How to sell digital downloads & PDFs with PayPal in 4 easy steps

By Ritvars Lauza read
27 Jan, 2024
How to sell digital downloads & PDFs with PayPal in 4 easy steps

So, you’ve written your first ebook or your content marketing PDF course. Good for you! After all that hard work, you’re probably ready to see the big bucks rolling in, right?

Well, before you start selling, you’ll need to set up a reliable online payment system. While there are plenty of options out there, PayPal is still leading the way as one of the world’s favorite tools for sending and receiving money online.

Let the data speak for itself – there are 203 million people with active PayPal accounts in 202 countries worldwide as we speak.

But where do you even begin? How do you sell digital goods with PayPal?

Don’t worry, we’ll show you – in just 4 easy steps. Let’s get started!

1. Choose the right type of PayPal account

At the moment, PayPal offers two types of accounts – a Personal and a Business account.

If you’re familiar with PayPal, it’s very likely you already have a Personal account that you’ve used to shop on Amazon or eBay or send money to friends or family.

However, as an online seller, you’ll need to set up a Business account. That way, you’ll be able to get paid on your website or app and send a secure PayPal invoice for digital goods that you sell.

With a Business account, you can:

  • Operate under your company’s name.
  • Accept debit cards, credit cards, and bank account payments.
  • Allow up to 200 employees limited access to your account.
  • Set up a separate email address for your customer service issues. That way, you can efficiently deal with any buyer chargebacks or claims.

To sign up for a PayPal Business account, go to, click ‘Sign Up’, and choose the Business Account option:

Set up PayPal business account
Sign up for a PayPal Business account.

Then fill in all the required information (like the name and address of your business, etc.).

Signing up for a standard PayPal Business account is free, but you’ll need to pay a fee for every transaction. Say, you’re selling in the US. In that case, you should pay 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.

For more information on transaction costs, check out our guide about PayPal seller fees.

NOTE: The cool thing about using a Business account is that you’ll be able to sign up for additional PayPal products that can help your business needs. For example:

  • PayPal Checkout is a simplified and secure checkout experience that keeps the customers on your website or mobile app using a smart payment button.
  • Micropayment processing fee to help you save money. You’d pay 5% of the transaction amount plus a fixed fee based on the currency. Available for goods under $10.
  • Buyer Protection to help shoppers feel safe. With this additional coverage, PayPal’s digital goods protection will give extra confidence to the customers when purchasing intangible goods.

2. Find a good digital delivery platform for your digital products

Here’s the thing. PayPal is a very practical payment method, but that’s about it.

To actually deliver your digital downloads, ebooks, PDFs, computer games, and whatnot, you’ll need to find a service that will deliver your digital products.

And no, manually sending the files via email to your customers does not cut it.

The good news is – there’s a variety of e-commerce platforms that can help you get the digital goods out there to your customers in a quick, secure manner making the shopping process as pleasant as possible (and digital delivery – automated).

If you’re looking for a straightforward and user-friendly tool, Sellfy is just the way to go.

Sellfy is an e-commerce platform for digital products that allow digital content creators (eg., ebook writers, music producers, photographers, etc.) to sell their products online through a simple and minimalistic storefront.

The important part is – Sellfy integrates with PayPal. What’s more – when using Sellfy, you will receive the payments immediately after a purchase is made, which means – no waiting for monthly payouts!

Here’s what you need to do to integrate Sellfy with PayPal:

  • Set up your Sellfy storefront. Don’t worry – it’s super simple and will take you less than 2 minutes. Just go to, click on ‘Open my store’ and sign up using your email or Facebook credentials.
  • Connect Sellfy to your PayPal account:
    • Log into your Sellfy store and under ‘Store Settings’, find ‘Payment options’.
    • In the PayPal field, enter your PayPal username – the email address you used to register your account.
In the PayPal field, enter your PayPal username — the email address you used to register your account.

And that’s it! You can now sell your digital goods with PayPal, using your online storefront.

NOTE: Technically, it’s possible to use a personal PayPal account with Sellfy. However, it’s a good idea to have a separate business account anyway. That way, your sales and business purchases are all in one place. Besides, setting up a PayPal Business account is just as easy as creating a personal account, so there’s really no reason not to use one for the serious PayPal digital downloads business you’re running.

3. Post your product links to social media

You have your digital downloads, your PayPal business account, and you’ve even opened a store to deliver your digital goods to the customers. Now, what are the final steps to take in order to sell digital goods with PayPal?

Don’t be afraid to use social media. Add the link to your Sellfy store in your social media posts on Facebook or Twitter, as well as profile descriptions.

A common strategy is to sell on Instagram by adding the link to the URL section in your bio. Having a link up there at all times will take your customers directly to the storefront, thus adding traffic directly to your online shop and potentially increasing sales.

NOTE: Include a call-to-action (like ‘Download presets’ or ‘Get eBook here’) in your bio just above the URL link. This will entice your profile viewers to explore your website.

Example of how Sellfy creator K1 Production features a link to his store in the Instagram bio.

4. Add a buy now button or embed your Sellfy store to your website

To extend your seller’s reach further and make your products even more accessible, use your blog or your website. In the case of Sellfy, you’ve got three cool options:

  • Add a ‘Buy Now’ button
  • Embed your Sellfy store page
  • Embed your products

A ‘Buy Now’ button is a quick way to allow customers to make purchases across a variety of platforms – that includes your blog and website. With embeddable buttons, you are able to monetize any website with quick access to your digital goods.

Example of how Sellfy creator Gameart2D has embedded a Buy now button into his own website.

If you have several digital products and you want to display them all on your website or blog, embed the whole store. To do this, navigate to ‘Embed options’ on your Sellfy user dashboard.

Copy the code from the text box and just paste it into your website HTML or JavaScript editor.

Embedding a product on your website is similar. However, with this option, the product will be displayed as a separate window. To do this, yet again go to ‘Embed’ in your dashboard and select ‘Single products’.

Overview of Sellfy’s store embed options.

From the drop-down list, select the product you want to embed, copy the code from the text box, and paste the code into your HTML or JavaScript editor.

In case you’re not really familiar with HTML and JavaScript, you can contact your site administrator about placing any buttons or embedding products into your site.


And there you have it. Combining Sellfy as a storefront and PayPal as your reliable payment gateway, you’ll have your digital downloads, PDFs, and other digital goods selling in no time.

Got any questions? Reach out to us or start a discussion in the comments below!

FAQ: Selling digital products with PayPal

How can I start selling digital products and downloads using PayPal?

To begin selling digital products with PayPal, you need to create a business account. This will enable you to receive payments on your website or app and send secure PayPal invoices for your digital goods. Next, sign up for Sellfy to set up your online store, upload your digital products, and connect your PayPal account by adding your PayPal username.

How does PayPal ensure the security of transactions involving digital products?

PayPal ensures the security of transactions involving digital products through various measures. They employ encryption technologies to protect financial information and transaction data during payment processing. Additionally, PayPal offers buyer and seller protection programs to safeguard both parties in case of disputes or fraudulent activities. Platforms like Sellfy, which facilitate digital product sales, also ensure secure delivery of purchased downloads and prevent unauthorized access.

Can I sell any type of digital product with PayPal?

Yes, PayPal allows the sale of a wide range of digital products, such as e-books, music, software, photography, courses, templates, and more. However, it is recommended to review PayPal’s acceptable use policy to familiarize yourself with the guidelines and restrictions regarding eligible items or services. Keep in mind that certain restricted items or services may not be eligible for sale using PayPal. For specific details, it is advisable to consult their guidelines or reach out to their support.

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Digital products
Ritvars is the marketing lead at Sellfy. With over 6 years of experience in online marketing & eCommerce, Ritvars shares his knowledge in Sellfy blog. He is inspired by the success of Sellfy creators and is passionate about finding new ways how he can help them succeed.