Wine.woot), the list of states to which any given offer may be shipped is dependent on where the current winery has a license to ship, and will change from offer to offer.
Due to the acquisition of Whole Foods, Wine.woot announced they will cease operations after Dec 31, 2017.
Shirt.woot sold its first shirt in July 2007, after a short beta test. The website began by offering one new T-shirt design every weekday. Since September 2007, shirts have been offered on Saturday and Sunday as well.
Most designs are from established artists, but Woot also conducts a weekly design competition, the "Derby", where users submit their own design ideas. The three most popular designs, as determined by a public vote, are produced and sold; the winners receive $1,000 each, plus $2 for every shirt sold after the first day.
Shirts are sold on their day of release at a discounted price. Before November 12, 2012 Shirt.woot offered between 28 and 34 different designs, depending on the day of the week. Each week, seven shirts with the lowest sales were dropped from the production line through a process called "The Reckoning" and discontinued.
Beginning November 12, 2012, Shirt.woot began offering every shirt design in their catalog for sale (except those originally using special effects, such as glow in the dark ink, or those with rights issues). Unlike shirts in active rotation, the back catalog shirts are digitally printed, and sell for a higher price than shirts in active rotation.
Unlike the main Woot site, Shirt.woot offers international shipping and $5.00 standard shipping for an entire order in the US. Next day delivery is available for an additional fee.
For nearly its first five years, the company's shirt blanks came from American Apparel. Starting in February 2012 Woot switched to Anvil Knitwear, saying Anvil provided "stability and flexibility" and "cost is a factor, too", with Shirt.woot running "on thin margins that didn't leave ... much room to experiment" with "different kinds of products."
Another reason given for the change was the availability of shirt blanks in ladies' sizes, "that hopefully will make the shirts seem more, y'know, built for ladies." The announcement resulted in hundreds of comments from its customers, with some welcoming the new sizes for women and others questioning the timing of the change (the price of day-of-release shirts had recently risen 20%) and objecting to the switch from the United States to Honduras as the country of origin.
In May 2013, Shirt.Woot began a trial period during which it would offer its daily shirt designs printed on the customer's choice of Anvil or American Apparel blanks; the latter costs a dollar extra. As of June 2015, the cost of American Apparel blanks have risen to three dollars extra.
On September 12, 2007, Woot entered into a partnership with Yahoo! and created a new site, sellout.woot.com, which has since become part of Yahoo! Shopping. The business model is the same as the main Woot site's, although with different products. While the site itself was part of Yahoo! Shopping, all product offers and order fulfillment were managed by Woot. This partnership has since ended although the Sellout site itself still exists for daily sales through the deals.woot site.
Woot launched Kids.woot on August 18, 2009. It sells one item, geared toward children, per day. Kids.woot began featuring the Woot-Off promotion on October 28, 2009. Kids.woot ended in July 2017, citing "Looking for kids' deals? Don't worry! We still sell lots of kids' stuff in our other categories."
A website operated by Woot, Deals.woot is a deal aggregator with two types of listings. One is the "Sponsored Deals" section, which has listings recommended by retailers and manufacturers, as well as links to other daily deal sites. The second section, "Community Deals", consists of deals recommended by the users. Users can vote on deals and comments, and can "tattle" on expired or misrepresented deals.
Deals.woot had its first unofficial event on February 10 and 11, 2011, dubbed "Crab Day", where users of the site gathered together to post as many crab-related deals as they could find.
Deals.woot closed on August 1, 2016.
Launched June 11, 2012 with their initial deal, a set of golf clubs (Adams Redline Hybrid 8 Iron Set)
Launched July 16, 2012 as Tech.woot, this site focuses on tech items, electronics and gadgets. This site was renamed Electronics.Woot on June 2, 2014.
Launched April 1, 2013, focusing on garden, do-it-yourself tools and home improvement.
Launched June 3, 2013, focusing on fashion accessories and watches. Removed in June 2017.
Launched June 2, 2014, focusing on computers.
- "Woot listing in Inc. 5000 for 2008". September 12, 2008. Retrieved 2011-12-05.[dead link]
- Brown, Lisa R. (October 25, 2009). "Woot.com expanding with new South City office".
- Woot (July 12, 2007). "The Blog – Random Crap". Woot.com. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
- "The Blog – June 30, 2010 – BREAKING: Woot To Be Acquired By Amazon, Then Left To Amuse Ourselves". Woot.com. June 30, 2010. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
- "Isn't Woot all about 'One Day, One Deal'? 'What is Woot?', FAQ Q#4". Woot.com. 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
- "The Community: Woots: Sony Dash Personal Internet Viewer". Woot.com. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
- "What Is". Woot.com. Archived from the original on December 5, 2011. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
- Wong, Wailin (February 3, 2012). "Xooms sold on Woot.com may contain previous owners' data". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2012-02-05.
- "Woot.com Stats & Rankings". Twitaholic.com. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
- Richard MacManus (June 4, 2007). "Amazon Comes To Twitter". Readwriteweb.com. Archived from the original on November 22, 2011. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
- BBB (October 4, 2014). "Woot, Inc Business Review in Carrollton, TX - Dallas BBB". bbb.com. Retrieved 2014-10-04.
- "Woot : What is Woot?". Woot. Archived from the original on December 5, 2011. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
- Woot by Wootbot on July 18, 2005 at 12:00 am (July 18, 2005). "Random Crap". Woot. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
- Woot by Wootbot on May 15, 2009 at 5:03 pm (May 15, 2009). "Random Crap". Woot. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
- Murphy, Samantha (October 2008). "Winning Woot". Chain Store Age. 84 (10): 50.
- "The Community: Woots: Random Crap – Level 1". Woot. January 4, 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
- World of Wootcrap.
- "How Woot Works: Printing Our Shirts". Woot. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
- "Everybody Shirts: (Almost) Every Shirt.Woot Design is Back in Print". Woot. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
- Shirt.Woot (February 21, 2012). "Time to Change Our Shirt: Shirt.Woot Now Using Anvil Blank Tees". Woot. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
For one thing, we really like the combination of stability and flexibility that going with Anvil provides. They've been in business for 150 years, so we're confident they know how to handle any challenge we throw at them....Of course, cost is a factor, too. For a long time, we ran on thin margins that didn't leave us much room to experiment. Now we can continue expanding our selection and taking chances on different kinds of products that we may not have been able to try before.
- Staff (May 6, 2013). "American Apparel or Anvil? For A Limited Time, Take Your Pick". Woot Blog. Woot. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
Here at Shirt.Woot, we're always trying to listen to our community, to meet your needs, gain your trust, and take your money. So for the proverbial "limited time", we're offering our daily shirt designs on your choice of our current Anvil blanks for $12 or American Apparel blanks for $13.
- "Woot Sells Out!". Woot. Retrieved September 12, 2007.
- "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". Web.archive.org. July 21, 2011. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
- "Our Home.Woot Es Su". Home.Woot. October 24, 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (February 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- Time magazine's "50 Coolest Websites 2005"
- PC Magazine site review
- Motley Fool article
- New York Times article
- National Public Radio All Things Considered interview with Woot writer Jason Toon and developer Luke Duff (Streaming Audio)