Woot.com Bag of Crap

 

Woot’s exclusive and highly elusive Bag of Crap is a very sought after item sold on woot.com.

 

A Brief and Highly Incorrect History of the Bag of Crap. To really understand the bag of crap, you would have to look at one of the primary reasons why it probably came about. Woot’s original motto and business model was “one day, one deal.” What this translates to is that Woot would offer a single item at midnight Central Time or 10 PM PST and would sell this highly discounted item until it sold out or until the next day came. The main benefit to woot was that it could spend less overhead to warehouse a large array of items that may or may not sell out. Also it put less strain on shipping items out as each day they would only have to worry about boxing up and shipping a single item instead of worrying about warehouse and shipping/packaging logistics.  So what does a company do when it only offers one item for sell a day and sometimes that item does not sell out? It can’t obviously devote an entire day to selling leftover stock that may only have a few items. To solve this issue, the Woot Off! was invented. A Woot Off! was an event where the One Day One Deal rule was put on hiatus and an item would appear with a descending status bar. As items sold the inventory bar would decrease until the item inventory was depleted and deemed sold out.  After that the next item would appear and Woot would continue to sell items that were featured in their previous sells or sometimes they would include eclectic items like Roombas, Leak Frogs, random USB items, Dyson Vacuum Cleaners, JD’s Bacon Salt, and the notorious and you’ll put your eye out Screaming Woot! Monkey. The sales would continue until they either sold out or until the Woot Off! employees tired of sleepless nights and would not put up a new item. This process could occur over the course of 1 to 4 days and would sometimes have a Bag of Crap randomly sold near the end of the last day of a Woot Off! This carrot or what some affectionately called a Bandolier of Carrots would sometimes be used as an incentive for Woot! Users to purchase items that they wouldn’t normally purchase to help move the Woot Off! along and possibly bring the Bag of Crap up for sell.  The original Bag of Crap was $1 per crappy item plus $5 shipping with the ability to purchase up to 3 crappy items bringing the total cost of a full Bag of Crap to $8. To simplify things, a Bag of Crap is now $3 + $5 shipping since everyone wants at least 3 crappy items.

 

So What is Inside a Bag of Crap? Well obviously it is filled with crap or what some people would consider junk. It may contain items that were previously sold on Woot that were not purchased. It may contain defective items received in the warehouse or items returned. It may contain ridiculous items that their purchasing team may have been able to purchase in cheap bulk for the purpose of selling the oddities in a Woot Off! or throwing into the Bag of Crap. Sometimes it may contain something good and useful, but more times than not it will probably not. For those who are curious, unboxing videos can be found on youtube or on the Woot.com forums. You can also view this unboxing video of a Bag of Crap I received in April 2013. Youtube Video Link

 

Woot also makes no promises on what is sold inside of their Bag of Crap and has actually created a set of commandments to higher or in most cases lower people’s expectations. In fact, the latest version of the Crap commandments are placed below:

 

THE HOLY CRAP COMMANDMENTS v4.0

 

  1. Thou shalt expect nothing beyond ONE bag of some kind and THREE crappy items
  2. Thou shalt probably expect not to even get a Bag o’ Crap at all. We only have enough for about 10% of the people who want them. Thou art probably in that other 90%.
  3. Thou shalt notice that “crap” is right there in the title. Thou shalt not complain when it turns out we were telling the truth.
  4. Thou wouldst probably be better off spending thine eight bucks on just about anything else.
  5. Thou shalt be assured that Woot hath upgraded its servers and code to minimize errors and crashes. But thou shalt remind thyself that even if those servers did work perfectly, it would simply mean the BoC sold out earlier.
  6. Should thou fail in thy quest for crap, congratulations. Failure is the biggest crap of all.

 

How to get a Bag of Crap. Did I mention that getting a Bag of Crap is elusive? Getting a Bag of Crap is an art form and can be very difficult. Personally, it took me 3 years before I got my first Bag of Crap. The formula is constantly changing as the rules of getting a Bag of Crap change. With this in mind I’ll list a few ways to help in getting a Bag of Crap.

 

  1. Create a woot.com account beforehand and enter in all of your credit card details.
  2. Be sure to login to your account. You may also want to click “I want one” on a previous item as sometimes woot.com will require you to verify your password. This is very important as time is precious in the pursuit of a Bag of Crap.
  3. Know when woot.com is most likely to offer a Bag of Crap. Currently it does not look like they are offering it during their traditional Woot Off! as a direct purchase item. The last 2 Bags of Crap during a Woot Off! required a crossword puzzle game and also the ability to do math puzzles to figure out the Bag of Crap URL. Other dates to keep in mind are April Fool’s Day, Christmas, and Woot.com’s birthday July 12th.

 

Barkbox June 2013 Review

It is June 19th and I received my second (Large) Barkbox for the month of June. Although this time I didn’t score a toy, this box came with 5 different items, all of them centralized around a 4th of July picnic theme. Last time my pets were spoiled with a toy, but this time it looks like I’ll get to kick back on my July birthday and give my pets a little taste of the bbq.

As usual, here is a fast list of the items I scored with a more in depth description of the products below.

  • 1 – 12 fl oz bottle of Bowser Beer in a Beefy Brown Ale flavor ($19.99 per 6 pack)
  • 1 – 1.2 oz  bag Whole Life Tail Mix Grilled Sirloin Burgers ($7 for 2 oz)
  • 1 –  2 oz bag of Puptato Chips made of Sweet Potato ($4.99 for 2 oz)
  • 1 – Butcher’s Block Bones The Champ Hickory Smoked Beef Dog Bone ($11.49 per bone)
  • 1 – Box of 7 count Dale Edgar Calm K-9 Nutri-wafers ($14.95 for 14 count)

Bowser Beer (Non-alcoholic) – Beefy Brown Ale

Bowser Beer is a beef-based drink that does not contain alcohol or carbonation. It does contain malt barley extract which you can find in your human beer, and they also added glucosamine to help with your dogs joints as an additive. Each bottle should cover a medium to large dog, but if you want to give it to a smaller dog, half a bottle should do. As far as serving this malt beverage to your canine buddy, it can be served straight from the bottle, poured over dry kibble, diluted in water, or even pour it over crushed ice as a cool treat on a hot summer day. There are two different flavors; chicken and beef. If you go through their company website you can even add a custom label to your bottles with a picture of your best friend. A normal 6-pack will run you $19.99 while a custom label six pack will cost $29.99 and is available at BowserBeer.com

Whole Life Tail Mix Grilled Sirloin Burgers

Whole Life’s Tail Mix products are actual USDA organic meats that are freeze dried to provide a concentrated tasty treat. Since they take actual meat to make these products, they are not filled with fillers, chemicals, additives, or preservatives. The treats are crunchy out of the bag but can quickly be rehydrated with warm water for older dogs that may have difficulty with harder treats.

Whole Life appears to pride themselves on their quality, food processing, and global sustainability. If it is very important to you that your dog treats are not only tasty, but come from a safe source that looks at all aspects of how their product is created, I would suggest taking a closer look at Whole Life Pet Products. I will admit that the quality comes at a price though. A 4 oz bag retails at $16.49. You can find answers to frequently asked questions about their products on their website. Whole Life Products FAQ.

Puptato Chips

The Puptato Chips are made from dried sweet potatoes. They are a very healthy snack that mimics the very unhealthy human potato chip. For me, those most intriguing thing about the Puptato Chips is that the company that makes Puptato Chips makes Cake Mix for dogs. If you go to their website, you can find chocolate (carob) cake, red velvet, banana, and peanut butter flavored cake mixes including the frosting for dogs. The dog cake mix and frosting boxes retail $6.99 and the Puptato Chips retail for $4.99. More information about the products can be found at PuppyCake.com

Butcher’s Block Bones – The Champ

The Champ is a large hickory smoked beef dog bone. This particular bone even comes with the warning that it should not be given to your dog on the carpet because of the potential of messiness and I assume smokiness could stain your carpet. The bones are 7-8″ beef shank bone slow roasted for up to 36 hours and infused with natural flavoring. They are made in the USA and come from USDA inspected beef. The bones are also harvested from cattle that are 29 months or younger to ensure that the bones do not splinter. This bone can be found on amazon.com right now for $11.49. The Champ Amazon Link

Dale Edgar Brand Calm K9 Nutri-wafers

Dale Edgar’s states that a calm dog is a content dog. These Calm K9 nutria-wafers are to help calm your dog from otherwise stressful events such as fireworks or thunderstorms. They contain Omega3, Thiamine, Magnesium Sulfate, Chamomile Extract, and Ginger to help reduce stress and anxiety in your pet. You can find more information about this product at DaleEdgarBrand.com

BirchBox Man July 2013 Review

The BirchBox Man July 2013 box was inspired by the USA television series SUITS. With that in mind, a couple of the items included in my July box were suited for my man-drobe.

Knotz Cufflinks from wurkin stiffs

The version I received were red woven cuff fasteners, known as Bow Tie Red. Luckily I love the color red and these should be a nice addition to complement my selection of red ties in my man-drobe. These cufflinks normally retail for $9.50.

Card Case from Roosevelt Supply

A slim burgundy leather card case holder from Roosevelt Supply. This particular item is a BirchBox exclusive and is made from a very soft supple quality leather. To be honest, I recently went on vacation and downsized all my typical wallet items down into a Coach 3 card slot and money clip wallet. It can be refreshing to not sit lopsided on a wallet bulge. This card case may be a little too barebones for me to get through the day, but I can use this as a business card holder or a way to hold my ID, a credit card, and maybe a room card on vacation. Slimming down for summer doesn’t have to be only for your stomach. It retails for $25 on BirchBox.com

Balla Powder (Original scent)

I have been meaning to try this product since I’ve been browsing Birchbox. Think of it as a manly baby powder to help whisk away perspiration, odor, and prevent chaffing in trouble areas, such as in the nether regions or sprinkled into your shoes. The scent had a nice musk scent to it and I am impressed with the size of this trial size. It is the perfect size to throw in a gym bag or into a travel bag. Out of the entire Birchbox, this is the product I’d most likely go back to and make a full purchase.

Styling Cream from GO247

This is a light weight hair styling cream for men. Smells fine and gets the job done. My hair is currently short/medium and coarsely styled back to front with the tips spiked. I’m slowly moving away from the stiff hair gel and moving into the creams. No flakes no problem.

Frank’s Beard Elixir by Mr. Natty

I wish I could properly review this product but I don’t have facial hair. Sorry but my wife doesn’t dig the fu man chu. I’m also not a fan of putting the smell of patchouli on my face as it reminds me too much of cheap incense. Sorry just the way it is and this product is for someone else.

BirchBox Man June 2013

BirchBox Man June 2013 Review

The Birchbox Man’s June 2013 theme is Off Duty with the flavor text of the provided cue card being:

Gentlemen,

     Harry Houdini, Steve McQueen, Andy Dufresne, Ferris Bueller. These legendary escape artists all knew how to make a quick, well-timed exit, and they always covered their tracks. Now it’s time for you to plan your own summer escape — whether that means a leisurely workday lunch or a full-fledged sabbatical. This box is filled with products to keep you looking and feeling great, even when you’re off duty, including some vacation-ready picks from our friends at DETAILS magazine.

Cheers,
Birchbox Man

To keep the process relatively simple, I’ll list the contents and then go over them in detail. So without further ado, my June 2013 BirchBox Man box contained the following:

  • 2 Pairs of Socks from Richer Poorer
  • A 0.35 Oz Sample of Proraso Shaving Cream
  • A 0.5 Oz Sample of Towel Dry All-in-One Thickening Shampoo
  • 2 Samples of Niche Male Deodorizing Wipes
  • 1 Old Spice Pure Sport Bar Soap

Birchbox Man Picks

Richer Poorer Socks

Richer Poorer Socks

My large items for the month of June were 2 pairs of executive style socks from Richer Poorer that retail for $12 each. I received a pair of Veteran – Green/Navy and a pair of Horn Blower – Blue. These particular socks are meant to be a bold fashion statement by pairing them with your cuffed up jeans or khakis. As far as my personal preference, I like the Veteran – Green/Navy, while the Horn Blower – Blue may be a little too expressive for me. The socks are made of 68% Combed Cotton, 16% Polyester, 13% Nylon, and 3% Spandex so they feel light and stretchy. I’ll definitely add this to my rotation of dress socks as they add a little spark to my work khakis.

Poraso Shaving Cream

Poraso Shaving Cream

The second notable item in my BirchBox Man was a sample of Proraso Shaving Cream – Refreshing and Toning Formula. This particular product is made in Italy and contains Eucalyptus Oil and Menthol to provide a nice refreshing fragrance and cooling sensation for your shave. This particular sample is 0.35 OZ compared to a full product which is 5.2 OZ and sells currently for $10 retail. I usually do not have to shave often since my typical shave routine only requires me to shave every 2-3 days, but I went ahead and let my facial hair grow out for 2 weeks to really put this product to the test. UPDATE: I went ahead and gave this product a test run. It worked really well and left my skin fairly soft. The menthol was slightly underwhelming for me in particular. The one thing I noticed was that after I shaved off my primary stubble, my skin felt really firm and tight.  When I was trying to touch up some of the smaller trouble areas around the corners of my mouth,  I noticed that the razor head started to stick to my face. Also after I finished rinsing and wiped my face clean I noticed that a very thin layer of my skin may have buffed off. To combat this, just rinse and make sure you pat your face dry.

Details Magazine Picks

In this particular month, Birchbox had some assistance from the people at Details Magazine to help them pick out some great items to put in the Birchbox Man Box. The following 2 items were their picks for my particular box.

TowelDry All-In-One Thickening Shampoo

TowelDry All-In-One Thickening Shampoo

The Towel Dry creates professional hair care products for men. This particular product is a All-In-One Thickening Shampoo for men with Fine or Thinning Hair. It contains pro-vitamin B5 to help add thickness, body and shine to your hair as well as natural amino acids, creatine and keratin to help strengthen and repair your hair. This sample came in a 0.5 FL OZ sample while a 12 OZ retail bottle will cost you $16 retail. I particularly do not need this product as my hair type is fairly thick and full, so I’ll probably pass this item on to someone who can fully review and appreciate this product. I’ll go ahead and contact support to ask them why they didn’t provide me with the Conditioning or Hydradting version, but it’s possible that Details Magazine only recommended the Thickening Shampoo version.

Niche For Men Male Deodorizing Wipes

Niche For Men Male Deodorizing Wipes

The final item from the BirchBox Man Guide was 2 samples of Niche For Men Male Deodorizing Wipes. I was actually looking forward to trying this product and came really close to purchasing it from the website before trying the trial. These Deodorizing Wipes are oversized wet naps for adult men and contain aloe and ginseng to purify and soothe skin on the go. They are meant to help you refresh your body when you don’t have time for a full shower but may need to freshen up post-work, gym, or maybe after being stuck in a hot subway car. I actually could have put this to use today as I was working on some dance choreography for a talent show at work, but I did not have time to squeeze in a shower. I received 2 samples while Five 2-packs will run you $15 retail.

Birchbox Man Score

Old Spice Pure Sport Soap Bar

Old Spice Pure Sport Soap Bar

Bonus Item Time. As a bonus, it looks like I was given a sample of the newly launched Old Spice Pure Sport Bar Soap. It has a pretty good fragrance and I currently use Old Spice as my body wash. My wife loves the fragrance. Personally, I don’t prefer Bar Soap because I find that stray shower water tends to make it stick or wash away. I’ll go ahead and give it a try though.

I hope you enjoyed this review of the contents of my June 2013 Birchbox Man box. If you are interested in subscribing, please use my subscription link, so that I get credit for helping launch another Birchbox Man. http://birch.ly/12Q6KQs

 

 

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Birchbox Man Review

Following the footsteps of the original Birchbox, Birchbox Man is a discovery commerce platform for men.  Subscribers of Birchbox Man are sent products once a month that contain samples of various different products. The main benefit to the consumer is that they will get to try new products that they may not normally purchase as well as receive products at a price much less than would be found at retail.  In particular, Birchbox Man allows one to fill out a profile which allows them to slightly tailor their boxes to the recipient on top of their traditional monthly theme.

Currently a subscription for Birchbox Man costs $20 a month compared to the women’s $10 a month but the difference is that it appears that the Birchbox Man contains lifestyle and fashion items. Past large items have included a large item such as Skull Candy headphones, Triple C greenBoom portable speakers, pairs of socks, sunglasses, and whiskey stones. At this time there is a 2 week wait-list to purchase the Birchbox Man subscription, but the time goes fast, and the Birchman Box ships on the 25th of the month, so the June 2013 Birchbox Man will ship on May 25th.

To learn more information or subscribe to Birchbox Man, you can subscribe at http://birch.ly/146xlbk

Barkbox

Barkbox May 2013 Review

I received my first Barkbox (Large) for the month of May 2013 and was fairly impressed. Shipping was fairly fast for me and the BarkBox’s are shipped out on every 15th of the month. Using their basic shipping method, it took roughly one week for my BarkBox to arrive. I purchased the 3-month subscription as a birthday present for my Golden Retriever/German Shepherd Mix, Troy (2 years old) and decided to go with a multi-month subscription to save $10 a month. In addition to Troy, we also have two other dogs, a thirteen year old mixed Terrier, Faith, and a 8 month Austrailian Shepherd/Cockerspaniel Mix, Barkley.

BarkBox May 2013 Large Box Contents

BarkBox May 2013 Large Box Contents

I know some people prefer to just learn the contents, so I’ll just list what I got below and then go into greater detail with each product in the BarkBox. I’ll list the full retail price, but you may be able to find the product cheaper on other websites or through Amazon.

  • 1 – Bionic Bone Large Chew Toy ($19.99 retail)
  • 1 – Barkworthies Smoked Pork Femur Bone ($4.20 retail)
  • 1 – Loving Pets Grill-icious All-natural Beef Treats – 4 Oz ($7.99 retail)
  • 1 – Bocce’s Bakery Green Juice Dog Biscuits – 4 Oz ($9.50 retail for 5 Oz)

Bionic Bone Large Chew Toy

Bionic Bone Large Chew Toy

Bionic Bone Large Chew Toy

The Bionic Bone Large Chew Toy was impressive. This particular toy is recommended for dogs between 30-60 lbs. which fit my 2 larger dogs perfectly. They really enjoy chewing on this bone and so far there hasn’t been any noticeable damage. Usually we give them Durachew toys which they can chew through pretty rapidly and the plus side to this particular chew toy is that I don’t have to worry about being scratched up by the little stray plastic edges from the Durachew toys. I would probably mostly compare these to the Kong toys as far as durability, except this specific toy can float compared to the floatable Kong toys that require a floater insert. I can happily toss this toy into the water and let my dog retrieve it.

The only slight downside is that I tried stuffing a few dog biscuits into it, but for the most part they popped out easily.  I don’t typically stuff my dog toys with treats as they are usually happy with just chewing them. At a later point, I’ll try putting in some peanut butter, but I’m afraid that they will probably go wild and fight over it. All in all, I really recommend this product and I wouldn’t hesitate in purchasing another product from Bionic Pet Toys. The official Bionic Pet Toy Website is bionicplay.com Some of the Bionic Toys can be found for up to 50% off on Amazon, which can be found    at the following link: Bionic Pet Toys

Barkworthies Smoked Pork Femur Bone

Barkworthies Smoked Pork Bone

Barkworthies Smoked Pork Bone

The dogs were really excited for this product to the point that I haven’t actually given it to them. I’m worried that they will fight over it and just the aroma of the bone has driven them a little wild. I just haven’t had time to separate my larger dog so that he can enjoy the bone by himself. I usually don’t give my dogs bones out of concern of bone shards, but I will make an exception and just make sure I monitor them when they enjoy this treat.

As far as a company goes, Barkworthies provides healthy 100% natural eco-friendly chews and treats. Most of their products are produced in the USA with the exception of their Cattle Chews which are sourced from Brazilian cattle. Like most other chew companies, they offer a variety of chews made from different animals, but they pride themselves on making sure that their products come from social and ecological aware sources, such as free-range, grass-fed cattle or naturally-shed elk antler chews from wild Rocky Mountain Elk. They offer bully sticks, elk antlers, pork chews, cattle chews, and various dog treats. You can purchase their products directly from their company website in bulk at barkworthies.com. Their current promotion is 10% off your order if you like their page on Facebook. Also you can find their products on Amazon with Free Shipping with Amazon Prime. You can try out their items by purchasing them individually as opposed to buying their items in bulk directly from their website. Barkworthies Individual Item Purchase Link

Loving Pets Grill-icious Beef Treats

Loving Pets Grill-icious Beef Treats

Loving Pets Grill-icious Beef Treats

If my BarkBox had an award that went to the item most likely for my dogs to swallow whole, this would be the item. The dogs loved these beef treats and could easily sniff them out if I hid them, and I think if I ever wanted their attention, I could just walk around the room with a bag of these. These fun dog treats are shaped like little round steaks with a slight grill pattern in some of them. These treats are 100% all-natural beef with sweet potato. With the issues lately with dog treats made from meat in other countries, you’ll be glad to know that these are made from 100% USA ingredients. They are also gluten free, no by-products, and no preservatives.

Loving Pets does not directly sell to consumers but you can find them at stores. Their company website can be found at lovingpetsproducts.com. If you do not want to purchase them in person, you can find them at “discount” on Amazon. As usual I have attached a link to where you can take a look at the products. They are currently on sale and are valid for free shipping with Amazon Prime. Loving Pets Grill-icious Amazon Link 

Bocce’s Bakery Green Juice

Bocce's Bakery Green Juice Biscuits

Bocce’s Bakery Green Juice Biscuits

I appreciate the fact that BarkBox included this product. It is probably an item I would never purchase on my own at my local pet store, but it gave me a chance to try the product. To be truthful, my larger dog, Troy, who is a very picky eater when it comes to treats decided that he did not like it and wasn’t ready to embrace the vegan lifestyle. To be fair, we bought him healthy rolled oat Milkbone dog treats and he basically told us that the other dogs can have them, but he’ll take the bacon flavored Milkbones. Also unlike your other typical dogs, he will actually sit and nibble on his treats and actually enjoy the flavor. The other dogs appeared to enjoy them, but they also eat their treats in one or two bites.

The Green Juice Dog Biscuits were made from organic oat flour, spinach, kale, apples, spirulina, flax seeds, and mint. Bocce’s bakery also offers a variety of other gourmet flavors, such as Beef Bourguignon, Truffle Mac & Cheese, Chicken Cordon Bleu, and PBNJ. A 5 Oz bag can be found on their website for $9.50. boccesbakery.com Currently I could not find this product at a discount on Amazon, but for your reference I included a link. Amazon Bocce’s Bakery Products.

Final Thoughts

I was actually very pleased with my BarkBox for May 2013. I actually feel bad that I only have a single BarkBox to spread between my 3 dogs, but it’ll just have to work out for now. For around $20/month, I was able to get $40 worth of products shipped to my home. If you find yourself spending $20/month or purchasing a toy for your dog and a couple bags of dog treats for your dogs, this may be a great alternative to get some dog products at a discount. Also it is great knowing that the majority of the products in their BarkBox are made in the USA and are all-natural. As an additional bonus, especially since we rescued 2 dogs, 10% of their proceeds will go to help support local dog shelters.

If you would like to try the BarkBox, you can use my referral link to get $5 off your first subscription. $5 Off Your First BarkBox Link

Barkbox

Barkbox Review

 

Barkbox

Barkbox

Barkbox is a monthly subscription gift service for dogs. Once a month, subscribers will receive a box tailored for their dog that will contain all-natural treats and other dog products that you may not find in a typical big-box pet store. Currently Barkbox offers subscription services for 3 different sizes of dogs: Small & Cute (0-20 lbs.), Just Right (20-50 lbs.), and Big & Bold (50+ lbs.). Plans start at $29/month + a $5/month shipping fee if done monthly. A discount is offered if you purchase months in bulk. A 3 month subscription will lower the monthly rate to $19/month with an additional $5/month shipping and if a 6 month plan is purchased they will waive the shipping making the final total $19/month.

From my experience, Barkbox is a good option if you already purchase a toy and several treats for your dog in a month. I have some voracious chewers and I easily spend $10-20 a month on chew toys alone, especially since larger breed chew toys can be as expensive as $30 each. After adding in additional dog treats, especially the healthier alternatives, it can add up to a significant sum.

If you are interested in trying out Barkbox or learning more, I have listed a link to get $5 off your first subscription. https://barkbox.com/r/I1Q2xPmAMS/