eBay is one of the most successful online marketplaces around today, processing millions of transactions every single day. The platform began in 1995 and has blossomed into a hub for buying new and secondhand goods from all around the world. eBay has partnered with a number of major brands over the years, allowing retailers to sell products directly through its marketplace.
Given the breadth and popularity of eBay, users can purchase just about anything they can think of from the marketplace.
Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific
provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade.
What are eBay NFTs?
- NFTs have burst onto the scene in the 2020s as a part of the broader decentralized finance ecosystem. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are a unique digital token that is used to represent ownership of an item. This item can be nearly anything, from computer-generated artwork, to music, to physical memorabilia. These tokens cannot be exchanged for one another and are distinct. Take Bitcoin for example – you can trade one Bitcoin for another and each would represent the same value. In contrast, you cannot swap one NFT for another and expect them to be equal.
- To learn more about NFTs, you can read our comprehensive guide here.
- In May 2021, eBay announced it would join the growing NFT market, one that saw NFTs record over US$3 billion in transactions throughout August 2021.
- As eBay’s foray begins, it will allow “trusted sellers” to list authentic NFTs on its platform in specific categories like music and trading cards. As it becomes more comfortable with the asset type, eBay plans to relax company policy on the sale of NFTs to allow a broader range of products going forward.
- Perhaps the most eye-catching element of eBay’s venture into NFTs is that it only accepts fiat currency – predominantly through PayPal or credit card. While certain NFT marketplaces do accept local currencies, the vast majority only allow payments in cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Binance Coin. This point of difference may be appealing to newcomers who are still uncertain about the world of cryptocurrency.
How to buy NFTs on eBay
Buying an NFT via eBay is a little more complicated compared to eBay’s normal purchase process. For example, simply typing “NFT” into the eBay search bar doesn’t come up with any actual NFTs, only books on cryptocurrency and toy tractors.
To get started, you will need to create an eBay account. Head over to the “register” tab on the main page and input your details.
Once your account is up and running, you will need to browse the various NFTs available. At the time of writing, eBay does not have a central hub for NFTs and they can only be accessed as “sub-categories”. To find the actual NFTs being sold, you have to first decide what category of NFT you wish to purchase, and then head to the corresponding umbrella category on eBay.
For example, if you would like to purchase NFT Art, select the “Art” category in the dropdown menu next to the search bar, then hit Search.
This will bring you to the landing page for the Art category. On the left, you will see the sub-category called “Art NFTs”. Click through, and you will be able to access the various NFTs eBay has to offer.
From this point, you can proceed with purchasing an NFT as you would any other product on eBay.
If you plan to buy an NFT you MUST read the description on the item listing. Since they are digital products, their method of delivery will vary. Most will require you to create a custom Ethereum wallet and inform the seller of the wallet’s delivery address. Others require you to create an account on an exchange such as OpenSea.
For a full guide and comparison of popular cryptocurrency wallets, click here.
How to sell NFTs on eBay
At the time of writing, eBay’s NFT policy does not allow everyone to sell an NFT on the platform. It is currently only accepting “trusted sellers” that have a history of selling on other platforms and have been approved through a vetting process.
In the future, eBay plans to allow more vendors to list their NFTs the same way they would any other product.
How to create an NFT with eBay NFTs
As of September 2021, eBay does not have the functionality to create custom NFTs. This may be something it explores in the future, but for now if you wish to mint an NFT you will need to find a different platform. You can research more about NFT marketplaces that let you create custom NFTs via this guide.
What NFTs can you buy on eBay?
eBay currently has a limited list of categories for NFT sales. While there are plans to expand this list, for now users will only be able to choose between a tightly curated selection of assets. Categories include:
Crypto Art encompasses any form of digital artwork that is pegged to a unique token. These can range from abstract, psychedelic GIFs to pixel art. Popular examples of Crypto Art are the CryptoPunks characters and Beeple’s $69 million collage Everydays: The First 5000 Days.
Music can be purchased as an NFT, usually in the form of an MP3 file. It’s worth remembering that purchasing a music NFT doesn’t give you ownership of the actual song, but a representation of it. They can be listened to or displayed as part of your NFT collection on a platform like OpenSea.
Trading cards and NFTs are a logical pair, as rarity and value can easily be determined by the representative NFT, kind of like a card’s serial number. NBA Top Shot is one of the most popular digital trading card platforms, and you can read more about the marketplace here.
eBay NFTs fees
Although most people cannot currently sell NFTs on eBay, those that can will incur a seller fee. NFT sales have a flat fee that is equivalent to 5% of the total sale amount.
For purchasing NFTs, eBay does not charge any fees, though there may be a local sales tax added onto the final price depending on your region.
Is eBay NFTs safe to use?
eBay has been around for nearly 3 decades, and in that time has built up a lot of trust in its brand name. Though the buyer has to be vigilant for scammers with any peer-to-peer marketplace, eBay has an experienced team and has policies in place to help avoid faulty/non-existent items and replicas.
eBay has a Money Back Guarantee which covers the vast majority of transactions on the marketplace. If an item isn’t as listed, is fake, or doesn’t arrive, you will likely be eligible to get your money back.
Furthermore, eBay avoids a number of the pitfalls that other NFT marketplaces have encountered. It is at a much lower risk of being targeted in an attack, which has been an issue for decentralized finance. eBay also vets its NFT sellers and listings, ensuring that “fake” NFT art cannot be sold by someone passing it off as their own.
eBay NFTs vs OpenSea
In terms of volume, OpenSea is by far the most-used NFT marketplace available.
As OpenSea is entirely focused on the sale and creation of NFTs, it naturally covers a much broader spectrum of the asset than eBay. It has far more categories and NFTs to browse through, and anybody can sell or mint their own tokens on the platform. OpenSea users must also have a cryptocurrency wallet containing Ethereum to participate in the ecosystem.
OpenSea has a very solid safety profile, although new users have been subject to scams and fakes.
In contrast, eBay’s NFT marketplace is currently intended for beginners and non-crypto users. The choice of which platform you use will depend on your goals. If you wish to mint an NFT and are comfortable with cryptocurrency, OpenSea (or a similar NFT platform) would be preferable. If you don’t want to purchase any cryptocurrency and enjoy the convenience of paying with PayPal, eBay NFTs may be the right option for you.
Pros and cons of eBay NFTs
- Accepts fiat currency. Most NFT marketplaces do not accept payment methods such as PayPal and credit card, which may turn away inexperienced users. eBay makes it easy to buy NFTs using traditional finance methods.
- Purchase guarantee. eBay has a very sound history of safety and customer service. It is a well-trusted brand name and many may feel more comfortable purchasing NFTs from this platform compared to lesser-known alternatives.
- Trusted sellers. Only trusted vendors that have gone through a vetting process can sell NFTs on eBay’s platform, meaning that you are at much less risk of being scammed with replicas.
- Limited range. eBay has an extremely limited range of NFTs on offer, especially compared to other NFT marketplaces like OpenSea and Rarible. Investors who want a diverse collection of NFTs may want to use another platform.
- Inconvenience. Though intended for non-crypto users and beginners, eBay lacks a crypto hub which makes the purchase process more convoluted. Users can not simply navigate through an entire list of NFTs from a central point, and instead have to search sub-categories to find listed assets. Furthermore, eBay doesn’t have native NFT support, meaning that you will need to create a third-party wallet or account to actually receive your digital token. This can be intimidating for non-crypto users. It is expected that this will be resolved as eBay’s NFT service develops.
- Inability to create/sell NFTs. At the time of writing, everyday customers cannot mint nor sell NFTs on the eBay platform. Users looking for this functionality will have to use a different marketplace for now.
Frequently asked questions
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