The Top 8 NFT Marketplaces – Where to Buy NFTs

Everything you need to know about buying and selling NFTs

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First-time NFT creators and collectors often start their journey with a simple Google search. 

But the hunt to find the best place to buy an NFT — which hinges heavily upon unique digital collectible needs — now, more than ever, needs the right context and due diligence. Many holders who snapped up their NFTs via FTX were hit with a rude awakening by the exchange’s bankruptcy. Their elaborate and creative expressions of digital art are now, at least for the moment, worth not much more than a 404 error.   

No guide can eliminate entirely the downsides of investing in NFTs, or any other cryptoasset, but this one is designed to break down how and why each exchange can or cannot meet your own NFT wants and needs.

Read more: NFT Investing Explained

Breaking down NFT auctions

Different NFT marketplaces come with different standards for the auctions that govern their transactions.

A Dutch auction, for one, uses a declining price format — unlike the more familiar English model. The seller kicks things off with a relatively high ask price and gradually lowers it until a bidder decides to lock it in. The first bidder to accept the current price wins. Dutch auctions are intended to sell NFTs with enough demand quickly.     

An English NFT auction employs the crypto version of the eBay model. The seller sets a low floor, and bidders compete by placing increasingly higher offers until the auction ends at a pre-determined time — when the highest roller wins out. English auctions help lesser-known artists sell NFTs at a fair price. But sellers can also use the format to bid and manipulate the price anonymously.  

Best NFT Marketplaces

OpenSea 

BlockchainsArbitrum, Ethereum, Klatyn, Optimism, Polygon, Solana
FocusArt, collectibles, domain names, music, photography, sport, trading cards, utility, virtual worlds
Fees2.5% per sale
Auction English, Dutch 
Royalties10% maximum per sale
Best forArt collectors, NFT flippers
ProsEasy onboarding, support for multiple wallets
High liquidity
Wide variety of listed NFTs, collections
Advanced tools for creators
Educational guides for beginners
Multi-chain support 
Android, iOS apps
ConsMarketplace can be somewhat cluttered
Record of security breaches resulting in losses
Past allegations of insider trading 

Launched in December 2017, OpenSea became the first Ethereum-based NFT trading platform. The marketplace rose in prominence as the industry grew and now handles more than 50% of all NFT trading volume — good for the largest marketplace, with more than a million registered users.  

But, since OpenSea is the most popular, sellers are especially forced to compete to get their NFTs noticed by buyers. The setup makes it difficult for new sellers to stand out and may result in lower sales.

OpenSea provides a wide suite of tools for creators to mint and list new collections. It also comes with a minimalistic interface to browse and purchase NFTs — using a range of payment options. From the platform’s Ethereum roots, OpenSea has recently expanded to support NFTs on five additional chains, notably Solana and Polygon. 

Example of an OpenSea NFT

Space Daddie #001
Owned by CASHRULEZ

Read more: As OpenSea Flexes Marketplace Influence, Some Users Are Worried

Magic Eden

BlockchainsEthereum, Solana
FocusCollectibles, art, gaming
Fees2% per sale 
AuctionTimed auction
RoyaltiesDefined by creator
Best forNFT collectors, flippers 
Pros User-friendly interface
Decent volumes
Slightly lower fees compared to OpenSea, in parts thanks to Solana-nativity
Drop calendar to track upcoming mints
Supports multiple wallets across listed networks
iOS app
ConsSupports only Ethereum, Solana
Limited options compared to OpenSea
Only supports verified creators and collections, limiting opportunities for up-and-coming artists

Despite launching in September 2021, Magic Eden is already the most popular NFT marketplace on the Solana (native token, SOL) network. It has the highest number of users among SOL NFT markets, and is the second-largest NFT platform in terms of trading volume, trailing only OpenSea. 

Magic Eden is especially sought-after by collectors hunting for fresh, up-and-coming items. The Magic Eden Launchpad hosts regular NFT mints to connect creators with collectors. While the platform started off as Solana-native, it has expanded to enable support for Ethereum-based NFTs — and has additional networks in the pipeline.

Example of a Magic Eden NFT

Claynosaurz #7328
2461
Claynosaurz 

Read More: Solana Marketplace Magic Eden To Offer Ethereum NFTs

Rarible

BlockchainsEthereum, Flow, ImmutableX, Polygon, Solana, Tezos
FocusCollectibles, art, gaming, virtual worlds
Fees1% fee from buyer, 1% fee from seller
AuctionEnglish auction
Royalties10% maximum per sale
Best forCollectors, gamers
Pros Multi-chain support
NFT aggregator for seamless purchases across supported marketplaces
Enables creators to launch individual marketplaces
Android and iOS apps available 
Trading fees distributed between buyer and seller
ConsLimited NFT options compared to competitors
Relatively difficult for new creators to break through (platform dominated by influencers)

Rarible launched in early 2020 and grabbed a significant portion of overall market share as the NFT industry saw increased adoption later that year. Rarible is one of few NFT marketplaces with a native token, releasing its RARI token roughly one year after launch. The token allows users to influence platform upgrades and access certain unique features.

RARI token holders can submit or vote on proposals regarding trading fees, new features and related governance proposals. Such votes are advisory, not binding, so the Rarible team still has the final call. 

Token holders also decide which NFTs to showcase and feature. NFTs listed first are more likely to attract sales than those buried at the bottom of a long list. 

Rarible has a unique appeal for creators. It provides a filter for buyers to explore top influencers and artists. This feature allows creators to build a closer relationship with their respective collector communities. The platform also offers an aggregator, allowing users to buy NFTs listed on competitors.

Example of a Rarible NFT

Doodles
Doodle #5303

Read more: Web3 Watch: Rarible Revamps Marketplace, ApeCoin DAO Adds Bug Bounty

Nifty Gateway

BlockchainEthereum
Marketplace focusArt, collectibles, gaming, music, social, style
Fees15%
Auction styleEnglish auction
RoyaltiesDefined by creator — Nifty Gateway takes 5% royalty fee, plus 30 cents per transaction
Best suited forPower NFT collectors
ProsExclusive appeal, rigorous vetting approach attract high-profile buyers
Majority of listed items are top collectibles
Supports fiat payments
Android, iOS apps 
Live customer service via chat
ConsOnly supports Ethereum network, Metamask wallet
Supports few NFT categories compared to competitors

Nifty Gateway ranks high on the NFT marketplace list for influencers, celebrities and brands to create limited-edition items. Since launching in 2018, Nifty Gateway has hosted exclusive drops for celebrities and artists such as Carl Cox, Kenny Scharf, Lil Yatchy and Trevor Jones.

Nifty Gateway famously hosted a $6.6 million sale for a work by the popular net artist, Beeple. Worth mentioning: Nifty Gateway is heavily affiliated with crypto exchange Gemini.

Example of a Nifty Gateway NFT

HEY
Created by: Beeple

Read more: Nifty Gateway Wants NFT Curators to Sell Art with ‘Publishers’ Pilot  

Binance NFT

BlockchainEthereum, BNB Chain 
Marketplace focusCollectibles, gaming, art, music, photography, collectibles, sports, virtual worlds
Fees1% flat fee
Auction styleEnglish auction
Royalties10% maximum per sale
Best suited forArtists and their fans
ProsBeginner-friendly
Decent liquidity
Fiat deposits, withdrawals
Advanced tools for creators to promote collections
Supports inclusivity with all users able to mint and list NFTs
ConsDoes not list most popular mainstream NFT collections
Requires KYC verification, typically not required elsewhere

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, launched its NFT business in June 2021. Users need to register and verify their identities with Binance to access the platform. Creators and collectors transact in three main cryptocurrencies: BNB, BUSD and ETH. 

Users can purchase individual items or mystery boxes containing various curated collections. There is also a “premium” and “standard” collection listing. Premium collections are exclusive drops from popular influencers, while the standard collection features items minted by typical users.

Since launching, the Binance NFT marketplace has organized NFT drops for popular celebrities and entities, including Russell Simmons, Paulo Del Valle, the Uganda National Museum, Franck Muller and Parimatch. The highest recorded sale on the Binance NFT marketplace for newbies is $2.8 million.

Example of a Binance NFT

BBC Gas
BullBTCCLUB

Read more: Binance to Debut NFT Marketplace with Warhol, Dali Thursday

Coinbase NFT

BlockchainEthereum
Marketplace focusArt, collectibles, virtual worlds
FeesNone (could change in future)
Auction styleTimed auctions
RoyaltiesDefined by creator 
Best suited forArt and collectibles collectors
ProsBeginner-friendly
Decent liquidity
Aggregate listing option supports direct purchase of NFTs listed on other marketplaces (OpenSea and LooksRare)
NFT drops calendar to track upcoming mints
Curated list of popular creators simplifies decision-making for buyers
ConsSupports only Ethereum-based NFTs
Lists fewer assets than competitors

Coinbase is another centralized cryptocurrency exchange that recently ventured into the NFT industry. In May 2022, the exchange company began offering a place where you can buy NFT art using Ether (ETH) as the primary accepted cryptocurrency. Notably, users require a self-custodial wallet — Coinbase Wallet — to access the marketplace.

Read more: What Are Seed Phrases and Are They Needed? The New Debate

The Coinbase NFT platform hosts exclusive drops from popular artists and new crypto-native NFT projects. It also lists a range of leading NFT collections, including CryptoPunks, Bored Apes and Otherdeed metaverse land parcels.

Example of a Coinbase NFT

Amber Vittoria
Roll With It #32/50

Read more: Coinbase Unveils Social NFT Marketplace

SuperRare

BlockchainEthereum
Marketplace focusArt, music, photography 
Fees3% paid by buyer
Auction styleTimed
RoyaltiesSuperRare collects 15% royalty on primary sales and creators receive maximum 10% royalty on secondary sales
Best suited forNFT art collectors 
Pros User-friendly interface 
Offers high-profile, collectible-grade artwork
Regular auctions
Educational materials
Customer service via live chat
In-person gallery experience
ConsOnly supports Ethereum network 
Fees on relative high end
Limits new creators to exclusively verified artists

Launched in 2018, SuperRare brands itself as a digital art market on Ethereum. The platform carved a niche for itself and is widely considered as the best NFT marketplace for buying exclusive artwork from verified creators.

SuperRare, too, has a native asset: its RARE token. RARE holders form the RareDAO and have the chance to curate the marketplace, define listing parameters and influence platform upgrades. Since launching in 2018, artists on SuperRare have earned over $760 million, with secondary sales topping $100 million over the same period. 

Example of a SuperRare NFT

Tower 01 – Hydrology
Artistschmooze

Read more: Netgear Joins SuperRare DAO to Develop NFT Art Licensing Model

MakersPlace

BlockchainEthereum
Marketplace focusArt, music, photography
Fees15%
Auction styleTime-based
Royalties10% paid to creator, 2.5% to MakersPlace 
Best suited forDigital art collectors
Pros User-friendly experience 
Advanced tools for creators to launch digital art storefronts
Support fiat deposits
Both live chat and email support for creators 
Cons:Exorbitant fees
Supports only Ethereum NFTs
Limited access for new creators

MakersPlace launched in 2018 and primarily offers a platform where you can buy NFT art. Collectors can find exclusive artworks from famous artists such as David Loblaw, Mr. Longshanks, FidJay and many more. The platform has attracted over 100,000 collectors since launch, with $100 million traded in 2021 alone.

The MakersPlace NFT trading platform is notably easy to browse, even for users with no crypto experience. Advanced search filters and support for fiat payment also sets the platform apart as one of the best NFT trading platforms.

Example of a MakersPlace NFT

Space Club
Artchizest

Read more: How NFT Royalties Work – and Sometimes Don’t

Next steps after choosing an NFT trading platform

  1. Evaluate what NFT you want to buy

There are millions of NFT collections. The best NFTs to invest in, however, are generally those with a strong community or artwork that personally appeals to you. It could also be the work of an upcoming artist that has the potential to increase in value as the artist rises in prominence. As a rule of thumb, buying an NFT simply because an influencer promotes it may turn out to be a poor investment.

  1. Buy it

Once you have your mind made up, the next step is to make the purchase. The steps on how to buy an NFT differ from one platform to the next. It typically involves setting up a Web3 wallet, or registering on the NFT marketplace website and completing their KYC process. Next, fund your wallet with the purchase amount, or make the purchase using your credit card if it’s supported by the platform.

  1. Store your NFT in a wallet

Like cryptocurrencies, you can store NFTs in a self-custodied wallet. While it is common practice to use mobile or browser-native wallets for NFT storage, a hardware wallet offers the most secure experience. These devices typically store your assets offline and remove a common attack vector for hackers. Ideally, a hardware wallet is a compulsory option for investors putting huge sums into the NFT market. 

  1. Sell NFTs later to book profit

While most NFTs offer an art appeal, they are also investment assets. If you’re inclined to sell your NFT, we recommend reading a guide on how to sell an NFT on your chosen NFT trading platform. That way, you can avoid potential losses often associated with listing NFTs for the wrong prices or other potential mishaps. It also allows you to use the best withdrawal method to save on fees and get full value for each sale.

The NFT marketplace as a whole

This article provides an exhaustive NFT marketplace list, reviewing the likes of features and pros and cons, as well as fees. OpenSea and Magic Eden are the most popular to buy from, with a wide range of collections and support for a number of blockchains. 

Rarible, SuperRare, MakersPlace and Nifty Gateway specialize in artwork and exclusive drops from influencers and popular artists. Binance and Coinbase’s NFT platforms, meanwhile, have grown in prominence — providing centralized trading venues for investors.

The best NFT marketplace is ultimately the one that meets your profile and specific needs as a creator or collector. Each platform has its own pluses and minuses and could come in handy at different stages of your digital collectibles journey. 

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