Pros, Cons and Details to Help You Decide
If you are thinking about selling an online product like an ebook, a report, a course or even some kind of membership, Gumroad might just be the right tool.
I’ve been selling products online since 2014, first with a custom WordPress site that I hacked together with several plugins.
When I moved to sell courses online, I used 3 different hosting services so far.
I started to use Gumroad in August 2022 and here’s what I found. My personal review may help you decide if Gumroad is for you.
I use a platform called NewZenler prior to using Gumroad. You can read my NewZenler review here.
First an overview with a table of the pros and cons of using Gumroad in 2022.
|Accepts Paypal and credit cards||Paypal|
|Easy to start||No preview for selected course lessons|
|Options to sell physical and digital products, courses, subscriptions||Rating system is limited|
|Product and video hosting included||No community|
|Email marketing included with segmentation||No completion certificate|
|Simple blog function|
|Checkout information can be embedded on your site|
|Discount and coupons|
|Pay what you like|
|User interface is easy to use and fast|
|Included a basic affiliate management|
|No monthly fee but with a percentage of sales|
|Has a marketplace|
Read on for the further details.
Gumroad is a great way to sell both digital and physical products.
You can sell various kinds of downloads, courses and memberships.
Besides the usual ebooks, PDFs and courses, you can also music, code, LUTs, paid subscriptions and memberships.
It saves you the hassle of setting up an eCommerce website, shopping cart, and payment system for multiple types of products.
Although it is simple to use, I’ve seen products ranging from free to over a thousand dollars. They could be more.
I use Gumroad to sell my courses plus downloads as well.
Register for an account in Gumroad.
Choose what type of product you like to sell and add a price.
Whether a download, a course, an ebook, newsletter, membership, podcast, audiobook or a physical product.
What I Like
The simplicity in Gumroad forces you to focus on what’s important.
For most things, this will be your product and writing your copy as in copy writing and customer testimonials.
Complete the sales page, put the right price, click publish and your product is online.
With the built in email marketing, you can set up a series of emails before and after a sale is done.
I’ve use a more complete solution prior to this for a few years and found that I get bogged down in details like doing the design, color, font, text spacing.
Don’t get me wrong. Such things matter.
On the other hand, I figured if others can use Gumroad to sell products in the hundred dollar range, and do is successfully, then I can too.
Gumroad makes it fast and easy to set up an email sequence to nurture a leads and upsells.
I felt that since I’m not overly focused on design, it forced me to focus on the message and marketing side more.
I spend more time thinking about how to reach and nurture my customers since I don’ think too much about making things pretty.
You can easily schedule posts and/or emails together.
You can also create Workflows that are email sequence ready to send days or weeks ahead.
Sell On Your Website
If you have a website, you can embed your sales page right onto your website with a few lines of code.
That way, your customer can buy your product without leaving your website.
With what they have done, they’ve eliminated friction when it comes to selling.
Gumroad has a simple built in affiliate system if you choose to use it. It is easy to sign up affiliates with the built in form.
You decide which product qualifies for affiliate sales and the percentages for different products.
They will also handle payment to affiliates which is great.
They have a marketplace called Discover to help you sell your products if you opt in to it.
Gumroad will take a minimum of 30% if you do. You can set the percentage higher to get your products higher priority.
30% may feel high sites like Udemy take an even larger percentage when they help you sell your course.
Since we use Gumroad’s payment system, if there are too many chargebacks, you can get kicked off Gumroad.
This can be an issue if you have certain types of customers that refund a lot.
It is something to be mindful off.
The second downside is PayPal. While customers can use Paypal and credit cards to buy, Gumroad will pay you with PayPal.
PayPal is something that I wish I do not have to use. The conversion rates are bad and there are so many horror stories of PayPal suspending accounts.
I wish Gumroad will have other options like Payoneer or Stripe.
Since my main product are courses, I would like to let my potential customer sample some of the lessons for free before they buy.
Although I have a workaround to sell a few sample lessons for $1, I feel it is not an elegant solution. One alternative would be to create a free course that later leads to the full course.
Customers can only rate your product with stars from 1 to 5. They can’t leave a written review there which is what I’ve used in the past.
This is drawback in my opinion but you can overcome this by being creative about it.
Ask for review and then manually update the landing page once you do get a review.
There is no built in community feature within Gumroad but you can use a third party service like Circle or Discord. They have made it easy to integrate these 2 services. Nice!
These are the few drawbacks of using Gumroad for me.
Is It Worth Selling On Gumroad
Gumroad charges a fee from 9% + $0.30 cents when you start. The percentage decrease as your lifetime earnings increase!
Take note that calculation for lifetime earnings.
“Lifetime earnings” is calculated from the day you started selling on Gumroad and is equal to Product sales + Sales as an affiliate (if any) – Gumroad’s Fee – Any refunds/disputes – Affiliate’s share (if any).
In my opinion, it is slightly higher than I like. If it starts at around 7% decreasing scale, that would be nicer.
It does come with the built in email marketing system.
If you feel that the percentage is too high and you don’t require a built in email marketing system or you prefer to use an external service, then maybe PayHip is an alternative to consider.
Update Dec 2022
Gumroad decided to change their pricing model to 10% flat fee + payment processing fee. That totals around 12.9% which is a bit too much in my opinion.
PayHip offers something quite similar with 3 pricing options. For the free option, their cut is 5% + payment processing fee. Email marketing is charged separately depending on number of subscribers and you have to pay affiliates yourself.
Update May 2023
Gumroad recently added the option to enable purchasing power parity. This mean customers from lower income countries can purchase courses or digital products at lower prices.
It allows you to reach a wider audience especially if you believe that your product should benefit as many as possible based on purchasing power.
Can You Make Money On Gumroad
Absolutely. Here are some sample stats for a limited time.
Gumroad pays out every week. You can also connect it to your Paypal account directly to receive funds faster.
Gumroad is a reliable and trust worthy site to sell your products online. It may not be the most comprehensive site but the basic features are all there.
If you require a platform that is more comprehensive with better design options, your own Stripe account, completion certificates, email marketing, funnels, community and integrated live trainings then you may want to consider NewZenler. Read about it here.