There’s a critical difference between cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens. For starters, many of these tokens don’t have value outside of their intended utility, as is the case with other cryptocurrencies.
Furthermore, NFTs have value because of the media tethered to them, and the most common types of media for NFTs are music and art. However, NFTs have the potential to tokenize all real-world assets.
Usually, NFTs are Ethereum blockchain-based tokens. These blockchains provide authentication of digital ownership for whatever asset gets tethered to the token.
In other words, view the blockchain for Ethereum as a virtual machine and a shared global database.
Moreover, a blockchain token serves as a unique segment of identifiable data, immutably placed into the chain. Likewise, blockchain users can get identified by their unique “wallet” address.
Let’s get you started on your journey of buying NFTs!
Why Buy Through an NFT Marketplace?
It is no mystery that NFTs and blockchain technology provides the ideal opportunity for content creators and artists to get compensated financially for their creations.
No longer are artists relegated to depending on galleries and auction houses to sell their works of art. More conveniently, an artist can simply sell their work to a willing buyer in the form of an NFT.
Additionally, this gives the artists better leverage over the share of their profits.
Perhaps what’s even better is the fact that NFTs involve the possibility of royalties. Royalties entitle the original creator to a percentage of the future sales of the artwork.
For this guide, we recommend using OpenSea, as they are currently one of the best NFT marketplaces around.
Start with ETH
The first step is to buy some Ethereum!
Most marketplaces will only accept Eth tokens since most NFTs are Ethereum-based tokens. If you happen to own an account with a cryptocurrency exchange, Ethereum is available for purchasing and processing payments.
Ethereum is an open-source blockchain decentralized with smart contract functionality. Ether is the cryptocurrency of Ethereum, and it is the native cryptocurrency of the platform as well. Ether is second only to Bitcoin in regards to market capitalization.
The best cryptocurrency exchange can be a bit subjective. Your individual goals as an investor will probably be the determining factor. There are numerous exchanges to choose from, and each one has both pros and cons.
To select a quality exchange, take into account the security, locate a crypto exchange, and consider the user interface and the assets offered on the platform.
Depending on your country of residence, these would be our recommendations:
- Australia -> Swyftx
- New Zealand -> Swyftx
- UK -> Coinjar
- Canada -> Bitbuy
- US -> Gemini, Coinbase, Kraken
- Other -> Binance if available
Transfer to Metamask
Let’s begin by clearly defining what a crypto wallet is and what it does.
Cryptocurrency wallets allow you to receive, send, and store digital assets and cryptocurrencies (NFTs, Bitcoin, and Ether). Keep in mind that there are many different wallet types, all having various features.
Your wallet might be a feature of an app on your phone. It can also come built into your web browser or even a browser extension of itself. Lastly, your crypto wallet can be in the form of hardware that conveniently plugs into your computer.
In 2016, MetaMask was created by ConsenSys. ConsenSys is a blockchain software company that focuses on Ethereum based infrastructure and tools.
MetaMask is a wallet for your crypto coins developed for use with the Ethereum-based blockchain. MetaMask gives the user access to their Ethereum wallet. You can access your items from a browser extension or a mobile app. At this point, they can interact with all decentralized applications.
With MetaMask, you can broadcast transactions and receive and send tokens and cryptocurrencies rooted in Ethereum. You can also store and manage account keys.
Not only this, MetaMask allows you to connect securely to dApps through your mobile app’s built-in browser or if you have a browser on the internet that’s compatible.
What if you wish to deposit ERC-20 or ETH tokens onto your MetaMask wallet from another wallet or an exchange?
Well, you have to submit a transaction pointed to the address of one of the existing accounts on your MetaMask. Be sure to use the exchanges which operate in your country.
- Open the MetaMask extension
- Place your cursor over the account name at the top of the window, which will eventually display the words “Copy to clipboard”.
- To copy your address click on the account name.
- Next, paste your address in the “recipient” field in the application where you are sending your tokens or Eth from, or share this information with someone sending you tokens or Eth.
- Choose the specified amount that you want to send. Be sure to follow through with any other necessary steps to complete the transaction.
Note: Be sure to consult with the organization of the application you are using for information on how to best transfer your tokens or Eth. The user interfaces will vary from wallet to wallet, depending on the organization.
When the transaction is complete, your balance in the MetaMask account will update. However, if the balance does not update, check the status of your transaction using a blockchain explorer such as Etherscan.
Then search the transaction hash of the transaction that you just recently submitted.
Ethereum can be purchased easily with Apple Pay, debit card, or a credit card directly on the MetaMask account by simply clicking “Add funds”.
Furthermore, you can request funds from a friend if you send them a payment request that displays your QR code in person or share your public address with them.
Connect to OpenSea
One of the leading marketplaces for non-fungible tokens is OpenSea. This site allows you to sell and buy various kinds of NFTs. The NFTs can consist of digital art, collectibles, and domain names, and you can buy and sell them using your Ethereum wallet.
Moreover, OpenSea allows you to sell and buy NFTs on the secondary marketplace. What’s more, this platform enables you to create your very own original NFT collections to sell NFTs on the primary market.
The exchange charges users less money than most other competitors, so consequently, it is a very favourable option for NFT collectors alike.
How Do I Connect My Wallet?
- When you first arrive in opensea.io, go to the profile icon that will be at the top right and click “My Profile”
- Next, Opensea will then direct you to your wallet. You will continue through several prompts ending off with the connection screen. Once you see the word “Connecting…” you’re nearly done.
- Your account will then default to “Unnamed”. Your wallet address will be displayed below. To set up your account, click the gear icon located on the right side of the screen. There will be an extra security prompt. Choose “Sign” and begin personalizing your profile.
- Now, you have the autonomy to personalize your profile, including your email address, bio, and username. You can customize your profile photo and cover banner as well.
- The mission is complete! If you ever find that you have difficulty viewing any of your items, make certain that your wallet is correctly connected.
OpenSea offers a convenient way to look into your wallet address, displaying all of the awesome NFTs. OpenSea is a great place to sell, buy, trade, and create NFTs.
Signing up for an NFT marketplace can vary slightly as you go from site to site. However, the consistent steps involve creating an account or connecting a digital wallet that’s supported or simply doing both.
Usually, you can find the button for doing this in the top right-hand corner of most NFT marketplace homepages. When connecting your wallet, you will have to enter your wallet password to finish the process.
Find an NFT and Buy It
To find NFTs using OpenSea, simply go to their homepage. Begin by typing in the URL https://opensea.io/. You will then have the option to browse or continue scrolling down.
At this point, if you select browse, there will be many NFTs to select.
If you continue to scroll down the main page, the site will greet you with an abundance of NFTs. If you already have an ETH wallet, you can purchase items right away.
While browsing, you see an artist whose work you are very fond of, and their social media says that they are in the business of selling NFTs. Now you want to search if this artist has items on OpenSea.
You can go to the search tab on the main page of OpenSea, and you can type in the name of the artist and the collection you’re looking for.
From there, you can go to the artist’s main page or to the specific collection that the artist has. To purchase NFTs, click on the name under Collections, and this will take you to the collection page of the artist.
You can select whichever set piece that you like and click on it to view its characteristics. If you’re interested in viewing the artist’s page as well, choose their icon. The icon is the artist’s chosen profile picture; it has a blue border.
Once you push the icon, you should see “View the collection”. Once you hit that button, you can look over the page and see descriptions of all the artist’s work. Their page should be neatly organized and easy to browse.
After you’ve found a digital piece that you like, click its thumbnail. You will then get to see the artwork’s layout that you’re thinking of bidding on.
This particular page should show you all the details ranging from offers, listings price history, artist description, and description of the art.
If you look through the artist’s collection, you’ll see properties associated with each piece. These properties are the characteristics like Color, Setting, and Mood found within the piece.
An example is if a photo has the color listed as Bronze, the Setting as Wilderness, and the Mood as Love.
Viewing all of these aspects of the art could help you decide what you like and what you want to buy from the platform. You may even develop a particular style that you gravitate towards for future purchases.
Any unlockable content becomes available after you have ownership of the NFT.
Steps to Buy:
- After you have selected a particular NFT, couch the “Buy Now” option.
- Select all the necessary boxes, and click on the “Checkout” tab. Metamask will prompt you to sign for the transaction. To finalize everything and to complete the trade, sign where directed.
- You’ll have to wait a few moments until your transaction gets confirmed.
- Congrats! You are the proud owner of a distinct token documented on the Ethereum blockchain. And more important than that, you have a genuine piece of art that you love.
- If you’d like to view your recent purchase, click the tab that says “Back to all items”, or you can just go back to your profile.
- To view the ownership rights you’ve just acquired through the Blockchain, you must go over to the MetaMask browser extension. Once there, you should see three circles by your name. Click these circles.
- The option to view Etherscan should be there. You will scroll down the Etherscan page once there. Look for the OpenSea transaction. You will see the encrypted transaction hash that gives you proof of your recent purchase.
Buying Fixed Price Items
Sellers have a few choices when they’re putting their artwork on the market. They can put the NFT at a fixed price, or they may choose to establish an auction. They also have the option to do both.
Let’s start with fixed price purchases:
- First, you have to find the NFT that you want by looking around browsing through the marketplace.
- Take time to review the information available on the token. There may be some specific information for collectibles or unique and rare NFTs, making them more valuable than others.
- Also, take time to check out the price history so that you can see what it’s been valued at in case you want to start trading. (Optional)
- Click “Buy Now” if you have decided that you want the NFT.
- You’ll likely get promoted to review the details of the purchase before you finalize everything. This step is crucial because it helps avoid scammers producing similar NFTs that aren’t the authentic piece.
- You can proceed if everything looks correct. The pop-up will then show you the final price for the NFT, and you’ll need to check the box that indicates that you agree with the terms of service for OpenSea’s platform. Lastly, click “Checkout”.
- After you push the button to checkout, you will be taken to a screen that opens your crypto wallet, and you’ll see the final cost plus any gas fees. These fees can vary depending on the blockchain you use. After you click confirm again, the NFT is yours.
- If you want to view the non-fungible token in your wallet, go back to your profile and click “In Wallet”, which is on the left.
Some of the NFTs you want will get put up for auction. That allows the seller to see how much they can get for their art. They put a minimum price that the artwork can’t go below, letting buyers have at it.
Here’s the process of making an offer for an NFT:
- Select the NFT that you want to place a bid on.
- Review every current offer to see if you can place your bid. The bid you place has to be five percent higher than the bid before it. That will continue to be the trend until the final bid wins the NFT.
- Push the “Make Offer” tab on the page.
- You may have to review the details of the art again to ensure that it is original.
- Check the currency that you want to use to make your offer. You also incur one-off fees if you select a currency that you haven’t previously used.
- Type in the amount that you want to offer, as well as the date the offer expires. This date is significant because it permits you to withdraw your offer at that moment.
- That also puts pressure on the seller to decide whether they want to accept an offer on auctions that aren’t competitive.
- You should be able to see every offer that you’ve proposed by going back to your profile and clicking on the Offers button on the left sidebar.
- After you make your offer, you’re all done at that time. You’ll just wait for the seller to decide if they want to accept. If there’s a bidding war going on, you’ll need to stay close by your device to continue bidding.
Where to Buy NFTs Other Than OpenSea
Though OpenSea is seemingly the best NFT marketplace, there are other excellent choices as well. They’re easy to use, and they take little effort to get set up.
There’s a nice range of items and collections available on these sites as well. You can get both exclusive and non-exclusive artwork and digital projects by trying any of the following marketplaces:
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the responses to the most commonly asked questions regarding how to buy NFTs:
1. Can You Buy an NFT Without Crypto?
Technically someone can create an NFT and request any type of currency they want for it.
Without becoming too technical, a lot of these marketplaces run on the blockchain, typically Ethereum. A smart contract, which sends and receives transactions, and stores important info, has a wallet on the blockchain as well.
What does all of that mean?
Get a Metamask (or alternative crypto wallet that’s ETH compatible) so that you can buy NFTs.
Almost every NFT marketplace makes it necessary to buy their tokens using ETH, Ethereum’s blockchain.
2. Can You Buy NFT With Bitcoin?
At the moment, things are evolving, and it seems that certain countries are in the process of allowing users to use Bitcoin to make purchases.
Ethereum was initially designed to complement Bitcoin as opposed to becoming a formidable competitor. Bitcoin is the better cryptocurrency overall, but when it comes to NFT purchases, it doesn’t have the same capabilities.
Ethereum, therefore, is the better suitor.
In addition to processing payments, Ethereum also stores codes from the computer that you can use to power tamper-proof apps and contracts.
So, soon, you may be able to use your Bitcoins for NFT purchases. For now, ETH is the way to go.
3. What’s the Best Wallet for NFTs?
MetaMask gets widely recognized as the best option to store your NFTs.
It is backed and maintained by ConsenSys, having a solid foundation in Ethereum.
It was originally a mere browser extension that allowed users to connect it directly to their dApps (decentralized applications).
In the year 2020, the company released the mobile app. It offered an easier-to-use interface that gave the ability to collect non-fungible tokens and interact with other decentralized applications.
When you use MetaMask, you will be able to create your ETH wallet and link it to all platforms that are compatible for minting and trading the tokens.
- It has an easy setup and requires only a basic understanding of how to buy cryptocurrency and exchange
- All of your transactions get synchronized on the web browser extension and the mobile app