How to Buy NFTs on Solana

Lauren Christianson
Aug 28 · 8 min read

Avoid spending $100s in fees on Ethereum, own cool digital art! A step-by-step guide for anyone to buy NFTs on the Solana ecosystem.

Photo by Fakurian Design on Unsplash

By now, you’ve heard of NFTs and have seen people making tens to hundreds of thousands (and more) of dollars selling them. For a lot of people, it’s hard to understand the NFT hype and get everything in place to be able to purchase one. The average user isn’t going to go through this effort, find NFTs they like, only to spend hundreds of dollars in fees to buy them.

Solana solves this problem.

Here is a step-by-step guide to buy your first NFT on the Solana ecosystem — even if you’ve never owned any cryptocurrency before. It can sound like a daunting process, but let’s break it down:

Things you will need:

  1. A bank account, debit card OR a PayPal account (for use in Coinbase)
  2. A computer with the Chrome, Brave, Firefox, or Edge browser

That’s it, really!

In this guide I’ll be using Coinbase + Phantom Wallet, as I personally think these are the easiest to use. There are other exchange options like FTX US, Kraken and more, and other wallets like Sollet. However, the intended audience here is anyone that is not familiar with buying/selling crypto and Coinbase is likely a more accessible option.

Step 1: Set up a free Coinbase account

  1. Go to https://www.coinbase.com and click Sign Up
  2. Follow their prompts to create your account
  3. Once your account is set up, click the Buy / Sell button in the top right corner of the site

4. If you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to add a payment method. Coinbase will prompt you to do so; you can easily link your bank account, enter a debit card, or connect your account to an existing PayPal.

5. Once your payment method has been added, you’ll see something like this in the Buy / Sell modal window:

Buy / Sell modal

6. While I’ll never tell anyone not to buy Bitcoin, for buying NFTs on Solana, we’ll need to buy SOL. Click this so we can change the asset to Solana.

7. Type SOL into the search bar and click on Solana (SOL) below the search bar, then click the back arrow icon in the top left.

8. You should now see this:

You can purchase whatever amount you are comfortable with. This totally depends on how much you are looking to spend — the beauty of NFTs on Solana is that the fees are very low (pennies on the dollar) and the NFT projects are still new — more are launching every day! I would suggest at least a few SOL to start with, but it’s completely up to you.

9. Select or enter the amount you want to purchase, then click Preview Buy (you won’t be charged yet).

10. Click Buy Now on the next screen to complete your purchase.

Congratulations! You just bought your first crypto! Now, let’s get some NFTs!

Step 2: Create your Solana wallet

We’ll be using Phantom wallet, but there are other options such as Sollet and Solflare. I prefer Phantom, it’s very user-friendly and you can view your NFTs right in your wallet! Let’s set one up.

  1. Go to https://phantom.app/
  2. Depending on the browser you’re using, you’ll see an Add to <Browser> button in the middle and in the top right corner of the page. Click it!
Phantom home page

3. Follow their instructions (browser-dependent) to add it as an extension to your browser.

4. Once it’s added, you should see a screen with this prompt:

5. Click Create New Wallet

6. On the Secret Recovery Phrase screen, you’ll see a string of random words. It is VERY IMPORTANT to write this down on PHYSICAL PAPER and keep it in a safe place — treat it like a personal document you’d keep in a safe, deposit box, and remember where it is! If you were to lose your computer or lose access to your wallet, you’ll need the recovery phrase to get back into it.

7. Create a password on the next screen and continue through the prompts.

You should now see the Phantom icon in your browser’s menu bar (top right corner).

Clicking on this icon will open your wallet. Enter your password when prompted, and you’ll see your wallet balance. At this point, we haven’t transferred any funds, so it will be empty.

Step 3: Transfer $SOL to your Phantom wallet

Your wallet has what is known as an address. This address is public; there is no security concern in sharing this address with others. Your address can be seen and copied in the top menu bar, as seen below where it says Wallet 1 (BP1z…cGvC). Clicking on this will copy your wallet’s address to your clipboard. Alternatively, you can click the Receive button, select the asset you want to deposit, and copy your wallet address on the screen. We’ll get to this in a moment.

Time to tie the Coinbase step and the Phantom step together! In order to buy NFTs on the Solana platform, we essentially need to use Solana as a currency. The sites that sell NFTs (which I’ll list below) connect to our Phantom wallet, which is how we transact our $SOL for NFTs.

You might be wondering why we need to use Coinbase + Phantom — why can’t we buy $SOL directly in our Phantom wallet? A short answer is that Phantom is designed to store our assets — it does not have the infrastructure to support direct payments. Coinbase handles this, is easy to use, and connects right to your bank for ease of directly transferring USD.

Let’s send our $SOL from Coinbase to our Phantom wallet.

  1. In Coinbase, click the Send / Receive button in the top right corner of the page.
  2. Click the Phantom wallet icon in the menu bar of your browser and copy your wallet address as explained above.
  3. In Coinbase, in the To field, paste your Phantom wallet address.
  4. You can optionally include a note, but it’s not necessary.
  5. In the Pay with field, change it to Solana like we did earlier when we made our initial Solana purchase.
  6. Click Continue (it will not send yet, you will see another confirmation screen first).
  7. Click Send Now.

Wait ~1–2 minutes… maybe less! Then, open your Phantom wallet again. You should now see the Solana that we just sent from Coinbase!

Step 4: Buy your first NFT!

Here we are, the exciting part! As of writing this, NFTs are early to Solana. There are a relatively small amount of projects (compared to the amount of projects on Ethereum). This is quickly changing though, as new projects are popping up daily with different types of art and utility! With this, however, comes a few different platforms we can use to buy NFTs. Regardless of which NFT you buy, you’ll be able to view it in your wallet, trade, and sell it.

A great place to find new NFT projects is on Twitter.
Follow https://twitter.com/solnftradar for new projects & mint alerts.

Let’s look at a couple of the currently popular platforms. (Please note I’m not affiliated with any of these sites, they’re just the ones I’m aware of/use personally. Since we’re in the early days of Solana NFTs, more will exist soon!)

DigitalEyes: https://digitaleyes.market/

The newest secondary marketplace on Solana, where up-and-coming projects like Solana Monkey Business, DegenApes, SolanaDogeNFTs and more can be listed for sale. They are adding new Verifeyed projects every day — any NFTs without the “Verifeyed” tag could be fake, so shop with caution.

Solanart: https://solanart.io/

A marketplace for some of the OG Solana NFT projects — SolPunks, DegenApes, Sollamas and more with new projects being added soon.

Solana Monkey Business: https://market.solanamonkey.business/

The NFTs that brought the masses to Solana! Be sure to join MonkeDAO on Discord if you own a monkey!

On all sites, you will see a Connect Wallet button in the top right-hand corner. Clicking this will show a pop-up where you can select your type of wallet. Do so and select Phantom.

Your Phantom wallet will open, prompting you to allow the site to connect to your wallet. DO NOT select the option to Auto-approve transactions. This leaves you vulnerable to any scam sites. Click Approve in Phantom.

You are now ready to browse the marketplaces, find your dream NFT and buy it! You’ll see prices in SOL, and when you find one you want to buy, simply click on it and follow the prompts from your Phantom wallet. Once you have your NFT, you can view it in Phantom by clicking the 4-square icon at the bottom of the wallet window, or going here:

And entering your public wallet address. You can share this link with friends to show off your collection!

You now own an NFT… now what?

  • Set it as your profile picture on your social media profiles
  • Find & join the project’s Discord & Telegram groups
  • Get involved in the project’s community! Most will hold giveaways, contests and more… some are even developing games, creating DAOs, doing airdrops — the possibilities are limitless.

Collect!

Solarian
Sol Snek!

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