Weekend Website

 First things first: as you’ll notice, our Saturday CyberNotes feature has changed from Weekend Warrior to Weekend Website.  I scrounged up lots of stuff about technology and travel over the last 7 months for the Weekend Warrior feature and figured it was time for a change.  As the name suggests, Weekend Website will highlight a website that fits into the category of being super cool, unusually useful, unique, or all of the above.  If you know of a website that fits into any of those categories that would be a good fit for the Weekend Website selection, email us and we might feature it. Okay, now onto the good stuff…

Woot! Once you make your first purchase, you certainly won’t forget it, and you’ll probably find yourself making repeated visits throughout the week. There’s one word that can sum up Woot …. Surprise! There are so many surprise elements to Woot which is why it’s half the fun that it is.

Here’s how it works:  Each day, Woot will place a single product up for sale. The quantity that they have available is never disclosed during the sale. To give potential buyers an idea of when the item is almost gone, the “I Want one” button which you’d click to purchase the item, starts bouncing around the screen when the supply is low. The sale is done when the item has sold-out, or the time reaches 11:59 PM, whichever comes first. Once it’s gone, it’s gone and you’ll have to wait until the next day for a new product and the fun to begin all over again.Woot’s explanation is much more simplified, saying that they’re “an online store and community that focuses on selling cool stuff cheap.” The image above shows their Woot item for today, the BOA Portable Remote Security System.

Occasionally, they will have a Woot-Off which means that there will be a succession of products available. When one product sells out, another one will appear. It will continue until they end the Woot-off which usually lasts anywhere from 24-72 hours, maybe even longer. Sometimes items will sell out within minutes, other times it will take hours. Thankfully they have an RSS feed which really helps out on these Woot-Off days! If you leave your reader open, you’ll quickly be notified of the new item instead of returning to the site constantly throughout the day.

Shipping no matter what the item is, no matter how heavy, how small, where it’s shipping to, etc., will always be a flat $5.00. You’re limited to a quantity of 3 of each item, sometimes less depending on what it is.  This keeps greedy geeks from walking away with the entire days stock. I say geeks, only because it’s typically gadget-type, technology items that people like you probably enjoy :)

 Just reading through their FAQ is entertaining. For example, the response to the question “Will I receive customer support like I’m used to” is:

No. Well, not really. If you buy something you don’t end up liking or you have what marketing people call “buyer’s remorse,” sell it on eBay. It’s likely you’ll make money doing this and save everyone a hassle. If the item doesn’t work, find out what you’re doing wrong. Yes, we know you think the item is bad, but it’s probably your fault.

There’s a lot of fun and humor to the site, but of course, if something is actually wrong with the product you pruchased, unlike what their FAQ answer is to the question above, they will rectify the situation. They’re not totally ignorant to customer service.

Going back to that ‘surprise’ element, once in a while, Woot will offer the “Bag O’Crap” deal.  It’s a bag full of random stuff like dollar store items, but possibly electronics items as well. You can purchase up to three craps, and if you buy three, you’ll have better chances of getting something good. Their forum for a recent “Random Crap” will give you an idea of what people received. There’s definitely a reason it’s called “Random Crap.” Anybody want an elephant puzzle? How about a Thermos Pub Glass? Anybody?

Besides surprise, and fun, Woot also has a community, quite an active community for that matter.  Yesterday’s Woot was an HP Photosmart M517 5.2 Megapixel Digital Camera which was selling for $89.99 plus $5.00 shipping.  This item alone just for yesterday had 251 comments. Their member forums are full of excited and/or knowledgeable shoppers or admirers who share insight, Woot! stories, and other conversation.

Okay, really I could go on and on.  Woot is a fun site that you could easily get addicted to.  The last thing I’ll mention is their list of Woots in the forum.  There you can see a list of the latest Woots and view/add to the discussion.  The first post for each item displays the stats.  It’s kinda fun to go back and see how many of each item they started with, how long it took to sell out, and what percentage of buyers have previously bought a product from Woot before. The image below shows what the statistics for yesterday’s camera looked like.

Getting started is easy and simple, and before you know it, you’ll be staying up every night until Midnight to see what the next Woot will be. And from there, you’ll be addicted :) Enjoy your weekend, and go check out Woot!