Gumroad is an online platform enabling creators and resource producers with a convenient, storefront-free marketplace to sell products like software, graphic designs, lessons, and more.
Since 2011, more than 96,000 creators have earned over $520 million selling their works on Gumroad. While the platform includes options for a range of creators, the largest creator groups are writers, educators, artists, and software developers. Though Gumroad has a multitude of digital products available, it also facilitates physical product purchases and memberships.
In this definition...
The Gumroad Marketplace
Gumroad is a web-based marketplace where creators can display and sell their digital or physical works to online customers. Once a creator has a marketable product or service, Gumroad offers a customizable landing page for getting started. With e-commerce tools to help creators integrate existing business data from applications like Zapier and Hubspot CRM, onboarding can be quick and easy for sellers.
Through the Gumroad platform, creators have control to sell multiple product versions, generate license keys for software they’ve created, schedule launch dates, and more. With analytics, sellers can gain visibility and amend their landing page, posts, and content based on consumer engagement. Gumroad also includes options for ongoing subscriptions or memberships offered by creators for fixed periods.
The Gumroad marketplace offers a space for selling products and services from a multitude of creators, including videogame coders, ghostwriters, musicians, and educators. In addition to the highest-earning and most creators by type provided below, product and service categories include animation, crafts, web design, video and audio editing, games, and podcasts.
Highest Earning by Vertical
|2||Books / Writing||$98 million|
|3||Apps / Software||$95 million|
|4||Film / Video||$42 million|
Most Creators by Vertical
|1||Books / Writing||20,800|
|3||Drawing / Painting||9,163|
|4||Apps / Software||8,157|
|5||Music / Sound Design||7,096|
Also read: What is a Gig Worker?
How Does Gumroad Work for Creators?
Creators interested in starting a Gumroad account can do so free of cost and there are no monthly fees for the platform’s full features. For each sale, the marketplace takes a portion of the proceeds that is a decreasing rate with lifetime revenue milestones. This sliding transaction fee works as an incentive for successful creators to keep selling on the platform: accumulated earnings cut the transaction fee from 9% to less than 3%.
|Total Earnings||Transaction Fee|
As account administrators, creators can alter their profiles, post products, and evaluate existing customers and followers. For payouts, users can select from direct deposits or PayPal in their home currency. Features like the Affiliates system also allow creators to expand marketing and incentivize the sharing of product links.
Read more: How Affiliate Marketing Works
Recognition and Reviews
While e-commerce has long been ingrained in the internet’s advancement, Gumroad is a segment-specific web marketplace serving creators and digital resource producers. Because the digital creator marketplaces continue to develop, there’s little industrywide consensus yet.
Comparing the marketplace to all-in-one platforms – like Shopify – market research firm Sacra stated in March 2021:
"[Gumroad] has focused on building for extensibility and interoperability, creating a checkout experience creators can use to sell digital goods to their fans no matter what other platforms and tools they want to use. Rather than do everything, Gumroad has focused on doing one thing well."
Gumroad: Company Background
In 2011, a Pinterest software engineer and designer, Sahil Lavingia, launched Gumroad in San Francisco. Unlike other e-commerce platforms, Lavingia’s idea was enabling creators to sell their products directly to customers with a few clicks and no storefront needed.
Gumroad received venture capital funding fast in its first few years followed by extensive layoffs in 2015 to keep the startup afloat. The market vendor turned a profit in 2017 and revenue jumped 84% to $9 million between 2019 and 2020.