Why You Should Never Buy From A Woot Off

Have you ever shopped at Woot?

For those who aren’t familiar, Woot is one of the originators of the one-item sold for one-day.  You can buy many products, often leaning toward electronics, at what can be pretty good deals.  Typical items they sell are:

  • Televisions
  • MP3 Players (not so much anymore)
  • High end vacuum cleaners
  • Knife sets
  • Gaming accessories

I subscribe to the RSS feed so every day I happen to be in Google Reader, I’ll see the deal for that day.  In the five years or so I’ve been following, I’ve bought less than a dozen items.

The biggest purchase was my first.  I bought the Dyson vaccum cleaner that we use at home.  Before moving into our house in 2007, we determined that we wanted a Dyson and were shopping around, when one came up for $100 less than I’d seen anywhere.  It was a no-brainer.

I’ve bought a couple of items since, pretty small in nature: I bought a pack of sprinklers for the backyard which I needed when I did some overseeding a few years back, and wanted to concentrate the extra watering to the particular areas I was working with.  I also bought some water alarms which I’ve placed around water-using appliances, and they’ve actually saved me a couple of times.

One of the things Woot is most famous for is their Woot-Off.  Every so often, maybe once a month or so, they’ll have a Woot-Off, where instead of one item per day, they’ll run a whole slew of items, likely leftovers from previous Woots.  They’re usually discounted from even their regular Woot prices.  Some items in a Woot Off last mere seconds, others last for hours.  You never know what’s coming next, but often you can score a deal.

The biggest item people clamor for, ironically enough, during a Woot Off is the ‘Bag of Crap’.  For $8 Woot will send you a box of stuff.  You have no control over what’s inside nor any idea what’s coming.  Most people receive exactly what the name suggests, even receiving parts of items or broken items.  The reason people clamor for these is because, every so often, Woot will sneak something valuable in.  People have been known to get a large screen TV, or even a pallet full of electronic keyboards.  It’s like a mini-lottery.

I often follow the Woot Off, but I don’t buy.  Why?

Because it’s a form of impulse shopping.

Most items people buy on a Woot Off are available for a limited period of time.  Minutes, maybe an hour if it’s slow.  I believe in mulling over a big purchase, so although I’ve been tempted to buy a TV or other ‘big’ item, I never have because it’s too big a decision to make in that short of time.

But, obviously people don’t care because these things sell out quickly.

I suppose that if something did hit that I was planning on buying I might make a purchase, but I’d say it’s pretty rare that people happen to buy something on a Woot Off that they would have gone out and purchased anyways.  I’d guess 98% of purchases are impulse buys.

At least a regular Woot item, you have the entire day to think about it (assuming that they don’t sell out) so while there’s pressure, you can talk it over, look at your finances, and be somewhat truthful about whether you actually need the item.  But a Woot Off item gives you none of that, so I’m fine with just watching the RSS feed fill up over the course of the day and leave it at that.

Still, it’s fun to watch.

Do you ever watch or participate in a Woot Off?  Do you buy from Woot?

8 thoughts on “Why You Should Never Buy From A Woot Off”

  1. I’ve never heard of it. Does it work like groupon? I just went to the website but it looked a bit confusing.

    • It’s a site where they sell one product for 24 hours or until they run out. Except for days when they have a Woot-Off where they flip through them, sometimes minutes or hours at a time.

  2. It’s very similar to daily deal sites. When daily deal sites emerged, it was obviously very exciting, but now everyone gets inundated with a load of crappy deals that we probably don’t need. Last time I checked I was subscribed to atleast 5 different sites, but of course, I clicked on the ‘unsubscribe’ button after a few weeks 🙂

    • I agree. There are such a proliferation of these sites that I think they have lost their luster. Woot was acquired by Amazon and I think that’s taken a lot of the ‘cool’ factor away.

  3. My hubby has been following (and occasionally buying) from woot since it’s early years. I think what is really neat that, no matter what the cost/size of the item you are buying (even a big tv) is that it’s $5 flat shipping – yup, $5 shipping for ANYTHING you buy. We recently bought a balance bike from woot – one of their daily deals. It’s perfect for our lil’ guy. The same model was about $15 more at an Amazon seller, plus additional shipping. So not too bad there. This is an item we’ve been wanting to get for a long time.

    It’s site has gone through some major changes in the past few months and even I think it can be a little bit confusing to navigate through now. It use to be the item for the day was the primary thing on the first page, but they have SO much stuff going on now that they’re trying to fit it on to that page – very cluttered. Only positive thing is that you can easily switch now and even “preview” what the daily deals are on their other pages. Our favorite is the shirt.woot page. My hubby has several awesome shirts in his wardrobe now that identify him as VERY geeky. 🙂

    In spite of that, we do love the deals. Like Beagle though, we don’t usually buy from the Woot-offs for the reasons Beagle mentioned – we like to mull over and compare prices/value/need for our purchases.

    Overall we really like woot.com. My hubby follows a lot of other daily deal sites, but this is one of his favorites.

    • You’re right, the redesign is a bit much but I suppose once you get used to it, you can navigate it easily. They have added a lot of sub-sites. I’ve never bought from shirts.woot simply because my wife likely wouldn’t allow me to wear most of what comes from there out in public *lol*

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