It took me a little while to figure out exactly what "OffTheBack" meant. Perhaps I'm a little slow. After having another good browse thru the site, I kept seeing the truck logo on the top of the page. It dawned on me that "off the back" would of course mean...off the back of a truck, as in "stolen". So in this way its an amusing logo, even if I didn't pick up the joke at first!
Launched in 2007, OffTheBack is a well designed, interactive Daily Deals Site targeted to NZers. They offer 1 product each day at 9am. A major feature of Off The Back is the Forum/Chat feature which all members can use to discuss the days product or simply chat amongst themselves. The guys behind OffTheBack definitely have a sense of humour as evident from their self-written descriptions for each daily product.
Screenshot of the Off The Back Homepage
To be reviewed in near future
Off The Back tend to offer novelty/gift products (at least currently). The great thing with OffThe Back is the low price points on offer, typically $10 - $20. Although they do occasionally have bigger tickets items such as digital cameras and external harddrives. Sometimes when they have a big ticket item OffTheBack have a "Side deal" as well which adds to the excitement. The product range can vary wildly, view some example products below.
New Product Load Time
Every morning at 9am a new product appears. I believe this is a great time to reload for the day. It differentiates from the market leader 1-day's 12 Midday changeover to give a point of difference. At 9am you've just got into work, you fire up your computer and you can have a sneak peak first thing before you start. And hey, it could just be that extra reason to get up and go to work in the morning!
Good points of the site:
Low Price Point
I think the generally low price point is a great way to build the site. With prices like $9.99 and some compelling novelty items, new users are happy to have a go at purchasing when they otherwise night not on a bigger ticket item.
The community section is completely open and transparent. Users are free to express their opinions, to suggest products and converse with each other. This builds more of an interactive community around the site, than the simple comments feature of 1-day.co.nz
OffTheBack User CyberGran has achieved near celebrity status on the site. A Cyber saavy Grandma, she is a frequent purchaser and forum user. She was also featured on the OffTheBack TV1 Feature which you can view below.
The OffTheBack founders are friendly and it shows thru on their posts and how they relate to users. Check out some of their self-written product descriptions.
For Their Waterproof Fire Lighter
"Finally, is what I call the manly factor. There is something unquestionably manly about lighting a fire with this sort of device. Yeah sure its not like you are starting a fire by rubbing sticks together, but its the next best thing. And for those pyromaniac-ly inclined, this really does set sparks flying. I use mine to light our BBQ as the sparker is dead on it. Its a lot more fun now!"
And an amusing forum post from the founder James Hanafin:
"As I write This I have toothache. But Ireally don't think the description of toothache quite does justice to the pain I am feeling. Perhaps “tooth agony” better hits the nail on the head. In fact that’s exactly it, it fells like a nail is slowly being banged into my head. So as you read this on your Monday morning, I am most likely sitting at the murder house having that imaginary nail swapped for a dentists’ drill.
So, the only positive spin I could put on this whole situation is that it might just get you feeling sorry enough for me to do me a favour.
We really want you to vote for us is Start-Up.co.nz's Top 10 internet startups competition. I am all out of bribes and prizes so all I can say is, “pretty pretty please, be your best friend…and all that.” All you need to do is go over here and sign up. Then go over here and vote, for us of course.
Thanks to all of you that take the time to vote."
Watch Media Video
Watch the TV1 Breakfast feature on Off The Back.
OffTheBack have built a strong user community which will see the site continue to grow into the future. Definitely check out OffTheBack.co.nz