To start with, Gumroad is a well-known eCommerce platform. Launched in 2011, this hosted eCommerce platform offers a simple shopping cart solution.
On its website, Gumroad introduces itself as super simple eCommerce for creators. But how far is this statement correct? In this Gumroad review, we will search for that answer.
Chances are, you are here because you have already heard about Gumroad. And you want to find if this hosted eCommerce platform will suit your needs. In this Gumroad review, we will look at the different features of the Gumroad platform in detail.
We will also discuss the advantages and disadvantages in an unbiased way. This should help you to make an informed decision.
Gumroad Review: Creating Gumroad Account
You must create an account in Gumroad to start selling. Getting started with Gumroad is easy.
Head over to Gumroad and click on the button Start Selling. You can sign up with your email. You can also sign up as a Gumroad seller using your existing Facebook or Google account. Note that creating an account is free in Gumroad.
After you create your free account you must provide some basic information on your store. For example, you must provide the Store Name. An optional bio. Your country. And the type of store aka the Gumroad community.
You must also select an appropriate user name. Be thoughtful about your user name. This is because your free store will exist as gumroad.com/user-name. More on this later.
After you provide all these basic details, you can add your first product. Gumroad allows you to add three different types of products.
- Classic – These are the products that are already ready to sell.
- Preorder – These are products that are not ready to sell yet. The seller is listing the product to accept preorders.
- Membership – This will let you sell subscriptions. You can charge your customers in a recurring way.
If you are not ready to sell yet, you can update and share your profile to build a following instead of adding a product. Gumroad lets you add follow buttons to your Gumroad profile.
In short, starting with Gumroad is easy. The platform lets you start selling as soon as you complete the account creation.
Gumroad Review: Ease of Store Customization
Gumroad allows tweaking of your hosted storefront only to a limited extent.
You can select one of the themes and customize the background and button colors. Also, you can personalize your store with a custom background and a profile photo. Gumroad lets you connect your store to your Twitter and Facebook accounts as well.
If you have more than nine products on your store, you will find filters appearing on the left side by default. The filters are there to help your customers browse your products easily. They can sort your products and filter on criteria. If you do not want these filters for your customers, you can disable them.
If you know CSS, you can customize your store further. With custom CSS snippets, you can change the color and size of the texts. With CSS, you can even hide the texts if you want. These are simple examples of what you can do with custom CSS. In fact, you can do much more.
But, of course, that will need a different sort of expertise.
Point to remember here is you cannot have a completely unique look for your Gumroad store. You can customize your storefront only within the Gumroad limits.
What can you sell using Gumroad?
As we saw earlier in this Gumroad review, Gumroad allows you to sell ready to ship goods as well as preorders. You can sell digital goods as well as physical products.
You can even sell memberships and regularly charge your customers. You can sell eBooks, pdfs, movies, courses, music and so on.
But, you cannot sell services.
If you plan to sell software using this platform, Gumroad can handle license keys for you. You are even free to sell many versions of the same digital product. For example, you can sell PDF, ePub, Mobi version of your eBook.
For physical goods, you can define different product variants.
You can use image, audio, or video covers for your products. Gumroad lets you upload your designs or embed them from the web.
Gumroad allows you to manage the shipping of physical goods. You are also free to restrict shipment to specific countries. The platform lets you charge shipping fees to your customers. It also supports sales tax handling to some extent.
One of the key features I liked in Gumroad is its ability to allow preorders on your online store. You can set a release date in the future and accept preorders.
If you are selling PDF downloads, you can stamp your pdf files with the buyer’s details. This is another interesting feature available even in the free plan. This can help in reducing the illegal sharing of the downloaded files.
If you prefer to use Gumroad to rent your films, you are covered. You can offer your film for rent at a lower price. They’ll have 72 hours to watch it within 30 days.
How to add a custom domain to your Gumroad Store?
At the beginning of this Gumroad review, we said that, by default, you can access your Gumroad store with the URL: gumroad.com/user-name. If you are a free plan user, that is what you get. You cannot connect a custom domain to your Gumroad store.
But, if you upgrade to a paid plan – you will be able to point a custom domain to your Gumroad store. In other words, your customers can access your store at a more polished web address. This will definitely be a boost to your branding.
First, you must register a domain with a domain registrar. Then you can point your store to the domain using the advanced setting on your Gumroad account.
This is one of the features you must consider before choosing any Gumroad plan.
Gumroad offers two plans for its customers.
Gumroad Free Plan
By default, all new customers get subscribed to the Free Plan and can start selling on Gumroad for free. As of writing this article, this is a perpetual free tier and there is no monthly fee in this tier.
On the flip side, the transaction fee is higher. In this plan, Gumroad will charge you 5%. Also, you need to pay transaction charges of 3.5% + $0.30 per sale.
Gumroad Free plan has the following features:
- You can add unlimited products
- You get basic yet solid analytics of your store.
- You can have limited posts and workflows
- SD streaming
- Customer management
Gumroad Creator Plan
The Gumroad Creator Plan starts from a monthly price of USD 10 for up to 1000 customers. You get a discount if you pay upfront for the whole year.
The creator plan has different tiers. The tiers depend on the number of distinct customers you have within a year. The tier and your fees get adjusted automatically as your customer count changes. Mind that, you can cancel the plan anytime.
If you opt for the paid plan, Gumroad will not charge you anything. You will have to bear only the transaction fees of 3.5% + $0.30.
In the paid Gumroad plan, in addition to the free plan features you can:
- use your custom domain
- have unlimited posts and workflow
- have unlimited HD streaming
- remove the Gumroad branding
- have custom Delivery products
- add your own CSS
Gumroad will not charge you for free products.
Gumroad Review: Adding Discount Codes
Discount codes are an effective tool to attract customers. And Gumroad allows you to do so! It is interesting to note that this functionality is available in both the plans.
After you add a product to your store, you can create discount codes or offer codes in Gumroad. You can either define a discount code manually or accept an auto-generated one.
You can offer a discount by percentage or by amount. You can enable the coupon for a specific product, or all products in your store.
How to set up an Affiliate Program in Gumroad?
Setting up an affiliate program in Gumroad is easy.
You can create your affiliate program and offer commissions to your promoters. Note that you can offer a commission between 1% to 90% of the total sale amount. Your affiliates must sign up in Gumroad for free.
This feature can be very handy in promoting your online shop.
Can you use Paypal with Gumroad?
If you live in the USA, UK, Australia, or Canada, you must receive payments in your bank account. If you live elsewhere, you can only receive payment via PayPal.
As of writing this Gumroad review, it does not support any other payment modes. You cannot use Stripe with Gumroad. You cannot use Payoneer with Gumroad. Let me very explicit in this Gumroad Review. If you cannot use Paypal, you cannot use Gumroad.
Gumroad will pay you via Direct Deposit or PayPal only if your minimum payable reaches $10. Also, the payment is not instantaneous. Gumroad will hold your money until Friday. This is because it releases payments every Friday. Do not ask us why!
On the other hand, Gumroad accepts all major credit cards and Paypal. This includes Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club, and JCB. So your customers will be able to buy with any valid credit card or Paypal.
Along with this flexibility, you are also flexible to price your products. You can set a fixed price for your products. You can even list free products in your store.
Gumroad also lets you set pay what you want price for your products. So your customers can pay any price higher than the base price you set for your product, which can even be zero.
Also, Gumroad lets you sell in different currencies based on the location of your customer.
Gumroad Review: Managing Your Customers
Gumroad gives you features like posts and workflows. You can use these to deliver content and connect with your customers and followers.
Moreover, you can use email marketing tools to connect with your customers and followers.
How to do email marketing with Gumroad?
Gumroad lets you create and embed a subscribe or follow form on your store and website. If you want to use email marketing with your followers you can use software like Mailchimp. Zapier integrations can connect Mailchimp and Gumroad.
In this Gumroad review, we are not going to discuss how to integrate Gumroad and Mailchimp. But you can get the step by step guide here.
Gumroad Review: Integrations
Short answer – Plugin. But there are other better ways as well.
Gumroad is a hosted eCommerce platform. This means that you do not need to host the eCommerce software yourself. And Gumroad hosts your online store.
While you can sell your products on your online store, you can also sell it on your own website. Gumroad offers two solid features known as Gumroad overlay and Gumroad embed features.
Gumroad Overlay allows you to put a button or link on your website. When a customer clicks on the button a payment window opens up. You can customize these buttons to match the look and feel of your shop.
Or, you can use the Gumroad embed feature. This feature allows you to embed your product on your web page. If you have an SSL certificate set up, the buying process happens right on your website.
If your site is not secured with HTTPS, you can redirect customers to the payment form in a new and secured tab.
This is true not only for WordPress. But also for any type of website for which you can tweak the HTML.
Gumroad also gives you seamless integrations with the following site builders:
Gumroad Review: Primer on Gumroad Discover
Let us discuss a bit on Gumroad Discover. No Gumroad Review is complete without mentioning this little but solid feature.
If you opt for this, Gumroad will recommend your products to people browsing Gumroad Discover. Needless to say that this can increase your conversions. Consider this as an advertisement for your product.
If a product is sold using Gumroad Discover, you need to pay an added transaction fee of 10%. This is definitely a solid Gumroad feature that you must keep in mind.
Gumroad Review: The Advantages
As an online store builder, we found Gumroad is having several advantages. Few of these are:
- Perpetual free tier
- Competitive transaction fees
- Easy and intuitive eCommerce platform.
- No limit on the number of products.
- Solid inbuilt analytics
- Supports preorders.
- Supports digital goods, physical goods, and memberships.
- Supports lightweight security of digital goods.
Gumroad Review: The Limitations
From a broader perspective, Gumroad has its own set of limitations. Some of the limiting factors are:
- Can not connect a custom domain in the free plan
- The creator plan can become very costly if you have many customers.
- No support for custom themes.
- No support for third-party affiliate systems.
- No inbuilt email marketing solution.
- You cannot enhance the capability with third-party apps.
- No support for Stripe, Payoneer, etc.
- A minimum balance of $10 is needed for the payment.
Gumroad Review – Final Thoughts
To summarize this Gumroad review, we found Gumroad to be a feature-rich online store builder. In short, the free plan is perfect to start an online store without spending any money upfront.
It is the perfect eCommerce platform for small boutiques and individual creators. Even blog owners can use this platform for selling info products.
But, as your customer base increases, this eCommerce platform becomes too costly. If you have an existing huge customer base or foresee that sort of customer base, Gumroad is not for you. You should be better with other platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce.
In this Gumroad Review, we have discussed the features and limitations of Gumroad. We are sure that you will now be able to decide if Gumroad is the best eCommerce platform for you.
Did we miss any important feature in this Gumroad Review? Please let us know your comments. Also, if you found this article helpful – please do not hesitate to share!
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