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

OpenSea NFT Marketplace Complete Guide
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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.

OpenSea NFT Marketplace

Currently, it also supports NFTs on the Polygon, Solana, Klaytn, Base, Avalanche, Zora, and Optimism blockchains. During the 2021 NFT bull run, when these digital assets started getting mainstream, OpenSea was one of the main characters.

Anyone can access and explore the OpenSea marketplace on their website, and buying NFTs is simple as long as you have a web3 wallet and enough cryptocurrencies.

In 2023, OpenSea remained a top player in the NFT scene and, alongside Blur, led the NFT trading volume.

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 with blockchain technology. 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 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 need a web3 wallet like MetaMask. You’ll 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 in the marketplace, having the necessary tokens in your connected wallet address is advisable.

Buying NFTs on OpenSea

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

How to buy an NFT on OpenSea

If you want to buy an NFT on OpenSea, you can explore collections by type (PFPs, Art, Gaming, Membership, Music and Photography), filter by chains, prices, buying styles, etc.

There you can browse and discover new NFTs on rankings 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?

When purchasing an NFT, you have two main options: the ‘Buy Now’ option, which guarantees immediate ownership but might involve a higher one-time payment, and the auction, where you can potentially secure the NFT at a lower price through bidding. However, in auctions, there’s a risk of being outbid. If you prioritize certainty and immediate acquisition, ‘Buy Now’ is ideal, but if you’re willing to take a chance for a better deal and are not in a rush, participating in an auction could be more advantageous.

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 through OpenSea Studio. Just like buying it, this process is also straightforward.

Create your own NFTs on OpenSea

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 every chain.

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

Selling your NFTs at a fixed price allows greater control over the pricing and ensures immediate payment upon sale. However, there’s a risk that the set price might not attract buyers, potentially leading to no sale. In contrast, opting for Timed Auctions, with either English auctions (selling to the highest bidder) or declining price sales, might require more setup time but can potentially fetch a higher price due to buyer competition.

Keep in mind, for first-timers, there’s a fee payable in Wrapped ETH for enabling pre-authorized bids. Ultimately, the choice between fixed pricing and auctions depends on your selling strategy and the specific characteristics of each NFT.

OpenSea, fees and royalties

In August 2023, OpenSea, a leading NFT marketplace, revised its royalties policy to make creator fees optional for new project listings. This significant change means creators can only suggest, not enforce, a royalty fee on secondary sales, traditionally a vital income source. Existing collections on non-Ethereum blockchains and those utilizing OpenSea’s Operator Filter will still have enforced royalties until February 2024.

This policy shift faced backlash from the NFT community, notably from Yuga Labs, which plans to launch a rival marketplace with Magic Eden in late 2023. Marketplaces like Rarible and Magic Eden, adhering to enforced artist royalties, are gaining popularity, indicating a shift towards platforms supporting creator rights.

Despite these changes and growing competition, OpenSea remains the most active NFT marketplace in terms of volume and users.

As of November 2023, while accessing OpenSea is free, trading involves fees. Sellers incur charges for auctions and accepting offers, and there’s an optional Creator Earnings fee up to 10% on resales. OpenSea’s service fee remains at 2.5% per NFT purchase.

OpenSea Pro: The NFT marketplace aggregator

Launched in April 2023, OpenSea Pro is OpenSea’s response to the competitive NFT marketplace, particularly addressing the challenge posed by Blur.

OpenSea Pro offers a comprehensive suite of advanced features, empowering users with broader options, enhanced selection capabilities, and greater control, especially appealing to professional collectors. It aggregates data from over 170 marketplaces, providing live, real-time updates on user and collection activities, making it a one-stop solution for tracking NFT trends, mints, and collections.

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 advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to do your research for your specific case.

Explore top NFT marketplaces

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

Discover Trending NFTs

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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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