Ok, looks like people are beginning to ask questions, so I guess I'll go ahead and post my "famous" primer now, and then we'll have a re-post or two as pages will begin adding quickly when actual shipping starts...
In fact, there's been some shipping activity observed by me as of recently.
- The Little Giant Ladder from the morning of the same day BоC showed up has shipped via FedEx Home delivery directly from manufacturer, and is trackable by reference as of Friday, but no official word from Woot.
- The VuPoint slide converter, which was up AFTER BоС does not show up by reference, or on account, but according to e-mail from Woot shipped on Sunday via FedEx (not smartpost)... The tracking number does not work yet though...
Anyway, too much talking... Here's the primer you've been asking for:
FedEx SmartPost primer for newcomers, and a reminder for the rest of Wooters (v. 1.3)
1. Before the tracking information shows up: Sometimes Woot is not e-mailing the tracking numbers until a few days after the packages are shipped. You can try and get the number by reference, by going to https://www.fedex.com/AltRefTracking?cntry_code=us and entering these three things: Your Woot order number goes to reference numbers box, select United States in destination country drop down, and Your Zip Code in a respective box. It's important to get all three pieces. Keep refreshing it, and if you're lucky, the tracking number will pop-up before the official e-mail comes. It doesn't ALWAYS work, but there's a good chance. Note, that if you've made multiple orders from Woot, you can enter several order numbers into the reference box, one per line.
1.1 If your weight shows as 1lb, it is most likely a placeholder, which will be replaced by more accurate weight once the package actually starts moving (or reaches a sorting station - see below). The dimensions will probably show as NA/NA/NA on those placeholder packages. Some people have reported packages showing as 1lb all the way until delivery, but turned out to be anything but, though there's always a slight chance that your package actually is a 1 pounder. So you never know.
2. To get the dimensions you need to create My FedEx account (no charge, and you don't have to give them cc number if you don't want to): http://my.fedex.com/ and make sure to switch to new or advanced version. Enter your tracking number, and the dimensions will pop...
2.1 Another way to get dimensions: If you have problems with My FedEx site, or just to make things easier - you can also download a very convenient FedEx Desktop application. It uses the same log-in credentials as your My FedEx account (you'd still need to have one), and tracks the same packages right from your desktop, without the browser.
3. Don't get too exited. For the first few days most people will probably have some sort of cubed dimensions. This is because in the beginning the dimensions are not real. They are guesstimaged by FedEx based on weight (which may or may not be accurate). Here's the famous formula for you to check:
SIDE = ( 330 * WEIGHT ) ^ (1/3)
(side in inches, weight in lbs)
If it matches your dimensions to a few tenths of an inch - you know they are not real. That's for smaller packages. Those over 15lbs would always have the "dimensions" of a 15lbs package (or was it 16)... Again not real...
4. Once your package passed the first sorting station - the updated weight and real dimensions may show up. Usually that's the first stop it makes after Dallas. In my case (North-East) in either Kansas City, KS (as of recently - FedEx must have adjusted their routing in my direction) or Martinsburg, WV, for many others it's New Berlin, WI or another major SmartPost hub.
5. USPS Handoff: Once the package is reported to have passed a city near you - start tracking it on http://www.usps.com/, because that's who's delivering it to your door, and once the package is handed over by FedEx, they will have more up to date information. Do make sure that you track by actual tracking number (it will show up if you got a hit with reference tracking), because USPS does not track by reference. A thing to note - when handed over to USPS, FedEx always says a standard "allow 2-3 for business days for delivery". This is a standard message, and if your USPS facility is efficient enough, you may get it delivered as soon as the day of handoff (if it happened early enough).
Good luck to all waiting for their hauls, and let the Woot Gods bless you with some amazing crаps!