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Woot, Inc.
Type Private
Founded 2004
Headquarters Carrollton, TX
Key people Matt Rutledge, Founder & CEO
Industry Retail
Products Electronics, Household Goods, etc.
Revenue US$117.4 million (2007) 4,988.5% from 2003[1]
Employees 100[1]
Website www.woot.com

Woot is an Internet retailer based in the Dallas suburb of Carrollton, Texas. It was founded by electronics wholesaler Matt Rutledge and debuted on July 12, 2004.[2] Woot was the pioneer of the "one deal a day" business model on the internet. 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 one original t-shirt per day, two selections of wine per week, and one closeout deal per day in cooperation with Yahoo! Shopping.


[edit] Sales model

Woot's tagline is "One Day, One Deal". Generally, Woot offers one product per day until its stock of that item is sold out or the product is replaced at midnight Central Time with the next offering. If a product sells out during its run, the next item still does not appear until midnight, except during Woot-Offs. Products are never announced beforehand. This sales model means that Woot is unable to replace defective items and encourages customers to call the manufacturer if the item is defective.[3]

Customers normally may buy up to three of the day's item, although occasionally the site has limited product quantity to one per customer.[4] Woot does not reveal sales figures unless the item sells out.

Woot mainly uses FedEx and normally ships only to addresses within the continental United States. Beginning in June 2007, Woot started shipping some smaller products with FedEx SmartPost, a service that uses the United States Postal Service for final delivery.[5]

[edit] Marketing style

The company's marketing style is irreverent and often acknowledges its community of customers. Product descriptions often mock the product, the customer, or Woot itself. Product drawbacks are preemptively acknowledged and buyers are advised to beware. Community users often do their own research and post their opinions on the user forums. The Woot staff identifies "Quality Posts", or quality excerpts from posts, and features them at the top of the forum. They tend to feature not just positive comments about the item, but also helpful negative comments and reviews, as well as competitive pricing links that users have posted.

Matthew Shultz records a daily podcast that is published on Woot's main site. This podcast briefly describes the item up for sale and includes a humorous song or skit.

Woot conducts Photoshop contests among its forum users for cash prizes. There are also several honorable mention winners, each of whom receive free shipping on an order. Another entry is awarded a Monkey Prize, typically a random monkey-related item of little or no value.

Community members have contributed back to the site by offering Woot-related services. These include:

[edit] Special events

[edit] Woot-Off

The site will occasionally deviate from the one-product-per-day model for a "Woot-Off", where a succession of products are available for a period of unannounced length, usually 24–72 hours. This mode is indicated by rotating lights and a bar displaying the percentage of product's stock remaining. When one product sells out, it is replaced within a minute or two by a new product. The percentage bar is the only indication of how much stock remains; Woot never gives the exact quantity available until after the item has sold out.

Most Woot-Offs include brief "Woot-Off Detours" to promote shirt.woot and/or wine.woot. Woot-Offs are usually also the only opportunity to purchase Random Crap or Woot's special custom Flying Caped Monkey toys.

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 Random Crap instead.

During an average two-day Woot-Off, Woot's sales typically exceed one million dollars.[6]

[edit] Bag of Crap

In lieu of typical product sales, Woot occasionally offers a fukubukuro-like blind grab bag officially called "Random Crap". Its accompanying picture has lent it the name "Bag of Crap" (BOC). The BOC sells for $3.00 and contains at least three items. The BOC typically includes dollar store items and may include significantly more expensive items such as large flat-screen televisions.[7] The BOC typically triggers thousands of order requests and sells out within seconds. Processing a customer's order for a BOC, assuming he or she is first lucky enough to get one before everyone else, may take over an hour.

[edit] Product launches

Beginning with the "gamma" launch of the Neuros MPEG 4 Recorder, Woot has occasionally partnered with another company to launch a new product with a one-day exclusive Woot sale. Launch events appear on Woot's home page with an animated rocket ship icon often called the "Pope hat".[8]

[edit] 2-for-Tuesday

Since January 10, 2006, Woot has offered two-packs of products every Tuesday. Woot has also used this day to offer quantities greater than a 2-pack, such as 3-for-Tu3sday, 4-for-Fuesday, 5-for-Tue5day, 6-for-Tue6day, or 10X-Tuesday.

[edit] Woot Wine

Woot began beta testing Woot Wine (also known as wine.woot!) on May 22, 2006, and officially launched the spin-off on October 2, 2006. At launch, Woot Wine generally offered one new item (often a set of multiple bottles from the same winery) per week starting on Monday. Starting on a permanent basis in July 2008,[9] two different items are offered every week, with the second offering starting on Thursday. Woot Wine occasionally sells non-wine items such as a 3-pound wheel of blue cheese and a juniper bonsai tree.

On December 4, 2006, Woot sold a private-label cabernet sauvignon called Monkey Prize. It received an 89+ review from Gary Vaynerchuk in episode 137 of WineLibrary.tv, a video podcast wine-tasting.[10]

Due to state legislation, Woot Wine items may only be delivered to a limited number of states. As the wineries are the actual seller of record (not Woot Wine), the list of states to which any given offer may be shipped is dependent on where the current winery can ship, and may change from offer-to-offer.

[edit] Labrats

Beginning the week of October 7, 2007, wine.woot began a new practice dubbed "Labrat". Customers can ask to be a Labrat by sending e-mail to labrat@woot.com. Eligible customers who make a winery purchase through Wine.Woot by 10 AM Central Time Monday may automatically receive an additional bottle or more of that week's offer overnight. Labrats are expected to taste the wine and to comment about it on the wine.woot forums that week.[11] If the Thursday offer is also wine, Labrats may also be chosen from those orders placed before 10 AM Central Time Thursday.

[edit] Woot Shirts

Woot Shirts, also known as shirt.woot!, sold their first shirt on July 20, 2007 after a short beta test. The website began by offering one new T-shirt design every weekday. Beginning on September 1, 2007, shirts were also offered on Saturday and Sunday.

Woot shirts are silk-screened on American Apparel shirts in Woot's Carrollton, Texas facility.[12] Shirt design submissions are reviewed and selected by an editor in the St. Louis, Missouri offices of Woot. Most designs are from established artists, but Woot also conducts a weekly internet design submission contest called the "Shirt Design Derby" to solicit ideas from its forum community. Derby winners receive a cash prize and a portion of the proceeds from shirts sold after the first day.

Woot continues to offer shirts on following days for a higher price. Links to the shirts are not made obvious from Woot themselves, but links can be found in the comments of each shirt and are revealed directly on Fridays. Every Monday, the shirts with the lowest sales are dropped from the production line through a process called "Reckoning" and discontinued.

Shipping policies for Woot Shirts differ considerably from those of other Woot sites. Woot normally ships shirts for free via SmartPost. Customers may pay an extra $5 charge for overnight FedEx shipping.[13] Beginning in March 2008, Woot Shirts has offered standard shipping to Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico for free[13] and has offered international shipping for an additional charge.

[edit] Random Shirt

Woot occasionally offers a Random Shirt day. Shoppers can purchase up to three randomly-selected usually discontinued shirts for $6.66 each. Customers can only specify the size and quantity (up to 3) desired, not the design.

[edit] Woot Sellout

On September 12, 2007, Woot entered into a partnership with Yahoo! and created a new site, sellout.woot.com.[14] All product offers and fulfillment are managed by Woot, but users must enter the Woot Sellout site through Yahoo! Shopping's front page. New products appear at the same time as other Woot sites, seven days a week. On August 14, 2008, sellout.woot experienced its first "Sell-Off," similar to a Woot-Off. The first ever "sell-off" was selling only HDTVs.

[edit] References


[edit] External links

[edit] General

[edit] Reviews

[edit] Trackers

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