Woot.com takes a different approach to selling online: The company only offers one item a day and tells buyers that if they have a question about a product, they should post it on the site's forums—though there's no guarantee anyone will respond.
"You should Google for the manufacturer contact to get product answers," the company wryly advises buyers. "We suggest a dating service, Magic 8 Ball or Ouija board for general life solutions."
While this off-the-wall humor may seem strange to some retailers, it's worked for Woot. An estimated 3 million shoppers—drawn to bargain prices—have helped Woot become the fastest-growing private retailer in the country, according to news reports.
Amazon took note, and snatched up the company earlier this week for a reported $110 million.
For Woot, the acquisition won't change much, notes CEO Matt Rutledge. The company will become an independent subsidiary of Amazon, Rutledge will keep his job as Woot's CEO and the company's colorful culture will remain the same.
"Amazon is interested in us because they recognize the value of our people, our brand and our unique style of deep-tissue, toxin-releasing massage. And they don't want to start changing things now," he blogs. "Amazon's hoping our nutty Woot steez continues to grow and develop."
The Texas-based company will to continue to run as it did in the past: "With a wall of ideas and a dartboard," Rutledge tells employees in an e-mail that is now posted on the company blog. "From a practical point of view, [the acquisition] will be as if we are simply adding a person to the organizational hierarchy, except that that one person will just happen to be a billion-dollar company that could buy and sell each and every one of you like furniture."
Actually, one thing might change. Now that Woot is connected to a large marketplace like Amazon, more people will know about the company, according to a video created by Woot employees following the acquisition.
"We used to say, 'We're from Woot,' and fools used to go 'Who?'" says a rapping monkey. "But now we're hooking up with the notorious crew. It's like the second greatest rock 'n' roll swindle, but this time we're all gonna get refurbished Kindles."
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Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.