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How to buy an NFT
How to buy an NFT

Learn about NFTs, NFT marketplaces, and how to buy them

Graham avatar
Written by Graham
Updated over a week ago


NFT stands for non-fungible token. These tokens are digital assets using the same basic technology that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum use to create digital scarcity. However, NFTs use digital scarcity in a different way than cryptocurrencies. An example that highlights the difference is NFT art, such as photos, digital avatar profile pictures (PFPs), and music. For an in-depth look at NFTs, please read the following article: What are NFTs?

This article covers buying and viewing NFTs through decentralized marketplaces with step-by-step instructions for Rarible, a strongly decentralized NFT marketplace.

Table of contents

The basics of trading NFTs

Generally speaking, NFTs are traded two ways:

  1. Marketplaces

  2. Individual project websites

NFT projects will sometimes set up marketplaces to sell their NFTs on their own websites. This can allow projects to earn fees from secondary sales without necessarily charging royalty fees, and prevents the potential sale of fakes. However, most NFT sales occur on marketplaces, most likely due to the fact that since many more people use marketplaces there is a larger pool of potential buyers and sellers. Marketplaces can be broken into two subcategories: decentralized and centralized. This guide will focus on decentralized marketplaces like Rarible and Opensea as opposed to centralized marketplaces offered at places like Coinbase. Centralized marketplaces are less popular with fewer buyers and sellers, not to mention there is a risk of losing your assets if the business goes insolvent.

Introduction to Rarible

Rarible is a decentralized NFT marketplace which enables people to buy, sell, and trade NFTs peer-to-peer. Rarible is a smaller marketplace than Opensea, the number one market by trade volume and active users, but Rarible places more importance on decentralization. Rarible’s economy and governance is tied to the platfrom’s native token, RARI. Anyone can hold RARI, therefore sharing in the platform’s generated revenue as well as governance decisions.

Rarible runs on multiple blockchains, including the Ethereum and Polygon networks. The Wallet supports DApps on both chains through WalletConnect.

You can read more about WalletConnect here.

Here’s a guide for how to use WalletConnect.

Key terms

Auction: NFT auctions are one of two main ways to sell NFTs on marketplaces. Most auctions are timed auctions, also known as English auctions, that usually feature a minimum price to be sold. People interested in an NFT can place offers, or bids, and as long as the price threshold is met, the NFT will be automatically sold to the highest bidder when the auction ends.

Buy now: This is the other main way to sell NFTs on marketplaces. A seller specifies a price and time limit. During that time, anyone may buy the NFT at the specified price. Most marketplaces allow offers to be made on the NFT, which the seller can accept at any time.

Trading fee: Marketplace users pay a percentage of the revenue generated from the sale of NFTs to the marketplace. On Rarible, users pay 2.5% in trading fees.

Royalty fee: These fees are paid to NFT creators for secondary sales. When creators mint an NFT they can specify a royalty fee. Whenever the NFT is sold or resold, the creator receives the royalty fee. Royalty fees might seem unfair, but it’s important to remember that many NFT projects become popular, and therefore increase in value, long after the initial sale. Without royalty fees, it’s possible for creators to miss out on the success of their own project.

Offers: Offers are also known as bids. Potential buyers can submit offers for an NFT during an auction, for a fixed-price “Buy now,” or even for NFTs that are not listed. Submitted offers in no way guarantee a sale. In open auctions, offers usually must clear a minimum price specified by the seller, and only the highest offer will get the NFT. In fixed-price NFTs, the seller must accept offers.

Properties: Properties, or traits, are a popular feature of many, but not all, NFT projects. Properties are far more common in NFT collections, and much less common in unique, one-of-ones. They represent characteristics of an NFT. Those characteristics are ranked in terms of rarity. As expected, higher rarity usually affects an NFT’s value compared to other NFTs in the same collection.

Badges: Badges help give marketplaces buyers more confidence that sellers’ NFTs are not fake or in someway duplicitous. Badges signal that the NFT is from a specific creator. Marketplaces vet creators, especially the more popular ones, and assign badges to their NFTs. It is always recommended to check to see if an NFT’s creator has a badge, especially if the project is well known.

How to buy an NFT

We are going to cover how to buy an NFT using the “Buy now” option, arguably the most popular way to buy an NFT. We are going to use Rarible, a multichain NFT marketplace, on the Ethereum blockchain. Before we begin, make sure you have Ethereum (ETH) in your Ethereum wallet.

If you don’t have any ETH yet, check out these videos on how to buy or swap crypto to get Ethereum using the Wallet.

  1. Go to Rarible and connect your Wallet to the marketplace by pressing the hamburger menu button in the top right corner, then tap the “Connect Wallet” button.

  2. Tap on “WalletConnect.” Then tap the “Connect,” button. An “Open with” menu will pop up, tap the Wallet button.

  3. In the Wallet, approve the connection request.

  4. Go back to the marketplace and browse the listed NFTs. Since we want to use the “Buy now” option, tap the “Filters” button, tap “Status,” and select “Buy now.” Then press “Apply” at the bottom of the screen.

  5. Once you’ve found an NFT you like, tap on it. This will take you to a page with many details about the NFT. Check out the info on this NFT, and when you are ready to purchase it, press the “Buy now for …” button.

  6. A “Checkout” screen will pop up with information about the purchase. Verify the terms of the purchase, then press the “Proceed to payment” button.

  7. A prompt will ask to make sure you are ok with using your external wallet. Press, “Continue with wallet.” In the “Open with” menu, once again select the Wallet. In the Wallet, approve the transaction.

  8. Go back to Rarible. When the transaction confirms you will get a notice informing you that you have successfully purchased the NFT. Show-off your newly acquired NFT through social media, view it, or list it for resale!

How to view your NFTs

You can view NFTs in your crypto wallet through the Rarible marketplace. This can be useful not only to enjoy your collection, but to sell NFTs.

  1. Go to Rarible and connect your Wallet to the marketplace by pressing the hamburger menu button in the top right corner and tapping the “Connect Wallet” button.

  2. Tap on “WalletConnect.” Then tap the “Connect,” button. An “Open with” menu will pop up, tap the Wallet button.

  3. In the Wallet, approve the connection request.

  4. Your profile is represented by a colored circle at the top of the screen. Tap it.

  5. This will open up a menu. Tap “My NFTs.”

  6. Scroll down to see the NFTs in your wallet.

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