Many people ask us how we came up with the name "GunTab". We actually put a lot of work into figuring it out. Here's the quick story about the origin of our company name.
The initial concept
As a group of entrepreneurs, we have quite a bit of experience inventing company names. But for each of us, this was the most difficult naming we had ever encountered. It was a surprise for all of us. For a business this complex, we weren't expecting to struggle with the name!
Our brainstorming sessions were challenging. Obviously we wanted our company name to speak to firearms. But we also wanted it to speak to trust, security, and payment. At the same time, we wanted it to be as short and catchy as possible. We also wanted to avoid any association with GPal, someone else's disastrous attempt at a "PayPal for firearms" from years before.
Here's an actual list of names we were considering back in 2013. You'll see GunTab in the bottom third of the list:
Of course, we liked some of these names more than others. We liked GunTab in particular, because it sounded a bit like "bar tab". We felt it was catchy, and spoke to how we hold the money in escrow while things are in progress.
We were building a web-based company, so we obviously needed a good web domain to build on, the same way a property developer needs a good piece of real estate. Unfortunately, for all the names we really liked, the ".com" domain was already taken. That was an obstacle because Google treats ".com" domains much better in search rankings. It might seem like a minor detail, but this really matters if you want your business to be discoverable by people in your target market. So we knew we wanted a ".com" domain. We just needed to find a way to get one that suited our needs.
We started reaching out to the owners of some of these domains, asking if they might be willing to sell. Most of these owners ignored us, or refused, or proposed an exorbitant price. But one guy replied to say he would be willing to sell, and didn't set some ridiculous asking price from the start. His name was Aaron, and he lived in Canada. We exchanged emails with him and arrived at a price of $1,000. That was a pretty reasonable price for a 6-letter ".com" domain. And guess which domain he was selling? Our favorite one, the one we wanted most. On December 6, 2013, we closed escrow on guntab.com.
The rest is history. We've been using the name GunTab ever since we purchased the domain in 2013, and haven't regretted it. Not everybody picks up on the "bar tab" connection, but that's okay. Our customers seem to like the name, and we certainly do too.
Every time we think about GunTab's early history, we are reminded of all the support we've received over the years. If you're reading this, thanks for supporting us, and the broader firearms community. We appreciate you more than you know.