5 Best Gumroad Alternatives that are Cheaper and Better (2023)
Last updated: February 2, 2023
Update: As of December 2022, Gumroad has announced a price increase and will charge a 10% flat for every sale that you make on the platform (plus additional transaction fees from Paypal and Stripe). If you’re affected by this devastating news and are considering switching to other platforms, here is the list of Gumroad alternatives that you’ll definitely need to check out!
Gumroad is a popular platform for selling digital products. The platform provides a fully hosted storefront so you can sell digital products online in a matter of minutes. Gumroad also comes with other features such as features to sell subscriptions, integration with Paypal and Stripe, and more.
That said, Gumroad has drawbacks that turn people off from staying on the platform. Online reviews have shown that amongst other things, Gumroad’s expensive pricing, lack of customer support, and lack of scalability for large volume sellers have led users to migrate to other platforms.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the best Gumroad alternatives for selling digital products so you can make an informed decision for your business. We have included many alternatives that are perfect for businesses that are just starting out, but we’ve also kept the scalability aspect in mind to ensure that you will never have to move to other platforms as your business grows.
Here is a quick list of the best Gumroad alternatives that are cheaper and better:
What is Gumroad and What Does it Offer?
Gumroad is an eCommerce platform that is geared towards digital products. It provides a range of features, such as the ability to sell various product types including digital downloads and subscriptions. It also offers analytics and marketing tools, as well as the ability to embed product pages on your website.
With Gumroad, you’ll have a fully-hosted online store where you can sell your products from. Gumroad also has a small online marketplace called “Gumroad Discover” where you can display your product listings amongst other creators.
How Much Does Gumroad Cost?
Gumroad charges 10% flat for every sale that you make on the platform.
In addition, you will also need to pay transaction fees from Paypal and Stripe which usually come out to be about 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.
Note that Gumroad used to have a different pricing structure prior to 2023, but they had since settled on this new pricing structure going forward.
Why Should You Look for Gumroad Alternatives?
1. Expensive Pricing and Lack of Scalability
Gumroad’s flat rate of a 10% fee for every sale is incredibly expensive for businesses who are just starting out, but it’s even more expensive as your business grows because your expenses will continue to increase as a percentage of your revenue.
Imagine earning US$100,000 per month and having to pay $10,000 fees – that doesn’t sound exciting at all. In addition, the 10% fee does not include additional Stripe and Paypal fees (which usually cost around 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction) that you also need to pay.
Thankfully there are many other platforms that offer equally (if not more) powerful features for selling online. To give you a clear comparison, other digital product eCommerce platforms like Payhip only charge a 5% fee for every sale up to a maximum of $99/month.
2. Lack of Customizability
While Gumroad provides a fully-hosted storefront to sell your products on, you won’t be able to customize the appearance of your online store to match your branding. Gumroad has a distinctive store theme that applies to all of its sellers’ storefronts. The only thing you can customize on your storefront is a single highlight color and a few small customizations such as your name, bio, and logo.
In comparison, other alternative platforms presented in this article have advanced store builder capabilities that are beginner friendly (no coding or design skills needed), but are still able to give you the full freedom to create a highly converting online store that matches your branding.
3. Find Better Alternatives for Selling Online Courses
If you’re selling products such as digital downloads, Gumroad is generally quite good at instantly delivering your files to your customers. However, if you’re still online courses, the platform does not provide robust functionalities that other online course platforms typically offer.
Gumroad’s online course feature allows you to upload a video or other files that your students can download or click to watch the video. But this isn’t the engaging learning experience that you’d expect to see from an online course platform. There are no advanced course features such as assessments, drip schedule, or certificates of completion.
Here’s an example of a student’s course experience:
In comparison, here’s what an engaging learning experience with various lesson formats would look like (the example below is from Payhip):
Features to Look For in a Gumroad Alternative
When looking for an alternative to Gumroad, there are several important factors to consider.
1. Features to Sell Various Product Types
Does the platform offer robust tools to sell various digital products? This will allow you maximize your source of income from various verticals. Consider features such as:
- Features to sell digital download: instant file delivery, PDF stamping, download limits, and more
- Features to sell online course: engaging online course player with various lesson types (e.g. video lessons, assignments, etc), drip content schedule, various course pricing options, certificates, and more
- Features to sell coaching service: integration with online meeting platforms like Zoom and Calendly, and more
- Features to sell subscription or membership: ability to charge recurring payment
In addition, look for flexibility to be able to embed product pages on your website. This allows you to embed a shopping cart and seamless checkout experience into any website.
2. Affordable Pricing (Little to No Upfront Costs)
How much does it cost per transaction? Are there any monthly fees, hidden fees, or limits?
Look for platforms that have solid records of stable pricing structures. While a lot of companies may offer you a favorable pricing structure in the beginning, you’d want to make sure that you won’t face unexpected price increases down the line.
3. Robust Marketing Tools
Aside from the basic marketing tools such as discount codes, you should aim to find a platform that can offer more complex and powerful marketing tools such as affiliate marketing. This allows you to run various marketing campaigns to scale your business.
Note that Payhip is the only alternative on this list that offers the affiliate marketing feature for free, other platforms charge monthly subscription fees to access those tools.
4. Beginner-Friendly and Fully-Customizable Store Builder
In the digital age, an online store or website is critical for any brand or business to increase brand loyalty and show their level of professionalism. If done correctly, having your own website can not only set you up as an expert in your field but also help build relationships with customers as it allows them to learn about the brand more closely.
Look for platforms that allow you to build a fully customizable online store that can represent your brand in the best possible way. There are a ton of options that do not require any coding or design skills.
5. Takes Care of VAT, so You Won’t Have To
The fear of the complex world of VAT may prevent you from expanding your business and dampening your growth. Consider selecting a platform that is fully compliant to not only collect VAT from your customers during checkout, but also remit VAT on your behalf so you won’t need to lift a finger.
5 Best Gumroad Alternatives for Selling Digital Products
Now let’s take a look at some of the top alternatives to Gumroad for selling digital products. Each platform offers unique features and pricing plans, so it’s important to compare them carefully before making your decision.
Payhip is the best Gumroad alternative overall in terms of value and affordability.
Payhip is by far the most popular platform that often gets compared to Gumroad as they are the closest Gumroad competitor that offers all the features that Gumroad has to offer with way more affordable pricing that is perfect for businesses of all sizes.
Established in 2011, Payhip started as an eCommerce platform to provide solutions for creators to sell digital downloads. Fast forward to today with over 130,000 sellers on the platform, Payhip is the industry-leading platform for creators to sell just about any type of product including digital downloads, online courses, coaching services, memberships and subscriptions, and also physical products.
Payhip is popular for having a Forever-free plan that gives sellers access to ALL of the features that the platform has to offer. Instead of the hefty 10% that Gumroad charges, Payhip only charges 5% for every sale. Once your revenue grows, you can switch to Payhip’s monthly subscription to keep your costs low. You will never have to worry about scaling your business at Payhip.
If you’re looking for a platform that is genuinely invested in the success of your business, Payhip is your best option.
Payhip disrupted the industry by providing an unconventional pricing plan that is geared towards helping small businesses succeed, but also ensuring that businesses will keep their costs low as they grow to become million-dollar businesses.
Payhip offers a choice between 3 pricing plans:
- Forever-free with 5% fees (perfect for beginners)
- $29/month with 2% fees
- $99/month with no fees
So why is this “unconventional”? That’s because all of Payhip pricing plans offer the same access to ALL of their amazing features. Payhip’s founders created the company with a strong belief in creating a platform that helps small businesses grow by never limiting their access to the powerful features that they need. This sentiment is greatly appreciated by many sellers on Payhip’s online reviews.
If you’re just starting out, you can start on Payhip’s most popular Free-forever plan with no monthly fees + 5% fees per sale (excluding shipping fees). Once your business grows, you can switch to Payhip’s Plus plan at $29 per month fees + 2% fees per sale or the Pro plan at $99 per month fees (no other fees per sale).
Payhip has maintained this pricing for years, and you can have a peace of mind that this pricing isn’t going anywhere.
- The most affordable alternative to Gumroad
- Built-in key features to sell various products including:
- Digital downloads: instant file delivery, pdf stamping, download limits to protect your products
- Online courses: engaging course player, various lesson types, drip schedule, various pricing options, certificates, sales page
- Coaching: integration with Zoom and Calendly, centralized platform to manage and communicate with your clients, sales page
- Subscription or membership: charge recurring fees and distribute digital downloads to your members through secure logged-in customer accounts. This lets you build a Patreon-like interface on your own website
- Physical products: manage inventory and fulfill orders
- Unlimited product listings and unlimited revenue
- Optimized check out experience for high conversion
- Powerful but easy-to-use store builder – no coding or design skills needed
- Ability to fully customize your online store to match your branding
- Free fully hosted storefront (you can also connect a custom domain)
- If you already have your own website, you can easily embed Payhip into any eCommerce website
- Instant and secure payouts via Paypal and Stripe
- Pay-what-you-want pricing option for your products (a.k.a. Tip Jar)
- Collects and remits UK & EU VAT on your behalf
- Advanced marketing tools such as affiliate program, referral system, upselling, cross-selling, coupon codes, email marketing, and more
- Store analytics & ability to connect to Google Analytics
- Bonus: Payhip is also highly praised for its customer support quality. Every user is treated with priority regardless of the pricing plans that you’re on
- No automated shipping label integration or software (e.g. Shippo or ShipStation). Payhip’s platform is more geared toward digital products, but you’re still able to comfortably sell physical products if you want to
See the Payhip vs Gumroad comparison chart to compare the features from both platforms side by side.
As one of the largest eCommerce platforms in the world, Shopify is often a popular option as a Gumroad alternative. Shopify is a comprehensive e-commerce platform that allows you to create an online store and manage your products. It also offers a wide range of software and features, such as payment processing, analytics, and marketing tools. Additionally, Shopify has a variety of pricing plans to suit different budgets.
Given the size of this eCommerce platform, there are thousands of third-party apps spanning across all business categories that you can connect to your Shopify store. This allows you to equip your online store with unique software from tweaking the design of your website to marketing tools, and more. The only caveat is that these apps are often not free, so you’ll have to manage your expenses carefully.
While Shopify is a powerful eCommerce platform, it does not come with built-in features to sell digital products because Shopify’s platform is geared towards tangible items. You will have to install additional third-party apps that would potentially add to the cost of selling your digital products.
For small businesses that want to explore various platforms before settling on one that suits their needs, Shopify offers a 14-day free trial. There is no forever free plan.
At $39/month, Shopify’s Basic Plan is the most popular plan. Additional Shopify plans are available for $105/month, $399/month for Advanced Shopify, and $2000/month for Shopify Plus/Enterprise. There is an additional transaction fee that you’ll need to pay per sale.
As mentioned above, Shopify’s platform does not come with built-in features to sell digital products. You’ll most likely need to install third party apps from the Shopify app store which will usually come at extra costs.
- Access to thousands of third party apps on the Shopify app store
- Supports multi-channel sales. This is especially helpful if you have a brick-and-mortar store
- Shopify is used by many small businesses, as well as by content creators who specialize in Shopify content. These communities will probably be able to give you a lot of helpful tips on online businesses
- While Shopify’s features aren’t sufficient for sellers whose catalog is predominantly digital products, physical product sellers could benefit from Shopify’s robust eCommerce features
- No built-in features to sell digital products. You’ll need to install third party apps which will most likely come with extra costs. Shopify is not a suitable option for creators
- No built-in complex marketing tools such as affiliate marketing, referral, upsell, cross-sell, and more
Read our Gumroad vs Shopify article for a more in-depth comparison.
Kajabi is another popular alternative to Gumroad as it also provides an all-in-one platform to sell digital products. The main advantage of Kajabi over Gumroad is that it also allows creators to set up a community. However, Kajabi is also known for having monthly fees that are not quite friendly for small businesses that are just starting out.
Kajabi offers a 14-day trial. You will need to input your payment information before you’re able to start your free trial.
Once your free trial ends, you have an option between 3 paid plans:
- Basic: $149/month
- Growth: $199/month
- Pro: $399/month
There’s a small amount of discount if you choose to purchase the annual subscription.
- Kajabi provides educational resources for their users through Kajabi university (although it’s worth noting that you’re probably going to be able to obtain these information from free Youtube videos online)
- Access to features that aren’t available on Gumroad such as community, sales funnels, and more
- Not affordable for small business customers
- Complex marketing feature such as affiliate program is only available on the Growth and Pro plans
- Numerous limits on various things such as the number of products, number of contacts, number of members, number of admin users, and more. Not recommended for those of you who would like to “set-it-and-forget-it” because you’ll need to keep track of your usage
Podia is also one of the most popular alternatives for creators. One of the main advantages of using Podia is the fact that they offer a forever-free plan, but bear in mind you won’t be able to upload multiple products on the free plan.
- Free: 8% fees
- Mover: $39/month
- Shaker: $89/month
- Earthquaker: $199/month
- Features to sell other product types that aren’t available on Gumroad such as community and webinars
- On-page chat widget to help you interact with your website visitors
- The free plan comes with 8% transaction fees and you’ll only be able to sell 1 digital download (you’ll most likely need to upgrade to Podia’s paid plans to be a fully-functioning eCommerce store)
- Complex marketing tools such as affiliate marketing is only available on the Shaker ($75/month) or the Earthquaker ($166/month) plans
- You’ll need to pay an additional $20/month for additional team seats
- You can’t turn off Podia branding unless you pay the Shaker ($75/month) or the Earthquaker ($166/month) plans
5. Mighty Networks
If you’re looking for a Gumroad alternative to establish a community, sell online courses, or sell coaching services, Mighty Networks is a popular option. While this platform might not be suitable for selling digital downloads, you might find this a better Gumroad alternative for selling courses.
You have a choice between 2 paid plans:
- The community plan: $39/month
- The business plan: $119/month
- Mighty Pro: You’ll need to contact the team for pricing
- Mighty Networks’ community feature is more developed than other platforms listed in this article, the interface almost mimics that of a social media platform
- Members can see each other’s posts through content feed which may encourage more genuine interactions
- Lack of robust features for selling product types such as digital downloads
- Online course features aren’t as robust as other online course platforms as it doesn’t provide lesson type such as assessments or quizzes, as well as certificates of completion
- Does not have integration with PayPal
Final Thoughts – Finding The Best Alternative For Your Business
There you have it! There are plenty of Gumroad alternatives that you can try out, so don’t forget to take advantage of each of the platform’s free trials to see which ones offer the perfect blend of benefits and pricing plans that suit your business needs.
At Payhip, we’re on a mission to make it easy for you to build and grow your online business without hefty fees. Register for a free account on Payhip to start your own online store in less than 5 minutes.