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If you’ve landed on this blog post, then you’re probably searching for the best eCommerce solution for selling digital products.
For instance, should you pick Gumroad or SendOwl? Or, perhaps, another platform?
It’s easy to get confused when you have multiple choices, and when you realize that every platform has its pros and cons.
The truth is that both Gumroad and SendOwl are pretty similar (in a way), so we’re not going to waste your time by comparing every single feature. Instead, we’ll focus on the key differences and main dealbreakers that can help you come to a final decision.
So, which platform is right for you? Let’s have a look.
Quick breakdown: Gumroad vs. SendOwl
While Gumroad and SendOwl are both platforms that let you sell subscriptions and physical and digital goods, there are some major differences between them.
The biggest difference is that SendOwl isn’t a hosted eCommerce platform like Gumroad. Instead, it converts any existing website into an online store via buy buttons.
With Gumroad, it isn’t as straightforward—it’s a hosted eCommerce solution, which means that it allows creators to build a store for selling digital products. Depending on your needs, this may or may not be ideal.
Although SendOwl doesn’t offer a hosted storefront like Gumroad, it offers something that Gumroad doesn’t have: the possibility to sell services.
Read on to learn more about the similarities and differences between Gumroad and SendOwl: their potential dealbreakers, key features, etc.
To help you see how the two platforms compare to each other as well as other options, we’re also going to cover a third platform—Sellfy.
Gumroad & SendOwl are similar (in a way)
Gumroad and SendOwl were built with beginners in mind, so ease of use is their main focus. Both solutions allow you to easily create and sell your digital products online, whether it’s on a hosted storefront (Gumroad), or with buy now buttons (SendOwl).
Also, both offer a way for you to market your digital products with a few built-in features.
However, aside from the similarities and the fact that both platforms serve the same goal, there are some key differences worth considering before you make a final choice.
Why would you choose Gumroad over SendOwl?
As much as we appreciate SendOwl’s straightforwardness and simplicity, there are some pretty good reasons for you to pick Gumroad over SendOwl. Let’s check them out.
1. You can craft compelling emails & newsletters
Unlike SendOwl, Gumroad offers a free built-in marketing tool that lets you create an email list or import an existing one. It may have some limited functionality, but its main purpose is to help you get more sales.
For instance, you can:
- Send out newsletters
- Share coupon codes
- Offer freebies
- Create automated email sequences
- Announce product launches
2. Gumroad Discover will recommend your digital products to people
Gumroad Discover is a unique feature that recommends your digital products to potential customers browsing its marketplace.
So, if you’re looking for a way to sell and market digital products without an existing social media presence, then Gumroad might work for you.
However, you’ll need to be ready for the 10% transaction fee that Gumroad takes for every sale you make on the marketplace.
3. You can sell your products for free (sort of)
Unlike Shopify, Gumroad has a free plan that allows you to sell your products without having to commit to a paid subscription.
This is great for anyone who wants to sell online and has a limited budget. Some of the best perks of Gumroad’s free plan include selling an unlimited number of products, customer management, store analytics, and SD streaming.
The main disadvantages of Gumroad
However, aside from Gumroad’s perks, there are also a couple of dealbreakers that you should be aware of.
Let’s talk about some of them in more detail.
Let’s talk about some of them in more detail.
1. Jaw-dropping transaction fees that eat your profits
Although Gumroad has a free plan, it doesn’t mean that it’s 100% free.
Gumroad takes a 9% + 30¢ cut of your sales when you first start selling, which is even more expensive than gateway payment fees (for example, the PayPal Checkout rate for receiving domestic transactions is 3.49% + 0.49 USD).
And, not only that, but you can only have limited workflows and posts on the free plan. This means that you’ll lose quite a significant amount of money each month.
2. Limited customization that leaves you with a mediocre store design
With Gumroad, you can hardly customize anything at all. There are no store themes to choose from, which means that your page will look like all the other checkout pages on Gumroad.
Yes, you can still add some custom fields here and there to create a custom domain and product categories, and change some colors, but that’s about it.
Any advanced customization of your Gumroad store will require CSS/HTML skills.
3. Virtually zero built-in marketing tools to promote your business
It’s possible to build an email list and issue discount codes, but that’s all you can do with Gumroad.
Unlike SendOwl, Gumroad doesn’t offer any additional promotional features. So, you won’t be able to upsell or cross-sell products, send cart abandonment emails, make product offers, etc.
4. No instant money in your pocket unless it’s Friday
Gumroad will only process payouts to creators on a weekly basis. This means that you won’t be able to access your weekly earnings until next Friday (and, you won’t even get paid unless your payable balance is over $10).
If you’re located in the UK, US, Canada, or Australia, there is an option for you to get your money transferred to a bank account. But, if you live elsewhere, you can only receive your payments via PayPal.
So, if you don’t use PayPal, you might as well forget about using Gumroad.
5. Gumroad is not for you if you run a service-based business
If you’re a creator who wants to sell online courses, services, or coaching, then it’s probably best to cross Gumroad off your list and find another platform.
The only thing that you’ll be able to sell, aside from physical products, is digital downloads or memberships. But, depending on what type of business you have, that may or may not meet your needs.
Why would you choose SendOwl over Gumroad?
SendOwl is far from being the only alternative to Gumroad, but it’s definitely an option worth considering.
Let’s explore why.
1. No payment threshold & quicker access to earnings
No payment threshold and instant access to earnings will give you more financial flexibility and room to reinvest in your business.
Plus, SendOwl offers a wide set of payment gateways such as Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay, BitPay, Alipay, iDeal, and other credit card payments. This is a win-win for creators that sell across the world.
2. No headaches over hidden transaction fees
Gumroad doesn’t have a paid plan, but the transaction fee percentage changes depending on how much money you make. So, it clearly isn’t as transparent as SendOwl’s pricing and it certainly isn’t flat.
SendOwl keeps it simple with only two subscription plans that give you access to more or less the same features:
- Free ($0/month)—5% of sales, unlimited subscriptions, unlimited usage, standard templates, and marketing features.
- Growth ($19/month)—1% subscription fee, 0% of sales, unlimited subscriptions, standard usage included, customization, and marketing features.
3. Your store design depends on your site design
The truth is that if you want to customize your store, neither SendOwl nor Gumroad is an ideal fit. For instance, none of them have store themes.
But, between SendOwl and Gumroad, SendOwl has the upper hand as it lets you use your main site (which likely has its own design) as a converted store.
This means that you’re free to have whatever store design you want because SendOwl’s buy buttons can be embedded almost anywhere on the web.
4. You can sell your courses, services, or coaching
Unlike Gumroad, you won’t be limited to selling digital, physical, or membership products. You can also sell services, which is SendOwl’s main advantage over Gumroad.
Now, obviously, it won’t matter if you’re not planning on selling services. But, if you are, then SendOwl is the clear winner here.
However, before you get carried away with SendOwl, you should probably consider some of its dealbreakers, too.
The main disadvantages of SendOwl
SendOwl may look like a slightly better and cheaper alternative to Gumroad, but trust me when I tell you that it’s far from being the best eCommerce solution available.
So, let’s get into the dealbreakers.
1. You need your own website to sell products
If you already have your own website or landing page, then you can use SendOwl without any problems. But, if you don’t, then it’s going to be an issue.
To use SendOwl, you will need to have an online presence, whether that’s a large social media following or your own domain. This is why SendOwl isn’t suitable for beginners, despite its simplicity and straightforwardness.
And, this is also why SendOwl is more popular among established creators, influencers, and entrepreneurs who already have a web presence.
2. Not enough marketing tools to help you make sales
SendOwl beats Gumroad when it comes to built-in marketing features. But, unlike Gumroad, SendOwl doesn’t have built-in email marketing.
This could be a major dealbreaker for a creator who wants to use email as a marketing channel.
Even though SendOwl lets you use software like MailChimp, ConvertKit, and other integrations to manage your mailing lists, it doesn’t change the fact that you’ll have to pay for these external services.
So, if you’re on a tight budget, this may not be the right solution for you.
3. Emergency customer support does not exist
Got a problem that needs to be solved immediately? Well… good luck—SendOwl doesn’t have live customer support.
So, you’re going to be in trouble when you receive a customer complaint or experience technical issues.
The only help that SendOwl offers is a Help Center where you can read up on the FAQs about the most common issues. And, yes, you can contact support, too. But, according to user reviews, communication with them tends to be rather slow.
The question isn’t Gumroad vs. SendOwl—it’s why not Sellfy?
By now, you should have a clear understanding of what both platforms are capable of.
If you’re looking for a hosted storefront with email marketing, then Gumroad may be worth a try. However, if you’re looking for a solution that converts any website into a store, then SendOwl could be the better option.
In any case, both platforms come with serious dealbreakers, which is why I’d like to introduce you to another eCommerce platform—Sellfy.
1. Pick a beautiful theme or customize your store any way you want
Unlike Gumroad and SendOwl, Sellfy’s store customization is much more advanced. With Sellfy, you can choose from multiple pre-made store themes, or create a completely new design from scratch with zero coding.
2. Just as easy to set up, but with truly advanced features
Setting up a Sellfy store is really a matter of minutes. The best part is that you don’t need any previous experience whatsoever. All you have to do is upload your product, add a description, and a price. That’s it.
3. You get powerful marketing tools to grow your business
Let’s face it:
Both SendOwl and Gumroad offer the absolute bare minimum when it comes to built-in marketing features.
Sellfy, on the other hand, has everything you need to launch and grow an online business, including built-in email marketing, discounts, coupon codes, upselling, cart abandonment, pay-what-you-want pricing, and more.
4. You can forget about transaction fees forever
No transaction fees! So, you can focus on selling without worrying about losing your profits.
With Sellfy, you can sell unlimited products, use built-in marketing features, enjoy advanced store customization, and even a built-in print-on-demand service without hidden fees on any of the paid plans. What’s not to love?!
5. The most helpful customer support team
When it comes to running an online store, there’s nothing more important than good customer support. Sellfy’s customer support team is available 24/7. And, not only is the team available at any time, but they’re also incredibly helpful. So, if you ever run into a problem, you know that you can always rely on Sellfy’s excellent support team!