NFT – NFT Buy and Sell – How to Buy Your First NFT – So, you’ve heard a lot about NFT’s from that one annoying friend of yours that swears they turned $100 into $69,420. You want to get involved in NFT’s just to see what all the hype is about (and because that dumb kid that dropped out of your high school made more off dogecoin than you did last year spending 90 hours/week slaving away in the corporate swamp).
If you’re confused as to where to even start, you’ve come to the right place.
Unfortunately, even with the billions in sales volume NFT’s have seen on a monthly basis, buying your first NFT can be tricky.
There are three main steps:
Setting up and funding a MetaMask wallet
Purchasing the NFT from a marketplace or minting it from a project’s website
Step One: Acquiring Cryptocurrency
You can think of NFT’s as being stored on top of blockchains. Blockchains include Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum, and thousands of other tokens that you may have heard of.
Different cryptocurrencies are better at different things. Ether (the cryptocurrency of Ethereum) is currently the most popular cryptocurrency for NFT’s. However, NFT’s also exist on other networks such as Solana, Tezos, Binance Smart Chain, and more.
For the purposes of this article, we will focus on Ethereum-based NFT’s. Therefore, our first course of action is to get some Ether!
There are a few different places to buy Ether with cash. We call these fiat on-ramps because they help you get your fiat (normal dumb money like USD or Canadian dollars) into cryptocurrency. Websites that sell cryptocurrency and then hold it in a wallet for you are called centralized exchanges. Be aware that crypto stored on a centralized exchange is being held for you and therefore there is a risk that the exchange can be hacked and your funds will be at risk. For this reason, we call these “custodial wallets” as they are not truly 100% controlled by you, and instead are controlled by a third-party that holds your funds for you.
If you’re confused by the above, don’t worry! As a beginner with small amounts, it is 100% okay to keep your funds on the exchange where you bought it. Once you become more advanced, you will become better versed in self-custody wallets and hardware wallets that can more securely store your crypto assets!
We will use one of the most popular centralized exchanges, Coinbase, to purchase our ether. You can find Coinbase at https://coinbase.com/ . DO NOT follow any other links to Coinbase nor should you try to navigate to it by Google. Scammers will often create websites that look similar to the real website that are designed to steal your funds. They can even get them listed on Google Ads so that they look like the first result!
Once you navigate to Coinbase.com, hit “Sign Up” in the top right.
Fill out the sign-up info and make sure that all information matches your government ID. Centralized exchanges often must complete a KYC (Know Your Customer) to verify your identity before allowing you to buy or sell cryptocurrency. This enables them to operate within regulations designed to prevent money laundering and other financial crimes. If your information does not match your government ID, your funds may be frozen or buy/sell orders blocked.
Once you’re signed up and verified, navigate to the “Trade” tab on the left hand side and buy ether with a debit card or connected bank account!
The amount of ether that you buy is totally up to you depending on your budget and the price of the NFT you’d like to buy. Just make sure to account a little extra for gas fees (a variable fee you pay on the Ethereum network in order for your transaction to process) in addition to the NFT’s cost.
Step Two: Setting up and Funding a MetaMask Wallet
Now that you’ve bought your ether, you’ll need to send it to a wallet that can then interact with smart contracts to buy your NFT. The most popular self-custody wallet for use with smart contracts is currently MetaMask.
You can download the MetaMask wallet extension for your browser at https://metamask.io/download.html
Note that this is the only official website for MM (MetaMask) and NO ONE from MetaMask (or anywhere else for that matter) should ask you for your seed phrase – *ever*. Anyone asking you for your seed phrase (except your wallet software when you’re trying to recover your wallet) is trying to scam you.
Once you’ve installed MetaMask, you will create an Ethereum wallet from inside its software. This wallet can be imported into any wallet client using its seed phrase. The account itself can be imported into any wallet using the private key. Make sure to write down the seed phrase in a secure location. NEVER type your seed phrase anywhere online or take a picture. Anyone can take your funds or your NFT’s if they are able to uncover your seed phrase.
Now, you’ll need to send your ether from your wallet on CoinBase to the wallet you created in MetaMask. Go to the “Trade” tab on the left hand side and select Ethereum. Then, click “Send/Receive” in the top right hand corner. You will now have to enter the amount of ETH you’d like to send in either dollars or ETH denominations. You can click “send all” to transfer all the funds minus the amount that will be needed to pay gas fees.
You can copy your Ethereum address on MetaMask by clicking it in the pop-up.
Make sure to double check that the address you’re sending your funds to is entered correctly. Once a transaction is completed, it can’t be reversed by you or any third party! If it’s your first time, you can try sending a small amount to make sure it goes through. I recommend doing this before you try to send larger amounts.
After CoinBase initiates your withdrawal and the transaction confirms on the Ethereum network, you should see your funds inside MetaMask. Allow up to 30 minutes for the process to be completed!
Step Three: Purchasing the NFT from a marketplace or minting it from a project’s website
Finally, it’s time to buy your NFT!
NFT’s can either be minted directly from a contract, from a project’s website, or purchased from a marketplace. For this guide, we will be purchasing from a marketplace. Marketplaces for Ethereum NFTs include OpenSea, Rarible, SuperRare, Foundation, and many more!
We will use OpenSea, currently the most popular NFT marketplace, for our example.
Navigate to opensea.io and click the top-right corner to sign in with your MetaMask wallet. You should then see a pop-up from MetaMask asking for your authorization.
You may now search for the name of the collection from which you’d like to purchase an NFT! There are “fake” collections that pretend to be the real thing but are actually copycats so be careful that you’re purchasing from the correct one. You may want to purchase only from verified collections or directly from an OpenSea link supplied by the project’s official Twitter or Discord channels.
Inside the collection page, you can filter to “Buy Now” to see NFT’s that are listed for sale. You may also place a bid on any NFT in a collection and the owner may choose to accept. To see the cheapest NFTs in a collection that are listed for sale, filter “Price: Low to High”.
Once you’ve found an NFT that you like, click on it and choose to either “Buy Now” at the listed price or place an offer. You must have WETH (Wrapped Ether) to place an offer. You may convert from ETH to WETH using OpenSea or another exchange for a nearly 1:1 exchange. If you move the WETH from your wallet, your bid will no longer be able to be accepted by the seller.
If you click “Buy Now” you will receive a popup for MetaMask asking you to confirm the price and accept the gas fee. More advanced users can adjust the gas fee to have their transaction complete more quickly or pay less and accept a slower confirmation time. Once you accept the prompt, your Ethereum transaction will be initiated. Allow up to 30 minutes for it to confirm.
Congratulations! You’ve purchased your first NFT! Your NFT now exists in the wallet you created using MetaMask. To see it displayed you can navigate to opensea.io and visit your profile. OpenSea, as well as other tools, will display the NFT’s in your wallet but they remain in your wallet, not in the custody of OpenSea.
Now that you’ve purchased your first NFT, it’s likely that you will soon be hooked. No one can buy just one!