There is a new site in town that’s a can’t-miss shopping destination if you like getting amazing prices on everything from TVs and headphones to watches and sunglasses. The site is called Drop and it just launched this week. Technically, Drop has actually been around for seven years, but under a different name you might or might not recognize: Massdrop.
When I first discovered Massdrop over a year ago, it was because they were offering an insane deal on a usually really expensive TV. The discount was so steep that my team and I spent hours debating and trying to find out whether or not it was real or a scam. We did a ton of research, reading reviews on the site as well as researching what the collective internet was saying about this unusual discount shopping marketplace. The underlying current of everything we found was filled with praise, so we shared the deal with our readers. It was a huge hit and Massdrop—which I’ll now only refer to by its new name, “Drop”—became one of our regular sources of amazing products and deals on high-end TVs and more.
They recently redesigned their entire website, dropped the “Mass” from their name, and launched a dedicated online store called Drop Studio that makes it easier to explore products they’ve designed entirely in-house as well as things they co-designed with major brands like Senheisser, Beyerdynamic, NuForce, and more. They've been making these kinds of products for a while now, but now it's easier to see what Drop is up to with their exclusive and in-development products!
"We've grown immensely since we first launched Massdrop in 2012. We began with a hypothesis that if we tapped into the power of the internet and communities, we could ultimately understand the types of products and experiences that enable any person to follow their interests," said Steve El-Hage, CEO and co-founder of Drop. "Over the years, we've created a completely new way of designing products through data and insights. As Drop, we're able to take that to the next level with new signal collection capabilities."
Drop is certainly an unusual online retailer and marketplace, but we think it’s a site every savvy online shopper should get to know. We're fans especially because they run so many amazing deals on products we love, but their mission to get consumers more involved in the creation and improvement of thing they're buying is one we can really get behind. After all, there's no such thing as a good deal on a bad product, right?
What is Drop?
Drop is a community-inspired product company that got its start as a way to crowdsource big discounts on popular products in a number of unique categories. Basically how it works is that when enough people committed to buying a certain product, Massdrop would go to the manufacturer, place a bulk order, and pass the savings on to the users. Similar to how other crowdsourcing sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo work, if the minimum number of orders is not placed, the drop is canceled and anyone who wanted to buy would not be charged
At the same time, they’ve been using the community to help drive better product quality. By asking users to weigh in on everything from what they want in a product to what they did and did not like about certain items, Drop took things to the next level by developing their own products and partnering with brands to create original products inspired by things their community was already loving. And now, with the launch of the new site, they can finally offer an easier way to shop those products all the time. And don’t worry, they still have loads of great discounts on top items from their own lineup as well as from other brands.
What kind of things can you buy at Drop?
Whether you’re shopping the daily deal drops or the Drop products in their Studio, you can find a wide range of things to choose from. It’s obviously nowhere near the level of Amazon in terms of variety (who really is anymore?), but the categories they do cover run a pretty impressive gamut. You can browse through them all, but you’re also given the option to “follow” the topic you’re most interested in, whether you want to keep tabs on a broad category like “Electronics” or you are looking for something more specific like “headphones.”
Here’s a little cheat sheet of the different products Drop offers and where to find them.
- Apparel and Accessories: Watches, sunglasses, jeans, luggage, and more.
- Arts and Entertainment: Artwork and arts and crafts.
- Electronics: TVs, home theater accessories, headphones, cameras, tech accessories, gaming accessories, and more.
- Games & Toys: Board games, gaming accessories, and more.
- Health & Beauty: Razors, shaving, beard care, and more.
- Home & Garden: Knives, coffee makers, toasters, bakeware, cookware, and more.
- Office Supplies: Stationery, gaming chairs and desks, pens, and more.
- Sporting Goods: Outdoor equipment, everyday carry items, camping must-haves, and more.
Drop Shop: The easiest way to score awesome products and amazing deals
So, the basic premise of shopping Drop, aptly named “Shop,” is that they hold these "drops" where they offer crazy low prices on things their community of shoppers is interested in, whether it's a massive QLED TV from Samsung at a bonkers-low price or a top-rated soundbar for your home theater or an award-winning robot vacuum that was discontinued but is still a great cleaning machine. (all those drops have long-since ended, but they give you an idea of what you can expect).
Drop is very community-driven, featuring deals on products voted for by the users through polls that can be accessed within different category pages, like this one for DIY products. If a product gets enough votes, it’ll be released as a “drop” with a big price break compared to the original MSPR as well as beating out competitive pricing from other retailers, including big names like Amazon, Best Buy, and Target.
When a drop opens up to shoppers, it will stay "active" for a set period of time, typically a few days or a week. You can buy any products in the Shop section of the site, but they all require a minimum number of buyers to lock in the pricing. If that number is not reached by the time a drop ends, it is canceled and you are not charged a dime.
Once the minimum number of people have agreed to buy the product, Massdrop is then able to go buy the product in bulk for wholesale prices, passing the savings on to the customers. This creates a bit of a longer shipping window, but more often than not it's totally worth the wait. And if not enough people want to buy something, the drop is canceled and you're not charged.
Drop Studio: Custom products from brands you already love
The other, newer side of Drop is their exclusive store, which they call the “Studio.” Rather than offering the community-driven Massdrop-made products as drops, these items will be available all the time. But it’s not the availability that makes this part of Drop’s brand so interesting.
What makes many of these products so unusual is that Massdrop partners directly with popular brands to build new versions of top-selling products. Most times, when you see co-branded items or retailer-exclusives, it’s just a matter of slapping a label on it or altering the product name slightly without ever touching the item itself. It’s all done to create an air of exclusivity, and it’s effective, if sneaky.
Drop takes a different approach, by asking its community to weigh in on what they did and didn’t like about things they’ve purchased and used. Whether there’s an outcry for better battery life or common complaints about the stitching of a duffel bag, Drop takes those concerns and tries to incorporate solutions into products. Sometimes they partner with brands and sometimes they take matters into their own hands and create something unique to Drop.
We recently had a chance to try out a pair of (at the time) Massdrop x Meze Noir 99 over-ear headphones and the tester found that they were some of the most comfortable over-ears he'd ever tried. They scored an 8.4 out of 10 in our lab tests—quite impressive for any headphones, let alone a pair from an untested company like Drop. We've also gotten to try a handful of other Drop-made items and have yet to encounter anything that we classified as a total dud. For an emerging brand doing something so unique, that says a lot.
As of the launch of the new site, they also carry Drop-exclusive denim jeans, merino wool hoodies, mechanical keyboards, folding knives, and more.
Should you shop at Drop?
The biggest and best reason to keep an eye on this online marketplace? The deals (a.k.a. drops)! Because of how they source and purchase products, you can get major discounts that you really won’t find anywhere else.
I personally recommend watching their electronics deals, especially for TVs, soundbars, and headphones.
But Drop is also a great place to keep an eye out for other deals and unique products. The ability to curate your experience based on your tastes makes it easier to explore your options, see what drops are coming, and find new things you might love. And you can even contribute to the creation of newer and better products, if that’s your jam.
Considering it’s free to sign up and use this site, why not bookmark it and check in now and then?