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How to buy your first NFT in 5 steps

Looking to buy an NFT? Here’s everything you need to know.

22 Oct 2021by Corey Barchat

NFTs come in all shapes and sizes. From art, video and audio files, to profile picture collections, there’s a big world of unique digital assets to explore.

Although NFTs can be created on many different blockchains, here we’re going to focus on Ethereum, the most popular NFT cryptocurrency. 

Follow these easy steps to purchase your first NFT!

1. Set up your wallet

There are many Ethereum wallets to choose from, but MetaMask is the most popular. With direct integration on OpenSea—the largest ETH NFT marketplace—and a gallery to view your collectibles, MetaMask is also the best choice for beginners.

For the purpose of this blog, we are using MetaMask and OpenSea, but these instructions can be applied to most wallets and NFT marketplaces.

To create your MetaMask wallet account, you can download the mobile app on your iOS or Android phone, or download the browser extension for desktop (currently MetaMask supports Chrome, Firefox, Brave, and Edge browsers). Unless you strongly prefer buying on your mobile device, we recommend desktop as it is easier for first time users.

A picture of the interface to download the MetaMask wallet for either mobile or desktop.

MetaMask has options to download their wallet for mobile and desktop (Image source)

While setting up your account, you’ll be asked to create a password. You’ll also be given a secret recovery phrase in the form of a randomly generated sequence of words. It’s extremely important to store this in a safe place, as anyone who obtains it can gain full access to your wallet. We recommend writing it down and storing your phrase offline, or on a secure platform like 1Password.

Your secret recovery phrase will also allow you to sign in on a new device, should you ever get a new phone or computer. And if you are active on both mobile and desktop, you can switch back and forth between devices with your singular account.

2. Fund your wallet with ETH

Once you have created your wallet address, you’ll need to add funds to your wallet so you can make your purchase. The amount of ETH you should add depends on the price of the NFT you want to buy, but you should always buy a bit more to cover the gas fees required by Ethereum transactions. 

There are many different exchanges and on-ramps available to buy ETH, including MoonPay. When prompted, enter your MetaMask Ethereum address on your preferred platform and add the amount of Ethereum you want to buy. MetaMask, like most wallets, makes it safe and easy to copy your wallet address in the app to paste as your destination when completing your purchase.

Screengrab of OpenSea’s MoonPay integration to buy ETH with a credit card.

MoonPay enables you to buy ETH directly on OpenSea with a credit card (Image source)

Still, for all crypto purchases we recommend double-checking to make sure the wallet address is correct before making the transaction. If you’re extra cautious, you can even send a small amount first to ensure that the funds are going to the desired recipient, before sending the rest.

If you prefer, you can also buy ETH directly in your MetaMask. Simply click “buy” and you will be directed to the on-ramp options available in your region.

3. Connect your wallet to OpenSea

Whether you’ve chosen to download the MetaMask chrome plug-in extension for desktop or the mobile app, you’ll be able to access OpenSea seamlessly on both.

On desktop, head over to OpenSea.io (we recommend bookmarking the site to avoid scam links on Google), and click the profile icon in the top right corner. You’ll then be prompted to connect your wallet. We’re covering MetaMask here, but you should choose the option that corresponds to your preferred wallet. Enter your account password (not your seed phrase), and your wallet will be connected to OpenSea!

Alt-text: A picture showing OpenSea’s different options to connect your Ethereum wallet.

Connect your MetaMask wallet to OpenSea’s NFT marketplace (Image source)

On mobile, you can access OpenSea directly on your wallet’s browser tab. Just enter OpenSea.io in the address bar and you’ll be able to connect your account to their NFT marketplace. As a UX-layer to MetaMask, you’ll find OpenSea’s integration to be seamless with your wallet.

4. Choose the NFT you want to buy

So you’ve made it to OpenSea. Your MetaMask wallet is funded and you’re ready to buy your first NFT. Now what? 

There are many factors to consider when buying an NFT. Each digital token is unique, and beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. Maybe you’re looking for a specific art piece, or a project released by a particular creator. Perhaps you’ve seen the hype coming from the latest alliterative animal jpeg collection and you want to be part of a budding community.

You can browse OpenSea by items, collections, and accounts (Image source)

Whatever you’re looking for, you can search OpenSea for a particular token, creator, or collection. If you’re extra curious, you can even look up the individual wallet of a friend or public figure. If you know their account name on OpenSea, just enter it in the search bar to see which NFTs they are holding. 

5. Buy your NFT


Once you find your desired NFT, click “buy” and OpenSea will take you to a purchase screen. You’ll need to approve the transaction in your wallet, usually just by clicking a button. Next you’ll have to set the gas amount based on the transaction priority. If you want your purchase to go through right away you can set a higher limit, or if you’re willing to wait a bit longer you can save some ETH by setting a lower limit. 

If you see an extraordinarily high suggested gas fee, you should reject the transaction and refresh until you see a gas amount that you are comfortable paying.

How to view your NFT

You can view your freshly purchased NFT directly on OpenSea’s desktop site, or in your MetaMask mobile wallet by visiting your profile page. If you plan on purchasing more NFTs, you may decide to change your profile name and image for others to easily find and view your portfolio. 

If you’re buying from a specific collection, we recommend following the creator on social media to see the long term roadmap and any future updates to the project. Most NFT collections will have a Twitter page, with links to official sites and often a Discord where token holders can chat and participate in exclusive channels.

MoonPay’s NFT solution

Congratulations, you just bought your first NFT! If the steps seemed daunting, don’t worry. Your next purchases will go smoother as you gain experience managing the various blockchains, wallets, and marketplaces where you can buy and sell these exciting digital assets. 

While the steps listed above will guide you through the current NFT purchasing phases, MoonPay is re-imagining the NFT buying experience to make it even easier. 

A screenshot of MoonPay's NFT solution flow that simplifies the checkout experience.

MoonPay's NFT solution simplifies the checkout experience (Image source)

With fewer roadblocks and dropout points, MoonPay enables users to buy NFTs directly, without having to go through the additional wallet creation and funding steps. You can just go to the marketplace, click on the NFT you want, and use your credit card. It really is that easy.