Gas fees are transaction fees on Ethereum. OpenSea does not receive these fees and is not able to refund them.
In this article, we'll explain what miners are and explore why gas fees are needed. We'll also go over the two categories of gas fees you'll encounter on OpenSea (one-time fees and recurring fees).
Let's dive in!
What are miners on Ethereum?
Ethereum, like Bitcoin, uses a Proof-of-Work mining model. In proof-of-work, miners are decentralized computers that use their computing power to process and confirm transactions. In Ethereum, new transactions get added in "blocks" every 15 seconds. Miners are a built-in mechanism of the Ethereum blockchain and get paid in Ethereum's native cryptocurrency, ETH.
When you pay for gas fees, the payment only guarantees your transaction to be processed. It does not guarantee that the transaction will succeed.
This is because gas prices on Ethereum fluctuate widely. If there is a high level of activity on Ethereum - for example, a popular NFT collection is being released - gas prices will rise due to network congestion. In this case, the original gas fee you paid may no longer be high enough for miners to process and confirm the transaction.
When are gas fees needed on OpenSea?
When you send crypto to another wallet or purchase an NFT on OpenSea, you'll need enough ETH in your wallet to pay for gas fees.
There are two categories of user actions that will result in ETH gas fees on OpenSea.
- One-time fees
- recurring fees
As we mentioned above, there are a few one-time fees you'll have to pay when using Ethereum for the first time. These transactions are required to grant transaction permissions between your wallet and OpenSea.
#1 Account Registration fees
Suppose you’ve never sold an NFT on OpenSea before. In that case, you’ll need to pay an account initialization fee before you can list it on Ethereum.
The cost of this account initialization fee may vary widely, depending on Ethereum network congestion. It will be slightly higher than your typical Ethereum transaction because you are granting OpenSea and your wallet permission to transact and allowing OpenSea to access NFT items when future sales occu
#2 Token or Contract Approval (such as WETH, USDC)
Suppose the item you are listing was not minted on OpenSea but through a custom NFT collection contract (like Bored Ape Yacht Club). In that case, you will need to pay a one-time approval fee authorizing transactions between that contract and your wallet.
Token approval is required whenever you interact with a cryptocurrency for the first time. This includes other popular currencies like USDC and DAI.
You will pay gas fees on Ethereum when:
- Accepting an offer
- Transferring (or Gifting) an NFT to someone
- Buying a NFT
- Canceling a listed NFT
- Canceling a Bid
- Converting WETH back to ETH, and vice versa.
- Freezing your metadata
- Bridging ETH or withdrawing ETH to and from Polygon
The actions below will do not require paying gas fees.
- Minting a new NFT aka "Lazy Minting"
- Creating a collection
- Listing an NFT at a fixed price
- Listing an NFT on auction (WETH is only needed when you accept or create an offer))
- Reducing the price of an NFT you've listed* (note: cancelling new price listings will incur a gas fee).
Avoiding failed transactions
There are two common errors users might encounter with failed transactions.
1) Dropped and Replaced: this means the transaction was dropped and replaced by a new one. For more information, please check this resource.
2) Out of gas: this occurs when the gas limit of your transaction was set too low.
Since Ethereum implemented the EIP-1559 upgrade in August 2021, default gas limit settings for transactions are automatically calibrated on crypto wallets like MetaMask. Changing these gas limit settings may increase the chances of a failed transaction.
It's important to check websites like ETH Gas Station before confirming a transaction. If gas prices are too high - you can also use Polygon to create, buy and sell NFTs without paying any gas fees.
* Price drops only applicable on ERC721 NFTs and not ERC1155 NFTs.