HoopStick is like Woot, but with a moving price tag
Like Woot.com but want a site with a more flexible price tag? Check out Hoopstick, a sales site with a price that changes every 15 seconds.
Webware's Rafe Needleman and I are big fans of Woot.com. Since the introduction of the one-deal-a-day sales site, there have been several clones. However, none have caught my interest like Hoopstick. The site, which currently operates on weekends only, sells just one item a day. The big catch here is that the price tag is constantly changing, meaning patience or pure, dumb luck can get you a deal.
Today's item is a USB headset. When I started writing this, the price tag was hovering around fifteen bucks. Since then, it's come down to $12, jumped back up to $16, then dropped again to $10. The change happens every 15 seconds based on supply and demand. The hotter an item is the pricier it gets, and as soon as a user chooses to buy, it locks him or her into that price--even if it fluctuates post-sale. The one catch here is that you've only got 45 seconds after hitting the buy button to go through with your purchase and five minutes total to go through checkout, otherwise you're kicked back out to try your hand again. This is simply a measure to keep people from hunkering down on a low price without buying.
Hoopstick tracks the price changes throughout the day, which means you can gauge whether you're on an up or down trend. There is a bit of blind luck though, since a slew of other people trying to buy something can drive up the price at a feverish pace.
The service is already off to a great start, however, it will have a tough time matching Woot.com's writing prowess, which quite frequently turns product spec sheets into works of art.