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Gumroad Review: Your Complete Guide to Selling Products with Gumroad

Featuring a sweet name that might remind you of a pre-school board game, Gumroad is actually a potentially powerful e-commerce tool that gives individual creators a way to sell directly to their customers. For those of us online (like myself) who started on the creative end and moved to marketing, finding the right technical tools to make selling easy can be intimidating.

This Gumroad review will go over everything: the pros & cons, the good, bad, and ugly of what Gumroad has to offer and whether it is right for you and your online business efforts!

Starting in 2011, Gumroad attempted to carve out a specific niche for itself where it could better serve artists and creatives. They imagined doing this with an easy payment acceptance/shopping cart solution without the need to be tech-savvy.

In some ways, this works really well. This e-commerce and shopping cart platform has several features that make it ideal for artists, creatives, or marketers who are looking for a very specific style of platform.

However, there are some drawbacks to Gumroad, as well. A little bit of digging reveals a platform that doesn't fall into a lot of “middle ground” territory. Some will find Gumroad to be the absolute answer to what they've been looking for. Others the cons will make it a complete non-starter.

There are plenty of tools out there but in the end the main question comes down to this: is Gumroad the right tool for you to increase your bottom line?

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  • Ease of Use - 95
  • Stability - 88
  • Customer Service - 55
  • Price - 98
84

Summary

Overall Gumroad is a great tool. It is incredibly easy to use with a simple user-friendly design that makes selling easy. Gumroad also features one of the best free memberships out there. Join Gumroad Today!

Pros

  • Very simple to use
  • Makes selling easy for non-tech savvy people
  • Great option for custom or hand created products 
  • Outstanding free account & good pricing on premium options
  • Payouts available weekly

Cons

  • Not enough advanced options or features
  • Can't sell services
  • Customer service leaves a lot to be desired

Gumroad Review

Gumroad is a payment processing option that makes it incredibly easy to sell online, even if you don't have a lot of tech experience. This opens up the world of e-commerce for individuals who either want to sell digital products and don't have a lot of tech experience. It also is an intriguing space for artists and creators who make original pieces.

Original Goal

Created with the idea of blending a social profile with a business tool, Gumroad attempts to blend a combination of both. You can argue how successful that part of things has been, but being able to build a profile on Gumroad where all your products are on sale in one place certainly isn't a negative whatever the situation.

Two traits that seem to be overriding themes for this platform are simplicity and sleekness. When it comes to setting up an account, uploading a digital product, or creating a profile, things are simple and easy. Those all-important parts of the process are a breeze. You can't say that about most of the other options out there.

Gumroad home page

While easy is good, that also means some restrictions that advanced marketers or those of you already very experienced in the online e-commerce space might find restrictive. While we don't have to go Jacques Cousteau, a good deep dive is necessary to see just what Gumroad has to offer and if it's going to be right for you.

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Gumroad Payment Processing & Shopping Cart Features

This is where a lot of questions get answered about whether or not this will be a viable option for your specific e-commerce needs. One of the first questions that always comes up involves which forms of payments are accepted and which aren't. Pretty valid question in the e-commerce world.

Currently accepted forms of payment for Gumroad: All major credits cards (American Express, Discover, Mastercard, Visa) and PayPal.

Not Accepted: Apple Pay, cryptocurrencies, 3rd party supported payment software options

Gumroad works as its own payment gateway as opposed to using a common shopping cart service which is why options like Braintree, Skrill, and Authorize.net do not work – because this is not a Stripe compatible software but payments are processed directly.

While this can seem a major drawback at first, this still covers the overwhelming number of ways people already pay for products online.

Does Gumroad Accept PayPal?

This is a common question because for many years Gumroad actually did not accept PayPal. Considering that there is no other form of online payment more widely used, this was actually quite shocking on first reading.

However Gumroad adapted as PayPal continued to cement itself as a major payment option. They began accepting PayPal payments in 2015. There were some bugs with the initial roll-out, including times where this option would disappear for a while or only be limited to premium sign-ups.

However, those problems are in the past and there shouldn't issues with accepting PayPal payments through your Gumroad account. There is one current issue worth noting. There are some people who report that there are times you can only use PayPal with Gumroad via credit card purchases. This takes place even with a sitting PayPal balance in the account. This issue apparently still occasionally exists.

Pros of Gumroad

There are several really nice features I like about using Gumroad. There's a reason they've managed to stay relevant since 2011, which I believe makes them Baby Boomers in Internet years. The following are some of absolute best features found going through the platform for this Gumroad review.

Subscription & Membership Support

One of the big pros of Gumroad is the fact that right away during setup you have the option of not only selling a physical or digital product, but also a subscription or membership. For many of us who don't have programming skills or whose tech skills are in a different area, the ability to set that up via payment processor with a single click is, frankly, outstanding.

While payment plans aren't officially supported, they are easy to setup with this system. Create a membership that is limited and only charges X number of months. Set the payment plan price and you have your “4 monthly payments of $79.99” suddenly perfectly setup. Easy-peasy.

Most Common Payment Methods Accepted

There are some legitimate gripes about different payment methods that Gumroad is not currently setup to accept. That doesn't change the fact that by accepting PayPal and debit/credit cards from American Express, Discover, Mastercard, and Visa, you have the far majority of online buyers covered.

While being able to pay with cryptocurrency, Apple Pay, or any Stripe-based software processor would be nice, even individuals with those types of payment options will almost certainly have a credit card, debit card, or PayPal account to fall back on.

Useful Custom Options

While sleek and simple is something that Gumroad obviously strives for, but that doesn't mean there aren't useful customization options available. You have options when it comes to customizing the checkout page, creating discounts or coupons for your products, or even customizing widgets to match your brand.

That being said, for people who are quite tech-savvy or are used to an advanced design platform, there are notable limitations with just how far you can customize things. This isn't a setup that allows for unlimited or perfect customizing, but it does offer plenty of options within a framework.

License Keys

If you're selling software, you have the ability to generate license keys. That is a huge plus.

Checkout Widgets

Gumroad gives you the ability to create a semi-custom buying widget or buy button that can then be embedded onto your website or other webpages. This allows you sell directly from your website or online presence while also creating sales funnels.

Easy to Use E-Commerce Platform

Getting started with Gumroad is far easier compared to many of the other competitors out there. A simple and sleek design means you don't get bombarded with options that complicate and confuse. It's really hard to explain just how easy Gumroad is to use until you experience it yourself.

Wave Pricing

One of the most intriguing benefits of Gumroad is the ease of setting up wave pricing. This gives the ability to do a “50% off the first 200 buyers” or set it up so after every X amount sold the price goes up to a higher amount.

Wave pricing can be an intriguing way to set up a legitimate discount that eventually goes away for good to encourage potential buyers to make that jump and to make a purchase.

Very Affordable Cost

Gumroad is very affordable compared to other options and is one of the only ones that actually offers a free plan. Individuals can sign up for free and are not limited on the amount of sales they can make with the free option. That is a nice boost and it allows you to experience most of the features first hand before deciding whether a premium account is worth it.

Better spending just a little rather than having to spend a lot.

one dollar bills
More than enough – even for a couple months of Premium Gumroad.

While we'll go into the nuts and bolts a little bit further down in this Gumroad review in the free vs. premium section the long and short of it is you can pay a small monthly fee and lower commission for the free version, or a much higher commission percentage for users of the free service.

Join Gumroad for free right here

Cons of Gumroad

While there's a lot of good things to like about the Gumroad platform there are some notable cons, as well. While no platform is going to be perfect, for some people these might be deal breakers depending on what you need it to do. Here are some of the bigger potential cons of going with Gumroad.

No Service Selling

While Gumroad is excellent for selling digital products, physical products, and even digital subscriptions or memberships, there is no way to sell services here. That's a pretty big gap so if your strength is selling graphic design services, SEO services, or any type of service you're simply out of luck with this platform.

Limits in Testing & Analytics

There are no advanced analytics for tracking in your Gumroad account, and there are many online accounts from users of having trouble using or integrating many of the analytics features that are actually there.

In addition to this there is no A/B testing which is a pretty basic and standard tool in the online marketer's arsenal and a pretty glaring omission.

No Free Trials

While the variety of payment options available is actually pretty dang impressive when looking at Gumroad there is no way to offer a free trial for membership or subscription services. This would be a really nice feature and could add some strong value for users.

Community & Customer Service

WordPress doesn't need a direct helpline because there are those famous forums and seemingly endless communities of online experts willing to help answer any questions that you may have. If you don't have that type of active and open community then you need some really good customer service.

Unfortunately, Gumroad doesn't get high marks on either one. While they do a fairly good job providing a lot of information in various parts of their website, the organization of those sections leaves something to be desired. There are no phone numbers or online chat options. The only way to get customer support is through e-mail. A variety of complaints indicates the customer service is not always fast or responsive.

Add in the lack of strong online communities and this the community/customer service is a serious con for Gumroad. Most of the time everything works and works well. But when it doesn't, getting help can be far harder than it should be.

VAT Feature Issues

While the software is supposed to be in place for figuring this amount out (when applicable) and charging it, there are numerous online reports saying it doesn't work. Either it shows or doesn't charge or just doesn't show at all. Either way, fixing this feature needs to be on the top of Gumroad's “to do” list according to multiple accounts.

Join Gumroad for free right here

Gumroad Pricing Plans

One of the nice things about Gumroad is that there is a free option. Already often seen as one of the better and more impressive inexpensive options out there even at premium, this provides users with two options when it comes to deciding what's best for them.

Free Gumroad Plan

The free version is really solid for a base bones setup. You don't have a limit on how much of a product you can sell, and as far as functionality, many businesses and small entrepreneurs will get all they need here.

In the free version it is pretty bare bones when it comes to features, but that doesn't make it any less functional! You upload the pictures (or digital products), follow the steps, and set a price. Then you sell. Gumroad makes it that easy. The per sale fee will be higher at 8.5% + $0.30 on each sale.

Premium Gumroad Plan

The premium plan costs $10 a month, or you have the option of paying $108 up front to save $12. The three major extra features you get with this are unlimited updates, workflows, and access to unlimited bandwidth.

There are also many other little benefits such as a handful of different thank you note templates or ordering form styles, whereas the free plan has the standard look and that's it.

These aren't huge concerns for most solopreneurs or small startups but they make a difference when you start getting to larger numbers. In addition to the monthly or yearly fee there's still a per sale fee although it's smaller at 3.5% + $0.30 on each sale.

The Discover Feature

The “Discover Feature” is an interesting add-on that has serious potential to introduce your products to others who have bought digital products or physical products similar to yours. Discover introduces you and your products to buyers who are more likely to be interested in what you have to offer.

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Discover brings plenty of potential upside. However, Discover also adds an extra 10% fee per sale. This can really push the per sale cut from inexpensive to being on the more expensive side of things.

If you go premium plus use the discover feature that pushes Gumroad's cut all the way up to 11.5% per sale along with the 30 cents from every sale. This is on top of the monthly fee paid to have a premium account. A basic account with the discover feature would be an 18.5% cut, which is one you will definitely feel.

That being said it is a potentially powerful marketing boost that has a lot of benefit to the right users. If you have a good title, good cover, and the right topic then being able to get your product in front of more people could lead to plenty of sales that would more than make up for the difference in fees.

Selling a Product on Gumroad Step by Step Guide

Step one is obvious and simple: sign up and confirm your account with Gumroad. This is incredibly easy. They make it simple to the point where there are often only one or two options available and so you really can't mess it up.

Gumroad get started page

After signing up you will receive an e-mail with the classic “Click this link to verify your account.” Click the link and your account will be set to go.

At this point you will be able to sign into Gumroad on your account page.

Step Two: Click on the Products page. You will either see a mostly bare page with “Add Your First Product” text in the middle (click on it), or two square sections under that “Add a Product” header. One that clearly says Digital Product, one that clearly says Physical Product.

Choose the right one for what you're selling.

Looks like this: 

gumroad add product page

Step Three: On the next screen choose the appropriate box. There will be three choices: Product, Subscription, or Pre-order. As mentioned earlier they really streamline this part to make it as easy as possible. 

gumroad product upload screenshot

Step Four: Add the product. The boxes are clearly labeled for Title, Price, and the file drop is for pictures for a physical product or for the actual digital product itself.

Step Five: Customize the details. Upload a photo of the product or a cover for your digital product. This adds the picture to the top of the order form, and after loading this you will be able to add copy text in the one empty box that appears further down the page.

Step Six: Cover the rest of your options. You will want to move from the “Edit” tab to the “Options” tab. From there switch the button to “Preview Mode.” This will show you what the listing will look like.

From here you can mind the details. You can change the copy, change what the buy button says, add additional text boxes for more copy or a money back guarantee, and make many minor details that result in a unique sales page. You can even change up what the Thank You note says.

Following the setup steps is very easy in every section. Customize the look however you want. If you're feeling lazy you can even skip this step entirely and just go with the basic text that is set as the default.

Gumroad Success Stories

One of the things you really want to see when looking at an online marketing tool of any kind is a long list of success stories, especially from a tool that has been around as long as Gumroad has.

There is no shortage of those around Gumroad, as the following three examples will definitely help to demonstrate.

Nate McCallister

Nate McCallister shares his experience in using Gumroad's tools, and to say it worked out would be an understatement. Focusing on digital products and taking advantage of their discovery tool, he was able to sell over $294,000 through Gumroad.

The ability to focus on marketing, list building, and creating great products because he didn't have to focus on technical design allowed him to work on his strengths and certainly contributed to this amazing success.

Nate's first-hand account and personal experience with Gumroad also says some interesting things to say about setting up your seller's profile and his opinions on why you should use the discover feature are definitely worth the read.

Nathan Barry

No, this wasn't planned (though if you don't believe in coincidences and your name is Nate, Nathanial, or Nathan maybe you should go sign up right now, just in case). The Gumroad blog interviewed Nathan Barry, and you can't argue with his results.

One of the earliest adapters of Gumroad he was interviewed in January of 2014 and even then had already sold over $355,000 in digital and software products according to this blog post. There's a lot to dig into here but the long and short of it is that many marketers, teachers, and creators have found wild success with the combination of profile and shopping cart services that come all rolled into the Gumroad platform.

Aaron Rutten

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Breaking the Nathan monopoly on Gumroad success stories so far, Aaron gives a good little ten minute YouTube video describing selling art on Gumroad vs. Udemy and looking at the pros and cons of each.

Bringing up good pros and cons of both, it becomes very clear that he is a bigger fan of Gumroad and had enjoyed tens of thousands of dollars in sales from selling his art courses. Aaron's story reveals the potential profits that artists can make when using this platform wisely. This also shows Gumroad as a good alternative for those who aren't a great fit for Patreon.

Aaron's focus on a very niche art area shows the range that Gumroad potentially has.

Join Gumroad for free right here

Gumroad Affiliate Program Reviewed

This review wouldn't be complete without taking some time to look at the affiliate program. While there are some interesting points to how this platform sets up for affiliates, it is important to understand right off the bat that this isn't anything like the traditional type of affiliate setups you see from Amazon.com or Commission Junction.

Each individual has to manage their own program. They are responsible for recruiting affiliates to sell their products, must collect e-mail addresses, and add them to the “affiliates” list that gives those people permission to sell your products. Anyone who is going to be an affiliate for you also needs a Gumroad account.

There are some good points with this. You aren't forced into an affiliate program where you have to give up a percentage of the sale if you don't want to participate. If you do want to participate, then the complete control over affiliate rates is another definite bonus for sellers.

However the labor intensive side of having to approve affiliates, and do a lot of legwork in finding people who can effectively push your product as an affiliate, isn't worth it for most people.

Not only does this setup take away one of the biggest benefits of a successful affiliate program (having people you don't even know reach customers who have never heard of you to make a sale you otherwise would never get) but if you need that much work to set up the Gumroad affiliate program, then why not just create a sales funnel or partner with a well-established name in your industry?

In other words, there are often much better options when it comes to this part of the process, especially when so many of the details need to be taken care of by the seller. If you have the connections to get top level affiliates helping you out then partnerships often make more sense than trying to make them an affiliate.

Gumroad Coupons

The services that a Gumroad account offers aren't the type that usually have coupons or discounts, if you're looking for a discount on the premium monthly cost. However, if you want to create Gumroad coupons or discounts for your own products, that is actually very easy to do.

This gives you even more options as a seller to set prices the way you want or to offer those enticing coupons to encourage a potential buyer on the fence to make that purchase. This is another good feature that can add a little spice to your listing.

Who Is Gumroad Good for?

There are a lot of comparisons online that try to compare Gumroad to Patreon or Shopify, and while there are some similarities depending on what you focus on, that's not anything close to a fully accurate picture.

Setting up the seller's profile on Gumroad is definitely worth it, though it is hardly a strong social presence. Still, it's a nice way to allow happy customers to easily find you again and your other products without having to jump all over the Internet, and that's definitely a bonus.

In particular Gumroad is really good for first-time sellers, creators without tech skills, artists creating unique physical or digital products, or prolific content creators who are willing to pay a little bit extra to not worry about the technical side of things.

While it feels like the affiliate program is rather oversold as a plus unless you're already well established, and the percentage cut gets pretty high if you use the Discover feature, but for beginners, smaller marketers, or independent solopreneurs, this is an excellent option.

Who Does Gumroad Not Work for?

Gumroad is not a silver bullet of any kind. You still need to build your audience. You still need to market yourself and your products. Obviously it is still on you to produce the actual products to sell. Building a seller profile or re-targeting via the Discover feature is a nice feature, but that's not the same has having a large list. Creating your Gumroad seller profile won't be as effective as building a fan base or e-mail list.

If you already have that, it's possible the free or premium option without the Discover feature is the better option for your needs. At high enough numbers it can make sense to look at other options especially if you have to worry about a lot of software integration. This is one area where Gumroad isn't bad but it's not particularly strong in this area, either.

If you're really into cryptocurrency or based off Apple Pay, you also should look for another potential option.

Gumroad FAQ

What software or platform does Gumroad integrate with?

For e-mail marketing the only three options at this point that Gumroad seems to play nice with are CovertKit, Drip, & Infusionsoft. For the many people who rely on MailChimp this is an obvious problem.

If you do a lot of your online business or build-up through webinars, Gumroad doesn't play nicely with pretty much any popular webinar software out there. Make sure to keep that in mind if that would be an issue.

How do I get paid by Gumroad?

The classic options are available here. You can deposit money directly into a bank account or you can choose to send it into a PayPal account. You can request payouts once a week.

What about international sales?

As long as the user is in a country that accepts PayPal they can use Gumroad. Likewise as long as the person paying has one of the major credit cards or a PayPal account, the sale can be made. Because of this, international sales are no problem.

Should artists go with Patreon or Gumroad?

At their heart, these are two completely different systems and there's no reason that a creative or an artist couldn't use both.

So What's the Verdict on this Gumroad Review?

There's a lot to like about what Gumroad brings to the table, especially once you understand how Gumroad works. This is a very inexpensive shopping cart and payment processing option that makes it easy to upload both physical and digital products and start selling right away. They make it about the most painless option out there for doing this.

This is also a platform where one of its greatest strengths, being simple & streamlined, is also one of its major weaknesses as that inherently limits the amount of advanced features that can be added. More features is great but can also make things more complicated.

Overall, this is going to be the perfect platform for a large number of businesses and marketers out there. However, if you already have giant lists with MailChimp, want more advanced testing options, or offer services, then it's possible that Gumroad is not the best fit for you.

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By Shane Dayton
September 06, 2019 | No Comments

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