quality posts: 16 Private Messages WootBot


Hey, who put this chicken body on me here.It must have been 5 or 6 years ago that I first logged onto Fat Wallet’s hot deal forum and was blown away by the chaos, passion and excitement of bargain-seekers posting and reviewing the best deals spotted on the net. The voracity of users towards each other and “evil retailers” was like an art form, enhanced by the silly user names and propeller-hat avatars. While I was always a lurker, I absorbed this atmosphere with keen interest, reading dozens of thread at a time – I felt late to the scene even as an electronics wholesaler. Here was a demographic not only under-served but even maligned and mistrusted by the vast majority of the industry. Lawsuits flying over pre-publication of Black Friday deals, order cancellations without regard to PR issues, major retailers undertaking initiatives to stop aggressive discount seekers from participation—it was a battle, and a complete lack of recognition from the retail industry that this was a cohesive and powerful demographic to intentionally cater to. Sure I was observing a vocal minority of the users (it always is), but man were they ever vocal. I found myself agreeing with most of the agenda.

It was hilarious entertainment, it was exciting to personally find deals, and it was business opportunity just staring you in the face.

I’ve not kept as abreast of happenings in this space as I would have liked to. Certainly I learned quickly of other collaborative hot deal centers like Slickdeals.net and a few more but I would imagine there are trends and sentiment that I’ve missed.

Do you use “Hot Deal” Sites? How would you personally rank them today? What makes a good collaborative deal-site? What sucks about them? Are there any new ones on the scene?

thanks for your participation


previous entries:
CEO, Interrupted: LiveShopping aka Worldwide Wooting
CEO, Interrupted: Take your protein pills (and put your helmet on)
CEO, Interrupted: Snapster’s unfortunate alter ego


quality posts: 0 Private Messages RobbyInStPete

Ovaltina, my goat! There are other websites besides woot.com?!?

Thanks for everything you've done for us, Matt!


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster

thx Robby, though it should really be vice versa.

so anyone have an opinion between the two sites I referenced - fatwallet / slickdeals - which ones better and why?


quality posts: 0 Private Messages mattsweb

I'm a slickdeals guy - not because it's superior to Fat Wallet but because I've grown comfortable with the layout and forum etiquette (and inside jokes.)
The frustrating thing about SlickDeals is that it's difficult to find a deal on a specific item that you really need but easy to get swept into buying something because 'it's such a good deal.' Reminds me of another site I know...



quality posts: 0 Private Messages AETrahan

FatWallet has this habit of killing deals because their user don't simply wish to save money, they wish to take advantage of the situation, order 200+ of the item and resell them at full value.

This generally throws up flags everywhere and the deal gets shut down near-immediately, soon after FatWallet users find their way to it.

These deal sites would work, if the selfish few wouldn't take every opportunity to take advantage.

With that being said, I have no respect for these FatWallet users, because they have no respect for anyone but themselves.

Go Slickdeals. Not nearly as many bottom-feeders.


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Ottobot

I find Fatwallet to be more reputable. Slickdeals seems to be filled with more sneaky and dishonest people. I also prefer the deal rankings system on Fatwallet as opposed to Slickdeals. Fatwallet is more like Target while Slickdeals represents Wal-mart. If you are going to start selling things through one of these deal sites, you will likely have many more problems with complaints and returns if you choose to go with Slickdeals.

Bensbargains.net also has a great summary of deals throughout the day.


quality posts: 0 Private Messages altoidbox

I've never been to FatWallet, but I do currently use Slickdeals.net

What I like:
Alerts. If I'm interested in getting something, I can set an alert so that when a thread pops up containing a keyword, it'll send me an email. I can set it up that it only sends when it has received a certain number of thumbs or front page status. Currently, I have an alert for anything that gets front page. Previously, I was looking for a good deal on an nVidia 8800GT and had an alert for that. I got one for $130 (though more recently there was a front page deal at $120).

What I don't like:
When something is limited in quantity and its a *very* good deal, it's usually sold out by the time it gets front page status (or at least by the time I get the email about it, as they're not sent immediately--probably for server load purposes).

I'm sure there are other things, but those are the biggest that stick in my mind.
Time to get back to work.


quality posts: 1 Private Messages flipb

Whoo, boy. Opening up some old wounds here.

About six years ago, I worked for a major retailer that was a favorite target of some of these hot deal sites. I was in the marketing department, a.k.a. the folks who create coupons for very specific, usually very targeted reasons.

Fatwallet was the bane of our existence.

My team (within the greater marketing dept.) had a relatively small budget, which had to cover the cost of all coupons that we issued. If a coupon of ours showed up on FW, it often meant a choice of (a) canceling the coupon code, thereby pissing off a good number of loyal customers who might have actually been the intended recipients of said coupon; or (b) swallowing the budgetary impact, which could require canceling or scaling back other marketing campaigns. Damned if we do, damned if we don't.

One time, a very valuable coupon that I requested for a targeted marketing campaign showed up on FW the same day it was setup in the retailer's systems... that is, before it had been sent to any print vendor or anybody outside our walls. This led to a quiet "internal affairs" type investigation, trying to find if any employees had been posting (or worse, selling) coupon codes to FW and similar sites.

One positive out of all this - it drove the retailer to improve their technology to create user-specific, single-use coupons. We also had arrangements with some "hot deals" sites whereby we provided them with legitimate coupon codes to post, in return for veto power to have them take down any "rogue" codes that showed up on their sites.


quality posts: 0 Private Messages s002cjs

Yep, I watch both. I was a FatWalleter for a lot longer, largely due to the cash back option and the hundreds of dollars I've gotten back on purchases over the years. But slickdeals is worth watching now too, since deals appear at different times, and aren't always first on one or the other...and the SlickDeals front page rss feeds make it easy to see what's really nice, and get in on it quickly if I'd like.

BUT, the deals are fewer and farther between. I don't know if it's all the extra junk of "I was shopping for X and Wal-Mart had it for $Y and that was the best price I could find so it's a hot deal", or just companies getting more savvy on pricing, double stacking coupons and discounts, etc.

But really, and retailer wanting to put stuff up on clearance could do worse than giving these boards a first shot at it. Odds are they might actually sell it for more than a closeout store would provide, at probably fairly low cost.


quality posts: 1 Private Messages fishhead31

I've always used SlickDeals, and I continue to do so because I'm familiar and comfortable with it.

In the past I also used techbargains.com but found them to be a bit of information overload.


quality posts: 25 Private Messages Josephus

I used fatwallet a little, but got tired of navigating it because so many of the deals were really outdated, yet people were continuing to post in them.

bensbargains is kind of a step away, but far more convenient to use. Woot occasionally showed up there when I was looking at ben's more often. In general, the really impressive deals don't show up there as much, the ones where you stack 5 codes on top of each other at Dell in order to get a certain laptop for $15 (kidding!). Hyperbole, but you get the idea.


quality posts: 0 Private Messages bluemouse

Here are the sites that I check (excluding Woot since you already know about that one ):



quality posts: 0 Private Messages alvin67

I added the RSS feeds for SlickDeals.net, Spoofee.com and Passwird.com to Google Reader and monitor them there. I use Fatwallet normally when I'm looking for something at least somewhat specific.


quality posts: 1 Private Messages entranced2

I had always been a religious FatWallet user, succumbing to the SD hating and whatnot, but more recently have come to accept the deals of both sites equally. Essentially, I was under the impression that SD was the type of site perused by the greedy eBayers, all out to make a buck, while "pure" FatWallet was more interested in the community, helping each other out, and scoring great deals together. The funny thing is that the two sites seem to operate much like a college rivalry, all the way down to the community level. Of course, the noted difference is that while one cannot attend both rival schools simultaneously, one can visit both deal sites. But when you break it down to the community level, it produces an interesting dynamic where you have super-hardcore FW/SD users all the way down to the occasional user who is ignorant to even the existence of the other site.

I think FatWallet still has a special place in my heart, but the community has really evolved over the years -- and I'm not sure whether it's for good or bad.

Rest assured, it's fun to read threads on both sites when there's Woot-Off or Blogging Old CEO speculation going on.

Random Crap = 7 + 1
Bot-proof Random Crap = 1
Regular Crap = 29

Don't you hate pants?


quality posts: 0 Private Messages neekb

I think keepcash.com is pretty good. They have a pretty clean interface and the RSS feed seems to be fast enough to get deals, although maybe I just like stuff that no one else likes and they wouldn't get sold out anyways ;)


quality posts: 0 Private Messages mitzula

I use fat wallet for their travel deals, they always have the best deals for hotel, air, and rental cars listed


quality posts: 0 Private Messages funkeymikey

My buddy and I found a gap in the "finding deals" interweb market. We built a website (http://www.reelinthatdeal.com) that allows you to search retailers by a percentage discount. We only got as far as making it work with amazon (because they have an easy API), and then we got distracted by other things. But I've found it to be useful. You can find zombie movies that are 50% off, it doesn't matter which movie/boxed set it is. Who the hell cares? - it's a zombie movie!


quality posts: 1 Private Messages yonahwolf

I too have been on both sides of the deal site dilemma. As an ecommerce developer, sites like FW and SD made us double-check all of our offers, and also send user-specific codes.

I like Ben's bargains because its a hodgepodge, and it turned me on to woot!


quality posts: 2 Private Messages ChartBoy

As part of my daily scan through my Internet Browser Favorites, Woot comes first (naturally) but DealNews.com has replaced Techbargains as my Hot Deal site. I like the fact that they give some indication of what market price is, as well as what the object in question sold for last time they mentioned it. This gives me some inkling of how good of a deal it is. I also like the breadth of deals reviewed, everything from computers to food, clothing and housewares. I still use Techbargains when I am looking for something specific (and techie), but it is not on my daily scan. DealNews does have a little of the behind-the-scenes interaction with the staffers, but not nearly to the extent of Woot, where a regular reader can develop a sense of "knowing" the staff. This is what truly sets Woot apart for me.


quality posts: 8 Private Messages kerneltrap

Between Slickdeals and Fatwallet, I like Slickdeal's better for the sole reason you can sort the threads by the date created. Maybe you can do that at Fatwallet now, I don't know, but if so it wasn't always that way. I've scored better deals from watching slickdeals than from fatwallet for that very reason. The best deals tend to not last very long.

Woot makes big waves at both forums though, a sure sign you guys are in the Hot Deals market.


quality posts: 1 Private Messages Billped

I regularly check out FW, SD, and Techbargains. A 30 second review will tell me if something I need is on sale. Given that there are some items for which you can never have too much, such as SD cards, hard drives, computer memory, and DVD-Rs, a quick review tells me if it is time for me to stock up.

Thus far I haven't purchased many big ticket items that way (TVs, appliances, etc.), but who knows?

One of my favorites was when someone posted a screaming bargain for discounted DSL. It was with the company I was already with, but a five minute phone call got me double the speed at half the price for a year and a barely-higher price once the year was up.


quality posts: 0 Private Messages pongx

I tend to use Slickdeals mostly out of habit. If I'm looking for coupon codes or something else I tend to just look on Google. If it's a fantastic one day impulse buy, it's woot.com all the way.


quality posts: 0 Private Messages mikedsaunders

Cashbacks are the way to go. Go to http://evreward.com for the best collection of cashback deals, and active forums for just about any site you're going to purchase from.

The two cashback sites I use the most are Jellyfish.com (now Microsoft Live Search cashback) and BigCrumbs.com. BigCrumbs even will give you cashbacks on eBay purchases made through their referral link (i.e. not using snipes). If anybody signs up with BigCrumbs, feel free to add "deemikey" as the referrer


quality posts: 0 Private Messages bitrunner

try dodtracker.com - it crawls through all the "deal of the day" sites - including slickdeals and woot! sellout.woot! shirt.woot! (but no wine.woot???) and they even reference woot! right on their home page...


quality posts: 0 Private Messages trackerchick

I like to check out meritline.com althouth I have to yet to buy anything from them, (funny all my sparecash seems to go to woot?!), also I check out bargainjack just to see whats out there.


quality posts: 2 Private Messages pute

A few years ago, SlickDeals pointed me to an HP digital camera on a fledgling site called woot.com! I still look at SlickDeals now and then, DODtracker less often, but have been known to spend days at-a-time with Woot/woot-offs, or entire weekends when the photochop contest was a good one - so, thanks to SlickDeals for that introduction!
EDIT: for a daily good deal on software (and games on the weekends), try http://www.giveawayoftheday.com - free is good , when they have something you might use.


quality posts: 0 Private Messages pikappaphiEE252

Personally, I've been FatWallet loyalist since 2002, but have found my self expanding beyond FW in order to find some of the lesser known deals. It's funny, because of FW, I've now got everything I need for a house, except the house itself. But now, I enjoy finding deals on items that other people want.

FatWallet and SlickDeals are pretty much tied at the top of the competition. But there are a couple others out there that will soon be giving them a run for their money.

There are two things that really burn me when it comes to hot deals sites. The first is the eBayers (and other auction site folks) who are scouring FW and SD and other sites to find the deals that will make the most money, which usually results in the deal ending too soon for most to even read about it or it results in the killing of a deal (ie. canceling orders). The second is the folks who get in on the deals just to get in on them. Some of these deals are on items that other people need or could really use, and instead the items are bought out by people who will never open, much less use, them. Case in point, a family friend who died last year, and introduced me to FW, had an entire 12-by-12 room packed full of unopened junk, including an unopened Woot box that had 3 Beavers on Cialis.

As a suggestion, I think a great collaborative deal site could be one where the general public cannot join or view posts, where a member must register their eBay account(s), and where a majority of the community can move to remove abusive members (lurkers and resellers). It may sound/be elitest, but seriously, think about it. Instead of my credit card being used/stored at 50+ sites, it could be stored at a single site. A single site developed by the bright minds of Woot, FW, SD, and the greater retail community. Developed so that retailers can target specific consumers. Instead of cramming the unsold, discontinued stuff into a trash compacter, Home Depot can instead find out who is remodeling their home and offer fantastic deals to them, instead of wasting raw materials that are now running out... solving the energy crisis!

Legal mumbo-jumbo - this idea and the system behind are legally protected and are to now be considered patent pending. Thank You.


quality posts: 3 Private Messages cloneman


If you consider the amount of users per capita, it likely mops the floor with any US deal site :^)

Of course, the deals aren't as good north of the border

woot.com actually sells advertising to them. If you access woot with a canadian IP, you very often get this ad:



quality posts: 0 Private Messages sstrain

I have both fatwallet and slickdeals in my Google Reader and will skim through the deals whenever I get bored. I also have the feeds for tech deals and antirebate in there. I'll star the good deals while I think about them and can also search through the feeds for a specific item if anyone asks me.


quality posts: 0 Private Messages rc1136
Josephus wrote:I used fatwallet a little, but got tired of navigating it because so many of the deals were really outdated, yet people were continuing to post in them.

Sounds like your view was set to "Recent Messages" which used to be, probably still is, the default sort mode.

I find it much better to use "Recent Topics" view, where I can easily scan all the threads posted since my last visit. Then once in a while I'll check "Recent Messages" mode to see if there are any really active deals I may have initially overlooked.


quality posts: 0 Private Messages rc1136
flipb wrote:About six years ago, I worked for a major retailer ...

So does Staples blacklisting really exist?


quality posts: 6 Private Messages idonwannaname

Never liked shopping anyway, but got discouraged by retailers' lack of sale product, bait-n-switch, & other ad gimmicks. Left too many stores never to return; turned to web shopping. Fatwallet helped replace for web the print ads I'd used for brick & mortars. Problem is, I only want the best deal that I'm actually ENTITLED to, but now am so disgusted after reading about those who get truly mad when they can't use an offer not even intended for them! Especially the infamous emailed personal EBay/PayPal coupons! Sites should be prohibited from posting affinity discount code offers for public use as the entire group could lose a contracted benefit via fraud & misuse (re: postings for "student discount ...but they'll never check your ID" or "this is how my travel agent stays for 75% off..you can do it really easily"). Makes me sick. The honesty that is WOOT becomes so much more refreshing.


quality posts: 0 Private Messages neuvosnob

Uh Matt,
Dude, what's up with your head on the set of furry nuts with chicken legs?
I mean, I understand the characacuture thing and all, but the whole Harry Ballzack image just does'nt seem to woot!... And certainly, even if most people think it's a chick(en)?...isn't there a better image for the CEO of this gig?
cheers to Wine.woot. Got a great box of Ty Caton's stuff recently.


quality posts: 1 Private Messages scor77xc

I've started visiting www.dealspl.us. Its a very digg-like deal site that has some amazing deals, but the community is still kind of small. Can't beat the interface though. Between that and dealtaker.com (both of which refer to woot on a daily basis), I'm set.


quality posts: 1 Private Messages brendah

slickdeals is how I found Woot. Then shirt.woot. Yeah, I've bought too many things I didn't need - both from slickdeals and woot. And t-shirts!!


quality posts: 0 Private Messages nittanydi

I have been a long time user of most of the sites listed here. I started with techbargains, but the deals seemed to fizzle over time. (I remember one individual...misschivieous? who gave us a bunch of fantastic deals!) I left and went to a "new" deal site called fatwallet and watched it grow through the years. The cash back option is always a plus.

I also frequently visit slickdeals.net, dealnews.com, edealinfo.com, etc. but these days I tend to go to a site called boddit.com first. It scans all of the major deal sites and posts them. You can filter by selecting different categories (though the system isn't perfect) or select a tab for the hottest deals.


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Ibuprofane

I've been using slickdeals since 2001. The site is much easier to navigate. Having the best deals on the home page is a big plus. It's also what directed me to woot.com.

I use fatwallet for the cashback when available. I also like their financial discussion forum.

eBayers and Resellers infest both sites, unfortunately, but I like slickdeals better.


quality posts: 6 Private Messages unome

I found woot through Bensbargains, then found FW and SD through you. I like the layout of SD and scan it periodically throughout the day. I'll check out FW too but not as often.



quality posts: 4 Private Messages wizard7926

SlickDeals for me. I love that place, the inside jokes are great, the people are mostly decent and hilarious, and the I also spend a lot of time in the Gamers' Lounge chatting about Rock Band 2 and setting up Call Of Duty 4 matches on PS3. I have to say, I've gotten quite a few "reputation points" for posting some Woot deals -- and I've given a lot of flack to a guy this year that gave away the "secret" of the Woot Birthday Blogging Old CEO and exposed it to thousands of people. When a site is bombarded like Woot was on their birthday this year, it's lovingly dubbed "The SD Effect."

[MOD: No advertising please]


quality posts: 0 Private Messages davetodd

My "Big Three" are:

Slickdeals, Fatwallet and Gottadeal.

Supprised no one mentioned Gottadeal.