What is OpenSea and How to Buy NFTs There?
NFTs (non-fungible tokens) sprung into the headlines after Christie’s Auction House sold Mike Winklemann’s NFT, “Everyday, the first 5000 days” for $69.346,250. Renowned for selling fine art, it was a bold move from Christie’s, but other auction houses have since followed their lead. It was a sign of a significant shift for the future of NFTs. Who would have thought you could ever buy NFTs at an auction house?
Co-founders Alex Atallah (CTO) and Devin Finzer launched the beta version of OpenSea in December 2017 with the birth of CryptoKitties, a game where you can breed, collect and 100% own one-of-a-kind cute cats.
OpenSea was the first NFT marketplace to launch NFTs into the world. Whilst, the application is geared towards a mainstream audience, it’s both decentralized and built on blockchains.
OpenSea were instrumental in pioneering NFT blockchain technology. Suddenly, users could purchase and interact with in-game NFT items in digital worlds, something previously unavailable to users. Primarily, with OpenSea, no single party owns the blockchain-native items. Users can buy and truly own the in-game items for the first time in the digital world.
Image Source: OpenSea – Trending NFTs
Today, OpenSea remains the world’s largest NFT marketplace, making it the best place to buy and sell NFTs for a fixed price or from bids. The company continue to invest in the core development of the OpenSea marketplace, which is undisputedly the most accessible marketplace for NFT enthusiasts to buy and sell NFTs.
The OpenSea homepage is user-friendly and easy to navigate, making it easy for beginners wanting to buy NFTs. The platform features several popular or trending NFTs, and there’s training to create an NFT of your own.
“A core part of our vision is that open protocols like Ethereum and interoperable standards like ERC-721 and ERC-1155 will enable vibrant new economies. We’re building tools that allow consumers to trade their items freely, creators to launch new digital works, and developers to build rich, integrated marketplaces for their digital items.” – OpenSea website.
In this article, you will learn about the process of starting a free crypto wallet and how to fund it, as well as how to purchase an NFT at a reasonable price and start a collection of your own. You can make a bid, start trading or spend time selling and save yourself hours searching on your browser trying to learn how to navigate the OpenSea Marketplace.
How to Buy NFTs on OpenSea
Image Source: OpenSea – Top collections over last 7 days
Before you can purchase an NFT from your OpenSea account, you need a secure crypto wallet and $ETH as the currency. OpenSea accepts an extensive range of wallets, including the MetaMask wallet, via the free MetaMask extension.
There’s a useful video on the OpenSea website to guide you through getting started with your wallet.
Image Source: OpenSea
- Go to the OpenSea website
- Look for the small circle at the top far right of the page. Hover over that and click “profile”
- Click on “MetaMask”, which will take you to the signup page for the wallet
- Create a strong password
- When prompted, tap on “Click here to reveal secret words” to show the seed phrase, a sequence of 12 words that you MUST keep safe. If you lose the seed phase, you cannot access your wallet. Always keep your wallet address and private key safe
- Confirm when prompted, and you are almost ready to start buying NFTs
- Purchase $ETH – you can use fiat currency to buy from off-ramp platforms like Coinbase
- Once purchased, transfer the $ETH to your wallet. Check the network fee because $ETH gas fees can be expensive
Use Coinbase as your on or off-ramp to buy and sell $ETH.
Purchasing NFTs on OpenSea
When you are ready to buy your NFTs, take the following steps: –
- Open your browser to the OpenSea page – there’s no “sign up” process
- Click on the wallet icon at the top right of the page
- When prompted, link to your wallet – once connected, you are ready to start buying NFTs
- Once you link your wallet, you should be on your profile page. Here, in your account, you can see collected information on your NFTs. Customize your profile with a profile picture and create a new user name if you wish
Exploring OpenSea to Find the NFTs you Wish to Purchase
Start to get a feel for the OpenSea marketplace. The homepage displays a complete range of NFTs, including notable drops, trending NFTs and “top collections over 7 days”. You can also go directly to buying NFTs in specific categories: –
- Domain names
- Trading cards
- Virtual worlds
Image Source: OpenSea
Look for NFTs with kerb appeal, and purchase something you can later resell. You might find an item on sale. If you see a few NFTs you like, check the expiration date and price history before paying for NFT items. The seller may have a fixed price so that you can buy immediately. Or you may prefer to buy NFTs at auction, where you can make bids on an item with an end date.
Spend tTime Watching an NFT, Noting how Interest Builds from the Marketplace Community
A sign that prices may inflate is when there are multiple watchers on an NFT. If a bidding frenzy starts, the final price could be more than you want to bid. Ideally, you want to buy an NFT at a price that allows you to sell for a profit later.
Once you’ve chosen your first NFT, check all the details before spending your $ETH funds. Before buying NFTs on OpenSea, look for authentic versions to add to your collection. Sellers aren’t all genuine. You don’t want to buy a fake NFT.
Confirming your Purchase
Review the final cost for the transaction fees and head to the checkout. Check the NFT price is right and fees are acceptable before completing.
To checkout, you should be directed to your MetaMask wallet. A final prompt asks you to “confirm” before completing. That will finalize the sale, and the NFT should now show in your wallet and show $ETH funds and fees removed for the purchased item. There may be a slight delay. It’s not always prompt, so don’t panic if it doesn’t show up immediately. You don’t need to change any settings; wait a few seconds.
Your NFT should show in your OpenSea account in your collections. Buying items is fun in the NFT space, and you’ll likely want to buy several NFTs, but wait patiently to buy an NFT you can later sell.
Novice NFT enthusiasts often pay too much for an NFT. They forget about the cost of fees and subsequently cannot recoup the losses when they sell. Later, as you gain experience, you may wish to create NFTs and, if so, there’s a section on OpenSea to teach you how to create an NFT of your own.
How do I purchase NFTs on Polygon?
Image Source: OpenSea
Another option to buy NFTs on OpenSea is using Polygon, a blockchain for secure transactions with $ETH and other currencies. Why use Polygon? There are ZERO gas fees for buying and selling NFTs, but you need Polygon ETH.
Gas fees only apply when you transfer from the Ethereum network (ETH) to the Polygon network (PoS), representing a considerable saving if you buy and sell NFTS regularly. Before spending your $ETH on Polygon, you must “bridge” them over to the Polygon blockchain.
Don’t worry, it may sound complicated, but we will guide you step by step.
How to Transfer $ETH from the Ethereum Network to the Polygon Network
- Go to the wallet icon at the top right of the OpenSea website
- We are assuming you already have some $ETH in your account*
- If you have $ETH in your wallet, look for three circles on the right where you’ll see a button, “Bridge to Polygon”
- A pop-up window will appear where you can enter the amount of $ETH you wish to bridge onto Polygon
- You’ll get a prompt asking you to sign a transaction in your MetaMask wallet
- Sign the transaction, and it is complete. You should see a confirmation
The bridging process takes less than 10 minutes. Once finished, you will notice a purple $ETH icon that represents your bridged $ETH on Polygon (PoS)
*If you don’t already have ETH, you can buy some easily on Gemini
How to buy NFTs on Polygon
Image Source: OpenSea
- Check “Polygon” beneath the “Chains” section, which is on the left panel when you are browsing for NFT items
- You can identify Polygon items via the purple hexagon at the bottom left corner of an NFT item. The hexagon is Polygon’s logo
- When you buy an NFT on Polygon, it’s comparable to purchasing an NFT on the Ethereum Mainnet
- Click on the large blue “buy now” button
- If it’s your first Polygon purchase, you will be asked to unlock Polygon trading on your wallet. You won’t need to do this action again
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