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Nasir and Matt end the week by talking about businesses based on pranks, including exploding glitter and mailing animal feces.

Transcript:

NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business legal news. My name is Nasir Pasha.
MATT: And I’m Matt Staub.
NASIR: Welcome to our program – probably the best podcast that is hosted by us.
MATT: I hope so. It’s definitely in the top ten.
NASIR: Well, twenty.
MATT: So, I have a question for you. Do you have any enemies?
NASIR: Do I have any enemies? I can name one person that I blacklisted. He’s not even an enemy. It’s just somebody that did something wrong and I don’t like, but I don’t really put much thought into him. That’s it.
MATT: Okay. So…
NASIR: You know who I’m talking about too, right?
MATT: Yeah, I do. So, I mean, you say you don’t put too much thought into it, but would you put enough thought into it to possibly send him or her a secret envelope that would possibly explode with glitter upon opening?
NASIR: Yes, of course. I do that to my friends, too. So, I don’t even know what you’re talking about.
MATT: I saw that you sent one to your wife and you were just sitting there watching her open it. The real prank was on you because you had to clean it up. Well, you could be in luck – and I say “could be” and we’ll get to that – but I think a lot of people might have seen this – well, I guess this would have been last week by the time this episode comes out – this kid – and this guy is definitely a kid as well, especially how he’s handled it – he started this business where basically you pay $9.99 and he would essentially stuff an envelope with glitter and it would be sent to someone – whoever you pay to send it to – and it would just explode and glitter goes everywhere when you open it. Yeah, it’s a nice, funny prank. I could see it being pretty funny.
NASIR: It’s somewhat harmless.
MATT: Yeah. Once his website went live, it just went insanely viral. I think he said one million page visits; over a quarter of a million social media shares; five figures in sales which, like I said, it’s ten bucks per thing so that’s quite a few purchases there; and that was only the first 24 hours. So, this 22-year-old was very overwhelmed and just kind of went on – I think – the Twitter page and said, “All right.” I think he took the ability to purchase down on the site. Basically, he went on Twitter pleading for people to stop purchasing this which has to be one of the first times ever that someone’s just pleading with their customers to stop giving them money.
NASIR: I know. That doesn’t happen often. And what was the reason? It was just too much for him to handle or he just thought it was ridiculous that people were doing this or what?
MATT: From what I understand, it was too much to handle because I think I saw an interview with him where, like, they asked him his process on how it works. Like, “I literally just stuff the envelopes with glitter,” and so I guess he was like, “Well, I have thousands of orders to fill so all my time’s going to be spent just stuffing envelopes with glitter and I just don’t feel like doing that even if I’m making a good amount of money.” I mean, if you break it down to amount of money per hour, it’s probably not bad if you got fairly efficient with it.
NASIR: Yeah, I imagine in the interview, “So, what’s your approach on how you handle this?” “Well, I take an envelope and I stuff it with glitter and then I close the envelope and then I address it and put it in the mail and that’s what I do for people.”
MATT: Yeah. So, I don’t know how it necessarily explodes. I would think that the post office would have a problem with that.
NASIR: I don’t think you can ship things that explode.
MATT: Yeah.
NASIR: I would assume that how you open it is such that it just goes everywhere, I assume.
MATT: I wish there was a video.
NASIR: Oh, I’m sure we can find someone. Let’s see. YouTube… what is it called?
MATT: ShipYourEnemiesGlitter.com. But I think the problem was this all happened in the first 24 hours and I don’t know if he’s even sent any out yet because it just got such an insane feedback that he might have just stopped it. I think he was actually offering up the website for sale. You can tell he’s young because a lot of these things don’t even really make sense. But, in one of his little posts/rants, he says all the stuff I said before and then, “Tonnes of people wanting to order. 24 hours old. For sale.”
NASIR: He can sell the domain and not have to do any other work. That might be what’s fit for him. Obviously, he doesn’t want to do that work anyway.
MATT: Yeah. What I was getting to is people paid money; these orders need to be fulfilled – or I guess refunded – and that’s where it’s really, on the legal side, well, legal side one would be whether he can put explosive things through the post office but, two is going to be, you know, this is a contract that people entered into – or an agreement – and now he’s got to fulfil these orders or…
NASIR: Return the money, yeah.
MATT: Yeah. So, it’s going to be interesting to see how he handles this. I could see him possibly getting sued by one of the recipients of the glitter if something happens. You know, there’s like an emotional distress claim coming down the road to him or something like that, too.
NASIR: Oh, yeah, and I’m looking through the site, it doesn’t even have a terms & conditions that I can find. But I assume this is where he got the idea because I remember not too long ago, these guys were shipping out poop to people that you didn’t like as enemies, right?
MATT: Yeah.
NASIR: And then, there’s multiple sites like that. Okay. Glitter seems so benign to me. The worst case scenario is that maybe you have to clean it up or it gets in your eye. I’m just trying to think worst case scenario, what it is, if it explodes, obviously, that’s a separate issue. But, to me, it’s seems like that’s an exaggerated term. But, when you’re sending feces in the mail, I’m just… It’s like a legal mess waiting to happen. And I went to a few sites. First of all, I had to look up and apparently the USPS post master has opined that it is okay to ship feces in the mail so long that it is packaged in certain ways and so forth and I didn’t get to find out the details of that because it’s not like I was going to enter into this space, but I’m just thinking like, you know, there are some that are very adamant about not releasing who sent it, who’s the actual sender that paid for it, and they call it a “gag gift” and it’s for entertainment only and so forth, but it just seems like a legal issue waiting to happen. I’ve looked at some of them; some of them don’t even have a terms & conditions, some of them don’t have a limits of liability and other, for example, this other domain name which I can’t even say on air because it’s foul but it starts with an S and then it’s Senders.com. It says, “You may NOT use our service to threaten, constitute harassment, violate a legal restraint,” and so forth. But, to me, by sending the gift in the first place is some level of harassment, you know? It’s just so outrageous that, you know, feces are different, right? I mean, you could have disease. I don’t even know if these are properly labeled or not. Who knows?
MATT: Yeah, there’s a lot of issues. I was going to say surprised; I’m kind of disappointed with how many of these sites actually exist where you could send this that enough people are doing this, that are buying it, and it’s actually successful. But that’s a whole other issue. One of them is a pretty detailed terms of use on here which is actually pretty good and, if the post office says it’s okay, then I guess that’s something more positive.
The glitter one, this is clearly a case, you know, this is the second straight week we’re talking about a 22-year-old starting a business that might not have fully flushed it out before.
NASIR: We talked about it last week. I forgot about that, yeah.
MATT: Basically, it looks like a young guy who came up with this idea. The website’s actually nice, a nice website in place, and just didn’t think about anything else. I mean, what’s the worst case scenario? He just refunds everyone their money? I don’t know.
NASIR: Yeah, I think that’s the way to go, or just fulfill their order. I don’t know what kind of representations he made of when they would be sent.
MATT: Yeah, a time.
NASIR: Because I was reading through some reviews for this one, IPoopYou.com, and people were complaining that it took too long to get there which I think was funny. And then, I was also looking to see if they have – this is classic, by the way – IPoopYou.com has a term of use. But then, if you look at the very bottom, you could tell that whoever wrote this terms & conditions just copied and paste because they have a returns & exchanges policy reading verbatim which is just conceptually very, very funny. It says, “Most items may be returned for exchange or refund within 30 days after shipping.” So, I’m wondering how many people were like, “Wait a minute. This is not what I ordered. I wanted something else.”
MATT: Yeah, “This is clearly not what I wanted.”
NASIR: “This is not fresh enough,” you know?
MATT: Just another note on the glitter, that was actually in Australian dollars so it’s actually a little bit cheaper. I think it’s about 0.80 to a US dollar, one Australian dollar. So, it’s even cheaper than ten bucks, yeah.
NASIR: Well, that goes to show you that he might as well have made it US$9.99 because it seems like a price that people would be willing to pay, you know?
MATT: Yeah. I mean, if you’re going to pull off any one of these stunts then it’s got to be a price that’s small enough that people are going to be like, “Yeah, I’ll do it,” but enough for you to make money off of it. But I don’t know. It just seems like I would never want to, even if this made good money, I just wouldn’t ever even want to get involved with these because it just seems like too much liability, too much nonsense, and, like, what are you supposed to tell people what you do? What’s your business?
NASIR: And it’s not a long-term viable…
MATT: Oh, no.
NASIR: Though it seems as though there may be something there because it’s somewhat of a trend, right? I mean, you have someone sending feces on one end, someone sending glitter, I’m sure there’s other sites that send somewhere in-between. If you know any, send it to us at ask@legallysoundsmartbusiness.com so we can learn about it, I suppose, and maybe talk about it later. There may be a long-term business strategy there. I can’t think of it.
MATT: The Snuggie, for example. Like, that was something that made a ton of money.
NASIR: Oh, yeah, Snuggie.
MATT: That made a ton of money. I think it made…
NASIR: Yeah, but it’s an actual product though. There’s some value to it.
MATT: Well, I’m saying it’s more of a fad. It’ll be good for a while and then it’ll just kind of fizzle out. I’m looking at the top infomercial products because that’s how I’m kind of looking at things.
NASIR: Yeah. But, like, those infomercials, they work and it becomes like a household item that everyone has, you know? Whether it’s the ShamWow or…
MATT: The point I was getting to with that is, like, even something like the Snuggie or any of these, like, fad infomercial things, it’s eventually they get ripped off.
NASIR: Oh, yeah.
MATT: That’s what I feel is going to happen. I mean, you’re already seeing it with the one where you can send feces to people. There’s already a bunch of them. So, what’s going to stop someone from doing a glitter thing? It seems like it’s a pretty easy thing to do. So, if someone wants to rip it off, they will.
NASIR: Oh, and, by the way, the feces is not human feces, apparently. Actually, I mean, you can get a pretty wide range. You can have goats, chickens, pigs, horse, cow. There’s even this one that says “dirty Valentines.” That might be like something that you can send – it looks like goat to me, using my identification knowledge of feces but it looks like goat to me but you can send it to your Valentine of February 14th – a good gift idea.
MATT: I just looked at this. This is a real live update. The glitter guy is putting his, I guess, the website – I don’t think he has anything else – putting the site up for sale using this Flippa?
NASIR: Oh, yeah, Flippa. It’s a domain name basically buy and sell kind of thing. I’ve seen it.
MATT: The starting price was one dollar so is it like a silent auction where you just bid and the highest person gets it?
NASIR: I’m trying to remember, I haven’t purchased with it, I’m familiar with it. I’m looking at it; it looks like it says starting price a dollar.
MATT: Yeah.
NASIR: I’m going to put two dollars and see if it does anything. I’ll have to register.
MATT: What if you win it right now and you have to fulfill thousands of orders?
NASIR: I have to quit my job. Like, “I can’t do the podcast this week. I have to send some more glitter.” No, I have to register to do it, obviously. All right. It’s interesting. It’s a new site. It has Google PR 0 but $24,000-plus in sales and 2.5 million visits in four days, hugely popular viral site.
MATT: So, whoever ends up getting this site, do they get that money that he’s already gotten through the people that have purchased?
NASIR: I think he’s just selling the actual domain name – the ownership of the domain name itself. Sometimes they sell the website with it and sometimes they don’t. So, that’s why, I mean, I don’t know if it’s the IP or not. And, sometimes, also, you have to make sure, I mean, when you’re buying on Flippa to make sure that you’re actually buying the trademarks that may be associated with that, if in fact you want that.
MATT: Yeah, I like in his description he says, “You might want to, like, just the business model and said you can go host wholesale and improve the margins. I’ve just been purchasing everything from a local store.” So, clearly, he wasn’t anticipating this thing, and why would you anticipate to get this viral?
NASIR: Yeah, of course, that’s funny. Actually, this auction ends in six days so, by the time this episode comes out – in fact, we’ll put a link to this actual page right now and go to that page and you’ll find out how much it sold for. So, that was fun.
MATT: Yeah.
NASIR: If you guys think we’re your enemies, don’t send any glitter to us that would explode, please.
MATT: I wouldn’t mind it. I think it’d be kind of funny.
NASIR: Okay. Then send it to Matt.
MATT: Sounds good.
NASIR: I think we mentioned already, if you have any ideas or questions that you want to send us, please send in to ask@legallysoundsmartbusiness.com. Thank you for joining us.
MATT: Yeah, keep it sound and keep it smart.

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