October 26, 2022 | Updated on October 27, 2022
NFT artworks and their varying formats (video, audio, etc.) are created and recorded on many different blockchains. This article will focus on NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain, the most popular and most widely used network, and walk through the five steps beginners and new collectors can take to buy their first NFT artwork.
Step 1: Create a crypto wallet
Crypto wallets are software that store cryptocurrencies such as ETH and enable blockchain transactions. You'll need a crypto wallet to start collecting as you can only buy NFT artworks with crypto. Just like blockchain networks, there are many crypto wallets available in the market. The best and most popular choice for new collectors is MetaMask. Coinbase Wallet is a reliable alternative. TRLab is fully integrated with both MetaMask and Coinbase Wallet.
MetaMask is popular amongst new collectors because it is directly integrated with OpenSea, the largest Ethereum NFT Marketplace. Most collectors buy NFTs using MetaMask on OpenSea, and the good news is that the instructions that will be mentioned later can be applied to other crypto wallets and marketplaces, too.
Now, it's time to create your MetaMask account. You can access MetaMask via a browser extension or its mobile app on your phone. We recommend using the browser extension because it is easier to navigate for first-timers. MetaMask currently supports 4 browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Brave, and Edge.
Remember: Always keep your password and secret recovery phrase (aka seed phrase) safe when creating a crypto wallet. Never give it to anyone.
Step 2: Get some $ETH
After creating a MetaMask account, you need to start adding funds to your wallet. Because we are focusing on NFT artworks on Ethereum, the crypto you should fund your wallet with is $ETH, the Ethereum network's native cryptocurrency. The cryptocurrency will vary depending on the blockchain the NFTs are recorded on.
There are many different ways to add $ETH to your wallet, but MoonPay makes it easy for collectors to buy $ETH with a debit or credit card.
How much $ETH you should acquire depends entirely on the price of the NFT artwork you are looking to buy. But a good rule of thumb is to always acquire more $ETH than the exact price of the NFT to cover gas fees, a mandatory network fee for all Ethereum transactions. The gas fees will also vary depending on how busy the Ethereum network is. Learn more about Ethereum gas fees here.
Step 3: Connecting your wallet
You are one step closer to buying your first NFT artwork. After creating a crypto wallet and funding it with the right cryptocurrency ($ETH), you need to connect your wallet to an NFT marketplace. You can buy TRLab NFTs by connecting your wallet to TRLab.com and our artwork-specific websites like https://calderquestion.trlab.com/ and https://yourdaytimefireworks.trlab.com/.
Simply visit our website and click 'Connect Wallet' at the top right corner.
You will be asked to select the type of wallet you wish to connect. Select MetaMask and enter your account password (not your secret recovery phrase).
You can also connect your wallet to OpenSea, the largest and most popular Ethereum NFT Marketplace to date. The instructions are pretty much the same for all NFT marketplaces.
Head over to OpenSea's website and click the profile icon at the top right corner. Select MetaMask and enter your account password.
The same instructions apply if you want to connect your wallet with your phone. However, certain websites may not be as interactive on mobile display, so we recommend you to use your laptops for this process.
Important note: NFT marketplaces are platforms that display your NFTs. Your NFTs will ultimately be stored in your crypto wallet, which is why you can connect your wallet to different marketplaces and view your collection there. Make sure you are also using the correct links to prevent getting scammed.
Step 4: Decide on the NFT artwork you want to buy
Congratulations on making it to the most exciting step—actually buying your first NFT artwork. Art is subjective, and everyone has their own taste and preferences, so it really depends on what you are looking for. However, we highly suggest always doing your research before you making a purchase. We've published an article on questions you can ask to help guide your research on NFT projects. Read more here.
Depending on which marketplace you are browsing, you can discover and learn about the featured NFTs in different ways. On TRLab, you can browse NFTs in terms of partnerships and artworks. You can also check out our membership program, Tabula Rasa Social, and our leaderboard to better understand how you will benefit as a member in relation to the TRLab NFTs you collect. On OpenSea, you can filter your search by pinpointing the available categories and look up specific wallets of collectors you know.
Step 5: Buying the NFT artwork
When you've found the NFT artwork you want to buy, simply click "Buy Now". This buy button UI may look different depending on which website you are on, but the overall purchasing process is the same regardless of the platform.
Once you do that, you will be taken to a purchase screen and be asked to approve the transaction. You can accept the transaction in your crypto wallet with a click of a button. Before your transaction goes through, you need to adjust the gas amount if you want your transaction to be prioritized by the Ethereum network.
You can always continue your purchase with the gas limit recommended by MetaMask, but if you want your purchase to be completed ASAP, you need to turn on MetaMask's advanced gas controls and set a higher limit. Learn more about MetaMask's gas controls here.
Congratulations on buying your very first NFT artwork! You can view your NFT artwork by connecting your wallet to TRLab.com, on OpenSea, or in your MetaMask mobile app. Enjoy and go show it off to your family and friends!
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