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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Woot is Owned By Amazon

Yes, everyone should know this by now -- it happened in 2010 -- but not everybody does. Obviously, the Woot site isn't going to broadcast it, because that site needs to appear edgy and cool.

I've bought stuff from Woot both before and after the Amazon purchase, and to be honest, I didn't notice any difference.  The monkey jokes seemed to be about the same.  Not really funny, but oddly addictive.

But now it's all a marketing game; one more profit center for Amazon (and one less competitor also).  Pre-Amazon, when you saw something on Woot, you could go to Amazon and look at the reviews and the price there and decide if you are getting a good deal.  Sometimes, it seemed, Amazon would even lower its price to bring it into Woot's range.

But that's all over now.  Amazon owns Woot, and so they know you are going to go to Amazon to try to figure out what a "fair" price for the item is.  And knowing THAT, they make sure that the price on Amazon is a good deal higher than the one on Woot, which makes the Woot price look like all the better a deal.

I'm writing this today because both Woot and Yugster are offering a one-day sale on a handheld 3M M220 projector.  Woot is at $129 and Yugster is at $169.  It seems like a pretty good product, but apparently it's not easy to figure out how to actually make it work with your files (internal software limitations), and moreover, the VGA cables that you might use to connect it to your computer are apparently not available anywhere (at least according to the one star reviews). Also, apparently it's important to have a remote with it, but that's sold separately and might also not be available.

And what is Amazon selling this discontinued product for?  $200.  So looks like a pretty good deal on Woot, right?

I think I'm going to pass this up today, based on the cable and software issues.  Would be nice to have a little battery operated projector of course, and that price seems pretty good, but I don't want to spend a lot of time tracking down cables and dealing with other limitations.  The nice thing about Amazon's review system is that although many if not most five-star reviews for any given product are fake, the one-star through three-star reviews are generally heart-felt.

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