questionsanyone else disappointed with what woot! has…

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Oh dear. This is a common theme in several threads already.

I think we need to agree to disagree with Woot's new methods. They are not the woot we started with and they will continue to change to meet their business needs.

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Four months ago, I said this:
... with every subsection.woot, it's becoming less "woot" and more "just another e-commerce site" ...

I had zero excitement that earlier in the week, we had a Woot-off, knowing that anything I missed will probably show up in one of the Woot plus sales at some point.

Yesterday was random shirts on shirt.woot, and I didn't care. OTOH, random shirts at @ramyb's TeeTurtle excites me and I'm downright ecstatic over the mystery shirts at GoodJoe.

There are still good aspects here at Woot, and I still hang around for the community, both here and at shirt (now that cake is back for good). And if it wasn't for shirt.woot, I would have never met someone as special as @neuropsychosocial. But with the one day, one deal site that I used to know gone, Woot just isn't Woot anymore.

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Quite. With the Amazon change they are just another mini-Amazon. In the past Woot-off's were something to look forward to for a good deal and interesting new items. Now they are just recycling the same stuff we see every day. Oft times the prices they are offering are the same as other sites.

Agreed, Woot is just not Woot anymore. Do I see a Netflix boondoggle in the offing?

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Yes

Woot has become that indie band that used to be cool but found mainstream success and abandoned or alienated its original fan base in favor striking it rich.

Woot is just Amazon's overstock liquidation department now. Most of the Woots are in the hundreds of dollars and the same crap TVs, cameras ands laptops over and over. Gone are the days of leak frogs, light up toilet handles, woot lights, and monkeys. I used to buy lots of inexpensive stuff during woot offs. And have a massive monkey collection. I hardly pay attention to the woot offs anymore. I'm not afraid to miss anything any more because there is so rarely anything really worth it.

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@cengland0: Indeed. It seems (bag of) crapping on Woot is the fad of the moment. Like many fads, it has already gotten old.

EDIT: To stave off the flood of downvotes, I want to make it clear I'm not disagreeing with the thought itself, just agreeing with cengland0 that the thought has already been expressed before, and now seems to be expressed daily.

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I'm more disappointed with what a community of whiners deals.woot has become.

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The new "Cash Grab" thing (when something sells out they're going to put up a new item) pretty much kills what Woot? was: Great Deal, Buy it NOW, when it's Gone it's GONE BABY.
"Cash Grab" is essentially a constant Woot Off.
Screaming Woot Monkeys soon to be replaced by Jumping Sharks.

Alas dear Woot...I knew you well...

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Its been crap ever since Amazon bough them. I used to buy multiple items every woot off and now there is hardly anything good out there.

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Woot has become too main stream.

When I joined it was one deal, one day.

Now its lots of deals for various lengths of time, like every other website.

Also, wIth no BOC during Woot-Offs I have no motivation to stick around.

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@stile99: as a community driven site (deals.woot) isn't it our job to express how we feel till the point is driven home?

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@philosopherott: I guess I don't see deals.woot as being a stage for the woot as a whole. deals.woot is a deal aggregation site for posting and talking about deals. woot has it's own forum where you all can go to complain about how you feel woot has sold out and how terrible it has become. The daily deals suck? Post about it at woot. The shirts suck? Post about it at shirt.woot. Someone over in those forums might even care how you feel. The staff that control the deals.woot forums probably care more about the postings at deals.woot. There is some crossover with the staff, but they're just as likely to see your posts there as they are here and then we don't have to see your daily complaint posts.

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@philosopherott: That is one way of looking at it, yes. But since we all know it is not going to change, at what point does 'constructive criticism' become 'incessant whining'?

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@superloud: YES! WHINERS!

The deals aren't 'good' or 'unique' enough for you? APPLY TO BE A BUYER FOR WOOT! Otherwise, shut your pie hole. Guess what, THE ECONOMY ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH NEITHER IS THE GLOBAL MARKETPLACE!

If they sold $5 64GB iPads everyone would still complain about 'what amazon has done to woot' and how 'it used to be all just fun and now its blah blah blah'

It's enough to make a grown man cry. SHUT UP!

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@superloud: aren't the other sites part of that aggrigation? i aggree that you should keep a site specific topic there usually but if there is a woot issue you want to talk about isn't this the palce to di it because it is more community driven and an aggrigation.

@stile99: IMHO I thnk that it becomes incessant when there has been an answer to a complaint or question, but if tihere is no responce from those in charge I say keep asking or suggesting til they say something. Honestly idk where the line is but for me I believe if someoen would just say something to address the community issues, questions, and concerns we would all feel a little better.

IDK if we just got spoiled because of how great a community this is and the great customer service that is offered here. I feel that this is not just a store or a site it is a community of people be we chatters, purchasers or staff. IDK I guess i felt that we as a community where being listened to in the past. i just don't know...

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@philosopherott: I don't know, I guess the community is whatever the people in it want it to be. woot is going to continue to evolve in a way that makes it more money, as it would regardless of whether or not amazon bought it out. It's what businesses do. It sure looks like it must be working, they aren't showing any signs of turning back. If the deals.woot community wants this forum to become an endless discussion of how terrible they think woot is becoming and pointless questions in search of worthless internet points I guess that's what it will be.

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@cengland0: multiple threads mean multiple people are sick and tired with what has been going on around here

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well, i'm going to say some stuff that you prolly won't like, but in the spirit of pragmatism, here goes:
consider that A) people tend to be resistant to change - particularly when they are not the ones in control of said changes, and B) happy people rarely take the time to write a post.

i'm not saying it's all super, and i'm not saying certain concerns aren't unfounded.

i love you all, and hope you have a happy african-american friday.

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Yes, because growing a company and adapting it to meet the changes in the retail world and increased competition should not be allowed! Things should stay the same always until they are antiquated and the company has no recourse but to declare bankruptcy!

Creating new jobs to support this growing business is just downright pathetic. What were we thinking?

//now, how do I get off this soapbox? Over there? Got it. Thanks. Here, have a Twinkie.

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Nothing will ever make everyone happy, this is true.
Companies must change and adapt to survive, also true.
When a company abandons its base completely, it can do wonders for them, still true.
Perhaps these changes are what is best for the company and wanting woot to stay what it was 6 years ago is selfish of old-school members. Change sucks most of the time.

However; alienating a core of vocal supporters, who's input and support was absolutely necessary to get woot to this point, then sarcastically (in a way that insinuates that they are just to dense to understand business) snarking at them to shut up so you feel better about it is just, rude.

But hey, change right? Pardon me while I wait for this answer and any questions or comments on site crashes/failures get deleted.

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@thumperchick: I'm sure most - or at least I hope most - understand the business side of our changes. However, it's rarely brought up in the discussion. The constant theme is the desire for us to go back to selling one thing a day on one site. For thwt to happen, I would lose my job as would many other faithful staffers.

My intent wasn't to alienate but to to play the devil's advocate to stir conversation and debate on BOTH sides of the discussion.

It got you to post, right?

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@thunderthighs: That it did. Though I wouldn't say for the betterment of the conversation. o.O

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@thumperchick: It absolutely is. Stirring up debate is always good.

My poor little black triangle may not appreciate all the down votes though. Heh.

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@thumperchick: Loud applause! Very well said!!

I wish to add a personal note: I'm a happy person who often takes time to post. Some of those posts apparently seem negative to TPTB. I wonder why? <---rhetorical question. Or maybe I'm seen as an unhappy person. :-/ Whatever the rationale (read: implied view of mods, etc.), it's becoming less & less welcoming to say anything here.

Odd, how I view my questions/posts as constructive criticism. Also have made many positive suggestions for changes. Most have been ignored.

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@gmwhit: Sorry you are feeling unwelcome to post. What is causing that? I hope it's not because some of the staffers respond now and then. I always skim the posts on suggestions and complaints. Many are repeat discussions so there's really not much to add. Today, I decided to stir the debate a bit.

I know many don't believe this but every bit of that Beta feedback was read, compiled, and discussed. We've already implemented many improvements based on those (oh, please don't ask me to list them. I couldn't.). There are others that won't be implemented because they don't sync up with our business goals and directions. That doesn't mean we ignored them though.

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@thunderthighs: You said, "... The constant theme is the desire for us to go back to selling one thing a day on one site." Maybe there are some die-hards out there that continue to be delusional and want a complete reversal. I am not one of those. I understand that will never happen.

I believe that much of the discontent is the lack of response from "those who MAKE changes." Whomever they might be at this point. Re: The new (still Beta) site: I immediately said I loved the tabs. Easier to navigate, etc.

Re: The long gone, "One Deal a Day" brand: The site has now become a colossal joke of 2 bajillion deals a day. Difficult to FIND anything. Not customer friendly. Too many new SITES and plus deals. It's difficult, if not impossible to shop here.

Why not just admit that you're now a storefront site? AND make it such. With categories of items where you can easily find what you're looking for. Put a CART system in, so you can shop like you can on any other storefront type sites.

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The "deal a day" business model isn't a scalable one. I understand needing to sell more than 1 item per day to allow the company to grow and that is why we have 8-10 different woot sites. This website format, however, is also not scalable. A site with 10 tabs to check and then 5-10 pages for each of those tabs is not a friendly format for the consumer. You can't just keep adding site after site so you can sell more stuff. Lose the 1 item per day pretense and you can list a BUNCH of stuff every day in one place like Amazon does. I really don't understand the "Cash Grab" thing... If you have stuff to sell why not list it all at one time? Why do we have to wait 6 hours and/or keep checking back to buy a new item?
Woot doesn't sell 1 item per day anymore so they can grow and not fire the staff...that's fine, but why not just list your full catalog of items like you've done for shirt.woot? If profit is the concern, I think that would help.

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@thunderthighs: My unease is not caused by staff responses. Though, those that are blatantly sarcastic, demeaning or dismissive are not welcome. Most of the bad taste in my mouth is caused by LACK of responses from those who make the decisions.

Not that a high-level manager should respond to lowly me...BUT, it would be nice if his/her delegate acknowledged suggestions/questions. And....ACTION was taken. Long before lichme submitted his FAQs, I made a suggestion that they would be helpful. Naive me. Had no idea that the same suggestion had been repeated years before. Nothing done. Lichme's FAQs flounder...it's been around 6 months now. You're "still working on them." HUH?????

Will add once again: My overall dismay is not directed to you, or any other mod. I know you're in a very difficult position. And, I've heard you all say you've bumped up the questions/suggestions.

Long ago I said that if I was no longer happy here, I would leave. Still here w/a thin thread of hope left.

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Would it kill the person in charge of Woot! to put out a Christmas letter with an update of Woot and where they want to go in the future? The issue is that, in the original orgins of Woot, we are not just customers but also family. Why else would there be a way to ask questions on deals.woot and the ability to post comments and reviews and have them stay up there on all other woot sites? Woot may not be our baby but we are the community that helped raise it and there is a vested interest.

I do not want to go into great detail, but it seems like the shirt.woot issue all over again. Changes were already decided upon a year earlier, changes were made to "keep things the way they were" and then the masive change came. Keep the community involved and these changes might go a little easier.

We care about Woot and want what is best for it. That is all.

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@gmwhit: CART! YES!! CART!!
For the love of customer satisfaction, Woot, if you're going to give us these multiple woot sites from which to select all these questionable bargains, PLEASE give us a cart to load and a single check out.
Ok, so maybe it would not be a feasible option during a woot-off, but you could disable the cart system during that special time of the month, couldn't you?

A cart. My Screaming Woot Monkeys for a multi-site cart!

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@thunderthighs: you have Twinkies to give away...I will take one please :)

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@gmwhit: You have stated what's on many minds.....again. Not that any of this thread will matter to TPTB.

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Great comments and discussion. It's true that we are no longer a one deal, one day site. We do still operate differently than a typical retail site though because we don't maintain an inventory from which you can order at any time. We sell each item until sold out and it's gone either for good or until we decide to get more in to sell again.

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It's this model that keeps us from moving to a cart check out. In a cart shopping model, you can put something in the cart and check out later that day or even the next day. For a fast selling item, this means that either you are holding one that someone who is ready can't purchase, or it will be sold out when you decide to finalize your purchase. When you finalize your purchase, you are reserving that item for you. That's why we do an authorization charge to ensure the the purchase will go through - if not approved, the item is released for sale to the next individual.

Hopefully that all made sense.

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@thunderthighs: Okay. I understand that you don't maintain an inventory, per se. Other retail sites (storefronts w/CARTS) are the same. Aren't they? They have X amount of items in stock. They fill those orders, & when they sell out, they decide to reorder. Or not. Amazon is an excellent example of this. No comparison intended. ;-) I could just have easily mentioned K-Mart, Sears, Overstock, etc.

The huge difference is you can SHOP on these sites. It's nearly impossible to shop on woot. It is burdensome & cumbersome to go to each mini-site and plow through all the deals. And the Plus deals.

Re: Cart shopping. The retail sites I go to have the same caveat - If you don't check out, you might lose the item. That's the norm as I see it.

From my perspective you've changed...but only 1/2 way. You're still trying to operate in the old - here's "1 deal. Buy it mode." That's not working very well now from a customer's perspective. You have MANY, MANY deals & they're not searchable.

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No comment about the positives or negatives about the woot changes, but I find it interesting that so many people are so upset about the sarcasm showed by the staff while you cry for old woot. That IS old woot!

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@gmwhit: that's a really good point (not searchable). Our Google search is pretty useless. I just wrote a long email explaining the suggestion and sent it off. Thanks for that viewpoint. Just remember that things move slowly so don't look for anything on Monday. =P

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@gmwhit: now on to inventory.... I believe we are quite different than the mainstream retail store and site.

Amazon has multiple huge warehouses across the country as does every other large retailer. Their goal is to be your one stop shopping place so they need to have the items in stock or you will go someplace else. They keep inventory on hand in multiple warehouses to make sure it's where it's needed and can be restocked quickly.

Our goal is to get it in the front door and out the back door as fast as possible. We keep very little inventory on hand. We very much a "just in time" operation. We get the stuff shortly before we sell it and move it as quickly as possible.

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PS: if some sentences don't make sense, it might be my iPad being mischievous. Just ask.

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@thunderthighs: Laughing hysterically about your comment, "Just remember that things move slowly so don't look for anything on Monday." :-D Monday of what month? Scratch that - what year?

If I haven't told you lately how much I appreciate you - please know that I have great respect for you & the job you're doing. I do know you're held back by the short hairs. (Oh, crap! I don't know if I can say that! If it's not allowed, please delete that part, and put in...'I do know that you're doing the best job you can given the parameters & limitations of your job.)

Thanks!!

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@thunderthighs: Re: Inventory, etc. Yes, I know you're not enormous like Amazon. And yet, they, too, started out being 'little.' (I think they started out w/Pez's..as their only offering. Could be wrong, though.)

Anyway, they've grown and become quite efficient. What I'm trying to impart is, woot is growing, too. But you're NOT efficient. If you want repeat customers, I believe you will have to lose the 1 deal a day - we're just a little old home-grown local thing business image.

It was your choice to add SO many different sites. And SO many Plus deals. Now you need to make it an easy & a pleasant experience for customers to shop those deals. And put them in a cart. IMO, this 'business model' isn't working.

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@thunderthighs: Lately I've been trying to stay out of trouble, but I feel the need to point out something in respect to the comparison with Amazon, in the points and counterpoints about the shopping cart. You can simply follow the position that Amazon takes on lightening deals.

User puts something in a cart. User doesn't buy it in X time. Cart loses that item. Sure, it's a little more complexity on your side, but certainly doable. Yes, it is too (I say to those hidden naysayers). Amazon's site is one of the most complex in the industry. If they can handle this one-off event, I have to believe that Woot can also.

As a side point, in product descriptions, sarcasm cracks me up. In responses to genuine questions, it doesn't.

You know I've always liked you (no, really, I mean it). Dallas people will always be my favorites. I can't help it.

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I hope I don't come off as a pissy whiner all the time upinheeyah, because on this end of the keyboard, I'm not. I do call what I see, though.
In response to the original post; yes I am disappointed in what Woot has become, but not because of Woot changes per se.
Woot is Woot.
I buy stuff or I don't, I don't really care about how it's delivered. I've been here since '05 and haven't cracked 100 purchase, what does that say?
Back on topic; I am disappointed because many of the cool kids have left and the place has lost its "community" charm.
I don't think it will get it back, because the Woot demographic is now, by necessity, the casual shopper, and they don't stop to chat, only complain when something goes wrong.

j5 j5
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If woot! was not a big success and making barrels of money when Amazon bought it,
they would not have. In my opinion after that purchase they then did like most internet related companies do and totally destroyed what was once innovating. Almost as if they were wiping out a competitor.

You can measure how woot! has been slipping in popularity by the comments on items sold during the woot! off's. Where a year or more ago, there would be hundreds of comments for each item, now there are less than a hundred. Most times less than two dozen. You can lie and say I am wrong and woot!'s popularity is not slipping, but that would be like Microsoft's claim that Windows 8 is selling waay better than Windows 7.

The cluttered page really turned me off from woot!. It looks like my desk, nothing in a proper place, and hard to find anything. I know I quit looking at ten PM Pacific to see the new item, and watching a woot! off is but a fading memory.

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@shrdlu: I'm snickering about "...been trying to stay out of trouble." You are aware that your input is so needed here aren't you? Trouble? What can they do to you..that would be of consequence?

Instead of the Lightening deals, I would relate the cart issue more to Amazon's Gold Box Deals - they're 1 day deals like woot's. The Lightening deals are 1 hr. +- deals that end then, or when sold out. Gold Box deals = 1 day. When it's sold out, it's gone. You know, like the original woot deals were. And, like any of the other woot site's deals. (Not the Plus deals, those can last ad infinitum in some cases.)

A cart, a way of finding deals. My suggestion is a drop down menu of categories. Like store-front sites have. An aside: Improving the Google search, to me, is NOTt an improvement. Most customers don't want to have to 'think' about the exact or correct wording to search/find something. Categories, such as Home, Wine, Kids, T's, Electronics, etc. would be an excellent beginning.

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@gmwhit: Interesting. That's pretty much what I described in my email.

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@thunderthighs: Sputter! Gasp! You mentioned short hairs in your email? ::innocent look::

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When I started, Woot was just woot. There was not any subsites yet. As they started getting added, I really didn't have any issues. I've bought quite a few shirts, and use the snot out of deals.woot. My big gripe is now with the Woot Plus crap, and how sometimes they'll replace a thing when it sells out, instead of the whole 1 thing for 24 hours.

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@gmwhit: Started out selling Pez dispensers was eBay...and it is an urban legend. B-)