What Is Woot, Amazon’s Discount Site?

Meet your new favorite online outlet store.

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When it comes to affordable deals on just about everything under the sun, Amazon is king. But did you know that Amazon has its own discount site, called Woot? Despite being a part of the mega-popular shopping site since 2010, many Amazon users still haven’t heard of Woot or tried it for themselves. So, for the uninitiated, here’s everything you need to know about Woot, including its history, how it functions and how you can use it to save money.

What is Woot?

Woot is basically a shopping site that offers daily deals, short-term sales and special shopping events. Tonally, their website is tongue-in-cheek and pretty silly, featuring a grinning monkey mascot and special items for purchase like “Bags of Crap.” These “Bags of Crap” are mystery boxes containing up to three items, which could include something wonderful like a laptop or something totally useless like a single shoe. They also come with their own list of “Holy Crap Commandments,” such as “Thou shalt not be all upset when you find out what’s in this box and how you didn’t even need it in the first place.”

@caseyyisfetchh WOOT, there it is #amazonprime #woot #deals ♬ original sound – caseyyisfetchh

How is Woot different from Amazon?

An Amazon sorting employee is working on a laptop in a distribution centre next to a packagePicture Alliance/Getty Images

This sense of humor and lottery-like approach to shopping is key to understanding Woot. While Amazon is great for finding something specific, Woot offers a more spontaneous—if sometimes ridiculous—shopping experience. The most notable distinction between Woot and Amazon is that when a deal expires on Woot, that discount item is removed from the website.

Woot also features bizarre and delightful sale opportunities like “Woot-Off!s” in which orange lights flash on the homepage and a new product is launched immediately after a deal is sold out. In a Woot-Off!, users have no idea how many of these items are up for grabs, so they must determine if they want the item badly enough to purchase immediately.

Lastly, Woot has full forums available for items, so users can chat with each other about items, as opposed to just reading Amazon reviews. This means that Woot has the feel of a lifestyle site as well as a shopping site, unlike Amazon’s more straightforward shopping model.

What kinds of purchases is Woot best for?

Because of Woot’s chaotic business model, it’s not always the best for more specific purchases. In short, you cannot go onto Woot expecting to find a particular item. Instead, it’s as if you’re scrolling through a digital outlet store, scanning for great deals on items you didn’t know you necessarily wanted.

It’s also worth noting that shopping on Woot is all about timing. There are instances in which an item may actually be cheaper on Amazon, so be sure to check both sites before committing to a seductive-sounding deal on Woot.

How do I sign up for Woot?

The Amazon Website is seen on a computer screen and out of focus backgroundQuinn Rooney/Getty Images

In order to shop on Woot, you need to be an Amazon Prime member. So, sign up for Amazon Prime before trying to access Woot. The good news here is that Woot does offer free, next-day shipping, thanks to the Amazon Prime connection.

Once you’ve signed up for Prime, just visit Woot.com and sign into your account. From there, you can browse to your heart’s content and even sign up for their daily deals emails so you can be the first to know about new items. Happy shopping!