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How to Buy and Sell Your First NFT on OpenSea? A Step-by-Step Guide

Before diving in and showing how to buy an NFT on OpenSea, let’s take a step back and briefly remember what non-fungible tokens actually are.

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are encrypted digital files stored on the blockchain. They are tokenized versions of digital items, such as images, videos, artworks, etc. And what is tokenization? The concept is complex, but it basically means to turn an asset into a digital token that can be moved and stored on a blockchain, such as Ethereum or Solana, for example.

Quick Navigation: How To Buy and Sell NFTs on OpenSea

In contrast to NFTs, fungible goods are interchangeable and indistinguishable, like fiat currency. You can exchange a 50 euro bill with another genuine 50 euro bill, and they will have the same value. Bitcoin is also fungible – it doesn’t matter which particular bitcoin you own. In contrast, non-fungible assets are not interchangeable and scarce. An example can be a work of art. You can’t swap the Mona Lisa for another painting, for instance.

This guide will explain how to buy (and sell) NFTs on OpenSea. However, we have also created a second guide for creating and minting your NFTs on OpenSea.

Why Are People Buying NFTs?

There are many reasons for which people buy NFTs. The most primal one of them would be because they want to invest in a new, speculative, and very volatile asset. The market for NFTs exploded in 2021, and plenty of collections such as the Crypto Punks or the Bored Ape Yacht Club saw their valuations skyrocket.

Apart from speculating on their future valuation, though, some investors choose to purchase NFTs as a form of digital art. As the world moves more and more towards a digital future where a lot of our interactions and time is spent online and as the concept of a metaverse continues to catch speed, many people want to own scarce, verifiably authentic digital art.

Other people might buy an NFT as a gift to someone they know would appreciate it, and so forth. The reasons are different, but it’s a fact that the market has become a considerable one that’s not to be overlooked.

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’ll use MetaMask, the most popular web wallet for NFTs.

Important: in case you install the wallet for the first time, be aware of phishing and double-check you visit the correct website URL, read here for more security 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. In order to do so, go to OpenSea and navigate to the top right bar and click on profile. You’ll be redirected to a new page prompting you to connect your wallet. Choose MetaMask.

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Grant OpenSea all the necessary permissions to use your wallet and sign the signature request.

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Once installed, you are ready to check out the NFT collections available on the OpenSea marketplace. If you don’t have ETH, go to your MetaMask wallet and click on “Buy” — you can make a crypto deposit directly or use a debit/credit card.

Step 2: Browse the 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’ll see the thousands of NFT collections available.

On the top right bar, you can filter your search by clicking on Trending, Top, Art, Collectibles, Domain Names, Music, Photography, Sports, Trading Cards, Utility, and Virtual Worlds.

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Step 3: Found Something You Want? Buy Now or Make an Offer

When you find something you like, you can buy it directly or make an offer. Keep in mind that some NFTs will have the option “Place Bid,” where you can make an offer to the owner to acquire the item. If you see an NFT like this, make sure you see the number of offers already made to have an idea of how much money you can bid.

On OpenSea, bids must be at least 5% higher than the previous one. But for the sake of the example, we’re just going to buy at a fixed price.

Step 4: The Actual Purchase

In this case, we’re buying an artwork called “Great Ball of Fire.”

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Hit “Buy now” to proceed to checkout. You’ll see the details of the NFT, like name, its respective collection, the subtotal, and the total. Click on Confirm Checkout.

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Next, OpenSea will load up your MetaMask wallet.

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Here you’ll see all the details of your purchases, like the estimated gas fees and the amount of time to process the transaction.

You can change the gas fees by clicking on Edit, but keep in mind that lowering gas fees will considerably reduce transaction speed. The best time to buy using MetaMask is when the Ethereum network is less busy.

Check out the Ethereum Gas Tracker on Etherscan to view current gas fees. You can also check the recommended gas prices on ETHgasstation.

When you’re ready to buy, hit confirm and wait until your purchase is processed.

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Just sit back and relax! In just a few seconds, your brand new NFT will appear in your collection. Simply go back to your profile and wait until your new NFT appears.

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Easy, right? Click on it to see the details of your NFT.

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What if You Want to Sell Your NFT?

Now, if you wish to put it up for sale, just click on “Sell” at the top right bar, and you’ll be redirected to a new page to fill in the conditions of the sale.

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Choose whether to sell it at a fixed price or a timed auction, the currency, and the expiration date for the sale. Listing is free, but OpenSea charges 2.5% of each sale.

Now, if you want to see your NFT on your MetaMask wallet but it doesn’t appear, don’t worry, it’s not that it’s not there — you have to add it manually.

First, click on your NFT and scroll all the way down to Details.

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On that section, click on Contract Address — this will redirect you to the Etherscan page of the specific address of your NFT.

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Copy that address and go back to your MetaMask wallet. Below, you’ll find the option “Import Tokens.” Click there and choose “Custom Token.” Paste the address that you copied from the Etherscan page.

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The token symbol is just the public name tag, and Token Decimals is just a way to view your NFT. It won’t change the amount that you’re holding. For example, if you choose 3, it will give you 0,001. In this case, we’re going to put 0 and proceed to add it.

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Now you can see your NFT right below your funds.

Final Thoughts

Buying and selling NFTs on OpenSea is not as hard as you would think. However, be aware that there are a lot of scammers in this field, and prices can be extremely volatile.

It’s not uncommon to see people lose their money to scammers through phishing or rug pulls. The NFT field is also riddled with wash traders who would generate fake trading volume on certain collections to make them more appealing for investors.

In any case, it’s important to keep in mind that this is a very young market that’s heavily unregulated in the majority of jurisdictions. As such, it’s necessary to address it as such and take the precautions needed to protect your capital.

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