Buying Domain Names for Expected Growth

Parking MeterIn the New York Post this morning, I read about a cool new iPhone application that is awaiting approval from Apple called NYC Broken Meters. Users will be able to find broken parking meters in New York City, syncing information provided by the city with GPS mapping. Since NYC allows people to park at broken meters for one hour for free, it’s a handy tool.

The company plans to operate its website on the domain name, which is perfectly fine. However, I do think it would have been smarter of them to buy up other city domain names for future growth. I think this is a neat app, which isn’t limited to one city. If the city of Chicago would release this information the same way as the city of New York, they could easily create Chicago Broken Meters…etc.

People often ask for my opinion on buying extended names like this, and I think this would be a good example of when it’s a good idea. If your company has the ability to easily expand to other areas, even if it’s not quite in the cards yet, I think it’s wise to spend the extra $10/name to buy those other domain names. Whether we’re talking cities, towns, products…etc.

Not only do you risk a competitor taking domain names that could match, but there are others who could register them and make you pay out the nose when you’re ready to move forward. It’s usually just a matter of time before someone else will grab them.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. That concept will be very short lived. Here in Austin, they’ve replaced the old meters with the “Park on any spot on the street” style meter. You have to purchase a ticket from the nearby machine and put it on your dashboard which tells how much time you’ve purchased. Meter fairies will not be able to save you now. They’ve fool-proofed the system so you cannot park for free and no one can extend the time for you.

  2. @ John

    Some area in NYC have it too, but it will be a looooong time before all the traditional meters are replaced. I would be it’s the same in other big cities.

    The concept behind the post extends beyond this one company though.

  3. Private companies are not as lax as the government when it comes to money,..
    in chicago the company that leased the meters is, theyve implemented the same ticket system you speak about, and looks like their not going anywhere soon. chicago also last year just leased the skyway tollway to a private company.

  4. Why not just make a reasonable offer on Think about how many geo specific domains this guy could end up buying otherwise. There are alot of cities with parking meters and it’s foolish to think you could get them all, and if you could it would rack up quick, and then the renewals each year, ouch.

    Much cheaper to pay 5 figures for and pay 1 cheap renewal fee. Buy a few other choice geos to reinforce the main brand if you like.

    Also if he plays it safe and waits till his app is a success to go after the seller will want that much more money for it if for no other reason due to allthe increased spillover traffic they will be getting.

  5. @jp

    As a domain investor, I agree with that, but it’s very difficult to tell a start-up to spend a lot of money. I don’t really think that name is worth a whole lot though, but it could be expensive to buy in the aftermarket. The other advantage is that it could kill a potential competitor.

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