Domain Empire

poll Shotgun Vs Sniper approach?

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Do you use a shotgun or sniper approach when entering new niches?

  • 1st

    Sniper

    votes
    88.9%
  • 2nd

    Shotgun

    vote
    11.1%

  • 9 votes
  • Ended 6 days ago
  • Final results

Kyle Tully

Established Member
Impact
864
Every few days watching the domain drops I'll see a flurry of keyword domains dropping.

e.g. One day there might be dozens of "meta" names dropping, a few days later it might be "spatial". Whatever the hot topic was a year or two ago.

Typically there may be one or two OK names in the bunch, but they tend to get progressively worse as you go through the list. The sign of someone going on a "shotgun" hand-reg spree. And my first thought is always what a waste of money... my approach has been more that of a sniper, picking off only the best names (IMO) that I plan to keep for 10+ years and testing the waters before going deeper.

This has worked very well for me, e.g. I had a thesis about a specific type of .gg name, reg'd 3 and sold 2 for $5k each within a year. Reinvested those profits into more of the same type of name. Did the same in the gambling niche, turning 2-figures into 5 within 18 months. I only have a handful of AI names for the same reason.

But what you don't see with all those names dropping is what the investor sold from that bunch of names. They might have registered 100 and sold 5. Perhaps the shotgun approach works better?

I'd love to hear what style of investing you tend to take when going into new niches or spotting new trends and how it has worked for you.

Do you take a shotgun approach, grabbing everything that fits a loose criteria and planning to drop names? Or are you taking more of a sniper approach and only getting what you consider to be the best names you plan to hold?
 
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Sniper. I don't splurge on trends or even follow them really. I just buy a name if I like it and it's not too expensive. I can only afford to hold a few names anyway..

Until I get my moonshot sale that is :xf.smile:
 
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I get only a few of the best remaining unregistered. Moderation is key.
 
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Sniper. I don't splurge on trends or even follow them really. I just buy a name if I like it and it's not too expensive. I can only afford to hold a few names anyway..

Until I get my moonshot sale that is :xf.smile:

I’ve had one moonshot hit already and I think the danger is in changing your strategy where you end up buying names that aren’t in your wheelhouse.

The most dangerous time to buy names is after a sale (when you feel rich) because your usual criteria get softened.
 
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How can you be a sniper when domain names are not scientific?

There is no underlying algorithm.

There are lot of unwritten rules and stories and at the end of the day it is not like houses which go up in price because of demand and location.

The TLDs come as close to location but really only in USA and any market trying to crack the USA.
Outside the USA lots of TLDs and hyphens are used happily (especially Germany)

It's why none of the valuation sites work as there is no algo nor any defined rules.

You will say but look at 4L.com - but again there are lots of 5L and 6L that are more expensive and not necessarily in .com
 
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How can you be a sniper when domain names are not scientific?

There is no underlying algorithm.

There are lot of unwritten rules and stories and at the end of the day it is not like houses which go up in price because of demand and location.

Part of the reason for the thread is because I’m not sure my “sniper” approach is the right way.

But my way of thinking has been there is an underlying algorithm.

You can study keywords and business names and see there are definite trends in how people name companies. Names that match those keywords/trends have a higher STR and/or higher selling price.

So while I can’t say which specific names will sell, if I have a portfolio of 100 names that match a certain formula I’m confident 1-2% of them will sell each year at a certain price.

If I stray too far from that formula either STR or price decline.

But where I think the shotgun approach might have an advantage is in really hot emerging niches like AI.

E.g. you might have been able to get a 3-5% STR on otherwise average names just because the market is so frothy, then drop everything that didn’t sell from that bucket.
 
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Is that algorithm at reseller level or user level?

Most of it is from these forums
 
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Ok so what's more important the word(s) or the google searches or the cpc?
 
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Hi

you can't snipe anymore.

so, best to have bigger than anticipated budget to hopefully get your choice picks

imo...
 
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But look at the bed and beyond. No one here would have foreseen that and in fact many are still arguing over it even though it sold.
 
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But look at the bed and beyond. No one here would have foreseen that and in fact many are still arguing over it even though it sold.

Baby and Beyond is actually a great example to learn from.

The sniper approach here was to register just that one name.

"With the idea that BABYandBEYOND.com would make a great baby brand for Bed Bath and Beyond, BABYandBEYOND.com was hand-registered on 11/10/2002."

He had a thesis and registered the name for a specific reason. The article didn't mention why he thought they might go into baby products, but it's possible there were some hints that made this a somewhat likely scenario.

The shotgun approach would have been to register dozens/hundreds of baby names for lots of different companies. Or to register tons of different "and beyond" names for different industries BB&B might go into. As far as I can see from his portfolio he didn't do this.

I don't know which approach is actually better in terms of ROI.
 
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I’ve tried both methods;
I like sniper more; slow and steady wins the race; and let’s be real, @Kyle Tully do you foresee the “shotgun” method making a portfolio of quality?

I despise “BabyandBeyond” as the worst .com sale of all time; it is actually the perfect example of a dumpster fire co. in decline wasting money.

I may biased, BedBathBeyond is a dumb brand;
BabyandBeyond (babies and beyond?) ripoff of it.

BedBathBeyond owns Beyond(.)com and even BBBY(.)com but Baby and Beyond is just dumb. Why havent they rebranded to Beyond yet?
 
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I’ve tried both methods;
I like sniper more; slow and steady wins the race; and let’s be real, @Kyle Tully do you foresee the “shotgun” method making a portfolio of quality?

Thanks, good to hear from someone who has tried both.

I don't think the shotgun approach makes for a good portfolio... but if the method is more mass reg, sell at volume quickly, then drop, rinse and repeat, then I could see it working.
 
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Thanks, good to hear from someone who has tried both.

I don't think the shotgun approach makes for a good portfolio... but if the method is more mass reg, sell at volume quickly, then drop, rinse and repeat, then I could see it working.
My favorite quote on this industry:
“It’s all a numbers game”

But sometimes it’s hard to quantity their worth : )
 
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What is your favorite source to see expiring domains, you may know more about this topic than me, @Kyle Tully

I never thought of using expiring domains to give me registration ideas. —i like it; not going to lie; but if you arent overzealous shotgunning imo.
 
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I use expireddomains.net and have about 30 different filters set up for different types of names I like to buy.
 
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Always a sniper, just sometimes more trigger-happy. :-$
 
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I'm a new member here on NamePros, but I do have an opinion to share.

I believe that trying to be constant in what you call "sniping" is the best in the long run.
My motto is not to sell anything to a customer that I would not buy for myself (quality wise...I know that tastes differ).

When you follow your gut in terms of what would be a better name, you end up with a better reputation in the long run, and a stronger position to dictate the price.
Also, if you end up keeping a quality name for some time, two things should happen:
1) You don't feel you're "wasting" money paying for it every year;
2) You might notice the niche doing well or expanding and you can often spot and register good quality related names, expanding a quality portfolio.

When you go "shotgun" you are much more careless and "willing" to throw money in the water, which in my opinion is always a no-no. I'd rather take a break when I feel that bug bite, and then buy more quality (still related) names later, using the "Sniper" method...This rings true with hand-reg and expired auctions alike!

What I've learned is that no matter how many people get the names you would have liked to win today, there are always more (and usually better ones) tomorrow, next week, or next month. This is where the expired auctions could be arbitrary...it's too easy to feel pressured when you see a sort-of nice name. And if I could live without winning it in an auction, I can certainly live without hand registering such a name.

If you remember how important it was to get only the right domain when money was tight, you should be okay when money is good. I'd rather rinse & repeat THAT strategy.
That is how you will multiply profits: Using the money you would have wasted on names you would just drop in a year or 2, and spend a bit of extra time researching the right client for the right name.

Apart from that, names that are too similar stand the chance of causing trademark- or competition- scuffles between your clients.

Maybe it's just me, but I prefer to try and make business easier for my clients if I have a choice.
I know others will disagree, saying it's the client's choice what they will buy, but it is an issue for me personally in what choice I offer.
I'd much rather help a client with defensive registration than be the cause of a conflict.
Hmmm, I wonder if anyone feels the same about this?
 
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This is where the expired auctions could be arbitrary...it's too easy to feel pressured when you see a sort-of nice name. And if I could live without winning it in an auction, I can certainly live without hand registering such a name.

Well said. The way I think of the shotgun approach is if I have the 576th best name in a niche what are the odds of that selling? And if I have a portfolio of mostly those type of names, what is my overall STR?

I'm open to the possibility that if you hit on a winning niche early enough you might be able to grab enough good names to offset the losers/drops etc, but it feels like a lot more work than just buying quality and holding.

Saw it again this morning with a bunch of GPT names from last year dropping. 82 in the last 24 hours. That's just .com! I grabbed one of them but the rest were sub-sub-sub par names that IMO should never have been registered.

Apart from that, names that are too similar stand the chance of causing trademark- or competition- scuffles between your clients.

Maybe it's just me, but I prefer to try and make business easier for my clients if I have a choice.
I know others will disagree, saying it's the client's choice what they will buy, but it is an issue for me personally in what choice I offer.
I'd much rather help a client with defensive registration than be the cause of a conflict.
Hmmm, I wonder if anyone feels the same about this?

In 99% of cases I don't know who the end buyer is so this is not something I think about. I have some names where I own both the singular and plural, or the root keyword + a 'er' or 'ly' version. Ideally I'd love to sell them both to the same buyer at the same time, but as most sales come in via networks the chances are these will go to different people and I'm fine with that.
 
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He had a thesis and registered the name for a specific reason. The article didn't mention why he thought they might go into baby products, but it's possible there were some hints that made this a somewhat likely scenario.

"Buy Buy Baby was founded in 1996 by Richard and Jeffrey Feinstein, sons of Bed Bath & Beyond co-founder Leonard Feinstein."

Here is the hint...
 
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"Buy Buy Baby was founded in 1996 by Richard and Jeffrey Feinstein, sons of Bed Bath & Beyond co-founder Leonard Feinstein."

Here is the hint...

Nice find! Need a little luck, timing, and foresight to see these kind of things in real time and grab potential opportunities… then the conviction to hold for 20 years!
 
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