I got a strange email from woot.com today. I’m a long-time woot.com customer and have gotten some good deals (and some not so good deals, too). I’ve bought electronics, home appliances, and t-shirts. I visit the site every day to see what’s up for sale for the day, and I look forward to woot-offs, those days when they sell item after item, leaving things listed just long enough to sell them out before moving onto the next item. With woot.com, you buy it now or it may be gone forever. Part of the fun of woot.com is reading the little “story” that goes along with the product. Even if you never buy anything from woot, the stories are so worth the read. They have an amazing bunch of copywriters on staff, it appears.
The email from woot was oddly short, however, and despite the humorous subject line, it was not a funny, tongue-in-cheek message, unlike most of their other messages. Apparently, they’ve agreed to be bought by Amazon. Like online shoe-seller Zappos (acquired earlier this year by Amazon), woot will continue to operate independently in its home base of Carrollton, Texas, with the same snarky attitude and deep discounts as it has always offered. Which makes me wonder what Amazon is going to get out of this.
Except that it is apparent to me that Amazon wants to become the online retailer for absolutely everything. Remember when all they sold were books? I spend a considerable amount of money on Amazon every year, buying books (both paper and Kindle), music (mostly MP3′s but an occasional CD), DVD’s, clothing, electronics, and yes, even food (great source for some of the exotic coffees and teas I like to indulge in). I buy on Amazon mostly because of price, which is, oddly enough, the reason I shop woot.com as well.
I wonder how many buyers will notice how many online retailers actually “belong” to Amazon now? And does this make Amazon the Walmart of the online shopping world?