Internal combustion patent

The weirdest e-commerce store ever

The weirdest online store ever has just opened. It’s called Woot!, and here’s the deal: Each day at midnight (except for Saturdays) it posts one piece of electronics for sale. It’s only one item per day, and there’s usually a very limited amount of them, but it’s always on a crazily deep discount. Today, for example, they had 6-piece Dell sound system pictured above $30, which is less than half of what I could find at the cheapest discount. Of course, at prices like this, the stuff tends to sell out instantly — so the only way you can take advantage of it is to show up at midnight Centrla Standard Time and hope your mouse finger is faster than the other 10,000 geeks trying to buy this stuff.

But the best part about Woot is their FAQ, which includes material like this:

I missed yesterday’s item, can I get one still?

No. Each woot.com product is discontinued at 11:59 central time monday-thursday and sunday. We may get more at a later date if we’re lucky, but we offer no guarantees, we allow no backorders, and we have no waiting / notification lists. Too bad.

I want to talk to a live person there, can I call you?
No. We are busy sourcing new products and shipping orders. You can post a comment to our community board, but we don’t guarantee to respond. You should google for the manufacturer contact to get product answers – we suggest a dating service, magic 8 ball, or ouija board for general life solutions.

(Thanks to El Rey for this one!)

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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