My friend and former Quicken Loans team member Jarrett “Spiderman” Knyal introduced me to Woot about four years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. Maybe it’s an uber-geek personality that drives people like Jarrett and me to get so excited about a cult-like “deal-a-day” website or maybe it’s an online shopping addiction – who knows. Call it what you want, but you really can’t have too many Roombas (those nifty robotic vacuums that clean your floors, Jetsons-style).
Since my first Woot purchase (a Roomba, of course), I’ve amassed nearly 50 Woots (that’s what us in the “in crowd” call the daily Woot products), ranging from over a dozen t-shirts, countless screaming monkeys, a “bag of crap” (the most coveted of all Woot deals), two Dyson vacuum cleaners, a color laser printer, the greatest oven mitts I’ve ever owned, and of course, a marshmallow gun. There’s a special feeling when you arrive home from a long day at the office to discover a Woot box on your porch. It’s like one more little slice of happiness to round out the day.
The most exciting time on Woot, albeit rare, is the “Woot Off” — a period of usually 24 to 72 hours when Woot sells multiple items, one right after the other. The second a product sells out, a new one is posted; and this happens around the clock. The Woot Off is indicated by flashing orange lights on the home page, and frequently results in shouts of “Woot Off!” across the cubicles in the office.
Besides the excitement of waking up to see a new Woot product each day (Did I mention they only sell a single product a day, and when it sells out, it’s gone?), the copywriting on Woot.com is brilliant and hilarious. They commonly mock their products, customers and themselves – all in good fun, of course. Their customer service terms are blunt, somewhat abrasive and excellent fodder for a good chuckle:
“Will I receive customer support like I'm used to? No. Well, not really. If you buy something you don't end up liking or you have what marketing people call "buyer's remorse," sell it on eBay. It's likely you'll make money doing this and save everyone a hassle. If the item doesn't work, find out what you're doing wrong. Yes, we know you think the item is bad, but it's probably your fault. Google your problem, or come back to that product discussion in our community and ask other people if they know. Try to call the manufacturer and ask if they know. If you give up and must return it to us, then follow on to the next FAQ entry.”
Fortunately, I’ve only had to contact Woot customer service once over the course four years and nearly 50 purchases, and my defective product was promptly replaced — they didn’t even call me stupid for using it wrong, though I would have framed the email if they did.
Not only does Woot offer great products and an awesome experience, but the Woot crew (they’re headquartered outside of Dallas) is a great group of people. Sadly, after a long battle with cancer, Jarrett passed away in early 2008. Kriste Aben, a fellow member of the Quicken Loans marketing team wrote to Woot customer service to let them know how much Jarrett loved their website and products, and even though he was no longer with us, visiting Woot every day was one way we would remember and honor him. Much to our surprise, we received a personal reply from Matt Rutledge, the founder and CEO of Woot, offering his support and condolences. That kind of kind gesture is usually unheard of and we were blown away by his touching response.
If you’re not already a Wooter, check out woot.com—there’s a good chance you too will get hooked, and we’d love to have you in the “club”.