The Simplest Ways to Sell Stuff Online
Selling things online has been a long-time struggle for musicians, developers, and other people who create content and products, such as music albums and computer apps, to sell on the web. Sure, there are hundreds of auction websites and applications marketplaces where content creators can sell their goods, but what about the people who want to cut the middleman, but would rather not develop a web store from the ground up? That’s where simple online selling services come in.
These services are designed to let creators and entrepreneurs sell their goods online, whether they’re physical or digital. These services host your sales for you, and even accept payments via credit card with a small fee, usually for processing credit card transactions.
In this tutorial, I’ll be showing you a few of the best simple online selling services on the web and how to use them to start selling your products. Though there are quite a few of these services on the web, I’ll be showing you how to use three of the simplest: Gumroad, Plasso, and Instamojo.
Selling Your Stuff On Gumroad
To start using Gumroad, head on over to their website and create an account. To do this, scroll down to the bottom of the Gumroad homepage and click on the button appropriately labeled “Start Selling on Gumroad”. You’ll then be redirected to the signup page where you can set up your free Gumroad account.
On the Gumroad signup page, you can choose to either create an account using a Twitter or Facebook profile or sign up manually by entering a new email address and password. Once you’ve created an account, you’ll be redirected automatically to your inventory page.
To list your first product on Gumroad, look towards the center of your inventory and click the giant Add a Product button. When you do this, a drop down menu will ask you to choose a product type: product, subscription, or pre-order. Choose the one that best suits your needs, and we’ll show you how to use each of them below.
Listing a single, one-time digital product sale is simple with Gumroad. Click the Product button from the drop down menu. You’ll now be taken to a page where you can give your product a name, set a price, and upload the file you’d like to sell. After doing this, click the Add button that is located towards the upper right-hand corner of the window.
Now you can add a cover and description to your product. A cover is a quick preview of your product, for example, a screenshot or an audio sample. You have two options for your cover: you can either upload said file or link out to a SoundCloud, Vimeo, or YouTube URL.
To upload a file as your cover, look towards the center of the Gumroad screen and click on the Upload a cover button. You will then be prompted to upload your cover media. To link to a cover, look directly under this button and click on the Link to a cover button. You can now preview your cover media.
To give your customers a little background on your product, make sure to add an in-depth description in the Describe this product textbox.
To further customize your listing, look towards the top of the Gumroad window and click on the Options button. From here, you can give your products custom Gumroad URLs, limit the amount of sales, limit your sales to a specific country, and even offer discounts.
Once you’re done with this, you can publish your product using the Publish button that is located towards the bottom left-hand corner of the page or you can save it as a draft using the Save Changes button located towards the bottom right-hand corner of the window.
Managing Sales With Gumroad
Once you’ve started to get sales you can set your payout settings via the Balance tab that is located on the left-hand side of the top-bar and click on the Balance button. Towards the center of the Payments page, you’ll be able to view your earnings over the last month, week, and lifetime. You can pay out from this menu as well, but you must have $10 in your Gumroad before you can cash-out.
However, before requesting a payout from Gumroad, you need to add a payment method. To do this, look towards the upper right-hand corner of the Balance menu and click on the Payout Settings button.
Towards the center of the menu, you’ll see an area to input bank account details for direct deposit. You can add any American bank account to Gumroad, however, if you’re in Japan, you can use Zengin to accept direct deposits. To do this, click on the Zengin button that is located in the paragraph above the direct deposit box.
If you’re located outside of the United States and Japan, don’t fret. You can add your PayPal account to Gumroad via the PayPal link that is located to the right of the Zengin button in the paragraph above the direct deposit box.
Selling Products Using Plasso
Plasso is another great selling tool that uses Stripe, a relatively new, yet well respected web payment service. Additionally, Plasso users use “Spaces” to sell their products. Spaces are essentially mini-stores where you can list multiple products in the same category.
To start using Plasso to sell your products, head over to Plasso’s website and look towards the upper right-hand corner of the screen and click the Sign-up button to create an account. When creating an account, you’ll be prompted to create a Stripe account or sign into an existing one in order to accept payments.
To start selling on Plasso, you must create your first Space. To do this, log into your Plasso account and click on the menu button that is located on the left-hand side of the window. After clicking on this button, you will see a button labeled Spaces directly under the menu button. Click on the plus button that is located to the right of this button to create a new space.
You’ll now be prompted to choose if your Space is a one-time payment or a recurring payment. For this example, I will be using a one-time payment, though the process for recurring payments is almost exactly the same.
You can now start filling out information about your new Space. Towards the top of the page, you’ll find an area to upload a logo for your space as well as a background photo. Below this, you can give your Space a name, description, choose the currency you’d like to sell this Space in, as well as input some information about yourself, the seller.
Additionally, Plasso supports Google Analytics and GoSquared for viewing of detailed analytics for each Space. You can add your account ID for one of these two services towards the center of the page, to the right of the Google Analytics drop-down menu.
Below the Google Analytics drop-down menu is a list of optional features for your Space. For instance, you can require your purchasers to input a billing and shipping address if you’re selling a physical product on your Space. If you’re selling a physical product and select the Require Shipping Address option enabled, a drop-down menu will appear asking if you’d like to add shipping charges to your product. You can add shipping methods by way of the red plus button located to the right of the right side of the Shipping Fees drop-down menu.
If you look towards the bottom of the window, you’ll notice a drop-down menu labeled Space Status. From this drop-down menu are four options: Live Mode, Test Mode, Pre-Order, and Hidden. Live Mode allows for standard purchases, with the customer being charged immediately. Test Mode is essentially Live Mode, but with payments disabled. Test Mode is, like the name suggests, meant for testing your Space only.
Pre-Order allows your customers to pre-order your new products without charging their credit or debit cards right off the bat. When you select this option, you’ll be prompted to select a “Charge Date”. Your customer will be charged, you guessed it, on this charge date.
Finally, if you set your Space to Hidden, it will not be able to be viewed publicly and is essentially a way to put your Space on hold.
Now that you have your Space set up, it’s time to add products to your space. To do this, look towards the top of the Plasso window and click on the Products button and look towards the upper right-hand corner of the window and click on the red plus button to add a new product.
You can now fill out information about your product, including its price, stock, name, description and other information. You can also upload a file to give to your customer after payment, so you can easily sell music, software, and other media by way of your Plasso Space.
Now that you’ve added a product to your Plasso Space, click back into the Setup tab and look towards the upper left-hand corner of the screen at the red eye button. Click on this button, and you’ll be taken to your Plasso Space’s public page, which you can then share online and make sales.
Managing Sales With Plasso
To manage and view your sales within Plasso, click on the Payments tab that is located towards the upper right-hand corner of your Space’s window. From here, you can view your daily, monthly, and all-time sales as well as the total amount of sales you’ve accumulated over time.
Since all payments on Plasso are handled by Stripe, you can add your bank account information and payout to your bank by way of Stripe’s website.
Selling Products With Instamojo
Finally, I’m going to show you how to sell products using Instamojo. Instamojo is by far the most barebones online selling service in this tutorial, likewise, it’s also one of the easiest to use and set up, and makes for easy sales on social media.
To start using Instamojo, head over to their website and click on the Sign-up button that is located towards the top of the page to sign up for a free Instamojo account. Once you’re signed in, look towards top, center of the page and click on the “Create A Link” button.
You will now be presented with three options: Digital Goods, Event Tickets, and Services/Memberships. Since this tutorial is about selling goods, I’ll be using the Digital Goods option in this example, though the other two options feature similar setup.
You will now be prompted to upload the file you’d like to sell, and then fill out basic information about the digital product you’re selling including a title, description, and price.
Additionally, under the Pricing header, you have the option of making your product free or “pay what you want”. However, you can also let your customers use Social Pay to pay for your product, meaning they get your product for free in exchange for a tweet, Facebook update, or LinkedIn post.
If you scroll down to the bottom of the Instamojo page, you’ll see two drop-down menus: Advanced Settings and SEO Options. The Advanced Settings drop-down lets you leave custom messages for your customers, limit quantity, add a redirect URL, or even add a Webhook URL that can issue server-side calls to your personal server, pushing data about said purchases.
If you click into the SEO Options drop-down menu, you can do basic SEO work on your Instamojo sale, including adding an SEO title amongst other things to better optimize your sale.
Managing Your Instamojo Sales
To view sales, look towards the left-hand side of the page and click on the Sales and Customers button. From here, you can view all of your Instamojo sales, and can sort these sales by time increments or payout status (paid or unpaid).
Speaking of payouts, to add your bank account to your Instamojo account, look towards the left-hand side of the page and click on the Settings window. A drop-down menu will appear. From this menu, click on the Payout Settings button. You can now add your American or Indian bank account to Instamojo for payout.
Have Fun Selling Your Digital Goods!
There you have it: how to sell your digital goods using Gumroad, Plasso, and Instamojo. Have fun selling your products, and best of luck with your business ventures.