Love them or hate them, NFTs have become a huge talking point in 2022. Also known Non-Fungible Tokens, NFTs are unique bits of code that can be connected to digital files – usually to prove authenticity or add utility. NFTs work using the blockchain – an online ledger technology also underpinning cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Bitcoin.
NFTs are sold on virtual marketplaces, and due to their popularity there are hundreds to choose from – but OpenSea is by far the most popular. Essentially the eBay of NFTs, OpenSea lists a huge range of Non-Fungible Tokens, from Art Blocks to photography, but there are a number of steps you need to take before you can buy anything. On this page, we’ll show you how to buy an NFT from Opensea. And for a more general guide on buying NFTs from other marketplaces, read our tutorial here.
How to buy an NFT
- To purchase an NFT you’ll first need to set up a crypto wallet. Essentially a tool to store your cryptocurrency and NFTs, a virtual wallet is one of the first things you’ll need if you’re taking either seriously. As you’d expect, there are lots of wallets to choose from, but we’d recommend Coinbase’s Wallet, as it’s one of the most popular and easy to connect to the equally popular Coinbase app. You can find a list of all the wallets compatible with OpenSea here.
- Setting up a wallet often involves a certain amount of admin, and some sites will ask you for details such as your Drivers’ licence.
- After setting up your wallet, you’ll be given a seed phrase. If the wallet is a place to store your passwords, then the seed phrase is the key into it, giving you direct access to your cryptocurrency and NFTs. Write it down, and store it in a safe place. Don’t share it, either.
- Next you’ll need to transfer ETH or Ether (Ethereum is the name of the network) into your newly created wallet. To do this, we moved over to the Coinbase app – which is also linked to our Coinbase Wallet – and added a payment method, though you can mix and match apps and crypto exchanges.
- After that it’s as simple as selecting the amount of ETH you want, and paying the equivalent fiat or vice versa. In this case we’d recommend looking at the ETH prices of the NFTs you like first, as they may be more expensive than you first thought. It’s also worth adding at least £100 more than the NFTs you like to account for gas fees.
- Once your Ether has arrived, you need to return to your wallet, select Receive, and make sure you select the Ether coin. Once an address is generated, you’ll need to return to Coinbase, select send and paste in your wallet address. You’ve now successfully topped your wallet up with cryptocurrency; it’s time to purchase an NFT on OpenSea.
- OpenSea has a range of features, including the ability to ‘watch’ collections and favourite NFTs you want to check out later – but you need to connect your wallet to access them. To do that, simply look towards the right-hand side of the website, click on Connect Wallet and select the wallet you’re using – in this case Coinbase Wallet. You’ll then be able to create a profile and get browsing NFTs.
- After you’ve looked around OpenSea a good amount, you’ll notice it’s a bit like a techier version of eBay. Some NFTs are auctioned off, requiring you to bid, while others have a Buy Now price, where you pay a little more for an instant win. Some NFTs are also sold using the Dutch auction method, which sees the Buy Now price start high and then periodically reduce.
- To buy an NFT click the Buy Now button, and you’ll see the complete checkout window appear, with the price of the NFT. To make an offer, move to the Make Offer tab, before putting in an amount.
- Your wallet (Coinbase Wallet in this case) will appear to the right, giving you the total price for the transaction. You may notice this is more than the cost of the NFT, and that’s because it also includes gas fees; essentially a labour charge for handing over your NFT and adding the transaction to the blockchain. Gas fees can cost as much as £100, so factor this into your budget.
- Confirm the transaction on Coinbase Wallet, and OpenSea will finish the purchasing process. It may take some time to move your NFT over, and this will sometimes depend on how busy the blockchain network you’re using is. Most experienced NFT collectors say mid-morning is the best time for both gas fees and quick processing.
- After a while you’ll see your newly purchased NFT appear in your OpenSea account under the Collected tab, and in your Coinbase Wallet under the NFT tab.