Woot: Between Disposable Income and Buyer’s Remorse

by Devanshu Mehta

In my Bookmarks toolbar in “Firefox”:http://www.getfirefox.com I have a folder called ‘Daily’. Every morning when I start my computer, I open my browser, right-click on this folder and click ‘Open in Tabs’. This automatically opens the following in individual tabs:

Or should I say W00t? In either case, this is hands down the most addictive web site in the history of our consumer culture. If you find yourself inexplicably drawn to gadgets, deals on gadgets, the local electronics/gadget store and that new cool device that everyone will have in 6 months but you need now, the Woot is for you. Also, at about 12:03AM Central Time on an idle Tuesday you will also find yourself descending into a profound depression as you see the “Sold Out!” sign on Woot.com for that days wooot and find that you are not alone. Not by a long shot. In fact, there were thousands of others who fell upon Woot.com up to 3 minutes earlier than you did and snapped up that snazzy talking, wi-fi enabled coffee maker or trendy toaster. This is what Douglas Adams would have called as having descended into the long, dark tea-time of the soul.

But, like I said, you are not alone. A quick visit to the “Woot message boards”:http://www.woot.com/Forums and you will discover that thousands of others like you, separated only by the thin walls of the internet, come to Woot for their gadget-deal-fix for the day and it’s OK. We may all be abnormal, depraved souls held hostage by a culture of consumerism, but atleast we are not alone. And we enjoy ourselves; because we get gadgets and those guys who write for woot product descriptions are “funny as hell”:http://www.woot.com/Blog/BlogEntry.aspx?BlogEntryId=944.

Though hell is not very funny, from what I hear.

What is this Woot you speak of?
Let me describe Woot for you, so you can decide wether you fit in with my geek brethren with gadget-fixations. Every night, midnight central time to be precise (preciseness is important if you are to get woot), the gods of Woot.com put up one item for sale. Only one item in unknown quantities. It will stay up until it is sold out. That may be in 2 minutes. That may be in 2 hours. It may not sell out all day. If it sells out, a new item will not be put up until midnight the next day. Now you understand the depression at 12:03. The item will usually be cheaper than most stores and will sometimes be something that is not available in regular stores.

Bags O’ Crap and Woot-Offs
And sometimes it will be a “Random Bag O’ Crap”:http://www.woot.com/Blog/BlogEntry.aspx?BlogEntryId=910 for $1 per bag and you could get anything. At these times, its a good idea to get 3… you never know what you’re gonna get, so its better to get 3! Of course, these bags o’ crap sell out in minutes, if you’re lucky. Seconds, if you’re not.

Sometimes they have “Woot-offs”:http://www.woot.com/WhatIsWoot.aspx#q9, where things keep coming up for sale all day in usually smaller quantities and these go on indefinately; sometimes for hours, sometimes for days.

Oh, and shipping is always $5- for $3000 HDTVs and $1 bags o’ crap.