Woot has always been a pretty nifty site to me. They were the first and most popular site to offer one deal over one day. They would put something up, and it would be available for 24 hours, or until it sold out, whichever came first.
They really got famous when they started their Woot-Off days, which were unannounced and would consist of deal after deal, at even lower prices, presumably to clear inventory from unsold daily days. These often included what is now legendary among Woot followers, the Bag of Crap. For $5, you got whatever they sent you. In most cases, it was just as the title described, but people went crazy for them because every so often you could receive something like a flat screen TV, laptop, or a whole bunch of stuff.
I have tracked Woot for years, and have purchased a handful of things. I just made a purchase on Friday of last week, during an event that was had sales of one-hour-per-item. Right at the top of your account, they have a link where you can look at ‘Stuff You Bought' and it gave me a full list. The prices include shipping.
May 2007 – Dyson DC07 Low Reach Vacuum – $304.99
This was my very first Woot purchase as I'd just recently heard of the site. We were weeks away from moving into our new home and we'd been looking at getting a new vacuum cleaner. My wife-to-be had locked onto getting a Dyson, which typically ran for around $400-500. When I saw this deal I jumped.
VERDICT: We still have this vacuum and it does great. I've had to replace the hose, but that was through my own fault (I dumped part of a bag of sugar on the floor, tried to vacuum it up, only to find that it had landed in a wet spot, which led to the hose getting moldy on the inside). GREAT PURCHASE!
November 2009 – Bag of Crap – $8
I purchased a Bag of Crap, having gotten in during the few seconds that they're available, only to find out that I didn't. They oversold and ended up cancelling the order.
VERDICT: Never got it, but still kind of bitter. STILL WAITING!
August 2010 – Five Gilmour Impulse Lawn Sprinklers – $9.47
We have an inground sprinkler system, but there are times when I want to do some very specific areas, so I'll use the hose and sprinklers. This particular year, I'd decided to do some overseeding, so this was an incredible deal, as just one is normally $9 at any of the big box stores. These can daisy chain together so I've been able to use more than one at a time when needed.
VERDICT: One is broken but I still have four of these that I use occasionally. For the price and what I've gotten out of them, this has been a GREAT DEAL!
November 2010 – Six LeakFrog Water Leak Alarms – $43.97
I'd been looking for some water alarms to place in areas where water might potentially leak, so when I spotted this deal, I jumped. They're easy to use (just put batteries in them, test, and go), and they're cute, as they're shaped like little frogs.
VERDICT: We have five of the six remaining, as one got ran through the washing machine. They have definitely paid for themselves as two leaks were detected (one under the sink with a loose pipe fitting, and the other under the dishwasher, saving our subfloor and finished basement underneath). GREAT DEAL!
May 2012 – HP TouchPad 32GB Wi-Fi Tablet – $199.99
I had wanted to get a tablet, and even though HP came in and out of the tablet market, I jumped on this deal. Since it originally went for around $500, I fell into the trap of thinking I was getting a great deal.
VERDICT: When I first got it, I was pretty impressed and it wasn't bad. Luckily, I bought a SquareTrade plan, because the touch screen went bad. Once I had it replaced, it pretty much went into a drawer, as I realized quickly that the HP WebOS was a dud. Eventually I pulled it out and installed Android over the top of it, which does make it useful, but I don't get nearly enough usage out of it. FAIL.
November 2012 – Canon EOS Rebel T3 Digital SLR Camera – $404.99
My wife indicated that she would like an SLR camera for Christmas, and I started saving to surprise her with one. Every other deal I saw on this camera was for $500 or more, so when I saw this, I jumped on it.
VERDICT: She uses it all the time. She has since gotten a second lens for it, as the one it came with was pretty basic, but it's taken lots of great pictures for us of family, vacations, and other events. GREAT PURCHASE!
January 2014 – Roku 3 Streaming Media Player – $69.99
I had wanted to get a streaming player to eventually get Netflix and also look at potentially ‘cutting the cord' from cable. This normally goes for around $100 so I nabbed it.
VERDICT: We use it for Netflix, and I've found a few other cool things that we use regularly. The recent verdict regarding Aereo has curbed our interest in potentially cutting the cord. This one is getting ranked slightly lower just because we don't utilize it to it's full capacity. I probably could have gotten a version lower (the Roku 2) and saved some money, and gotten most of what we get today. Still, it's a PRETTY GOOD DEAL.
July 2014 – Hoover Power Scrub Carpet Washer – $94.99
Years ago, I had a steam cleaning device, and it was very useful. It was very heavy, though, and poorly designed for cleaning it out, which was a problem with my two cats. As much as I tried, eventually the thing got too clogged down with hair, and became useless. I've been looking for the right deal since. On Friday, I saw this, and after reading reviews that say it's very lightweight, very easy to clean out, and that it does an excellent job, I took advantage of it. A similar version sells on Amazon for $170.
VERDICT: We haven't received it yet, so it's TOO SOON TO TELL.
Not counting our recent purchase and the one I never received, we have FIVE wins and ONE loss. I'd say that's pretty good.
What has made the numbers work in our favor is that, if you look, I only purchase items which I was looking for anyways. I know that Woot and other sites prey on those who purchase based on impulse, and I'd venture to guess that the ‘winning' percentage for people who fall into those traps is probably much lower than 83%.
Readers, do you use Woot or a similar deal of the day site? What are some of your wins and losses?