How to punish your friends or enemies: glitter
After a mere 24 hours online, ShipYourEnemiesGlitter.com is up for sale after the site went viral and took in more orders than the company can process. The website, which offers to “send glitter to people you hate,” allows you to anonymously mail an envelope full of glitter, along with a nasty note, to your enemy or frenemy for 10 Australian dollars ($8.22 USD). How does it work? “Click the buy button. Decide whose day you want to ruin & enter their address.”
But why would you send glitter to your enemy? Glitter is pretty and fun, right? Wrong. Those of you who’ve never woken up from a party with glitter in your nostrils, or have never lived the nightmare of trying to vacuum the stuff out of your carpet may not understand why the site calls glitter the “herpes of craft supplies.”
Hint: it never, ever goes away. One well-loaded envelope could really mess up your day. Heaven help you if you open your mail in the morning – you’ll show up at work sparkling. And good luck trying to wash it off your skin – in fact, don’t try, you’ll only destroy your washcloth.
24 hours of life later, the gig’s up
Twenty-two year old entrepreneur Matthew Carpenter never could have predicted that his site would go viral so quickly that he’d have to shut it down to catch up with all the orders. After only 24 hours online, he posted on the site: “Purchasing has been temporarily suspended. You guys have a sick fascination with shipping people glitter. We’ve received all orders & working through them. There was a ton so be patient.” Carpenter is ready to sell the website, reporting on Twitter that in one day, the site has had one million visits, 270,000 shares, and five figures in sales with thousands of orders waiting to be filled.
A cautionary tale for all brands
The Consumerist reported ShipYourEnemiesGlitter.com as a “cautionary tale for how quickly an idea can go viral, scaling up beyond what is creator is even capable of imagining.” Yet it is incredibly rare for a site to go viral so quickly. Of course, it’s always better to have your bases covered and then some when starting a new business. Carpenter will undoubtedly miss out on potential profits. Customers who find the site temporarily closed may lose interest and forgot to return, or might not trust that the company can deliver what it promises.
On the other hand, even bad publicity can be good publicity when a site goes viral. It shows that Carpenter has a knack for coming up with ideas with massive popularity potential and he will probably continue to be successful, whether he keeps shipping glitter, or starts something new. If the website is any indication, Carpenter’s got a prankish attitude and a good sense of humor. Despite losing out on some profit, I imagine Carpenter, bedecked in glitter and laughing his way to the bank.