2016 will mark my nine year anniversary investing in domain names, and one thing has been constant over the last nine years – change. 2015 was a major year for the domain industry in two ways:
- The buying shifted to China
- Short and numeric domain names became more liquid at higher prices than ever before
Rewind to 2014 and I was focused on buying and selling solid two-word domain names, no numbers, no CVCV’s, now that the market has changed, so has what I invest in. Domaining is one of those spaces where the term, “if it’s not broken don’t fix it” rarely applies since the game can change over the course of a year. That being said, this usually doesn’t mean that the names you bought in the past are junk, in fact if you bought short keyword domains they’re probably more valuable now than ever before. Still, this does mean you can guide your future investment strategy with where the market is going vs. where it has been.
If you asked me at the end of 2014 what I was buying, I would tell you keyword .COMs, one and two word names. Now, a year later, I care less about keyword names and more about short and numeric domains. So I’ll tell you what I’m planning on buying this year, I can’t tell you how it turns out until a few years down the road but I can at least share how I’m thinking and where I’m putting my money.
Four character .COMs (Most focus)
I love these more by the day. Yes, I think there could be some softening in this market but solid names will continue to command high value. I especially like four character .COMs where the first two character and the last two are the same, i.e. GTGT.com. I’m careful with pricing on these an will happily lose ten auctions just to win one at a price that I think is true wholesale.
Five and Six number .COMs (Some focus)
There have been some insanely high sales in the 5N and 6N .COM space that I think shows how new this space really is. I try to only buy names with 8’s in them and avoid names with 4’s, I’m still very new with numeric domain investing so I’m taking it slow and focusing on names I know are solid. Here’s an example of a 6N .COM I recently purchased – 605858.com. I like the 8’s and I really like the repeating 5858, and no 4’s.
Three and four character/number non .COMs (Less focus)
There are some new gTLDs out there that are seeing some great early signs of interest from investors. TLDs like .CLUB have seen people register entire blocks of domains and there are still tons of names available across all the most successful TLDs. The new gTLD market is still young and it definitely still has a long time to determine if some/any of them will turn-out to be good long-term investments. While it’s not the focus of my strategy, I will still be buying names that don’t end in .COM, but this will likely be the area I invest the least into given how speculative it is.
As always, I’d love to hear from you, feel free to share your own strategy for 2016 or comment on mine!