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What is OpenSea and How to Use it? The Beginner’s Guide

All you need to know about buying and selling NFTs on the biggest NFT marketplace in the world

If you’ve been following the latest NFT trends, you know that OpenSea is a huge name in the industry. But do you know what it’s all about and how to use it? What is OpenSea? How can I buy my first NFT there? What about creating an original collection? This article will guide you through some of the most common questions about OpenSea, so stick around!

What is OpenSea?

OpenSea is one of the biggest and most important NFT marketplaces out there. It was created in December 2017 as the first open marketplace for non-fungible tokens on the Ethereum blockchain.

Currently, it also supports NFTs on the Polygon, Solana, and Klaytn blockchains and was one of the main characters of the 2021 NFT bull run. That’s when these digital assets started getting mainstream.

Anyone can access the OpenSea marketplace, as long as they have a web3 wallet and cryptocurrencies, which is much easier to access than you think.

What is an NFT?

In case you’re a bit lost here, let’s go back to the beginning. NFTs are non-fungible tokens, a new way of owning digital assets with blockchain technology.

They’re unique in essence, unlike cryptocurrency tokens like bitcoin and ether. This means that each NFT is different from another and can attest value for something. It can be an artwork, a video, a ticket, a vote, a deed, a game character, and so on.

See the video below for a visual explanation:

OpenSea and NFTs: How it Works

As you know, OpenSea is an NFT marketplace, a decentralized platform where people can buy and sell their non-fungible tokens.

The team’s mission is to help people easily discover and trade digital assets in a safe and fun environment, and you’ll soon find out that they’re doing okay.

Being decentralized means that the marketplace runs on a blockchain (in this case, on Ethereum, Polygon, Solana, and Klaytn). So OpenSea’s transactions are not easily controlled by any company or government, and they also don’t hold your assets – you do, in your wallet.

How to Use OpenSea?

Moving forward, we will show you some OpenSea basics so that you understand how the platform works and feel confident enough to start using it as you see fit.

Creating an OpenSea Account

The first thing you need to do to start using OpenSea is to register on the official website. To do so, you just need a web3 wallet like MetaMask. You’ll simply have to follow these steps:

  1. Open the OpenSea website and click on the Account icon in the top-right corner;
  2. You will go to the Sign In page and connect your wallet. Choose your preferred one from the list;
  3. Once you have connected your wallet, you will be redirected to your OpenSea dashboard;

Then you’re ready to get started with OpenSea. Depending on the activities you want to do in the marketplace, it is advisable to have the necessary tokens in your connected wallet address.

Buying NFTs on OpenSea

Most OpenSea visitors will visit the platform to look for something to buy, this experience is quite easygoing.

If you want to buy an NFT on OpenSea, you can explore collections by type, filter by chains, prices, buying styles, and so on.

There you can browse and discover new NFTs or use the search bar to find something specific.

Speaking of it, on OpenSea, you can either buy NFTs immediately, by clicking on ‘Buy Now’, or ‘Make an Offer’ on an auction. This will depend on the seller’s own choice of listing the assets. Users can also make an offer on any NFT, which will remain valid for a period of time. In that case the transaction won’t take place, unless the NFT holder accepts the offer.

We will go through both methods so that you can decide what’s best for you.

Should I ‘Buy Now’ or make an offer at an Auction?

The advantage of the ‘Buy Now’ option is that you will immediately own the item you are buying. The disadvantage is that the seller may have set a high price, and you will have to pay it all at once.

In the case of an auction, you will have to make a bid, and if your offer is the highest when the timer ends, you will win the NFT. While you may end up paying less than the ‘Buy Now’ price, someone else may make a higher offer and take the NFT away from you.

To sum up, if you are not in a hurry and want to try to get a good deal, go for the auction. But if you want to be sure to get the NFT and don’t mind paying a little more, choose to buy it immediately.

Creating NFTs on OpenSea

If you are a creator, you’ll be glad to know that OpenSea also allows you to create and list your NFTs for sale. Just like buying it, this process is also straightforward.

Here’s the step-by-step process to create your NFTs on OpenSea.

  1. First, you must connect your wallet to log in;
  2. On the main menu, click on Create;
  3. Upload the NFT file and fill up the info fields;
  4. Create or add your NFT to a Collection;
  5. Select a blockchain to mint your NFTs;
  6. Edit the ‘Creator’s Earning’ for every time the NFT is sold on the platform.

Once this is done, you’ll find you created NFT in your wallet and at display in your profile. Then, you can place it for sale!

Keep in mind that OpenSea does not offer the option to launch your own smart contract. Your NFTs will join the immense pile of user generated content in a generic smart contract or NFT collection. Those who want more customizability, might want to do more research and launch their own smart contract. 

Selling NFTs on Open Sea

Now let’s look into how to sell your NFTs on OpenSea. After selecting the NFT you want to sell from your collections in your profile, you click Sell to start configuring the listing.

Then, you can choose the type of sale, either a Fixed Price or a Timed Auction for NFTs minted on Ethereum. So far, the platform does not support Timed Auctions on Solana, Polygon, or Klaytn.

Should I sell my NFTs on OpenSea with a Fixed Price or a Timed Auction?

There are pros and cons of selling your NFTs at a fixed price. The advantage is that you will have more control over the price and will receive the money as soon as the NFT is sold.

But it can also mean that your NFT price may not catch the buyer’s eye and end up not being sold at all.

As for selling with Timed Auctions, there are other things to have in mind. First, there are two types of auctions available: English auctions (sell to the highest bidder) or Sell with a declining price (drop the price until someone buys it).

While choosing to auction your NFTs may take a little more time to configure, it also may help you get a better price as buyers feel they have to compete for the NFT. 

It’s also worth mentioning that when you’re doing this for the first time, you’ll need to pay a fee in Wrapped ETH to allow buyers to make pre-authorized bids.

Therefore, the final choice is up to you and will depend on your strategy and each NFT’s characteristics.

What are OpenSea’s fees like?

You can access and navigate OpenSea for free, however, there are fees to pay when buying or selling NFTs on the platform.

As you know, sellers pay fees when creating an auction for the first time, but also when accepting any type of offer.

Furthermore, when selling NFTs that were created on the platform by other users, you will have to pay the aforementioned Creator Earnings. This fee can be up to 10% of the purchase price and is there so that the creator receives a percentage of each sale their creation has generated.

Now regarding OpenSea’s service fees, it is 2.5% for each NFT you buy.

Are There Alternative NFT Marketplaces to OpenSea?

Yes, there are many alternative NFT marketplaces to OpenSea in different blockchains, but choosing them is a personal choice. Some of the other best NFT marketplaces include:

Each of these marketplaces has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to do your own research for your specific case.

Keep Tracking OpenSea With DappRadar

DappRadar will keep following the OpenSea path leading the NFT community. You can track the marketplace’s performance using our NFT Marketplaces Ranking.

For more insights to manage your own NFT portfolio, we recommend using the DappRadar NFT Portfolio Tracker.

If you want to learn even more about the best projects in the exciting world of decentralized applications, then follow the DappRadar blog, YouTube channel, and Twitter.

The above does not constitute investment advice. The information given here is purely for informational purposes only. Please exercise due diligence and do your research.



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