What Kind of Domainer Are You? Part Two: Riding the Trends

I don’t have some secret method to my madness.  I have a wheelhouse that I feel comfortable with and I usually stay in it.

– Domain Shane

In the stock market there are different kinds of investors and traders. There’s short term day traders and then there’s a style called, swing trading.  In this approach the trader doesn’t attempt to anticipate every market move but instead takes positions in stocks that have established a clear trend. The swing trader maintains his/her short/long position for as long as the stock stays within their preset parameters.

In this style or system of trading the investor misses out on the beginning and end of the trend but, when successfully executed, he/she will capture the meat of the move and obtain a handy profit.

A swing trader in the stock market has a correlate in domaining. It’s what that I call a “trend rider.”

Whether they know it or not, this niche is where the majority of domainers reside, most of the time, and it’s the place that I call home as well.

There’s a saying in stock market circles: “The trend is your friend”

In part one of this series we talked about domain flippers and their strategy to buy and sell domains in the short term, usually weeks or months, for a modest profit. In contrast, trend riders acquire domains at wholesale and sell to an end user within a general period of one to three years.  These types of domains are acquired at a modest price (sometimes even hand regged) and often sell for 50 to 100 times their cost.

The risk vs reward ratio is attractive because the initial investment is low and the potential return is relatively high. 

The pros and cons of being a trend riding domainer:

Advantages

  • Small initial investment
  • Great return on investment (ROI) when a sale occurs
  • An attractive risk reward ratio
  • A larger portfolio dilutes the effect of a few bad decisions

Pitfalls

  • Tendency to get in too early – ie the trend never matures in the marketplace
  • Tendency to get in too late – ie the trend fades and past purchases become unmarketable
  • Tendency to hand reg and buy domains in formats that are not popular
  • High renewal costs due to extended hold time and a larger portfolio
  • Large amount of time spent managing your folio – renewals, transfers, maintaining multiple platform listings, landing pages, bookkeeping,  aftermarket buying and selling, negotiating etc.
  • Over-estimating and over-investing in a perceived trend ie portfolio gets unduly weighted towards a specific niche segment

The Trend Rider skill set:

  • Ability to identify mature trends
  • Ability to identify and purchase domains that aptly portray a given product, service, industry or emerging technology
  • Good grasp of current, brandable domain styles and formats
  • Ability to drop domains when they are no longer trending

Trends from the past and present:

Mega trends:

  • Five Letter Domains
  • Numerics and CHIPs
  • Name styles – add suffix (Bitly, Deliveroo), drop a letter (Pixlr), creative spelling (Lyft)
  • Products and Technologies – VirtualReality/Cannabis/Drones
  • Two Keywords – InstaCart, WeWork, DoorDash, CreditKarma

Mini Trends

  • Double letters — Rradar.com and Saatva.com
  • AgTech – SeeTree, PrecisionFarming
  • Crypto – CoinBase, Ripple, BitStamp
  • Lab/Labs – LabCorp, WeWorkLabs,
  • Crowd/Cloud – CrowdRise, CrowdSpring, SoundCloud

Real life examples:

Ag Tech

In 2015 I started noticing a wave of articles on startups in the ag-tech space. Over the next few months I purchased about 25 domains that began with Ag, Agri, Agro or Farm. I also purchased a few domains like FieldCow etc. To date I’ve sold 4 of them to end users.

Double Letters

In the summer of 2016 I noticed the emergence of a trend towards the double letter branding style. I even wrote a DNgeek article about it. Around that time there was special at Network Solutions for $1 and $2 registrations. So I registered about 100 double letter domains. Since then I’ve sold seven of those domains to end users.

Trend Resources:

  • TechCrunch.com
  • CrunchBase.com
  • Brandable platform’s – domains added and sold lists
  • ProductHunt.com
  • AngelList.com
  • 500.co/startups

Coming up next time:

Part Three – Buy and Hold Domaining

Meanwhile…….

Brandable domains in the GoDaddy close outs:

  • ItRanks.com (2.8 mill exact match Google search results)
  • Certibar.com
  • ChampBelt.com
  • NowIto.com
  • VirtuYou.com
  • HubScript.com
  • PaperSweep.com
  • Hadvo.com
  • MatchTunes.com
  • AdZephyr.com
  • BetterAxe.com
  • DealSack.com
  • Joava.com

Keith deBoer

Keith DeBoer is a part-time, domain investor with an emphasis on brandable domains. He's also a domain industry writer with published content at DN Geek, DomainShane and NamePros. By day, he works as an Internet consultant.

5 thoughts on “What Kind of Domainer Are You? Part Two: Riding the Trends

  1. Another great report covering some important strategies in the Industry of Domains.

    Describing Five Letter Domains as a “Mega Trend” gave me a big smile because that has been my main focus for many years, accumulating hundreds. In fact, I regged the name “FiveLetterDomains.com” 8 or 9 years ago to put up my first brandable platform (now superseded).

    That description makes me feel a little better about the trends I completely missed such as numerics and “ag”. Congrats Keith for spotting that trend. But luckily I’ve picked up some good names with many other themes like “green” and “blockchain” so I can’t complain.

    Looking forward to Part 3 in this series.

  2. Thanks for this series, Keith. They are great. I have a feeling I am going to recognize myself most in your next post – Buy and Hold Domaining. I do dabble a bit in “trend” domains but usually in the hopes that the trend will stick for a long time, such as two-keywords brandables. Looking forward to part 3!

  3. While I’m still relatively new to domaining I consider myself to be more of a “DomainTrendSetter”. btw, DomainTrendSetter™.com is available to hand register for $8.50 at GD, and is valued at $1,099. As crazy as that sounds, it’s a FACT!

    Having been an entrepreneur for almost 50 years since college, I’ve been starting, succeeding at and failing at setting trends in all sorts of industries. I won’t bore you with the details, but I saw “opportunity” the moment I stepped into domaining. The biggest opportunity I realized is the way domains are sold by domain investors. While domainer’s are typically reactive marketers, I’ve always been a proactive marketer.

    And speaking of trend setting, you need to look no further than NamePros where as a newbie I’ve started dozens of threads attracting the attention of hundreds of domainers. I do realize while there are hundreds of domainers “responding” there are even more “lurking”.

    I’m guessing you and some of your readers have seen my latest thread titled; “Should like names have their own marketplace”. I just started the thread yesterday and it’s already attracted the attention of some of what I would consider the most respected and “heavy hitters” in the domain industry today.

    Finally, I accumulate niche domains, all of which are hand registered. Recently I realized an opportunity to build a portfolio of mostly two word domains using the first word “Savor”, sometimes spelled “Savour”. To date I own domains like, SavorManhattan, SavorGreen.org, SavorEarth, and SavorPasta.com. Doran, a friend of mine publishes magazines, and after I saw SavorVirginia magazine, I just knew almost instinctively to start a niche portfolio for “Savor” From a proactive marketing perspective I also purchased SavorPublications.com and SavorDomains.com.

    Thanks for letting me comment, and I almost bought SavorHongKong, but I took a pass for now because I have other “Savor” names on my list that are a tad bit better than Hong Kong.

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