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- Gumroad makes it easy to sell digital products like courses and ebooks with no monthly fees. Just pay a fee when you make a sale.
- When your sales volume increases, the fees decrease.
- With just a small email list and 1000 Twitter followers, I made over $31k selling a course on Gumroad.
- As an advanced creator, I recommend Systeme.io as a better alternative to build more complex sales funnels. It’s completely free to use.
Since I started selling digital products in October 2020, I’ve grossed over $31k on the Gumroad platform.
The majority of my sales came from my first course on how to build niche websites called Affiliate Site Empire.
When I first decided to create an infoproduct business, one of the most difficult decisions I had to make was where I was going to host my courses and ebooks.
In this article, I’m going to provide you with a detailed Gumroad review, give you a walkthrough on how to list and sell products, and show you exactly how I use it to make a very nice passive income for myself.
Gumroad Review: Up Front Recommendation
Should You Start a Business on Gumroad?
Even though it might not scale with you in the long run (see my favortite all-in-one platform below), Gumroad is an excellent place to start on if you are brand new to creating and selling digital products.
When I first started selling my online course on Gumroad, they had a very attractive pricing model, but in August 2021 they revamped their fee structure. Now it is much more expensive for new creators to sell on Gumroad.
After first using Gumroad to distribute my ebooks and courses, I eventually found a better, more cost-effective alternative and moved my infoproduct business to Systeme.io
🏆 Editor’s Choice
Systeme.io provides everything you need to succeed in internet marketing, whether you’re an experienced pro or just starting out. They offer users a free trial that never expires, as opposed to other all-in-one marketing solutions which come with limited trials and expensive monthly subscriptions.
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
What is Gumroad?
Gumroad is an online marketplace where creators can easily list and sell their products, services, or even recurring memberships.
Gumroad was founded in 2011 by Sahil Lavingia and since then its creators have been paid out over $450 million. In 2020 Gumroad is paying out over $2.5 million per week to creators from all over the world.
The idea behind Gumroad was to make selling products directly to the consumer as easy as social sharing.
Is Gumroad Free?
Setting up a Gumroad account and listing your product is totally FREE!
Unlike other marketplaces, there is no monthly cost to participate on the Gumroad platform.
You are only charged a fee after the sale is made.
What are Gumroad’s Fees?
UPDATED: Gumroad’s Pricing/Fee Structure Change Taking Place on Jan. 31st, 2023
So what are the fees assessed once you successfully sell a product on Gumroad?
The fees you pay are based on your lifetime sales volume as a Gumroad creator.
If you are brand new to the platform, Gumroad will take a 9% cut of your sales plus $.30 per transaction. While this may seem a bit high, keep in mind that there are no monthly membership fees and their transaction fee includes any Stripe fees (2.9% + $.30).
As your sales volume increases, the Gumroad transaction fee decreases.
If you can get to $100k in lifetime sales, they are only taking an additional .1% on top of the standard Stripe fees, so you are almost selling for free.
Currently, I’m in the $10,000-$99,999 tier so Gumroad is taking an additional 2.1% from each transaction.
Not a bad deal for all of the value the platform provides to its creators!
What types of products can you list?
There is no limit to the types of products that you can list on Gumroad. A few examples are:
- Courses (my review of the best Gumroad courses for digital marketers)
- Community memberships
- Physical goods
These are just a couple of the more popular types of products listed in the Gumroad Marketplace, but like I said before the possibilities are virtually endless.
Thoughts on Gumroad (Is it worth it?)
Gumroad is a great place for both new and experienced creators to list their products and sell them online.
Unlike its competitors, Gumroad has a marketplace component and an internal search engine that allow creators to showcase their products to potential buyers.
When compared to other “free to list” shopping cart platforms, I believe Gumroad is the clear winner.
Top Gumroad Alternatives
There are plenty of different companies competing in the “sell digital products” space.
Gumroad is a great option, but this wouldn’t be an honest review without highlighting some of the top Gumroad alternatives.
Gumroad vs Systeme.io
Systeme.io is the platform that I currently use to sell my courses.
It’s hands down better than Gumroad, but it’s really closer to a funnel builder and all-in-one marketing suite a la ClickFunnels.
The main benefit of using Systeme instead of Gumroad is that you can build high-converting landing pages with full funnels containing upsells, downsells, and order bumps.
Not only will your visitors convert to sales more frequently, but you can sell your infoproducts on their free forever plan and still pay ZERO FEES!
Gumroad vs Lemon Squeezy
Lemon Squeezy has emerged as the top “free to list” alternative to Gumroad.
Because of the low fees (5.5% + 50¢) new creators have started choosing the platform to sell their ebooks, courses, and software.
Over the last year, Lemon Squeezy has added almost every major feature that Gumroad has, including a robust affiliate program.
And like Gumroad, they act as a merchant of record, taking care of reconciling international sales tax for their sellers.
If I didn’t need the full funnel capabilities that Systeme.io provides, I would choose Lemon Squeezy to sell my digital products.
Gumroad vs Payhip
Payhip is very similar to Gumroad in the way it looks and behaves.
It’s almost as if they observed the success that Gumroad was having and decided to go for the same customers.
As a platform, Payhip doesn’t do much better than Gumroad does, but they give you the option to pay a small monthly fee in order to reduce the transaction fee you pay.
This could result in a big difference when compared to Gumroad’s fees for new sellers.
Payhip’s standard transaction fee is 5.5% but if you pay $29 per month it is reduced to a 2% fee.
And if you want to pay a 0% fee to Payhip, you can subscribe to the $99 per month “Pro” plan.
Keep in mind you will still need to pay the standard Paypal/Stripe processing fees.
If you have an established audience you should do the math to see if it makes sense to move to Payhip and subscribe to one of the monthly plans. You could put way more money in your pocket.
How to list a product on Gumroad
When you initially create a new product, Gumroad will present you with 3 options to choose from.
Choose the classic option when you want to list a product and start selling it immediately.
Fill out all of the product details including:
- Marketplace Thumbnail
- Product Cover Image
- Additional Details
Next, upload any files that the purchaser will receive, and choose if you want a unique license key generated for each sale.
When choosing the price of your product you can either set it in stone or let the buyer decide what they are willing to pay.
If you choose to allow buyers to “pay what they want”, you have the ability to set a minimum and suggested price for the product.
There is also the option to set up multiple versions of your product. This is great if you want to try and upsell the buyer to a more expensive package.
I always have multiple versions of my product available, with the most expensive option containing high-end bonuses.
There are some additional settings you may want to enable depending on the product.
Finally, once you are satisfied with the landing page information, it’s time to create a custom URL for your product and click “Publish”.
Now your product is available for purchase!
The pre-order option allows you to list a product and start accepting money for it, but release it at a later date.
I use this option for all of my product launches (more on that later).
During the product setup, the only difference is that you must choose a release date and time for the pre-order to drop.
As a seller, you will not receive any of the money collected until the product is actually released to the pre-order buyers.
You can change the release date and time after the pre-order has been published, and you have the option to release the product early and charge the buyers immediately.
If you want to sell access to a community or newsletter, you should choose the membership option.
Gumroad makes it simple to collect recurring payments from your customers. The membership platform rivals that of competitors that charge a lofty monthly fee.
When you choose the membership option the product setup is basically the same as choosing classic, but you get to decide how much and how often your members are charged.
There are also some additional settings specifically for membership products.
Offering a free trial is a great way to easily onboard new subscribers with little friction.
Gumroad will send them an email 48 hours before they are charged letting them know they are about to be billed.
How to create discount codes
Once you have your product listed on the Gumroad Marketplace you may be wondering how to create discount codes to entice potential buyers.
Creating a discount code in Gumroad is easy. Simply navigate to the “Checkout” tab of the product you want to create a code for.
You will have the option to create a custom code name, choose the discount amount ($ or %), and the quantity available.
There is also the option to add a discount code field at checkout. If you don’t add a discount code field, you will have to append the code directly to your product link.
To create a link with the discount code already activated, simply append the string below to the end of your product’s URL:
Sharing a link with an offer code attached will automatically display the discounted price on the landing page without the viewer having to add the discount code at checkout.
How do you get paid?
Once your Gumroad seller’s account is out of the initial review period, you will start to receive your payouts (minus any fees) every Friday for any credit/debit card sales from the previous week.
If you accept Paypal payments, you will receive those immediately to your Paypal account.
In order to receive a weekly payout, you will need to provide Gumroad with your banking information.
Direct deposit to a bank account or debit card is available for 29 countries. For any countries where direct deposit is not available, getting paid weekly via Paypal is your only option.
My Gumroad journey
I started selling digital products on Gumroad in October of 2020.
I opted to run a pre-order for 45 days prior to releasing Empire and offered a hefty 65% discount to buyers during the pre-order period.
It started off slowly, but as the launch approached, I pressed my audience harder and started to get more sales.
By the end of the pre-order, I had sold over $2800!
The crazy part was I only promoted the pre-order to a Twitter account of fewer than 1000 followers and a very small email list.
I had literally printed money out of thin air, so I decided to go all-in on Gumroad.
Fast forward a year and I have generated over $26,000 on the Gumroad platform, with the majority of revenue coming from Empire.
Getting started as a Gumroad creator
When I hit $20,000 in revenue I shared a few tips with my Twitter followers on how to get started as a Gumroad creator.
Here they are:
1. You don’t need a large audience to make sales
I started my presale of “Affiliate Site Empire” when I had 600 Twitter followers. That presale netted me almost $3000.
If you want to sell a course just throw up a presale and give yourself enough time to create it.
2. Walk it like you talk it
I have plenty of proof that I make a very comfortable living doing exactly what I teach.
If you can show people income proof and real-life expertise it goes a long way in closing the sale.
3. Run a lengthy pre-order
I ran my first Gumroad pre-order for 45 days.
It gave me something to promote and people started to notice me. Once you transition from a consumer to a creator you start to stand out from the crowd.
Those early presales gave me a massive confidence boost as well.
4. Have a high(ish) ticket mindset
In the world of digital marketing, Empire ($197) is not considered a high-ticket product, but on Gumroad it is.
I could sell way more courses at a lower price point and maybe I’m doing all it wrong but I like valuing my expertise.
Want to double your revenue? Just double your price.
5. Offer multiple pricing tiers
For Empire I have 3 tiers:
- Base product – $127
- Base product + bonus – $157
- Base product + more bonuses + community – $197
Only 14% of people bought the cheapest tier. 36% took the most expensive option. 50% bought in the middle.
There’s a lesson in there.
6. Be available for your customers
For me, the sale doesn’t always end with the purchase.
Go out of your way to provide guidance when needed, and help them get the most out of your product.
The extra support will turn them into superfans.
7. Don’t lessen the perceived value
If your course is perpetually on sale then no one will ever buy it at full price.
I run sales from time to time. Mostly when I hit personal milestones, or to celebrate holidays.
It’s alright to offer discounts. Just be careful not to always have a sale running.
Payments are secured using Transport Layer Security (TLS) which is more secure than the SSL standard. Using a secure browser, payment information is encrypted using 128-bit encryption that relies on SHA2 ciphers.
Yes, Gumroad creators have the option to accept payments via Paypal for their products.
As a creator, if you want to accept PayPal you have to authorize your business Paypal account under the Settings>>Payments tab.
If you want to become a Gumroad creator, just take action and create something awesome!
There is always going to be someone interested in what you are selling.
Don’t let self-doubt creep into your head. If I had listened to all of my negative thoughts, I would have missed out on so much positivity and growth over the last year!
That being said, if you are truly interested in making money online through selling digital products, you should give Systeme.io a try first before committing to the Gumroad platform.