As someone who is addicted to shopping on Amazon, I’m embarrassed to admit that Woot has never really come to my attention. It's been around for a while, but I never checked out the discounts available on the site. If you're in the same boat, you may be wondering: What is Woot, anyway? Here’s everything you need to know, from the site's origins to how it can help you save money.
What Is Woot?
Woot was founded in 2004 before being purchased by Amazon in 2010. (Where the heck have I been?) The site started as a daily deals destination, offering just one discount item per day. Fast forward to today, and Woot now offers a bunch of daily deals plus short term sales and special shopping events. Add in a dash of sarcasm and silliness, and you've got Woot.
It Sells … Bags of Crap?
Woot literally calls this feature Bags of Crap, but it sounds more horrible than it is. It’s simply a random collection of items that Woot throws in a box and sells. Apparently, you may get something awesome (a brand new laptop) or something completely lame (one shoe). It's all about the thrill of the mysterious purchase. You never know when a "BOC" will appear and what exactly is in it.
How Do I Sign Up for Woot?
You'll need to be an Amazon Prime member in order to sign up for Woot. Members will also get free standard shipping, plus free express shipping on Shirt.Woot!, which basically encompasses the wearable items you can get on the site (not just shirts!). That shipping speed typically takes two to three days.
But How Is This Different From Amazon?
For starters, when a deal expires on Woot, it’s gone and off the site. That’s different than Amazon, where the sale price may end, but the item usually remains.
There’s also a crazy thing called a Woot-Off! You may suddenly see orange flashing lights on the homepage, which means that a product has been launched immediately after the previous deal has sold out, and there’s no info provided on quantity. So if you want that item, you have to grab it right away. There’s also a daily deals email you can subscribe to, which features mascot monkeys — one way to make sure you want to read it.
What the Heck Is a Pointless Price?
That’s what Woot calls the suggested retail price (or strike-through pric)e from Amazon. It’s pointless because it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a sale price. Still confused? It’s basically just another price that's been listed for the deal you're considering.
Is Woot Worth It?
It depends on how much time you want to devote to perusing deals versus knowing exactly what you want and need. If I’m shopping on Amazon, it’s probably because I need a specific item, usually right away. (I have Prime.) Woot is a fun way to deal hunt if there’s nothing in particular you’re looking for, in my opinion.
I also like that you can get into a discussion about a deal in forums, which is more interactive than just reading a review. Basically, Woot is a lifestyle site as as much as it is a deals site.
It's also all about timing, as I noticed that some shampoo I recently bought on Amazon is 22% cheaper on Woot. Darn it. It's a matter of catching the item when you need it. You can’t exactly search for something specific here, just glance through seven broad categories of the types of stuff you may want. Looking for some new T-shirts, but don’t know what you want? It's worth shopping Woot. Need a specific type of vitamin reordered? Head to Amazon.
Still, if you’re not beholden to a specific brand at a specific time, this site can be addictive, which is just how they want it.