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Snapster


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster

Hey, who put this chicken body on me here.

Hi, Matt Rutledge here, founder and CEO of Woot Inc. I’ve asked our creative team (Jason, Matthew, Scott, Dave) here on the main Woot blog to clear a bit of blog-room for me in the coming weeks. They look like they’re having fun with these lists, spoofs and parodies that sneak over in my woot RSS feed. So I want to try my hand at this, though with one eye on the business reality of woot. Things like company strategy, crazy ideas, shout-backs, complaints, observations, bragging - you know, the kind of stuff other more free wheelin' Web 2.0 CEOs do to pump up their egos. 

Oddly enough, this is my first official CEO blog post, even though conceptually we started out Woot by planning the first blog+store. Conversely, my forum activity isn’t exactly lacking in it’s verbosity over the years.  With 1800+ posts now, my account resembles those ultra-active Wooters in the Everything But Woot forums. Some long time Wooters and a few recent bag-o-crappers may know me through these forum posts—or more precisely they know me in my fun role as an anonymous staffer named Snapster. Undoubtedly my Snapster persona will now be decidedly even less cool with this morbid CEO association revealed, but at least I can count on many people not reading here. So if you see me goofing off in the forums, don’t tell on me. Just grin and think how insane I must be, arguing with people who just want to buy stuff, trying to make BOC purchase attempts fair, or even defending SmartPost (impossible as that may seem).

I can think of a few things worth broadly mentioning for this to go well:

  • I do not actively use our forum Private Message system, so don’t expect me to reply there quickly if at all. See below on product/transaction trouble. If you have something relevant and personal to tell me, our woot staff email is first initial, last name @woot.com.
  • Let’s keep things casual here. I will be posting with my own grammatical and spelling errors entact (and intact). We have great writers at woot for reasons that will become apparent, I’m sure. I'm just a hack. 
  • Email service@woot.com for transactional issues – I am not nearly as fast or reliable as sending our team of people a direct message. They have tools and immediate access to your order info that I do not.  There are no special service options here; In fact I wrote the ruder FAQ entries. 
  • Remember the number of total quantities sold when making (or reading) product related feedback (see first post of each product). Sales stats are posted to increase the intelligence of conversation and expectations – scope is really relevant and often underestimated.
  • The very large majority of Woot members have never commented and nor will they be reading a specific blog entry. I occasionally remind staff and observers that no matter how great the participation is and vocal response is, the silent majority is to be considered unspoken. We are all their interpreters. 

Also, regardless of whether they are posted in response to a blog post from me or (perhaps more appropriately) over in the World of Woot as a discussion thread: Thank you for posting about any Woot experiences, good ones and especially bad ones that can help us improve. My time spent here may be hit or miss depending on other duties, but I will eventually read and react to all messages.

So my starter topic is to test the waters by asking for input. Any insider info, curiosity or complaint about woot you’d like us to blog on later or simply reply on now?  Product requests?  Feature requests?  Fire at will.


Snapster


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster

well, it looks like I broke something already. ignore that other soon to be deleted duplicate thread.

faithcoaching


quality posts: 1 Private Messages faithcoaching

Did you notice the photoshop contest is languishing?

Go gators! Go Hokies!

munboy


quality posts: 0 Private Messages munboy

That's who Snapster is.

Ruins the magic. This is as bad as telling me there is no Santa.

MOMMY!!!!!!!

No advertamatising, please.

Snapster


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster
faithcoaching wrote:Did you notice the photoshop contest is languishing?


Yeah, though it's kind of a catch-22 - it's languishing because it's languishing. We do think it needs some new placement and possibly voting format but it's not at the top of the priority list quite yet.

nobgobblin69


quality posts: 3 Private Messages nobgobblin69

It's the best (almost) kept secret on the web. Keep up the good work and thanks for making shopping a blast!

shyohio


quality posts: 0 Private Messages shyohio

Purchased a Gateway Computer from WOOT, The PC is defective. it will not boot up. Have written 5 email to your company for return shipping instruction or replacement no response. First email on July 3 08 1 hour after I open the box. Also
contact Gateway Coustomer Support, they return to Woot. This is my second and last purchase from your company you hust don't stand behind your products or I would have a response by now. apparently some other course of action will be necessary

sammydb


quality posts: 0 Private Messages sammydb

Ever think about doing a second start? I'm referring to the 12 AM startup time, and for a lazy rear like myself who has a 9 to 5, I'm never up then. So, my question is referring to having a 12 AM and 12 PM start time on different things, especially things that sell out quickly. Cause seriously, I'd love to get my hands on a bag o' carp or random shirt sometime!

soliver


quality posts: 27 Private Messages soliver

I would love to see more software offered. And by more, I mean any at all. Shoot for some speciality stuff that might help a wooter woot. Por ejemplo some music software, like an MP3 editor (my impulse buying is less restrained with good tunes). If you have it set up as a link with a license then there is no shipping involved. No left overs and you can get us a pretty decent volume discount.

Less wootcentric, but could you brow beat the podcast staff into doing some more contests where we get to do the music? I don't photoshop, but I do music. I would imagine that the key demo for Woot probably includes a few musicians.

I like Will. I would prefer he not be fired or fired at.

sammydb


quality posts: 0 Private Messages sammydb

Also, thanks for creating woot.com. I freakin' love it.

Snapster


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster
shyohio wrote:Purchased a Gateway Computer from WOOT, The PC is defective. it will not boot up. Have written 5 email to your company for return shipping instruction or replacement no response. First email on July 3 08 1 hour after I open the box. Also
contact Gateway Coustomer Support, they return to Woot. This is my second and last purchase from your company you hust don't stand behind your products or I would have a response by now. apparently some other course of action will be necessary


check your spam box while I point service to your account. responses are probably sitting there.

unixrab


quality posts: 11 Private Messages unixrab

*giggles*... I've bantered with you about MST3K stuff... that's funny. My ongoing suggestion for http://beer.woot.com is not getting the proper ceo consideration... Let's woot some beer nowz!

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Bags of Crap = 3 ------> woot 3.0 is DEAD!!!!
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

kenton86


quality posts: 0 Private Messages kenton86

you sell us all of this sweet electronic gear, but I don't think I have ever seen a surge protector or power conditioner to help us protect our new (ok kind of new) electronic gear. We all want safety too! Nothing worse than a lightning strike to take out your new gear when it doesn't have a solid warranty.

The Legs Feed the Wolf

Snapster


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster
kenton86 wrote:you sell us all of this sweet electronic gear, but I don't think I have ever seen a surge protector or power conditioner to help us protect our new (ok kind of new) electronic gear. We all want safety too! Nothing worse than a lightning strike to take out your new gear when it doesn't have a solid warranty.


We had a philips one fairly recently. It was one of those $100 sits-under-your-stereo types. I do think we need something lower end - I'll mention to the team.

Snapster


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster
unixrab wrote:*giggles*... I've bantered with you about MST3K stuff... that's funny. My ongoing suggestion for http://beer.woot.com is not getting the proper ceo consideration... Let's woot some beer nowz!


I would love to do beer.woot. problems:

1. beer is too heavy
2. beer is too cheap

on wine.woot it probably averages over $15 a package just to ship - it'd make good price points very difficult on beer.

mrileyatwoot


quality posts: 1 Private Messages mrileyatwoot

Staff

shyohio wrote:Purchased a Gateway Computer from WOOT, The PC is defective. it will not boot up. Have written 5 email to your company for return shipping instruction or replacement no response. First email on July 3 08 1 hour after I open the box. Also
contact Gateway Coustomer Support, they return to Woot. This is my second and last purchase from your company you hust don't stand behind your products or I would have a response by now. apparently some other course of action will be necessary



I checked on this and we responded to your messages, the most recent of which was done today. Basically, the response concluded that you need to contact Gateway (make sure to have your receipt handy) and they should be able to help in repairing or replacing it. Let us know if they aren't able to assist you by writing to service@woot.com again. And, just as Snapster said, make sure to check your spam filter to see that it allows for emails from us. Thanks for Wooting!

Riley

Snapster


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster
soliver wrote:I would love to see more software offered. And by more, I mean any at all. Shoot for some speciality stuff that might help a wooter woot. Por ejemplo some music software, like an MP3 editor (my impulse buying is less restrained with good tunes). If you have it set up as a link with a license then there is no shipping involved. No left overs and you can get us a pretty decent volume discount.

Less wootcentric, but could you brow beat the podcast staff into doing some more contests where we get to do the music? I don't photoshop, but I do music. I would imagine that the key demo for Woot probably includes a few musicians.

I like Will. I would prefer he not be fired or fired at.



Great point on software. Believe me, we (especially our warehouse team) would love to do something more digital. Really it's just a bit hard to do software and have it not come off as cheesy shareware type stuff. We need to polish up some other things before we can consider diving in there.

unixrab


quality posts: 11 Private Messages unixrab
Snapster wrote:I would love to do beer.woot. problems:

1. beer is too heavy
2. beer is too cheap

on wine.woot it probably averages over $15 a package just to ship - it'd make good price points very difficult on beer.



hmmmm.... imagine that. http://spirits.woot ????? special Jamaican Rum as the launch product?

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Bags of Crap = 3 ------> woot 3.0 is DEAD!!!!
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

mrileyatwoot


quality posts: 1 Private Messages mrileyatwoot

Staff

mrileyatwoot wrote:I checked on this and we responded to your messages, the most recent of which was done today. Basically, the response concluded that you need to contact Gateway (make sure to have your receipt handy) and they should be able to help in repairing or replacing it. Let us know if they aren't able to assist you by writing to service@woot.com again. And, just as Snapster said, make sure to check your spam filter to see that it allows for emails from us. Thanks for Wooting!

Riley



And you could always PM me if you can't get a response from service@woot.com and I can take a look at it.

Riley

Snapster


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster
sammydb wrote:Ever think about doing a second start? I'm referring to the 12 AM startup time, and for a lazy rear like myself who has a 9 to 5, I'm never up then. So, my question is referring to having a 12 AM and 12 PM start time on different things, especially things that sell out quickly. Cause seriously, I'd love to get my hands on a bag o' carp or random shirt sometime!


that's an issue we're not likely to solve so directly - the original design was to switch products while no one was watching when the day itself switched. of course it was silly to think people would wait around until morning to check it. Unfortunately (for you) now everything (other than woot-offs) is based on a single offering a day. When we do woot-offs we try to be cognizant of the 'daytime crowd' but then the problem quickly becomes dealing with 100,000+ people at once. Basically even if we had occassional noon releases, the chances are we'd only serve 1% of the audience demand.


nobletrout


quality posts: 0 Private Messages nobletrout

what about makeyourownbeer.woot.com ?

as for software, you could start with something already set for the digital age, maybe video games? Like bioshock or better yet <a href="http://www.rainslick.com/">"On the rain slick precipice of darkness."</a>

speaking of PA and similar sites, maybe team up with them on the software front so you'd get a signed comic and a license for the software?

Snapster


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster
unixrab wrote:hmmmm.... imagine that. http://spirits.woot ????? special Jamaican Rum as the launch product?


Domestic producers required to qualify for the Supreme Court rulings on state-to-state reciprocality (Wineries and breweries being able to ship to consumers directly in a lot of states - this is the model wine.woot relies on). So unfortunately Jamaican Rum would require some weird domestic producer connection to become ship-able (and probably wouldn't be jamaican rum)

gwp


quality posts: 0 Private Messages gwp

I still think garden.woot.com for lawn & garden type stuff might be neat. All the way from last year's odd lots of mystery seeds, to really high-end tools or equipment. Maybe closeouts from major manufacturers or unique imported tools and gadgets?

tool.woot.com might be interesting too, but would almost have to be tied to a reputable brand or set of brands to have any depth. Again, interesting or unique imports might be good. Ginsu saw anyone?

On Redneck Wednesdays you could feature a toofer on mudflaps with chromed Yosemite Sam on them, or cup holders for older Deere tractors, spit cans, etc.

Random Crap could really be carp -- cow, horse, sheep, zoo-doo. 20lb bags.

Snapster


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster
nobletrout wrote:what about makeyourownbeer.woot.com ?

as for software, you could start with something already set for the digital age, maybe video games? Like bioshock or better yet <a href="http://www.rainslick.com/">"On the rain slick precipice of darkness."</a>

speaking of PA and similar sites, maybe team up with them on the software front so you'd get a signed comic and a license for the software?



we should sell a beer making kit on woot - that's a good suggestion - it'd be a blast to share experiences within a group thread.

video games like bioshock are covered by very hardcore publisher set MAP (minimum advertised price) policies and have controlled access through distribution. this is necessary or big box retailers would erode the market by loss-leadering popular games. there has been interest expressed and some business development towards an industry accepted launch platform for video games with control of supply and discount. we certainly have the demographic, so we'll see if that can go anywhere.

unixrab


quality posts: 11 Private Messages unixrab
nobletrout wrote:what about makeyourownbeer.woot.com ?



that could be cool... provide different hops and malts and yeasts from around the country/world and maybe home brew supplies -- then the inevitable random ramblings of the weary beer brewer... .... after all woot! does have some ST. LOUIS connections... and I'd be happy to liaise with Boulevard here in KC!

EDIT: domain names: brew.woot beer.woot .... yeast.woot... wait.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Bags of Crap = 3 ------> woot 3.0 is DEAD!!!!
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

shanepardue


quality posts: 0 Private Messages shanepardue
Snapster wrote:I would love to do beer.woot. problems:

1. beer is too heavy
2. beer is too cheap

on wine.woot it probably averages over $15 a package just to ship - it'd make good price points very difficult on beer.



Good beer isn't necessarily cheap. There are many good craft beers out there that cost me an arm and a ....foot or whatever. $15 to ship a package for some really good beer may still be a good deal on some beers.

Snapster


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster
gwp wrote:I still think garden.woot.com for lawn & garden type stuff might be neat. All the way from last year's odd lots of mystery seeds, to really high-end tools or equipment. Maybe closeouts from major manufacturers or unique imported tools and gadgets?

tool.woot.com might be interesting too, but would almost have to be tied to a reputable brand or set of brands to have any depth. Again, interesting or unique imports might be good. Ginsu saw anyone?

On Redneck Wednesdays you could feature a toofer on mudflaps with chromed Yosemite Sam on them, or cup holders for older Deere tractors, spit cans, etc.

Random Crap could really be carp -- cow, horse, sheep, zoo-doo. 20lb bags.



Also a very solid suggestion. I love the community aspects with people sharing local techniques, and company reviews (chem-lawn, etc) Potentially there's enough linkage to consider garden+tools as similar enough and that would certainly keep a more balanced demographic checking.

as with all dot-woot suggestions, the hardest part is the economic viability and deciding if it can be ramped up to support 365 deals a year -- not many markets have as many independant producers and as much turnover as consumer electronics, wine and apparel.

unixrab


quality posts: 11 Private Messages unixrab
Snapster wrote:
as with all dot-woot suggestions, the hardest part is the economic viability and deciding if it can be ramped up to support 365 deals a year -- not many markets have as many independant producers and as much turnover as consumer electronics, wine and apparel.



Well.. .wine.woot isn't 365... 1 or 2 a week is my observation so around 73.55/year.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Bags of Crap = 3 ------> woot 3.0 is DEAD!!!!
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Snapster


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster
shanepardue wrote:Good beer isn't necessarily cheap. There are many good craft beers out there that cost me an arm and a ....foot or whatever. $15 to ship a package for some really good beer may still be a good deal on some beers.


I'm a fan of a fairly mainstream but possibly still independant brewery down in south texas - Shiner Bock. Actually looks like they are pretty widely distributed now - 41 states according to wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiner_Bock. and also owned by Gambrinus Company that owns some other independants. So they probably aren't your classic higher dollar independant anymore, but what I was going to say is that I can pick up a case at Costco pretty darn cheap these days.

I'd love to hear of some higher end / higher priced suggestions. We could try a week long take-over at wine.woot to test them out.

LTAnderson


quality posts: 0 Private Messages LTAnderson

I am all for Beer.Woot!!!
That would make Woot the best ever!

KevinatWoot


quality posts: 18 Private Messages KevinatWoot
Snapster wrote:I would love to do beer.woot. problems:

1. beer is too heavy
2. beer is too cheap

on wine.woot it probably averages over $15 a package just to ship - it'd make good price points very difficult on beer.



Since were throwing stuff out there...

I would think coffee.woot could be a good idea. There are a lot of different types of coffee beans, it's simple to roast (if you know what you're doing), and it's not very heavy. Just a thought...

shanepardue


quality posts: 0 Private Messages shanepardue
Snapster wrote:I'm a fan of a fairly mainstream but possibly still independant brewery down in south texas - Shiner Bock. Actually looks like they are pretty widely distributed now - 41 states according to wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiner_Bock. and also owned by Gambrinus Company that owns some other independants. So they probably aren't your classic higher dollar independant anymore, but what I was going to say is that I can pick up a case at Costco pretty darn cheap these days.

I'd love to hear of some higher end / higher priced suggestions. We could try a week long take-over at wine.woot to test them out.



You can't go wrong with this list. http://ratebeer.com/Ratings/Ratings-Top50.asp

Ratebeer is the place for beer-lovers to congregate and rate their favorite beers. I'm almost part of the 100 beer club!

unixrab


quality posts: 11 Private Messages unixrab
KevinatWoot wrote:Since were throwing stuff out there...

I would think coffee.woot could be a good idea. There are a lot of different types of coffee beans, it's simple to roast (if you know what you're doing), and it's not very heavy. Just a thought...



I would definitely buy from bean.woot or coffee.woot too.. since I've been buying green beans from Sweet Maria's for a couple years now!! ( http://www.sweetmarias.com/ )

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Bags of Crap = 3 ------> woot 3.0 is DEAD!!!!
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Snapster


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster
KevinatWoot wrote:Since were throwing stuff out there...

I would think coffee.woot could be a good idea. There are a lot of different types of coffee beans, it's simple to roast (if you know what you're doing), and it's not very heavy. Just a thought...



I wonder if you could count on enough folks with grinders in these days of pod/single servers. I still buy and prefer whole bean but is it a shrinking audience?

faithcoaching


quality posts: 1 Private Messages faithcoaching

Every now and then include a REALLY COOL woot souvenir with a higher dollar item. So, if you buy our $599 TV you also get this whacked out woot stuffed turtle that plays the bluetooth theme when you squeeze him. People would buy the tv just to get the turtle.

Well, some people would.

Go gators! Go Hokies!

pooflady


quality posts: 20 Private Messages pooflady

I've been wondering for a long time the reasoning behind stopping the random BOCs. I have no business experience, but seems like a lot more people would be around at 12 if there was the possibility of one every night. It used to be exciting that you never knew when one was going to show up.



The biggest lie that I tell myself daily..."I don't need to write that down, I'll remember it."

unixrab


quality posts: 11 Private Messages unixrab
Snapster wrote:I wonder if you could count on enough folks with grinders in these days of pod/single servers. I still buy and prefer whole bean but is it a shrinking audience?




nah... coffee's been a good business since the 9th century! Once one has a roaster and a good grinder (hint hint) -- getting different green beans is like getting a new wine!!


EDIT: and lots of good business trips

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Bags of Crap = 3 ------> woot 3.0 is DEAD!!!!
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Snapster


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster
faithcoaching wrote:Every now and then include a REALLY COOL woot souvenir with a higher dollar item. So, if you buy our $599 TV you also get this whacked out woot stuffed turtle that plays the bluetooth theme when you squeeze him. People would buy the tv just to get the turtle.

Well, some people would.


that would definitely be enjoyable but there might be some pangs of concern in my mind. We'd of course want the tv to be just as good a deal as it would have been so it'd have to be a really cool but fairly inexpensive collectors woot souvenir. and of course it'd have to be over the top and funny like your suggestion. similar to the Infocus 61" TV and Blender bundle we did a few years back http://www.woot.com/Blog/ViewEntry.aspx?Id=837.

Snapster


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster
pooflady wrote:I've been wondering for a long time the reasoning behind stopping the random BOCs. I have no business experience, but seems like a lot more people would be around at 12 if there was the possibility of one every night. It used to be exciting that you never knew when one was going to show up.


BOCs are expensive on their own, but that is compounded by the site also sitting dormant. I don't think we're ruling out midnight BOCs but I do think it's fair to say they are exceedingly rare.

pooflady


quality posts: 20 Private Messages pooflady

I'm pretty happy with Woot as is, but wouldn't mind seeing a few more kids items. Like the Barbie vacuum.



The biggest lie that I tell myself daily..."I don't need to write that down, I'll remember it."