Update: Caveat Emptor
Razzle made a serious misstep selling refurbished headphones as new. The first batch of customers felt burned and started discussing their experiences on Red Flag Deals. Razzle made another poor choice by posting a fake testimonial on Red Flag Deals (under the name lohervine); a site administrator outed them by comparing IP addresses. Razzle is offering refunds, but has not yet committed to covering shipping.
Woot sells refurbished items all the time, but they clearly state the item’s condition. While I doubt Razzle was set up to scam users, they really fumbled the ball losing the trust of their very first customers.
On the lighter side and as predicted, a customer ended up at Razzle.com by mistake.
Razzle.ca, Canada’s first deal a day site, launched today. The first deal: wireless headphones for $51.90. Too rich for your blood? Well join the site anyways, because they plan to giveaway a few items every so often.
The Montreal based site was founded by Ryan Closs, 26, who faithfully cloned Woot. Emulating a successful concept is a legitimate business strategy, so I am not going to criticize Ryan for that.
Think Bill Gates came up with the Windows GUI? Heck even Wal-Mart’s Greeter was an idea Sam Walton copied from K-Mart. And let’s not forget to mention the multi-million dollar exits Facebook clones are making (Germany, China). That said, I would have probably paraphrased Woot’s FAQ a little less closely.
Today’s launch had some to be expected hiccups. Fortunately, the admins were on the ball and put out the small fires in the comments. A longer term issue might be the Razzle.ca domain name. It is pretty catchy, but direct navigation traffic will occasionally end up at Razzle.com by mistake. Those users are in for a surprise… not safe for work! There is a lesson here for other entrepreneurs, pay attention to abutting domain names!
Congrats on the launch!