By Laura Stampler
January 27, 2015

A too-good-to-be-true prank website was actually, well, too good to be true.

The creator of Ship Your Enemies Glitter—a strange startup claiming to to do just that—told BetaBeat that the viral startup was actually just a marketing stunt. “My New Year’s resolution was to work on more side projects to keep me occupied whilst improving my marketing & development skills,” Matthew Carpenter, who created the site, wrote in an email. “I knew that if the story blew up on websites such as Reddit & Product Hunt that it would be a success.”

Carpenter played the Internet-friendly small business story to perfection, from feigning shock that his concept was a success (he begged consumers to stop buying glitter since he could keep up) to selling it last week for $85,000.

Although given the allegedly glittery condition of Carpenter’s living room, it appears as if he was trying to give his customers what they wanted. “The great thing about this project, no matter how messy my place has gotten from the glitter is that I’ve met a lot of really smart & creative people from it so hopefully I get to work with them on something cool moving forward,” he said.

[BetaBeat]

Write to Laura Stampler at laura.stampler@time.com.

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