UPDATED BY
Brennan Whitfield | Sep 27, 2022
REVIEWED BY
Chris Liquin | Sep 14, 2022

The world of NFTs has continued to explode ever since the record-breaking $69 million sale of a digital collage by crypto artist Beeple in 2021. Big names in TV, sports and music continue to get in on the trend: Just look at Mila Kunis, Tom Brady and John Legend, who all have companies that are maximizing on NFT technology. That enough can make people want to buy one for themselves.

Where to Buy NFTs 2022

  • AsyncArt
  • Axie Marketplace
  • Crypto.com
  • Decentraland
  • Foundation
  • KnownOrigin
  • LooksRare
  • Magic Eden
  • Mintable
  • NBA Top Shot
  • Nifty Gateway
  • OpenSea
  • Rarible
  • Sorare
  • SuperRare
  • The Sandbox
  • ThetaDrop
  • Valuables
  • Venly
  • Zora

If you’re still a little hazy on understanding NFTs, here’s what you need to know.

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are units of data (unique code) that provide a secure record of ownership on a blockchain infrastructure (examples are Ethereum or Solana). NFTs are often associated with a digital asset like an image or video that lives on a blockchain. Some NFT projects you might recognize are CryptoPunks or Bored Ape Yacht Club.

NFTs can’t be copied or altered, so they can be used to track ownership of property that can’t be replicated, like the rights to an image. This technology is being applied to purchasing digital art, music and sports moments.

 

How to Buy NFTs

To buy and sell NFTs, these actions must be performed through NFT marketplaces and usually require cryptocurrency. NFT marketplaces are online platforms for everything involving the sale of NFTs, and are powered directly on blockchain technology to verify the ownership of purchases.

What Is an NFT Marketplace?

An NFT marketplace describes a platform for buying, selling, trading and storing digital assets called NFTs (non-fungible tokens). Every NFT marketplace operates on blockchain technology to verify asset ownership.

To use NFT marketplaces, you first need to establish a digital wallet to store your cryptocurrency. Digital wallets can be established through platforms like Gemini, Metamask, Binance and Coinbase. Once established, you can then link this wallet to the marketplace account where you plan to buy NFTs. 

Today, most NFTs are purchased with ether (ETH), the native currency of the Ethereum network, which can be converted from U.S. dollars on exchanges like Coinbase, Kraken and Gemini

Unlike bitcoin, which functions mainly as a payment network and cryptocurrency, blockchain networks such as Ethereum and Solana let users build apps that can store personal data and set rules for complex financial transactions. These are called smart contracts, which are digital contracts stored on a blockchain that are automatically executed when certain conditions are met, like when an NFT transfers ownership and the original artist receives royalties. 

NFTs are often sold through an auction system where you will put in a bid for the NFT. Some sites like OpenSea offer an option to buy the NFT now for a set price.

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Centralized vs Decentralized NFT Marketplaces

Crypto and NFT marketplaces are split into two types of general categories: centralized or decentralized. Depending on how new you are to buying NFTs, this will determine which type of marketplace may be best for your needs and values as a buyer. Here’s some of the key differences between both and which you should use.

What Is a Centralized Marketplace?

Popular for beginning buyers, a centralized NFT marketplace is a marketplace created and directly managed by a corporate entity. Examples of centralized marketplaces include sites like Crypto.com and NBA Top Shot.

In a centralized marketplace, the owning entity acts as a third-party provider between a buyer and seller, directly setting all guidelines for transactions and fees carried out on the exchange. Since these types of marketplaces are owned by companies, they tend to be more user-accessible, regulation-compliant and capable of safeguarding assets from hacking incidents.

What Is a Decentralized Marketplace?

Recommended for experienced buyers, a decentralized NFT marketplace is a marketplace initially created by one person or group, but is automatically managed by a decentralized network of computers. Examples of decentralized marketplaces include sites like OpenSea and LooksRare.

Third-party authority is largely eliminated in a decentralized marketplace, providing unique opportunities for buyers. Buyers in decentralized marketplaces have complete control over their assets, possible lowered transaction fees as well as varied choices of NFTs that otherwise wouldn’t be available on centralized markets. Some platforms even allow buyers to use their tokens to vote on community policy changes.

Without a regulatory safety net, users are also more at risk of loss due to scamming or hacking incidents. Additionally, users may not be required to create accounts and verify their identity to buy and sell.

 

Tips for Buying NFTs

With the NFT market rapidly growing, those entering the market should do so with eyes wide open. Since their inception, NFT marketplaces have seen multiple reports of theft and fraud, as well as widely varied fees and commissions. Buyers should understand that it’s important to assess marketplaces, including occasionally inconspicuous FAQs and service terms, with scrutiny.

Know Why You’re Buying

NFTs are valuable — for a few different reasons. Due to the uncertainties of the NFT market, ask yourself why you’re buying a specific NFT. Maybe it’s a piece by your favorite artist, maybe it’s a high-value piece you’re looking to resell or maybe it just looks cool. In any case, understand why you want to invest in an NFT before the final purchase.

Know Who You’re Buying From 

Scams are common in the NFT space, meaning it will be worth doing some research before buying just any NFT. If applicable, check beforehand if the seller has a verified profile on the marketplace you’re buying from, and if a seller’s information matches with that on their social media. Additionally, research on the NFT itself to see if its price value lines up with similar pieces by the same artist.

Know the Transaction Fees

When buying NFTs, it’s important to factor in additional or gas fees required by the marketplace of purchase. Some marketplace sites like Rarible take a percent of the sale price from both the buyer and seller, while a site like OpenSea takes no service fees at all from buyers. Take some time to understand the payment policies of your chosen marketplace so there are no sudden surprises.

Keeping everything in mind, here are 20 top NFT marketplaces to know.

 

20 Best NFT Marketplaces to Buy From

Screenshot of crypto.com's website showcasing NFTs available for purchase.
Image: Crypto.com

Crypto.com’s NFT marketplace allows users to buy and sell digital collectibles from brands, celebrities and artists like Snoop Dogg, Aston Martin and UFC. Purchases can be made with a credit or debit card, your account balance on Crypto.com or with Crypto.com Pay, using the app or a wallet like Metamask or WalletConnect that supports ERC20 tokens.

Category: Digital art, collectibles

 

Foundation is an NFT marketplace for digital art, including works by Edward Snowden.
Image: Foundation

Launched in February 2021, Foundation has hosted NFT sales of the viral internet meme Nyan Cat, Pak’s Finite and work by creators such as Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova and Edward Snowden. Creators’ work is arranged in a grid of cards, with trending auctions at the top of the page followed by featured artists. Works are listed at a reserve price, and bids can be placed for 24 hours, with a 15-minute extension if bids are placed in the last 15 minutes. The platform is built on Ethereum.

Category: Digital art

 

OpenSea is a marketplace to sell NFTS. The homepage image Blossoming Souls, pt 2. was created by cielmot.
Image: OpenSea

Founded in 2017 by the software development team of Devin Finzer and Alex Atallah, OpenSea claims on its website to be “the first and largest NFT marketplace.” A On the marketplace, which is filterable by price and rarity, you can find everything from virtual real estate to sound loops from The Weeknd. A stats tab — almost like a stock ticker — ranks sellers by volume, average sale price and the number of assets sold. OpenSea supports the blockchains of Ethereum, Polygon and Klatyn. Buyers can purchase fixed-price NFTs directly from sellers or bid on NFTs in auctions, with an offer record stored in the user’s profile.

Categories: Digital art, music, games, domain names, virtual worlds, sports, collectibles

 

Rarible is an NFT marketplace arranged like an e-commerce website, browsable by top sellers and the latest auctions.
Image: Rarible

Rarible is an NFT marketplace where users can mint, buy and sell digital collectibles ranging from gummy bear GIFs to animated videos commemorating sports milestones such as boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s undefeated 50-0 record. The layout is similar to Spotify, with a scrollable stack of columns featuring top sellers, hot collections and live auctions. A governance token known as RARI allows the most active buyers and sellers to vote for platform upgrades and participate in moderation decisions.

Categories: Digital art, photography, music, games, metaverse, memes

 

Sorare is a fantasy soccer league that offers player's cards for sale as NFTs.
Image: Sorare

Sorare is a cryptocurrency-based fantasy soccer league where users can collect player cards as NFTs and then use them in online competitions. The site has more than 200 licensed clubs, including the teams of Major League Soccer, and all transactions are done in Ethereum. Though users can participate in the fantasy league by purchasing low-cost digital players, exclusive NFT collectibles outcompete others through scoring multipliers.

Category: Sports collectibles

 

Gold Armour-AI Renaissance Painting #3 on Superrare NFT marketplace.
Image: Superrare

SuperRare is a peer-to-peer marketplace for buying and selling single-edition digital artwork. A tile of windows similar to an Instagram profile showcases art, list prices, sale prices and timed auctions. The site is home to a curated selection of artists and brands and has features like an active social feed, a calendar of upcoming exhibitions and an editorial page with profiles and artist statements. All transactions are made using ether, the native cryptocurrency to the Ethereum network.

Category: Digital art

 

Screenshot of Async's website showcasing NFTs available for purchase.
Image: Async

Async allows users to create and collect interactive NFTs. Async Art allows artists to tokenize the individual layers of their art, whether its audio, video or photos. When an artist mints programmable art, they deploy instructions for how their finished media should be rendered.

Category: Digital art, music, video

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Axie Infinity is a Pokemon-like game that offers characters and items for sale as NFTs.
Image: Axie Marketplace

Designed by the Vietnamese startup Sky Mavis, Axie Infinity is a Pokémon-inspired video game, where players collect cartoon pets, battle other players and build farming kingdoms. Characters and land plots are encrypted as NFTs, which can be bought on the Axie Marketplace

Category: Video games

 

Decentraland is a video game in that allows players to purchase items and avatars as NFTs.
Image: Decentraland

Self-branded on its homepage as “the first-ever virtual world owned by users,” Decentraland functions as a self-contained marketplace where users can buy and sell land, estates, avatar clothing and names registered on the Ethereum ledger. MANA is Decentraland’s fungible, ERC20 cryptocurrency token. MANA is burned, or spent, in exchange for LAND parcels.

Category: Video games, metaverse

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Screenshot of Knownorigin's website showcasing NFTs available for purchase.
Image: KnownOrigin

KnownOrigin is an artist-driven NFT marketplace for rare digital art that allows both collectors and artists to trade their NFT art on the Ethereum blockchain. 

Category: Digital art

 

LooksRare
Image: LooksRare

The LooksRare marketplace hosts a myriad of NFT collections, composed of various digital art and collectible images to choose from. LooksRare aims to be scalable and community-focused, offering instant payment for creators and future support for buying based on specific traits or full collections. The marketplace also implements a reward system providing LOOKS, a token earned by buying or selling NFTs on its platform.

Category: Digital art, images

 

Magic Eden
Image: Magic Eden

Founded by former employees from Google, Uber and Coinbase, Solana-based marketplace Magic Eden houses over 8,000 NFT collections and hosts the Launchpad NFT minting platform. Magic Eden also currently acts as the “most liquid secondary marketplace” for creators, holding over 90 percent of market share for secondary trading volume on certain blockchain platforms.

Category: Digital art, metaverse, sports collectibles

 

MIntable is an NFT marketplace with a range of collectibles, from video games to music.
Image: Mintabale

Backed by Marc Benioff-owned Time Ventures and billionaire investor Mark Cuban, Mintable is a two-sided marketplace for buying and selling NFTs that resembles eBay. Built on the Ethereum and Zilliqa blockchains, the site is integrated with MetaMask, where buyers can set up crypto wallets. Creators have options to mint free “gasless” NFTs, short-run printable series or traditional transaction-based items. Once they’ve set up profiles and loaded their wallets, buyers can purchase listed items or bid on auctions, with winners notified by email. 

Categories: Digital art, photography, videos, games, templates, domain names

 

NBA Top Shot sells player cards and sports moments as collectible NFTs.
Image: NBA Top Shot

Launched as a beta by DapperLabs in early 2020, fans can collect and trade NBA- and WNBA-licensed digital “moments” on NBA Top Shot. Released in limited-edition sets or available through open trade on the broader marketplace, moments feature video highlights, player stats and box scores. Collectors can display curated collections, follow their favorite teams and trade assets secured on the Flow blockchain.

Category: Sports collectibles

 

Nifty Gateway is a user-to-user NFT marketplace, featuring digital artists.
Image: Nifty Gateway

Nifty Gateway is a centralized U.S. dollar marketplace that works with artists and brands to create Nifties — a branded term for NFTs. Sales are structured around “drops,” in which collections are made available for a limited time. After a drop ends or an artwork sells out, Nifties can be resold through the site’s peer-to-peer marketplace. Nifty Gateway has featured work by artists and brands like Beeple, BD White, Cam Hicks, Forbes and Playboy. Now owned by cryptocurrency exchange, Gemini, Nifty Gateway operates at high volume and includes a discovery page and a log of sitewide activity. 

Category: Digital art, collectibles

 

The Sandbox is a video game in the metaverse where players can purchase collectible items as NFTs.
Image: The Sandbox

The Sandbox marketplace is a video game where players can monetize experiences through the Ethereum blockchain. A cryptocurrency known as SAND functions as the game’s usage fee and utility token. A web-based marketplace lets users upload, publish and sell creations made in VoxEdit, a 3D voxel modeling package, as NFTs. Creations purchased or developed using the editor can be placed on land parcels, thereby altering the game mechanics through scripted behaviors.

Category: Video games, metaverse

 

Screenshot of ThetaDrop's website showcasing NFTs available for purchase.
Image: ThetaDrop

ThetaDrop is an NFT marketplace powered by the video and entertainment blockchain Theta Network, calling itself “fast, cheap, green.” ThetaDrop incorporates live streaming during auctions and NFT drops, along with tie-ins to live television and cable broadcasts. It launched with the World Poker Tour.

Category: Digital art, images, music

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Valuables is a an NFT marketplace for autographed tweets.
Image: Valuables

A platform engineered by Cent, Valuables lets people auction off their tweets for payment in ether. Buyers can place bids by entering the tweet’s URL or the user’s handle in a search bar. Minimum offers start at $1 unless the seller has set a reserve price. After they place a bid, the buyer is directed to the seller’s tweet, where they can let the user know they have made an offer. This is the site where Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey famously sold his autographed first tweet for $2.9 million.

Category: Tweets

 

Venly is an NFT marketplace for blockchain games, such as The Sandbox and Ethermon.
Image: Venly

Venly’s peer-to-peer NFT marketplace allows users to create, buy and sell game characters, weapons and collectibles without needing to worry about getting cryptocurrency first. Users can link their accounts to digital wallets to buy and sell assets from blockchain games, such as The Sandbox and Vulcan Verse. Venly advertises being the first blockchain agnostic marketplace, and it allows for payments in U.S. dollars via PayPal.

Category: Video games, metaverse

 

Zora is a public, permissionless marketplace for NFTs designed to give creators a greater stake in the ownership of their work.
Image: Zora

Zora is a decentralized auction house with an overtly activist manifesto: to help artists recapture value that labels, galleries and big brands have traditionally taken as a commission for service and distribution. Buyers can find music, video, images, GIFs and text NFTs for sale through linked Ethereum wallets like WalletConnect and Coinbase. In addition to serving as a marketplace, Zora is an open-source protocol, built on the most common standard for NFTs, called ERC-721. Creators can buy and resell NFTs anywhere that integrates with the protocol and specify royalty percentages for secondary sales.

Category: Digital art

 

Alexandria Jacobson contributed reporting to this story.

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