Before we dive in and show how to buy an NFT on OpenSea, let’s take a step back and briefly review what non-fungible tokens really are.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are encrypted digital files stored on the blockchain. These are tokenized versions of digital assets, such as images, videos, artwork, etc. And what is tokenization? The concept is complex, but it’s basically turning an asset into a digital token that can be moved and stored on a blockchain, like Ethereum or Solana, for example.
Quick Navigation: How to Buy and Sell NFTs on OpenSea
Unlike NFTs, fungible assets are interchangeable and indistinguishable, like fiat currency. You can exchange a 50 euro note for another real 50 euro note, and they will have the same value. Bitcoin is also fungible – it doesn’t matter what bitcoin you own. In contrast, non-fungible assets are not interchangeable and rare. An example can be a work of art. You cannot exchange the Mona Lisa for another painting, for example.
This guide will tell you how to buy (and sell) NFTs on OpenSea. However, we have also created a second guide to creating and minting your NFTs on OpenSea.
Why do people buy NFTs?
There are many reasons why people buy NFTs. The most primitive of them would be because they want to invest in a new speculative and highly volatile asset. The NFT market exploded in 2021, and many collections like Crypto Punks or Bored Ape Yacht Club saw their valuations soar.
In addition to speculating on their future valuation, some investors choose to buy NFTs as a form of digital art. As the world moves more and more towards a digital future where much of our interactions and time is spent online and the concept of the metaverse continues to pick up speed, many people want to own rare and authentically verifiable digital art.
Other people might buy an NFT as a gift to someone they know who would appreciate it, and so on. The reasons are different, but it is clear that the market has become considerable and should not be neglected.
Now let’s see how to buy an NFT on OpenSea.
How to buy an NFT on OpenSea
Step 1: Get a wallet and fund it
You need a digital wallet with funds to buy NFTs. On OpenSea, the currency you will use to buy is Ether (ETH). For this guide, we will be using MetaMask, the most popular web wallet for NFTs.
Important: if you are installing the wallet for the first time, be aware of phishing and double check that you are visiting the correct website URL, read here for more safety tips.
If you don’t already have a wallet installed, go to metamask.io and get it as an extension for your web browser and connect it to OpenSea. To do this, go to OpenSea and access the bar at the top right and click on profile. You will be redirected to a new page prompting you to connect your wallet. Choose MetaMask.
Grant OpenSea all necessary permissions to use your wallet and sign the signature request.
Once installed, you are ready to browse the NFT collections available on the OpenSea marketplace. If you don’t have ETH, go to your MetaMask wallet and click “Buy” – you can make a crypto deposit directly or use a debit/credit card.
Step 2: Browse OpenSea NFT Collections
First, you need to find the NFT you want to acquire. Go to your OpenSea profile and click on “Explore”. There you will see the thousands of available NFT collections.
In the top right bar, you can filter your search by clicking Trending, Top, Art, Collectibles, Domain Names, Music, Photography, Sports, Trading Cards, Utility, and Virtual Worlds.
Step 3: Found something you want? Buy now or make an offer
When you find something you like, you can buy it outright or make an offer. Keep in mind that some NFTs will have the “Place Bid” option, where you can make an offer to the owner to acquire the item. If you see an NFT like this, be sure to see the number of bids already made to get an idea of how much you can bid.
On OpenSea, bids must be at least 5% higher than the previous one. But for the purposes of the example, we’ll just buy at a fixed price.
Step 4: The actual purchase
In this case, we are buying a work of art called “Great Ball of Fire”.
Tap “Buy Now” to proceed to checkout. You will see the details of the NFT, like the name, its respective collection, subtotal, and total. Click Confirm Payment.
Next, OpenSea will load your MetaMask wallet.
Here, you’ll see all the details of your purchases, like estimated fuel costs and the time it takes to process the transaction.
You can edit Gas Fees by clicking Edit, but keep in mind that reducing Gas Fees will significantly reduce transaction speeds. The best time to buy using MetaMask is when the Ethereum network is less busy.
Check out the Ethereum Gas Tracker on Etherscan to see current gas fees. You can also view recommended gas prices on ETHgasstation.
When you’re ready to buy, tap confirm and wait for your purchase to be processed.
Sit back and relax! Within seconds, your brand new NFT will appear in your collection. Simply go back to your profile and wait for your new NFT to appear.
Easy, right? Click on it to see the details of your NFT.
What if you want to sell your NFT?
Now, if you want to put it up for sale, just click on “Sell” in the bar at the top right, and you will be redirected to a new page to fulfill the conditions of the sale.
Choose to sell it at a fixed price or a timed auction, the currency and the expiration date of the sale. Registration is free, but OpenSea charges 2.5% of each sale.
Now, if you want to see your NFT on your MetaMask wallet but it’s not showing up, don’t worry, it’s not that it’s not there – you have to add it manually.
First, click on your NFT and scroll down to Details.
In this section, click on Contract Address – this will redirect you to the Etherscan page for your specific NFT address.
Copy this address and return to your MetaMask wallet. Below you will find the “Import tokens” option. Click here and choose “Custom token”. Paste the address you copied from the Etherscan page.
The token symbol is just the public name tag and the token decimals are just a way to visualize your NFT. This will not change the amount you hold. For example, if you choose 3, it will give you 0.001. In this case we will put 0 and keep adding it.
You can now see your NFT just below your funds.
Buying and selling NFTs on OpenSea is not as difficult as one might think. However, be aware that there are a lot of scammers out there and prices can be extremely volatile.
It’s not uncommon to see people losing their money to scammers through phishing or mat hijacking. The NFT field is also riddled with washout traders who would generate fake trading volume on certain collections to make them more attractive to investors.
In any case, it is important to bear in mind that this is a very young market which is highly unregulated in the majority of jurisdictions. It is therefore necessary to approach it as such and to take the necessary precautions to protect your capital.
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