The Hilarious Inconveniences of Snail Website Ownership
Running the UK's most popular snail website is not all fun and games. For a start, I have opened myself up to endless questions from desperate snail owners who want to know whether they've poisoned their slimy pets with kiwi fruit or which type of oil is best to polish a shell with. But more recently I've become the target of a bizarre attempt to get me to buy another snail-related domain name. This actually started over a year ago, but I forgot about it until the emails started again a couple of weeks ago. Please enjoy the emails below, with my comments added in bold.
*I've changed the domain name, because I am genuinely tempted to buy it.
Subject: Re: awesomesnailwebsite.com
19 January, 2014
As you own a very similar domain name I was wondering whether you'd be interested in securing (purchasing) awesomesnailwebsite.com?
* redirect/integrate awesomesnailwebsite.com with your existing website, * greatly improve your search engine rankings, * enhance your worldwide image and reputation as a reliable company, (This person has clearly not seen my website.) * capture misdirected emails from clients that might otherwise be lost, * and last not least increase the overall value of your brand and business.
There's only one awesomesnailwebsite.com in the world (no shit.) and I think this domain will be perfect for you.
If you are interested, simply hit reply and let me know your best offer for the domain. (Price range $X,XXX+) (Optimistic.)
Bill (Nice to meet you Bill!)
P.S. Let me know ASAP if you would like to make an offer for awesomesnailwebsite.com. The higher your offer, the better your chance of acquiring the domain. (Oh, is that how it works? I thought I could barter with my bags of flour.)
Obviously, I replied *immediately*.
3rd February, 2014
I am definitely interested in acquiring this domain. I can offer you $25.
I was confident.
Subject: Re: awesomesnailwebsite.com
10th March, 2014
I hope you're having a great day!
The current owner would sell the domain for $500, if bought within the next 10 days.
Let me know how you'd like to proceed.
Please, dear readers, remember that this person is talking about a domain about snails. A specific type of snail.
It's not even a website with traffic or regular readers, it's just a domain name.
I didn't reply again as I was busy advising my loyal readers about correct snail care.
Then I got a couple more emails like this...
Subject: Re: awesomesnailwebsite.com
16th March, 2014
Have you made a decision regarding the domain name purchase?
...which I ignored. Like I said, I'm a busy lady.
That was in March, and I thought the whole ordeal was over until I received the following email in September:
Subject: I just had a heated discussion about awesomesnailwebsite.com (Say what now?)
10th September, 2014
Please sit down before you read this. (OHMYGODWHATHASHAPPENED???)
I just had a heated discussion with my accountant and my husband. (Huh?) As you might know, they've been pushing me to increase the price of awesomesnailwebsite.com for quite some time now. (HUH?)
I fought tooth and nail to defend your interests, but eventually I was overruled. (What the actual fuck is going on right now?)
And here's the unfortunate outcome:
On September 12, the price of awesomesnailwebsite.com will increase by 35%. (*GASP*)
That's right, a massive price hike is coming!
If you've been considering the acquisition of awesomesnailwebsite.com, buy it now at the old price, or you'll have to pay a lot more next week. Simply go to dodgylookingdomainnamebroker.com or email me back to make purchasing arrangements.
I look forward to finally doing business with you.
greetings, (Weird way to sign off an email...)
Lukas Schreiber (What happened to Bill?) Domain Name Broker
But what if... (Oh, he's not finished...)
* You don't have the money...
No matter how much money you have, you can still afford awesomesnailwebsite.com . Simply ask me for my special payment plan. You can get started with as little as $99.
* You don't trust me... (How could you think such a thing, Lukas?)
I work with a reputable escrow service (somethingrandom.com) at no extra cost to you. They are the world's largest domain name marketplace; they guard your money until you actually receive the domain.
* You're not sure you need awesomesnailwebsite.com...
No business is complete without its .com domain. The price will go up soon, and there's a full 60 day money back guarantee, so it's safe to buy now and think about it later! (Excellent life advice!) In the unlikely case that you change your mind within 60 days, simply give back the domain and I'll refund your money in full.
Obviously, I should have replied and had some fun with this guy, but I must have temporarily lost my mind, because I didn't.
Inevitably, Lukas' sweet talk failed to sway me and the deadline for this "massive price hike" came and went. I assumed I had lost the domain forever, which was fine with me, since one snail website is enough for most people.
Subject: Give awesomesnailwebsite.com a try for 60 days
25th September, 2014
This is fascinating...great (I'm listening...)
Wow... (Get on with it...)
I've been busy all morning processing orders!
I didn't expect so many people to take advantage of my 60 day trial offer for you... (For me? That doesn't make sense, but okay...)
But what about YOU, ? I noticed that you haven't had a chance yet to move forward and order awesomesnailwebsite.com]. (I noticed you have some interesting punctuation usage going on there...)
So I'm again offering you this chance to give awesomesnailwebsite a fair 60-day try.
Don't like the numerous benefits the domain provides you with? Just give it back and I'll return your money in full.
Go to dodgylookingdomainnamebroker and click the green "Buy Now" button to buy awesomesnailwebsite.com now.
Best regards, (Heard you the first time.)
Lukas Schreiber Certified Domain Name Strategy Advisor (Nice little promotion for Lukas, I see.)
P.S. No business, and in fact no human being (All 7 billion of us, presumably.), is complete without its .com domain! My clients from 12 (12!) different countries around the world routinely tell me the same thing: "Thanks, Lukas I made the right choice." (Wow. Maybe I've misjudged you, Lukas?)
(By the way, I sold 95 domains this year without a single refund request... happy clients everywhere... and you can be one of them if you act now.)
After that I got another email similar to this, then nothing for a few months. Again, I thought it was over, then it got even better...
Subject: My accountant is VERY ANGRY at me, and please help me
11th December, 2014
My accountant is VERY ANGRY at me, and I need your help. (OH GOD LUKAS ARE YOU OKAY??!)
As you might know, I just sold awesomesnailwebsite.com at a huge discount. But my accountant noticed that I did NOT sell the domain name to you... even though you would have been the ideal candidate to own awesomesnailwebsite.com. (*Blushes*) So he put together a brief survey and IMPLORED me to send it to you to find out what motivated you to miss out on this deal.
I'd be very grateful if you could take one or two minutes out of your busy schedule and answer the survey.
Your feedback will not only allow me to keep the peace at my office, but also to improve my marketing efforts so I can better serve my clients in the future.
Please be brutally honest... I can handle it.
P.S. If at any time in the future you need any advice in the world of domain names, I'll be glad to help you out.
At this point I am enjoying the idea that this is a real person and that this guy is genuinely having an argument with his accountant (and husband) about selling this domain to me.
I'd also like to remind you that these are genuine emails that I've received and I am not making this shit up.
DOMAIN NAME SURVEY
++ Instructions: Simply hit reply and answer the questions. ++ (Fucks sake. Haven't you heard of Survey Monkey?)
* What was the single most important reason why you didn't buy awesomesnailwebsite.com? (Because this whole thing is fucking bizarre.)
* Was anything unclear in Lukas's marketing materials in regards to what exactly he was offering (i.e. the domain name awesomesnailwebsite.com)? (Not unclear, just fucking bizarre.)
* On a scale of 10 (good) to 1 (bad), how would you rate Lukas's explanation of the benefits provided by awesomesnailwebsite.com (i.e. higher online visibility, more effective branding, better reputation, more website traffic, etc.)? (I don't have time for this.)
* On a scale of 10 (good) to 1 (bad), how would you rate Lukas's marketing strategy? (i.e. quality of emails, offers, website, escrow service, money-back guarantee) (NO.)
* What amount of money would have been just a little bit too high for you to buy awesomesnailwebsite.com? ($26)
* Would you have bought awesomesnailwebsite.com if Lukas had accepted 12 monthly payments instead of one lump sum payment? (I though he did offer that? And no.)
* Did Lukas send you a) not enough emails, b) just the right amount of emails, c) too many emails? (My god, what I wouldn't give for some more emails from Lukas right now.)
* Anything else you'd like me to know about Lukas? (That I'D Like YOU to know about him? No, that's weird.)
That was the last I heard from Lukas. In my head, his accountant was so angry with him that they had an unfortunate altercation in which Lukas accidentally died. Such a shame. He was growing on me.
Fortunately, a woman named Olivia has started emailing me now and I'm having a lot of fun with her. She doesn't seem to know where Lukas has gone though. It's all very suspicious.