You can still snag a good .tv or a billiant .ki, but the .com land grab was over a long time ago. Most catchy, easily-remembered names are taken, either by legitimate companies or squatters, and there’s not much you can do about it. But there are still good deals to be had, we learned from Jetsetter founder Drew Patterson’s musings on Quora. (Jetsetter is a Gilt Groupe affiliate, a members-only site for deals on high-end travel.)
“Landing on Jetsetter was a stroke of good fortune,” Mr. Patterson wrote. “I had been playing with a number of names, and most were clearly taken or controlled by squatters. Jetsetter.com had promise, because the owner had a clear commercial purpose (it was a jet set printing business), but hadn’t touched the site in years. I loved the potential, and it was sooooo much better than the alternatives (“Valise” and “TripNoir” were two potential alternatives, to give some context).
“Unfortunately, getting in touch with the owner of the site wasn’t easy. I must have sent 10 emails the address listed in the DNS and called multiple times to no avail. Jim xxx (the listed owner) didn’t respond. I even tried looking him up in the phone book, but Jim xxx wasn’t listed in the phone book for his town.
The breakthrough came when he thought to check under “James” instead of “Jim.” After 3 days, it dawned on me that Jim might not be listed as “Jim” in the phone book. “Sure enough, ‘James xxxx’–the first name listed in the phone book–answered my call and was the proud owner of the site. As I thought, he hadn’t touched the domain in a while, and it wasn’t a focus for him.”
Mr. Patterson negotiated $3,000 for the name. Quora commenters were impressed: “3k is cheapo.”