Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Ask HN: Which service do you use to sell downloads?
65 points by renaars on May 20, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 57 comments

I would use gumroad or whatever is easiest/fastest to get it out there. Don't worry about fees and junk right away. Get your product available to sell and focus on selling it. Don't spend a lot of time on how you are going to process money and deliver the product. Focus on the sales. When you have $10,000 in sales and 1% margin starts being worth $100, you can spend a few hours maybe worrying about if gum road is the right choice. Even then, it's probably not worth worrying about.

Just sell things, enough things that it actually matters who you are using for processing. But, with 0 sales, you are doing 0 order processing so it doesn't matter.

Gumroad is great for getting started. The only annoying thing I don't like about gumroad is that they don't give you many options for removing the header image or default call to action text on payment pages. Otherwise, it's a fast and clean way to accept payments without hassling with SSL, stripe, etc.

Yeah, but something that removes the friction of going from 0 sales and 0% conversion rate and a handful of sales at 1% conversion rate is huge. Most people never even get far enough that changing the logo would be meaningful.

I may well be e-junkie's oldest surviving customer, although I eventually transitioned everything off their app into my app with the exception of Paypal IPN processing. They've got almost $500 of LTV from me, $5 a month at a time.

If I were making the choice again today, it would be Gumroad by a country mile. Regardless of whether you end up using them, look up Ryan Delk's presentations regarding the habits of successful sellers (multi-tier products; X 2.2X 5X pricing; email marketing). They'll make you much more successful than the typical person who just throws a $FOO onto the Internet.

I use e-junkie as well. Their UI is horrendous and there are a few features that are not listed in the admin section (support will clue you in) but they are generally reliable and just do the job (for very cheap).

That said, I'm moving off of them to a WP + WooCommerce shop this month to have better control over the process and offer something besides PayPal (several countries are blocked from PayPal).

wait, PayPal doesn't sell downloads? I'm sure they do. I don't know why people use a 2nd service, that charge 1-2% on TOP of Paypal's 2.99%. why? you're still using paypal...

People use a second service because PayPal does not offer such a feature.

I've sold about a thousand dollars thru Gumroad. http://gumroad.com

I like the design. I like the simplicity. People can just use their CC like normal. They take a percentage of your sales, but so far found it worth it.

I wish it had order tracking (just a box I could tick when I shipped something would be nice) but that is irrelevant for downloads.

Snappy Checkout has an icon to mark an item as shipped. Check it out here:


Might just be me, but gumrouad's website offers me no help in trying to make a decision. I'd like to see the actual checkout process and what it looks like but it keeps giving me a signup page.

I think Paystr is the way to go. They are new, but they offer a bunch more. Yes, they take a bigger cut than gumroad, but they offer a ton of services for your digital downloads, like support to your customers, if they have an issue, they call Paystr and they will resolve it, you do nothing. Also, if you sell enough, you can get paid THE NEXT DAY. Check them out at https://www.paystr.com. If you want to see them in action, go to http://www.joshuasring.com and try to buy the book, that's the checkout process. I love how the customer never leaves the site.

I clicked on a few links for Paystr and couldn't find pricing information (even on the FAQ). Even a Google search yields nothing. It's a gorgeous layout but I don't think I can bring myself to sign up for a website where they won't be even remotely transparent about their pricing.

My service (https://snappycheckout.com) offers a Stripe Checkout like experience and allows you to sell files from Dropbox. It costs 2% or $0.50 (whichever is less) per sale (plus the usual Stripe/PayPal fees).

Do you have tiered pricing? Say I wanted to offer a couple versions of a product with a few different levels of features?

You can do that in Snappy Checkout by creating separate products. Here's an example of where I do that with one of my products:


I really like Snappy (from what I've looked at briefly) but I feel like the pricing options need to be on the main page...

Pricing appears on the main page twice -- "You only pay the standard credit card processing fee — plus either 2% or 50¢ per sale". I tried to make it as easy as possible, but it gets a little complicated if you're using Stripe and PayPal -- due to the way the Snappy Checkout fee is charged.

Sorry for not being clear. I mean the pricing for multiple tiers of an item I'd be selling. The link you shared (the page looks great) has a button that says "Buy" then takes me to a page with the various pricing options. Does that clear up what I meant?

The page (at the above link) with the various pricing options is the only page that is using Snappy Checkout. Inside of the Snappy Checkout admin, I added four products -- so each could have a separate price. And there is a buy button linked to each product.

Pricing for Snappy Checkout is the same no matter how many tiers your item has. It's 2.9% plus $0.30 (for Stripe/PayPal) and 2% or $0.50 (whichever is less) for Snappy Checkout's fee.

If I did not answer your question, then please email me at Mike@SnappyCheckout.com with some more details.

https://gumroad.com/ : nice design + very simple to use

Seconded. They've added a lot of nice (and unobtrusive) features over the last year, too.

WooCommerce on Wordpress for an ebook/digital package. Free, barring Paypal fees (grmmble - I could use a different gateway, or even BTC, but in the real world PP is my best bet), and user-friendly enough. Has been very reliable over the years.

I use e-junkie for growthhackinghandbook.com

Flat monthly fee. Their admin UI is clunky, their checkout pages are basic but functional, but they solve a number of problems* without asking for a percentage cut of sales.

I think for basic stuff they work just fine. I'm just selling one ebook and I just wasn't comfortable with having a cut of my sales taken AND my funds being withheld by a third party before some weekly or monthly remittance. With e-junkie the funds go straight to my PayPal account where I can use the money immediately (I constantly pay for things via PayPal).

*obfuscating download path, handling coupons, handling multiple downloads etc

You can have a look at http://www.fastspring.com/ too. I use them to sell my plugins online. Their support is fantastic.

I used them aswell

I use Avangate - and I love it. They act as Merchant of Record, take care of all sales tax headache, and with just one integration, I can accept payments in every country I have customers in, including the "difficult ones" like Brazil, India or China. Good service, too. Granted their API documentation and general user experience is a but sucky but if you start working with them, you will see why they are successful. If they were a public company I would buy their stock!

yeah, I use them too and am very happy. perfect for downloads or subscriptions.

Our service https://www.bizify.me offers a complete package. Credit card processing is included and also payment by mobile phone (SMS) for many countries. There is also a WordPress plugin and you can install our App on your phone to easily follow your sales. No setup fees, no monthly fees, no fixed transaction fees and the price for a digital product can be as low as 0.1 EUR.

I plan on using wordpress and the free paid membership pro plugin (http://www.paidmembershipspro.com/) for my upcoming release.

Let's me sell a per year license with an optional reduced renewal fee at the end of the year, which most services don't seem to easily offer. Also then lets me ties into other things like support forum membership.

I'm pretty impressed with SendOwl. I like the flat monthly fee and generous bandwidth allowance. So far, I've not done a great volume of sales, but my customers have already remarked on how quickly the 0.8GB video file downloaded. So the core functionality seems sound. I'm looking forward to using their affiliates feature to help market my future products.

If you are selling internationally, use Avangate.com. It's a platform built for selling downloads online and give you instant access to every major country with local payment methods, etc. I've been selling for 3 years with them and am very happy. make sure to reach out and ask for discounts - their published pricing is not final.

We wrote our own integration into Shopify.com that does RLM-based licensing (a standard in the visual effects software industry.)

http://getdpd.com is the best option I've found. The interface makes sense, the pricing is super fair, and they allow you to send unlimited updates for free to your users (most other services charge more or, even worse, per update!).

No PayPal payments accepted though, which is a showstopper for a lot of users.

From their website (http://getdpd.com/plans-and-pricing/): "What types of payment do you accept?

We accept Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. At this time we only accept payments online so we will not be able to accept a P.O., invoice you, or take an order over the phone."

http://sellfy.com accepts PayPal

SendOwl does, too.

https://SnappyCheckout.com allows you to accept Stripe and/or PayPal.

A friend earned quite a bit with his music on CoinDL: https://www.coindl.com/page/author/139

It's bitcoin only though but I like the preview for music and the no-bullshit easy handling.

SendOwl (http://www.sendowl.com), formerly known as Digital Delivery App. No particular complaints, but it's been a while since I've looked at the competition.

Thanks for the thumbs up. George, founder of SendOwl

For WordPress plugins and themes I enjoy https://easydigitaldownloads.com It's not perfect, but has some nice plugins (licensing!).

Sellfy (https://sellfy.com) works great for me. I especially like the feature to use PayPal and Stripe together.

Haven't used it, but I think this deserves a mention as it accepts bitcoin: http://coinlock.com/

SendOwl also accepts BitCoins

Plasso (formerly Spacebox) I've been incredibly happy with both the service and the support.


I use woocommerce on Wordpress. I have a large number of products, and their cart process works pretty well. Checkout is smooth. Plentiful extensions.

I have had good luck with Cleverbridge http://www.cleverbridge.com.

If you like/use shopify, check out: https://skypilotapp.com

I no longer need them, but in the past I had positive experiences with FastSpring. eJunkie is also a popular option.

We also use Fastspring and they're great

our experience with fastspring is good as well!

Is eJunkie is still flash based? SendOwl or GetDPD have been our two favourites the last few years

Do any of these services have a good workflow for pay what you want downloads?

Bonus if the service is flat monthly fee.

More of a bonus if they let you choose. When you're first starting out a monthly fee could likely cost you more.

how is that even possible when credit card processing is always a percentage?

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact