We hear a lot about big NFT sales where the prices go up and the seller makes a lot of money. But over the past few months, many NFTs have sold for far less than what they were bought for.
Crypto markets fell, dragging NFT sales down with them. But unlike fungible tokens – i.e. cryptocurrencies – the NFT market is much harder to decipher, and transactions on individual NFTs often carry their own stories.
Celebrities who “acquire” high-value NFTs tend not to sell them. If NFT prices drop too low, NFT collectors simply stop listing them, hoping that the market will rebound in the future. Fat-finger errors, where the seller inputs the wrong listing price or accepts the wrong offer, are surprisingly common. When a fat finger list occurs, it is often instantly hacked by bots. Strange selling and buying patterns can also be attributed to the washing trade – when the same person buys and sells themselves – or even money launderingboth of which are well documented in the NFT market.
Stolen NFTs are also a big problem. Many collections have several frozen tokens which will not be sold on the market.
The following is a list of NFTs that resold for much less – or didn’t sell at all because bids were too low – in the months following the NFT boom. Often sellers and bidders are pseudonymous, so we can only guess why they sold at a loss.
Bought for $1 million on October 19; sold for $139,000 on May 8
One of the oldest and best-known collections of NFTs is CryptoPunks, developed by Larva Labs in 2017. Last October, CryptoPunk 273, showing a pixelated boy wearing large sunglasses and a cap, was purchased for $1 million (265 ETH). This was when the NFT market was hot.
Six months later, the NFT market was cooling and the collector sold for $139,000 (55 ETH), with an 80% loss. On June 14, this Punk changed hands again for $102,172 (89 ETH), which represents another drop in valuation.
Bored Ape Yacht Club #9518
Purchased for $525,000 on April 30; sold for $227,000 on May 10
On April 30, someone bought an NFT of a bored monkey with a red hat, sleeveless t-shirt, and rainbow-colored teeth for $525,520 (186 ETH). A week and a half later, they sold the NFT for half that price – $227,360 (112 ETH). Interestingly, the buyer in this transaction, who is called punksOTC, facilitates over-the-counter trading and private transactions, which may explain why this coin sold for the price it sold for.
The buyers pinned tweet reads: “Are you a professional NFT trader looking to increase volume and lower fees? DM me. Looking on Etherscan, you can see that when the Ape went from seller to punksOTC, the NFT was part of a transaction that swapped it for several other NFTs associated with Bored Ape.
Sotheby’sPunk!’, a collection of 14 CryptoPunks
Estimate for sale between 20 and 30 million dollars; auction canceled on February 23 due to lack of bids
If there was ever an NFT auction that was an epic failure, this maybe that was it. Sotheby’s described its February 2022 auction titled “Punk It!” as “a truly historic sale for an undeniably historic NFT project”. The collection consisted of 104 CryptoPunks. The seller, who goes by the name 0x650d, bragged on Twitter that he originally purchased the full set for $7 million in ether.
Sotheby’s estimated the lot would cost between $20 and $30 million, but in the end it didn’t sell at all. Twenty-three minutes into the auction, 0x650d, tweeted: “nvm, decided to Hodl.” Sotheby’s would not explain why the seller pulled out, but sources told Blockworks there were not enough offers.
Jack Dorsey’s first tweet
Bought for $2.9 million on March 22, 2021; highest bid one year later: $277
In March 2021, the NFT market was bubbling and NFTs were starting to sell for crazy amounts. That’s when Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey created an NFT from his very first tweet and auctioned it off on the NFT Valuables Marketplace. Crypto entrepreneur Sina Estavi won the auction with a bid of 1,630 ETH ($2.9 million). Estavi called his purchase “The mona-lisa of the digital world.
Just over a year later, Estavi tweeted that he would sell his “mona-lisa.” He listed it on Opensea for 14,969 ETH (about $46 million). When the auction closed a week later, the best offer was $277 in ETH, out of seven offers. Therefore, Estavi still holds the NFT.
Melania Trump’sCollection of the Head of State’
The First Lady buys her own NFT for $185,000 on January 25
On January 11, former First Lady Melania Trump began auctioning the “Head of State Collection 2022” on the Solana blockchain, offer a lot which included a wide-brimmed hat that Melania wore during a 2018 visit with French President Emanuel Macron, as well as a watercolor of her wearing the hat and an NFT pointing to a jpeg of the watercolor.
The winning bid was $180,000 in chips (1,800 SOL at the time). But dig deeper revealed that at the last minute, the creator of the NFT transferred funds to various digital wallets and placed the winning bid. It looked like the auction was such a failure, the owners bought their own NFT. The money went to charity.
Bored Ape Yacht Club #3158
Bought for $200,000 on May 11; sold for $21,000 on May 23
A monkey wearing rainbow suspenders and a mohawk sold for $202,000 (88 ETH) on May 11. Two weeks later, on May 23, it sold for a tenth of the price – $20,680 (10 ETH). It turned out to be another big-finger tragedy. “Yeah, that was a big finger. I was trying to sign up for 105. I never thought this would happen to me. Devastating,” said the seller who goes by @nft_metaman in a Tweeter.
Doggy style #4292
Bought for $32,000 on April 25; listed for $10 million; recent highest bid: $480
An NFT hosted by Snoop Dog, titled Doggy style #4292, was purchased in early April for around $32,000 (9.69 ETH). The pixelated image, of a green-skinned astronaut standing on top of a Hollywood Walk of Fame star, is currently up for auction – and has been for months – with an asking price of ETH 8,888 (about $10 million) . The most recent high bid was 0.44 ETH, or around $480.
He should have taken the $480. The current floor price for Snoop Dogg’s “Doggies” collection is $249 (0.23 ETH).
The owner overpaid for this work. The person he bought it from paid $420 to mint this NFT, then tried to flip it for $162,000, dropping the price every month until a big enough sucker came along. It eventually sold for $33,000, which was much higher than any resale of this collection.
Bought for $1 million on October 5; sold for $8,300 on June 13
Hodl doesn’t always pay. CryptToadz is an NFT avatar collection. In October 2021, a collector paid $1.05 million (300 ETH) for CryptoToadz #2155, a pixel art image of a toad skeleton with big yellow eyes on a blue background. Eight months later, on June 13, as crypto markets crashed, he sold the NFT for 6.9 ETH (around $8,300) – one Loss of $1.02 million. It seems collectors were trying to cut his losses in the market downturn.
Bored Ape Yacht Club #7256
Purchased for $513,000 on April 30; sold for $161 on June 1
On April 30, an NFT collector bought Bored monkey #7256, a monkey with Xs over his eyes, a military hat and a dagger in his mouth, for $513,000 (188 ETH). June 1, he sold the monkey for $161 (0.088 ETH).
It’s hard to know for sure what happened, but it looks like a big mistake on the part of an overly anxious salesperson. In the days leading up to the sale, the seller, who goes by the username onekiller, repeatedly posted and canceled ads for the monkey, as if he wasn’t quite ready to take the leap. The listings were all between 250 ETH and 145 ETH, suggesting Onekiller had full control of his account (meaning he wasn’t hacked), but no control over his fingers.
Bored Ape Yacht Club #835
Bought for $50,000 on August 9, 2021, sold for $115 on March 28
Mistakes happen! It just seems like they happen more often when it comes to Bored Apes. Last summer, an NFT buyer named Calvin Chan paid $50,000 (16 ETH) for a Bored Ape with stubble, a leather jacket, and a cigarette dangling from his lips. March 28, he sold the monkey for $115 (115 DAI) on OpenSea.
Chan could have sold his NFT for a lot more – there were other offers closer to the NFT’s market value that he didn’t take up – suggesting it was a big finger and he may have got DAI (a stablecoin pegged to the dollar) confused with ether.
he later announced on Twitter he had been “slipped” from this and another NFT related to Bored Ape. “I’m doing well. Shocked, but okay,” he said. “Do I know what happened? No. I’m still trying to figure out how and why.
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