Buying a non-fungible token (NFT) can be intimidating, especially for your first or second time making a purchase. It's a daunting task even for seasoned cryptocurrency veterans! There are always phishing sites, hackers, and malicious actors trying to rip you off. In this article, we’ll guide you through methods of buying an NFT without all the techno-babble to block your way!
Throughout, we'll use Azuki as an example collection to buy. We’ll also assume you are already acquainted with MetaMask and Ethereum (ETH). If you need help with sorting out your MetaMask wallet, click here to get started.
OpenSea is the most common and trusted marketplace for buying an NFT. The company has been around since December 2017 and has the largest number of creators. OpenSea has managed to attract a large audience due to its dedication to creators. The introduction of creator's fees (referred to as royalty fees) gave artists and developers of NFT collections the power to earn ongoing revenue. The marketplace has an 80% dominance in volume and has processed $32 billion across 2.4 million traders so far!
With trust established in OpenSea, we can start searching for Azuki. Head to the search bar on top and type in the collection name - in this case, we’ll type in Azuki. There are plenty of copies as scammers try to fool people into similar or rip-off collections. Always make sure the collection you click on is the official version. This is usually accompanied by a blue checkmark issued by OpenSea.
On the collection page, you’ll find the description of the project at the top. In good descriptions, they'll include supporting links to their homepage and socials. As with everything on the internet, the more checking you do, the safer you’ll end up! So always make sure to double-check the description to verify legitimacy. Additionally, checking the next line for total volume and owners provide confidence. Azuki has 266,777 ETH (approximately $400 million) in total volumes and has 4,982 unique owners across 10,000 items within the collection.
You’ve likely heard the term "NFT floor" price a lot. It's usually misunderstood to be the current price of the collection. The NFT floor price is the lowest-priced NFT available to buy at this particular moment. To know the current price of the collection, you should look at the best offer. For Azuki, the floor price is 11.5 ETH, while the best offer is 10.3 ETH. This means, the cheapest Azuki NFT you can buy is 11.5 ETH and the best price someone is willing to buy a particular Azuki NFT is 10.3 ETH. For those well-versed in markets, the floor price is the best offer, and what OpenSea calls the "best offer" is the best bid.
Scrolling down, we finally arrive at the NFTs within the collection. On the left side of the page, you can filter the collection by Status, Price, Quantity, Currency, and character Traits. For Status, we’ll be checking the "Buy Now" option as we want to see NFTs available for buying. The other option most utilized is the Currency, which in this case we’ll check for "ETH". Other projects may use WETH (wrapped Ethereum) but let's ignore this for now. If you are after a particular trait, you can filter by Background colors, Eye types, Hair, and other traits.
Once we’ve found the target NFT to buy, we’ll click on the NFT to move to the details page. You may choose to buy the NFT on the list page, but it's preferable to check the details first before buying. On the detailed NFT page, you’ll be able to check how many people have viewed the NFT. Additionally, you can view how many have favorited (liked) and how many others have left offers. This part is the Auction style of trading, like how items on eBay list and sell. The left side of the page provides further details of the NFT, such as the contract address and token ID number.
Now we’re ready to buy the NFT! Click on "Add to cart" and begin the checkout process. You’ll see a menu pop out from the right side, with the NFT added to your cart. Press "Complete purchase" to process the transaction with your MetaMask. Once settled, the NFT is yours.
OpenSea is a great way to buy NFTs and is the most common method of trading NFTs. The benefits are the high level of trust and volume within the platform. The downside to using OpenSea is the high trading fees of 2.5% and the lack of flexibility in royalty fees. As a buyer, these fees are in the sale price. So as a seller, if you list an NFT at 10 ETH, you may end up with only 9.25 ETH after a trade from 2.5% trading fees and 5% royalty fees. Remember, royalty fees differ by project, so some may be more or less than 5%.
Let’s take a look at a few more marketplaces!
LooksRare and X2Y2 provide a similar user experience to OpenSea. The major difference is they provide flexible royalty fees with lower trading fees. Both marketplaces have an updated look and feel of the interfaces. They also have their respective native marketplace tokens which are rewards for traders. LooksRare has the LOOKS token, while X2Y2 has the X2Y2 token. These tokens are tradeable once received and have extra utilities, such as staking. These marketplaces provide more favorable transaction fees when trading and complement OpenSea.
Blur is a new marketplace, launched as recently as October! It's backed by the well-known venture capital fund, Paradigm. Blur is very trader friendly, but, is not all too intimidating for newcomers. The largest benefit to using Blur is you have access to all the major NFT marketplaces, all in one place. OpenSea, LooksRare, X2Y2, and Blur markets are available to the user. The total volumes on Blur so far are around $100 million, with about 60,000 unique users.
The first step is to connect your MetaMask wallet through the homepage. Once connected, you’ll see a list of collections and a search bar. We’ll continue using Azuki as an example, so in the search bar we’ll type "Azuki". Blur doesn’t seem to have a checkmark system in place yet. But, they have filtered out malicious collections to mitigate risk.
If you’re unsure, you can always click on the OpenSea icon to double-check you’re on the right collection. Blur’s layout on the NFT collection page is helpful and easy to view. You get a full view of listed NFTs across all the marketplaces, with options to change the list format for more or fewer lines to show. The top row provides the floor price and volumes. Blur is not an auction-style marketplace, so there are only "Buy Now" prices. This is easy to understand, as what you see is what you get!
Other useful data points are available on the right side of this view. There is an ACTIVITY panel, where the latest listings and trades are available. Click on the ALL button to change the filter for the type of information displayed. Choosing the SALES option helps see the latest bought NFTs and the prices they traded at. To the bottom right of the page is the FLOOR DEPTH panel, which displays the depth of the market. As the x-axis goes to the right, it provides a visual of how many listings are available at that price and below. For example, at 12.025 ETH, there are 42 NFTs available at or below this price.
Now we’re ready to buy an NFT on Blur! Click on the NFT you’d like to buy, and click on the checkmark to the left of the NFT to add it to your cart. Once it's in the cart, the "BUY 1 ITEM" button will display on the bottom. This button triggers your MetaMask to process the trade when you’re ready. Follow the prompts on your MetaMask and you’ve bought an NFT.
Buying on Blur is straightforward. It requires a minimal amount of clicks and is easy to understand. While it might look intimidating for the first-time buyer, the 0% trading fees for Blur-listed NFTs are worth the learning curve.
Sudoswap is the first major marketplace to bring decentralized trading to NFTs. It has processed about $60 million of volumes in NFTs across 86,300 trades since launching in July. With that said, it does have a bit of a learning curve but we’re here to help! The first step is to head over to their homepage and connect your MetaMask. Once connected, you’ll see a "View All Collections" button, which we’ll click on to get a feel for the user interface.
As Sudoswap is new, the daily volumes are quite low. Yet, it's worth poking around as the listed NFTs won’t be available elsewhere. You’ll see the collections listed in order of total volumes traded to date, which in this case happens to be Azuki. For collections less common, it may not be available for trading yet as liquidity providers may not have created pools. Let’s click on Azuki to start shopping for NFTs.
There are currently 16 Azuki NFTs available to buy on Sudoswap. Lowest-priced NFTs show up first and are all available for buying now. The interface lacks the creature comforts OpenSea provides, such as sorting by traits or screening by token ID. But, the decentralized nature of Sudoswap means we get to enjoy lower trading fees and a choice of paying royalty fees. This level of flexibility provides the buyer with more options! From here, we can click on an NFT to add to our cart.
Click on "sudo swap" to begin the transaction, and the NFT is yours. While volumes aren’t as high as OpenSea or Blur, Sudoswap is the first example of a decentralized solution. Uniswap has recently purchased Genie so it may become the other alternative to decentralized NFT trading. For now, Sudoswap is the Uniswap of NFT marketplaces!
Cyan is a new service for the NFT industry, providing financing when buying an NFT. Cyan is an aggregator of NFT listings from OpenSea, LooksRare, and X2Y2, but does not have its own native marketplace for sellers. As the focus is on the buyer, navigating through the interface is very easy. First, head to the app and select the NFT collection you’d like to buy. In our case, we’ll continue using Azuki as an example.
NFTs will populate from lowest priced to higher and display the respective marketplace. One major benefit is the ability to see "Flagged Items" at a glance. Flagged Items are NFTs marked as stolen or problematic by OpenSea. Through Cyan, all NFTs displayed are available for buying through the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) option. BNPL is a method to buy an NFT now and pay it back over time. The current terms for a BNPL plan on Cyan are to make a 25% downpayment now and pay off the rest over three months in installments. By clicking on an NFT, you can see the pricing and terms.
Once you’re on this menu, click the "Accept" button and click on "Start Plan" to start the first down payment. You’ve now bought an NFT for 25% of the listing price! The major benefit of buying an NFT on Cyan is the ability to use your NFT during the repayment period. So if you’d like to join a community, collect airdrops, or stake with your NFT, you’ll be able to immediately for only 25% of the price. Of course, you’ll need to make the monthly payments to continue ownership of the NFT.
Buying an NFT is becoming easier by the day! Plenty of platforms are being built to help the user as much as possible. The most common method is through OpenSea, with roughly +80% of the volumes on a daily basis. New marketplaces such as Blur and Sudoswap are gaining traction and may power the next wave of NFT hype. Cyan provides a flexible way to buy an NFT, with hassle-free financing available for 55 NFT collections. We’ll continue to update this article as more options for buying NFTs become available!