Sentient Labs

Transferring NFTs Will Not Delist Open Marketplace Sell Orders

There’s been a lot of chatter this morning after an Ape and Cool Cat were sold well below market because of an old listing. To provide some clarity we’d like to share the following information.

Moving an NFT between wallets to avoid cancelation / gas fees does not work.

This is a common misconception that has been routinely been spread by some of the biggest influencers out there.

Why doesn’t this work?

Because blockchain is immutable. When you approve a sale you are creating an entry on the blockchain (Ethereum, Tezos, Polygon, etc) that allows transfer of one asset (NFT) in exchange for another one (ETH for example) using the signature of your crypto address for approval.

Early OpenSea sale approvals didn’t have a expiry time by default. Later they moved the default length of a sale to 6 months. And more recently down to 1 month.

If you initiate a sale on XNFT and then transfer XNFT to a different wallet it doesn’t cancel the original sale. But a sale isn’t able to happen only because XNFT is no longer sitting on the correct address, not because the sale was canceled.

If you then move XNFT back to the original address, before the sale expires (and remember it could have been set to never expire) then XNFT could immediately be bought for the original price you set. This is because the sale was never cancelled, it was just temporarily unavailable because it was sitting on a different address, and thus is still active and valid.

Why did people think the double transfer worked?

There is a UI bug in OpenSea where old listings do not show up in the item’s listing section when they are transferred back to the original wallet, under the transfer out and transfer back in process detailed above. This is clearly an issue, and led people to believe that they had beat the system. However, it also stems from a lack of understanding about how smart contracts work. They work on a set of rules. If you activate those rules they aren’t mitigated simply because the conditions under which they could execute are temporarily altered.

How can I avoid this?

Bite the bullet and pay the cancelation and associated gas fees before transferring any NFTs to your vault or other addresses. They are annoying but protect you.

How can I check to see if I have old open orders?

Rarible provides a good tool for this. You may check your old and new listings at

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