What Can't I Sell on Gumroad?
Why We Can, and Must, Have Nice Things
In order to keep our fees as low as possible (and our lawyer's blood pressure within a healthy range), we have to ensure that no fraud or high-risk activity takes place on Gumroad. By high-risk, I refer to payment behaviors or sales of goods that put the credit rating, reputation, or solvency of Gumroad in danger. In other words, things that get us in trouble.
Fraud and high-risk sales inevitably lead to more chargebacks, which means that we have to raise our fees to cover costs. Higher fees means less money for all creators, which negates our purpose - to make selling as simple and cheap as possible for creators such as yourself. Some of the most basic ones are:
- Reselling software that you've purchased in the past
- Selling access to a website (this is technically a service)
- Selling used goods, or products that you didn't create or own the rights to (to sell your used X-box, an old version of Photoshop, a signed Space Jam t-shirt, or a slightly-rusted car, please see eBay or Craigslist).
- Selling physical products that violate our terms of service or federal laws of the US (*sigh* Yes, we know that certain herbs are legal in X number of states for medicinal purposes. Yes, we know this is super unchill.)
- Adult content - see why here
- Recurring business payments (in other words, using Gumroad as a way to bill a client for a service you're providing them with)
For a comprehensive list of the items you can't sell on Gumroad, please refer to this page. There are, however, common cases that bear further explanation and clarification. These are...
Services and Coaching
The term "service" covers a wide variety of products that can't be sold on Gumroad.
For example, using Gumroad to charge for:
- IT repairs or maintenance
- Fixing someone's roof or redesigning their website
- A consulting fee
- A webinar
- Payments for a camp, class, seminar, or other event.
Let's assume that you are selling a service through Gumroad - "2 Hour Guitar Lesson Via Skype" - and one of your customers, a nasty fellow named Nigel Ne'erdowell, pays for the service and sits through your 2 hour lesson, then calls up his credit card company and cancels the charge. Nigel! How could you?!?
Now Gumroad is on the hook for repaying Nigel (refunding him from your account), as well as paying his credit card provider a chargeback fee. Because chargebacks hurt us as a business, we naturally dispute this chargeback. In order to do so, we need proof that Nigel did in fact receive actual goods in exchange for his payment. If we can go to his credit card provider and show that Nigel paid for a PDF file containing sheet music, a video file showing him how to play certain scales, and a handful of audio files, then we have a good chance of winning this chargeback dispute.
If, however, we can only show that Nigel paid for a PDF file that says, "Thanks for buying my guitar lesson. Please contact me on Skype to get started," then his credit card provider will tell us to go soak our heads (to use the parlance of most credit card companies).
This means, in brief, that if the product your customers are receiving is not delivered to them through Gumroad's servers or receipts, you can't sell it on Gumroad. If someone pays you money through Gumroad's payment form, and are not delivered their product in exchange, then it's a service. This also covers a substantial topic that deserves its own header...
Are you a coach of some kind? A professional / relationship / psychic / sports / spiritual guru? Great! You can definitely use Gumroad, but not to charge simply for coaching services.
If you are selling an ebook, video course, or audiobook course that covers your core philosophies, that's a terrific product idea - sell that to your audience through Gumroad! Then, on top of that product, offer an additional fee, through our Variants feature, to set up one-on-one meetings for coaching. Do not, however, set up a product called "1 Hour Coaching" and use Gumroad to accept payments for a Skype meeting or phone call that you will plan later.
If you have any questions about what we do and do not allow on Gumroad, please feel free to reach out to us. We'll gladly walk you through any concerns you might have.