Learn how to buy and sell Moments on NTA Top Shot Marketplace.
NBA Top Shot launched as a closed beta in May 2020, and opened to the general public in October of that year. Since then, its popularity has simply exploded, with over 350,000 active users already in place. Over $30 million in trading has been conducted in a single day, with individual ‘Moments’ – in some cases – selling for more than $200,000.
The most cost-effective way to acquire these Moments is via packs. Unfortunately, this is also incredibly hard to do. Only a small number of packs are released at any one time, and you need to be extremely lucky to get your hands on one.
That means – for most users – there’s only one realistic way to get Moments: the marketplace. This is basically a peer-to-peer store, in which users buy and sell Moments with each other. In this article, you’ll learn exactly what the Top Shot marketplace is, and how to use it for yourself.
The Top Shot marketplace is a user-driven store. All the Moments on there have been acquired by other customers, who have now chosen to put them up for sale. When you buy one therefore, you’re essentially taking control of that specific non-fungible token (NFT) from its previous owner. After that, you can simply hold onto it for your own enjoyment, or look to sell it again for a profit at a later date.
As noted, packs are the most efficient way to get new Moments, but will be out of reach for most users. The marketplace actually has its own advantages, though. The biggest one – by far – is that you know exactly which Moments you’re going to get. With packs, although you’ll know how many Moments you’re getting and their rough rarity… you’re given little other information. You don’t usually know which players or teams will be involved, for example, or sometimes even what year the highlight will be from. With the marketplace, however, you know exactly what you’re getting. You not only know the player involved, but also the specific date of the highlight, the game it took place in, its rarity level, and even its serial number.
Searching for specific items on the marketplace is extremely easy. For starters, there’s a handy search bar at the top of the page which lets you look for players, teams, or ‘sets’ (‘Rookie Moments’, ‘The Finals’, and so on). Alternatively, you can use the excellent series of filters. These let you narrow down your options using a whole range of different parameters, from Tiers (Common, Rare, and Legendary), through to Price. There are 10 different filters at the time of writing, each offering you a different way to search, and all of which are extremely easy to use.
When you’ve found the Moment you want, actually buying it is extremely straightforward. First, you select one of the available copies (or ‘serial numbers’) from a dropdown menu. Each will have a different price, but you can immediately find out which is the cheapest by looking for ‘Lowest Price’ on the Moment’s page. Once you’ve selected a price, you will see the purchase button light up. If you’ve selected a Moment for $250, for example, it will read ‘Buy for $250’. Click on that, and the order will begin processing. One it’s done, you’ll be taken to the payment screen, where you’ll have the option to use either a credit card or crypto. Be aware that a service fee will also be added here, which will increase the overall cost. Enter your payment details, then complete the transaction to finalise your purchase.
While some people will simply collect these Moments to enjoy them, most users will be looking to make money. They want to find a highlight which they think will gain value, buy it at a good price, and sell it on again at a profit. Although you technically ‘own’ a Moment after purchasing it, the official NBA Top Shot marketplace is the only place you can make these sales.
As with buying them, the actual mechanics of selling a Moment are extremely straightforward. To get started, log into your Top Shot account and click ‘Collection’ along the top menu to view the Moments you currently own. Click on one to open it up, and you should see a ‘Place For Sale’ button towards the right of your screen. Hit that button, enter the amount you want to list the Moment for, then confirm that you want to put the highlight on sale.
The big question here, of course, is how much you should sell a Moment for. Ultimately, this is down to you – you own that highlight, after all – but we’d recommend getting some guidance along the way. The most straightforward way to do so is to go to the marketplace, find that Moment, and see how much other versions are selling for. Both the lowest and highest price listings are shown to you immediately. You can also open a dropdown menu to see how much every current version is being listed for, which will give you a great idea of the price range.
It’s also worth checking the ‘Top Sale’, which is also clearly visible on that Moment’s page. Optimistic users might be listing their versions for $100,000, for example, but – if the top sale is only $800 – this gives you a more realistic price to aim for. Finally, you should be aware that NBA Top Shot charges commission, which is a flat rate of 5% on all sales. If you’re selling a highlight for $200, therefore, you’ll only actually receive $190.
As a user-driven system, technically it’s the NBA Top Shot customers themselves who set the prices for Moments. That said, there are a whole series of factors which usually determine these values. Let’s take a closer look at several of the most important.
All NBA Top Shot highlights fall into one of three ‘tiers’: Common, Rare, and Legendary. Technically an Ultimate tier has also been announced, but no such Moments have been released yet.
This tier is a quick-and-easy way to gauge the rarity of a Moment. Common highlights will have over 1,000 copies, Rares will have between 150-999, and Legendaries only have 25-99. Obviously, the fewer copies of a Moment exist, the more valuable each copy becomes.
At the time of writing, there have only been two series. Series 1 included highlights from October 2013 – October 2020, while Series 2 covers December 2020 until the present.
Series 1 highlights are already considerably more valuable, simply because they’re no longer being created, meaning there’s a finite supply of them. The same is likely to happen with Series 2 highlights when Series 3 comes along, and so on. As with other collectibles – like baseball cards – the sheer age of a Moment plays a major role here.
Along with packs and the marketplace, challenges are the other way you can get new Moments. They involve fulfilling a specific set of goals within a certain time frame. If you manage to do so, you’ll be given an exclusive reward.
Challenges impact the marketplace in two ways. Firstly, the prices on Moments needed to complete those challenges will definitely increase. Secondly, the Moments secured by completing challenges will be relatively rare, meaning they’ll usually become some of the more valuable highlights on the platform.
Every copy of an NBA Top Shot Moment will have its own serial number, cementing its status as a unique NFT. When a Moment is created, the very first copy will be #1. Those thereafter will be #2, #3, #4, and so on, up to the very last version.
To outsiders, this might not seem like a big deal. Every copy of a highlight is otherwise identical, after all. To collectors however, the serial number plays a role. Quite simply, Moments with lower serial numbers get higher prices. The #3 copy of a DeMar DeRozan dunk, for example, will typically sell for more than version #253.
The biggest news stories surrounding NBA Top Shot always relate to massive sales – highlights of Lebron James or Zion Williamson selling for $200,000 each, for example. In reality though, as in any trading-based marketplace, there’s no guarantee you’ll turn a profit. That said, there are definitely measures you can take to improve your chances of making money. These are three of the biggest mistakes you should avoid in order to do so.
In theory, packs are the most potentially lucrative way to make money from Top Shot. You might spend $22 on a Rare pack, for example, and end up getting a single valuable Moment which you sell for $450.
The problem is that packs are very hard to get. They’re dropped at irregular times, and only a very limited supply are released at one time, meaning they always sell out immediately. When you’re getting started though, it’s much quicker and easier to simply do a little analysis, then dive into the marketplace and buy Moments directly.
All the factors we mentioned in the previous section are important. Remember that the NBA is a star-driven league though, and that the biggest players – LeBron, Harden, KD, and so on – are much more likely to generate the most valuable highlights.
That Cory Joseph Moment you’ve got your eye on might seem like great value… but how many people are actually going to want to buy a Cory Joseph highlight off you?
Top Shot might be relatively new, but there’s already a sizable community around it. Use that community to your advantage.
Dozens of Twitter accounts and YouTube channels have been created by experts, all of whom offer their advice for free. There’s also a thriving Discord for Top Shot users, which you’re free to join, and third-party tools like Cryptoslam and Evaluate Market can help with your analysis.
No. NBA Top Shot charges a flat rate of 5% per sale. This remains the same whether you’re asking for $10 or $100,000.
t the time of writing, the lowest ask price for any Moment on the market is $16. Anything in the $16-30 price range is considered low, and will almost certainly only get you a Common highlight.
When you buy an item, the sale will technically be processed immediately. Due to the blockchain-based nature of Top Shot however, it can take multiple hours for the NFT to actually be transferred to your account.
Maintenance takes place most days on Top Shot, but this doesn’t usually disrupt trading. In certain cases though, both buying and selling Moments – and opening packs – can temporarily be suspended. Check here for all the latest site maintenance updates.
After listing an item for sale, you can always simply withdraw it from the marketplace (assuming there’s no site maintenance). After that you can re-list your Moment at a different price.