Gumroad Aims To Make Selling Items as Simple as Sharing Them

Ever tried to sell something on the Internet and hoped that the process was simpler than what it currently is? What if selling an item on the Internet was as simple as sharing the item for sale with your friends on the social web? Gumroad, a San Francisco based startup has adopted that philosophy and wants to take the pain out of selling an item on the web and it also provides the Gumroad API for its core features.

Gumroad simplifies the process of selling any item by doing things in a certain way. First, it wants you to sell your item to your friends, followers in the same way that you communicate to them i.e. by sharing that information. You do not need to setup any store. In case of digital items like MP3’s of your songs or an eBook, you can host the download in a secure download link and the buyer will be sent the link once purchase is complete. You set your pricing and gumroad takes a fixed cut of 5% and $.25 of the transaction cost.

Gumroad also provides an API to go with their web site. The Gumroad API currently offers the core functionality of authentication and setting up your items for sale. The API is REST based and uses JSON for its data format. Authentication is done by a secure HTTP call passing in the username and password. Once authenticated, you can perform various API actions to maintain your list of items for sell, including creating a new link, editing, deleting, enabling/disabling,etc.

For example, to create a new link for an item up for sale, do a POST to with request parameters like name, url, price and description.

The API may be limited but it is good enough to get going and it won’t be long before developers would write mobile applications using them.

What do you think of the Gumroad approach to selling items on the web? Simple is definitely their forte and it would be interesting to see the traction they get in a few months from now.

Be sure to read the next API article: Seamless Delivers Food and an API


Comments (2)


Well, it's interesting, but sounds basically like a person can just go to paypal and get an account and do the same think with express checkout, braintree or any of those APIs. Why would a developer use this. Also, even for an individual, why not just go directly to the payment source such as paypal and do the 2.9% markup. At this rate of $.25 + 5% seems about the same rate as well but with a 2% markup. Doesn't make sense to me.

[...] May, PW reported on Gumroad’s API that aimed to simplify online transactions. Indeed, the earlier release did move Gumroad towards [...]