Gumroad: The Bottom Line
What’s Gumroad & How Does It Work?
Gumroad is a simple platform that allows you to sell pretty much anything you want online and deliver it.
The two main selling points here being that you can sell anything and without the fixed cost of a standard online course platform.
We’ll break down later whether Gumroad could be a good fit for course creators and membership owners compared to other popular platforms…
But for now let’s dig a little deeper into what exactly you can do with Gumroad.
Let’s start with the overview of Gumroad’s features:
The main promise of Gumroad is that you can sell anything you want without the tech headache and risk of building your own platform.
The difference between Gumroad and a checkout platform (like ThriveCart or Samcart) is that Gumroad also helps with product delivery and visibility.
The platform allows you to create free content via Posts, just like you would on Facebook for example.
People using Gumroad on a regular basis can see your profile and Subscribe to your posting (aka follow you).
This will then allow you to send them emails, which can be automated sequences, and build a sort of email list you can follow up with.
It may not be as flexible as an email marketing system but could help you get started building an audience that’s already using the platform!
On the content delivery part, things are also simplified.
When creating a Product you’ll be able to set up a few details that will be displayed on the sales page.
You can add Content which will be anything you want your customer to get after the purchase.
You’re free to allow these to be downloaded or not, these can be viewed directly on Gumroad too (this means video hosting is taken care of).
These will all appear on the receipt page, but can also be sent via email automatically.
The other upside of using Gumroad here is that you’ll be able to use the Gumroad mobile app.
As an admin, you’ll be able to see your sales and analytics in real time on your phone
For your students, they’ll be able to easily find the content they’ve purchased from you and consume it on-the-go.
You’ll probably notice that this isn’t exactly a membership or online course environment with different sections and intuitive module navigation.
You’d also lack learning tool features such as assessment, coaching, quizzes, assignments,etc.
Gumroad is not really an online course platform and might not be suited for you if you have a set curriculum people should come back to later.
Another selling point for Gumroad is the way you’ll pay for the platform.
Popular online course platforms will usually offer about 3 pricing tiers and charge you a fixed monthly or yearly fee.
Gumroad on the other hand is free and you’ll always get access to all the features it offers.
What you’ll pay is a sales fee that gradually decreases when your revenue grows:
As you can see Gumroad’s sales fee will vary depending on your income between 9% and 2.9%.
For comparison, the average online course platform (which usually offers a few more features than Gumroad), costs around $70-$120 a month.
Which can be high when you get started, but roughly equals to what you’ll pay with Gumroad when you cross the $1000 a month sales mark.
The other thing to note is that since payments are technically going through Gumroad (and not your own Stripe or Paypal account), the platform will hold on to it for 7 days before paying it out to you.
And you’ll need a minimum of $10 balance to request a transfer…
Features and pricing aren’t the only criteria to determine whether Gumroad is a better fit for you than an online course platform so let’s get down to that part in more detail!
Gumroad For Online Course & Membership
If you’re reading this, you may be at the stage where you’re still looking at your options to host your online program.
And you may be wondering how Gumroad compares to other popular online course platforms!
The first thing to understand is that Gumroad isn’t really trying to compete with the Kajabi, Teachable and other similar tools.
It's actually more comparable with something like Patreon.
Its main target are not necessarily online course creators but rather “online creators” in a broader sense.
People just starting out and wanting to test the water on a new idea or simply start selling quickly.
That’s why Gumroad’s product delivery is designed to be simple rather than immersive.
Popular online course platforms designed to deliver an educational/transformational program do have a few more bells and whistles for that purpose.
From being able to design your member’s area with care, to include learning tools, assessments, coaching.
But also from a marketing perspective with funnel building and automations.
If you’re a course creator looking at Gumroad, you will need to integrate 3rd party softwares to bring it all together.
This can still be a good fit if what you’re trying to sell is either very simple (ebook, digital download) or not really “educational” (podcast, assets, toolkit).
The way Gumroad charges can also be very attractive to beginner creators with a gradual sales fee rather than a scary fixed subscription.
So let’s recap:
Gumroad is probably better when:
An Online Course Platform is probably better when: