TL;DR- If you’re a heavy NFT investor, NFT rarity browser plugins can save you eons of time. I’ve found RankNFT to be the most useful- but the tool is paid. The tool makes it easy to fly through hundreds of NFTs a quickly determine if you’re getting good rarity value for the asking price. See below for a step by step guide with pictures on how to use the plugin.
NFTs have been an incredible trend over the past year, but the space is as volatile as ever. I’ll deal you in on a hard truth- most projects will end up worthless. There are too many projects coming out and demand is not increasing fast enough. As cool as the space is, 98%+ of people either think the thing is dumb and/or they don’t understand it at all. This fact will benefit us in the future if NFTs continue to gain adoption, but right now it means a lot of these collections won’t find any buyers.
That’s why it’s doubly important to identify collections and items that are likely to retain or increase their value. How do you do this? Well, there’s no exact science but some things are strong indicators that certain NFTs and collections will crush it in the future.
Signs that an NFT collection is legit and may increase in value
- Solid distribution economics
- A good project roadmap
- Lots of social media clout
- A good founding team
- Rarity traits in the individual items
That last one is what we’re going to talk about today. Most NFT collections are randomly generated at creation now, so as NFT hunters we’re always looking for those with the most rare traits.
What is rarity in an NFT?
Having an NFT with rare traits is like being dealt pocket kings or pocket aces in poker- you want those rare traits that will increase the NFT’s value. Ultra rare traits won’t guarantee a win just like pocket aces won’t guarantee a win in poker- but it drastically increase your odds.
Here’s an example: an NFT collection of 10,000 beavers is randomly generated. Let’s call the collection ‘spiteful beavers’, since the beavers are fed up with how much running water there is around the locale. That water needs to be dammed!
These beavers have different traits like skin color, headwear, eyes, teeth, fur type, and so on. Let’s say there are some traits that are ultra-rare- meaning fewer than 10 beavers in the collection of 10,000 have them (<0.1%). These traits could be things like purple fur and a cowboy hat. Because purple fur and cowboy hats are super rare, the beavers with these traits command higher prices- but not necessarily. Sometimes you’ll spot these rare NFTs at bargain prices.
The RankNFT.io browser plugin
My previous guide on how to use Rarity.Tools involves having multiple browser tabs open and flipping back and forth between OpenSea and RT to check NFT rarity. After viewing dozens of NFTs, this process can get a little cumbersome. If only there were a quicker way…..
Voila! Enter the RankNFT.io browser plugin. When doing some initial research for this article, I evaluated a few other rarity checker plugins, including the Rarity.Tool Researcher. I found the RankNFT.io tool to have the highest number of reviews and the most positive reviews on the Google Chrome Web Store. The developers have uploaded a video that makes the ins and outs of using the tool crystal clear.
The value proposition of the tool is this: it quickly shows you the rank order of the NFT rarity relative to all NFTs in the collection. You’ll see a number in the top right of the NFT photo (i.e. ‘4375’) that let’s you know that piece’s rarity rank is 4375 out of the 10,000 NFTs in the collection.
The tool is paid, but you can get the first 3 days free. After that it’s $30 per month, which to me sounds pretty fucking steep for a browser plugin. If you follow my guide you can check rarity with Rarity.Tools for free, but the process is a little more difficult and involves switching browser tabs frequently. If you’re looking for free options, you can look into the Rarity Tool researcher extension, too. It doesn’t work as well, but it still makes the rarity assessment process quicker.
How to use the RankNFT.io browser plugin
0. First of all, go to its download page on the Chrome Web Store and download the extension. If you’re going to be using it frequently, it’s a good idea to pin it to your browser.
1. After install, click the blue icon in the top left of your browser and hit the blue sign in button.
Hit the signup button underneath the login. Enter your credentials and sign up! You’ll need to flip over to your email and do an email confirmation. To start, RankNFT will give you three free trial days.
2. Once you’re all logged in, it’s time to head over to OpenSea and look at some collections. Go to the homepage of a collection- I’ll be going to the Lazy Lions NFT collection page on OpenSea in this example. Scroll down to the picture library (the main body of the page). In the top right of the NFTs you should see the rarity rank of each NFT in the collection.
As you can see, NFTs with vastly different rarity ranks have the same price. Which NFT in the picture below do you think is the best value for the price?
It’s the one with the rarity rank in the 3000s. It has traits that are nearly twice as rare as the other two its next to, despite being the same price. Price is what you pay, value is what you get!
3. You can also set the rank for hot, warm and cold for an NFT collection you’re looking at. For example, since the collection I’m looking at has 10,000 NFTs (and most collections are around this) I set hot to 0-3,000, and warm to 3,001-6,000. Now when you scroll on the page, the ranking will be color coded red for hot, orange for warm, and blue for cold.
How it works
My best guess here would be that the plugin makes an API call to Rarity.Tools, OR the tool has its own internal rarity calculator by knowning the traits of the NFT you’re hovering over and checking the Ethereum blockchain. Either way this has the ability to save you eons of time if you’re an avid NFT buyer. Although the plugin is $30/month, I could see it paying for itself quickly if you can get a steal on an ultra-rare NFT.
Final thought- I’ve found there’s always a difference between what an NFT is nominally worth and what someone else will actually pay for it. Be realistic in your assessment of value. It pays to be a little pessimistic. One more thing that I found really helps in the NFT is if [gasp] you actually like the NFT you’re holding. You’ve got to be willing to stick it out through thick and thin, and really appreciate the collection. I don’t hold many NFTs- but the ones I do hold, I love.