The founder of Ship Your Enemies Glitter, a single-purpose website that lets customers anonymously ship their enemies glitter, has sold his business for US$85,000 less than two weeks after starting it.
Mathew Carpenter, a 22-year-old Australian, launched the site with little but a PayPal account and some well-written advertising copy. But a week later, he was swamped by orders, leading him to put the whole thing up for sale in an attempt to rid himself of what he described as a “horrible product”.
The site was sold on Flippa, an online marketplace where entrepreneurs can trade in start-ups, domains or toolkits for building a business from scratch. Bidding rapidly rose to $70,000 in the first days on sale, before stalling until the last hours, when a further $15,000 was added on the price.
The buyer, who is currently anonymous, is believed to be legitimate, having spent $83,000 on the site previously.
In the four days Carpenter ran the site, he says he took more than $20,000 in sales, far beyond what he was expecting for a website launched “as a bit of a joke”. As a result, he closed the ability to make new orders, and later decided to be shot of the whole site.
The site gained fame, in part, because of its tone. “We fucking hate glitter,” is how its pitch opens. “People call it the herpes of the craft world. What we hate more, though, are the soulless people who get their jollies off by sending glitter in envelopes.”
Shortly before closing orders, he took to start-up news site Product Hunt to ask potential users to stop. “Hi guys, I’m the founder of this website. Please stop buying this horrible glitter product — I’m sick of dealing with it. Sincerely, Mat.”
In the meantime, he is continuing to fulfil older orders, although, in an email sent to customers, he warned that “there will be a bit of a delay with delivery times, as the site somehow got popular.”
Whoever has bought the site will find themselves with more competition than Carpenter experienced, however. A number of copy-cat sites have sprung up since he closed orders.