NFTs (non-fungible tokens) were one of the most discussed topics of 2021. From the controversial to the captivating, several NFT projects found their way into the public’s consciousness during the year.
Whether you’ve been around the NFT space for a while or you’re completely new to it, chances are you’ve seen some of the famous apes of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs which have been snapped up by celebrities like Jimmy Fallon, Paris Hilton, Neymar Jr, Justin Bieber, etc.
If you’re interested in joining this growing list of digital art owners but don’t know how, you’ve come to the right place. As the largest, most popular NFT marketplace out there, OpenSea is a great place to come to snap up your first NFT.
In this guide, we’d walk you through the step-by-step process you have to follow when buying an NFT on OpenSea. By the time you’re done with the guide, you should have an idea what OpenSea is, and be ready to buy your very first NFT on the OpenSea marketplace.
PS: If you are interested in learning how to create your own NFTs, check out this detailed step-by-step guide on minting your first NFT on OpenSea.
What is OpenSea?
Recognized as the largest NFT marketplace on the internet, OpenSea was launched in 2017, and was one of the first marketplaces ever designed for NFTs.
OpenSea is a decentralized marketplace that allows anyone to create, buy or sell NFTs, without knowing or understanding the underlying blockchain mechanics behind their actions. It enjoys a major first-move advantage that has seen it often process billions of dollars in NFT trades each month.
Think of it as the Amazon for tokenized digital art, also known as non-fungible tokens (NFTs); except this time, your orders to buy or sell NFTs are handled programmatically via ‘smart contracts’.
This means, the marketplace doesn’t control or process your orders like Amazon would. Instead, every transaction is facilitated by independent smart contracts and is recorded in real time on the blockchain.
Originally an Ethereum-only marketplace, OpenSea has now expanded to support the Polygon and Klatyn blockchains.
How to Buy an NFT on OpenSea
Before you begin buying NFTs on OpenSea, you’d need to own – and fund – a cryptocurrency wallet. While there are multiple crypto wallet options out there, the most popular for OpenSea are the MetaMask and Coinbase wallets.
For the purposes of this guide, we’d be using the MetaMask wallet. If you don’t already have a MetaMask account, you can follow this guide on how to create your MetaMask wallet account.
With your account ready and funded, it’s time to connect your wallet to OpenSea and buy your desired NFT. Before you begin, though, note that the OpenSea marketplace offers two primary methods for purchasing NFTs: direct purchase and auctions.
This guide will walk you through both options, as well as how you can connect your wallet to OpenSea.
Step 1: Connecting your MetaMask Wallet to OpenSea
Assuming you already have your MetaMask wallet signed in on your PC web browser, follow the steps below to connect the wallet to OpenSea:
1.Go to OpenSea.io and locate the profile icon at the top right-hand corner. Hover over it and click on ‘Profile’ from the dropdown menu.
- You’d receive a prompt to connect your wallet. Select MetaMask – or whichever wallet you use.
- Now, you should receive a popup from MetaMask to grant OpenSea permissions to use your wallet. Click “Sign” and then “Connect” to finalize your account creation.
To confirm your wallet has been successfully connected, click the wallet icon at the top right of your screen. You should see your wallet address and balance, plus an option to ‘Add Funds’ if your wallet isn’t already funded.
Step 2A: Buying an NFT Via Direct Purchase
Armed with a connected crypto wallet, buying an NFT on OpenSea is a seamless process.
1.Explore the marketplace for the NFT you wish to purchase. You can go straight to an NFT project’s OpenSea collection, or you could hit the “Explore” tab to check out different projects.
Note: Be sure to verify you’re on the right collection page before proceeding with your order. More on this below.
2. For fixed price NFTs that interest you, review the details of the NFT (properties, value, rarity, etc.) to ensure you’re not being scammed. If satisfied, click the “Buy Now” button.
3. Proceed to checkout and review the cost and terms of the purchase. If you still wish to proceed, click the “Confirm checkout” button to proceed.
4. Finally, you should see a pop-up from your wallet laying out the final costs (original cost of the art + gas fees). Click “Confirm” to finalize the purchase.
Step 2B: Buying an NFT via Auction
Sometimes, you may find that a project doesn’t list a fixed price for its sale. Instead, interested buyers are invited to make a bid in an auction-styled sale. In such cases, you’d see the NFT page looking like this:
To proceed with a purchase of this nature, you’d need to:
1.Click the ‘Place bid’ option on the NFT page.
PS: You can also place a bid on NFTs with fixed prices by clicking the ‘Make Offer’ button.
2. Again, you have to review the purchase to confirm everything is okay.
3. Now, select your preferred payment currency. If you haven’t used this currency for payment in the past, you may have to pay a one-time fee to proceed.
4. Set your bid price and an expiration date for your offer. To find all of your active offers, click the “Offers” tab on the top left corner.
5. Finally, you’d have to sit tight and wait for the seller to accept your bid if they deem it okay. You may also need to up your bid if you’re really interested in the NFT and higher bids keep flowing in.
Things to Consider When Buying an NFT on OpenSea
Whether you’re making a direct purchase or placing a bid on an NFT, there are a few things you’d need to understand about the OpenSea marketplace to make your purchasing experience a better one. Some of these are highlighted below.
1. Gas Fees
In the world of cryptocurrencies, gas fees refer to the fees paid to successfully execute a contract on the blockchain. Although these transaction fees exist on most blockchains, gas fees on the Ethereum blockchain are notoriously high.
Note that these fees aren’t charged by the platform you’re transacting with (OpenSea). Instead, gas fees are charged by the blockchain to offset the computational costs of transacting on the blockchain.
The exact price you’d pay for gas at any given time is determined by the interaction between supply and demand. At peak hours when lots of transactions are being processed and computational power is in high demand, gas fees can be even higher than $200 in ETH.
At non-peak hours, gas fees can drop below $20 in ETH value. If your transaction isn’t urgent, you might want to wait for later hours of the day to conclude it.
A great way to ensure you’re not overspending on gas fees is to work with a gas fee tracker to identify the best time for your transaction.
2. Floor Price
In the NFTverse, floor prices are the lowest amounts you can spend to own an NFT in a collection. This price is derived from the lowest price set by any one owner of an NFT in the collection.
To understand what this means, you must first realize that there are different NFTs in a collection, with some rarer and more valuable than others. Whereas the most valuable NFTs could go on sale for, say 1 ETH, the holder of a less valuable NFT in the collection could set price at 0.5 ETH.
This 0.5 ETH – the lowest price set by a member of the project – becomes the floor price of the project. It is often used to determine the value of an entire project as sellers are unlikely to sell below the floor price of a project. This value is typically updated in real time.
3. Legitimate and Illegitimate Collections
As with everything in life, bad actors always look to take advantage of every situation. In the NFT world, one of the most common ways of doing this is by creating copies of valuable collections.
The goal here is simple: by using a similar banner image and name, and minting stolen NFT jpegs from a collection, they can get unsuspecting buyers to pay for the fake NFTs on their page. These fake NFTs may even be sold at the same price as the originals.
To ensure you’re buying from the right collection page, be sure to do your research. Verify the correct OpenSea collection page by going through the official website, Twitter, or Discord channel of the collection.
If you’re already on a collection’s page, you can also check for telltale signs that the page is fraudulent. For instance, fake OpenSea collections tend to have odd sales volume activity and odd floor prices.
One instant way to identify a legitimate collection page is via the verified checkmark such as this one seen on the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection. Unfortunately, newer legitimate collection pages often lack the verified checkmark, so you still have to do your research.
4. Future Fees
💸 Royalty info at checkout— OpenSea (@opensea) October 13, 2021
Buyers can now more easily view the royalty percentage that goes to the original creator before purchasing an item. pic.twitter.com/V3qssm7vA3
This one’s a particularly important consideration if your entry into the NFT market is as a market speculator. This means you’re simply looking to identify projects you can buy on the cheap and sell for higher when the prices go up.
Future fees for sellers always include the 2.5% selling fee charged by OpenSea. This is the fee charged by OpenSea for the use of their platform to facilitate your transactions.
NFT owners on OpenSea are also able to charge royalties for their art. These fees (royalty fees) ensure the original art owner continues to receive a cut of the pay each time their work is sold. These fees can be as high as 10%, so you want to watch out for them.
Although you won’t be paying any of these fees as a buyer, you would have to pay them when selling off your NFT. Thus, even if you sold the NFT at a slightly higher price than you got it, the combination of royalty fees and OpenSea fees may still keep you out of profit.
As you’ve seen by now, buying an NFT on OpenSea is a rather straightforward process. Simply create a MetaMask wallet account, connect it to OpenSea, and begin making the most of the NFT hype train.
Most importantly, always ensure you’re getting your NFTs from the right source and at the right prices. Confirming the value of your NFT before purchase is critical so you do not lose your funds on worthless projects.
If you’re interested in learning all there is to know about any individual NFT collection, you can check out our growing collection of NFT guides where we discuss everything from the utility to the hype and value of individual NFT collections.