Internet Startups for Jealous Lovers- Entrepreneur Week
ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTORS Mary Kate Polanin

A couple fighting in Rome. Photo courtesy of Ed Yourdon.

Everybody’s got problems and entrepreneurs thrive on solving those problems, not to mention turning a profit in doing so. It might seem calculated, but the best kind of services a start up company can offer are to those in desperate need of help. So, the savvy entrepreneur wonders, “Who is the most desperate and in need of help?”

Seriously, who’s more desperate than jilted lovers and hateful ex’s? Take a look at the wildfire of popularity that was Hunter Moore’s website IsAnybodyUp.com, and it’s clear that when things go sour in the love department, the internet will always be there to help you pick up the pieces.

Breaking up is hard. Feelings have been hurt, tears have been shed, and on top of whatever emotional baggage you’re toting post-break up, you’ve got to deal with the literal baggage of gifts and souvenirs from your now failed relationship. For example, you might find the idea of taking the teddy bear she gave you or his old leather jacket and burning them in effigy appealing, if not therapeutic. Consider instead, the option of selling your old things on websites like ExBoyfriendJewelry.com and NeverLikedItAnyway.com.

ExBoyfriendJewelry.com is exactly what it sounds like: A place to list unwanted tokens of affection for sale online and blog about said ex for your own catharsis. The creators Megahn and Marie Perry launched the service in February 2008 when Megahn found herself post-breakup and wanted a safe place to sell her unwanted jewelry and, in the words of her stepmother Marie, “have a little fun while you’re at it.” They created the website ExBoyfriendJewelry as a fun alternative to marketplaces like eBay, and the overarching attitude of the site is meant to be cheeky and lighthearted. For example, you can rate the jewelry you’re selling with categories like “Great gift, wrong guy!”

Requirements to listing unwanted jewelry on EBJ are fairly simple: for a $1.99/listing, you give the description, rating, condition, price, and picture of the item you want to sell. Prices range from $5.00-$4,000.00, but you can also list items under “For Good Karma Give Away.” Did we mention the site was fun? What makes ExBoyfriendJewelry unique is that the site requires you to write a brief description of the failed relationship that resulted in the unwanted jewelry. Despite the tagline “You don’t want it. He can’t have it back!” EBJ is for jewelry to and from ex-boyfriends/girlfriends. In the eyes of ExBoyfriendJewelery, sweet revenge has no gender — only an Internet connection and a healthy dose of wit.

Maybe you’re looking to find something constructive to do with your break up? Check out ExRated.com. Here, you can sign up by rating one of your exes. You use their actual first and last name, home town, and a brief description of your former paramour’s qualities and shortcomings. You can even leave tips for future users who might be interested in your ex. The site launched in June of 2011 by Tom Padanza, whose mantra is “forewarned is forearmed.”

Reasons for listing your ex on ExRated are not limited to revenge, though you can totally land mine your ex’s chances at a future relationship by warning others of their infidelity, flatulence, or other unsavory experiences from your time spent with them. You can also use it as a chance to make peace with your ex with a simple, “Great girl, just not for me” type of rating. Think of it this way, say your new crush has been listed on ExRated. In a world where online dating profiles are a master’s thesis in science fiction, ExRated offers the good, the bad, and the ugly about that person.

If you’re like Nick James, the founder of GetRevengeOnYourEx.com, however, selling gifts and bad-mouthing your ex on the web simply won’t cut it. When he found out about his wife’s affair back in 2000, he wanted straight up retribution. He also wanted to find a way to get revenge anonymously and legally. So, he created GetRevengeOnYourEx.com as a way to discreetly and humorously get back at his ex and help other hurting exes do the same. Want to send a nasty pile of dog poop to your ex’s doorstep? James says, “If your ex a worthless piece of shit [sic-ed.], then without doubt, this is the perfect gift for them.”

If the site ever needed another motto, we’d suggest, “Revenge is a dish best served anonymously.” The team at GetRevenge is not playing around when it comes to flying under the radar. Every service they provide is 100% anonymous and 100% legal. We’d say that if any real crime was committed on this site, it had to be the liberal use of Comic Sans in the site’s design. The disclaimer, however, clearly states, “The use of humour as a basis for revenge means that slander, libel and so on are not applicable.” On the other hand, sending a fake postcard to your ex’s office labeled “Chlamydia Test Reminder” is totally fair game.

Founder Nick James passed away in August of 2008, and the circumstances surrounding his death are still unclear to BTR and therefore up for speculation. Karma? Poetic justice? Perhaps his soul was finally at peace having exacted revenge on his ex? Regardless, the site continues to run as a tribute to his legacy of humor and revenge.

Starting your own business requires passion and dedication, which is precisely why the carnal desire for revenge is the perfect petri dish for startups like ExBoyfriendJewelry.com and GetRevengeOnYourEx.com. It’s been said (and misquoted) that, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” but it’s doubtful if even Congreve knew just how true his words would be when scorn is coupled with an internet connection.

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