Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Client 9 Domains Snatched Minutes After Spitzer Scandal Breaks

By Betsy Schiffman March 11, 2008

Client9_2Just minutes after the New York Times published a story online yesterday about a high-class prostitution ring and the involvement of so-called "Client 9," Nick Galbreath, a 37 year-old software engineer in Manhattan, registered the domain for $10.13.

"The original story didn't name [Governor Eliot] Spitzer directly, but I thought [] sounded catchy, so I bought it."

He wasn't alone. Speculators bought up all client 9-related domain inventory yesterday, including,, and

And while (the room where Spitzer reportedly met a prostitute) is taken,, which was registered in October 2007, is for sale for $750. Although there's no shortage of interest in the domains, the profits may not be there yet.

Galbreath, who already had a Google AdSense account, says he's made $11 in ad sales on the domain over the past 24 hours. But he also estimates he's spent 8 hours putting the site together and answering emails and phone calls. So on a net basis, he's probably operating at a loss.

"A lot of people have said, 'Oh, you're going to make so much money,' but nobody's made me any offers. I'm happy to sell it, but I haven't had any real offers."

Chris Potoski, owner of No Rival Media, a publisher that dabbles in adult content, bought for $5.97 as soon as he heard the story break on CNBC.

He had a site up within a few hours, which aims to be "the ultimate resource for this scandelous late breaking news regarding Elit Spitzer!"

The property, which redirects users to another adult site, got about 2,000 hits yesterday and has resulted in 11 additional new members. It's been a profitable operation for him.

"We definitely saw an increase in sales. I definitely plan to keep it up. As long as I make one sale per year, the domain pays for itself. This type of news lasts forever. And so does the traffic," Potoski says.