Tools for Selling Digital Downloads
There are some great online alternatives available online that are worth considering if you’re looking to sell your digital work such as an ebook, blog theme or software, from your own website. When considering selling your work online there are some considerations that must be taken into account:
- Availability – which countries can the sellers and buyers be located in?
- Costs – how much does it cost?
- Ease of Use – how easy is it for the merchant and buyer to use?
- Features pros and cons – will it help you sell your downloads?
From hundreds of choices available to use, some better than others, how do you know which is one is right for you? After some research into the area, here are my reviews of four popular tools for selling digital downloads that you might want to considering when endeavouring to sell digitally.
Availability: E-junkie is international. It does, however, depend on which payment processor you choose to use to handle the credit card transactions. That being said there are a number to choose from including PayPal, Google Checkout, Authorize.net and Clickbank.
Costs: E-junkie charges a flat monthly subscription fee starting at $5 up to $265 per month depending on the number of products and MB storage needed. The monthly cost can become expensive if you plan on selling something with a large file size. On top of the E-junkie costs, you will also have to pay the fees for which ever payment processor you choose. For example with Authorize.net there is a setup fee of $99, a monthly fee of $20 and a transaction fee of $0.10 per sale.
Ease of Use: E-junkie offers a free one week trial and the merchant interface is easy to use, but is in need of a facelift. To add a buy button to your website all you have to do is copy and paste a small bit of code into your page where you want the button to appear.
Features Pros and Cons
Pros: E-junkie is feature rich for Merchants including PDF stamping, package deals, discount codes and a built in sales tax and VAT calculator. You can customise your ‘Thank You’ page or ‘Thank You’ email. For the more sophisticated merchant, E-junkie allows you to create and manage an affiliate program for your products.
Cons: The major con of E-junkie is the checkout process transfers buyers away from your site to an external page with your shopping cart details on it (similar to PayPal). For buyers there are other alternatives that have a nicer, simpler checkout, and they won’t transfer you away from the site you were on.
Availability: 2Checkout offers merchants the ability to sell in 25 currencies with 15 languages available in the checkout process.
Costs: 2Checkout charges an Application Service fee of $10.99 when you sign up and it can take a few days to get it approved. 2Checkout charges a flat fee of 5.5% + 45c per transaction. Receiving your money via EFT incurs no additional transfer fees, however, if you’re located in a country that relies on being paid by bank wire transfers, there is a $15 fee and a $300 minimum per transfer.
Ease of Use: Using 2Checkout’s “Plug and Play” shopping cart gives you some code to copy and paste on your site. 2Checkout also integrates with dozens of third party ecommerce shopping carts. If customer support is important to you, you should do your own research into this for 2Checkout. I found a number of negative comments on various sites from merchants complaining about difficulties and long delays in getting responses to queries.
Features Pros and Cons
Pros: 2Checkout does offer recurring billing for subscription based sellers. It also offers inline direct checkout from your site so customers can stay on your site when purchasing.
Cons: The one con for this application is that by adding a third party shopping cart to your site it can become expensive paying for both carts.
Availability: It is available for merchants located in wherever PayPal operates and is accepted.
Costs: Payloadz offer a free 7 day trial. After which you are charged a $14.95 per month maintenance fee plus 4.9% + 49c per sale. Payloadz does offer a micropayment for sales under $2 of 4.9% + 5c. Alternatively, you can have a basic account that has no monthly fee but has a high 20% per sale fee + PayPal fees of 2.4% + 30c and is limited to $50 value of transactions per month. Payloadz does recommend linking a PayPal Business or PayPal Premium account for all the functionality to work.
Ease of Use: I initially found it very confusing on signing up as it asked for my credit card details when I was expecting a free trial and wanted to use the account with no monthly fees. Also selling a digital product using Payloadz means copying and pasting some code onto your website. Using Payloadz you can upload a product image but it doesn’t support video trailers.
Features Pros and Cons
Pros: It is easy to add a buy now button to your site, and it is good that there is no hosting or bandwidth limits. If you are selling software online, Payloadz supports product keys for customers to validate and register their products. Payloadz also has an integrated affiliate program.
Cons: I didn’t find the merchant back office very intuitive and left me a little confused. It wasn’t helped by the basic support information. The difference between the Digital Express (basic account) and Premium accounts is very confusing. Selling digital downloads on Facebook with Payloadz is not as easy, as other alternatives that have a Facebook Store app.
Availability: Available internationally.
Costs: Selz handles the automated download delivery and the credit card payments for a flat fee of 5% + 25c per transaction. There are no other fees.
Ease of Use: Selz makes it simple to start selling digital downloads in a few minutes. You upload your item, add a description and price, and then copy and paste your buy button or widget onto your website. There is integrated one click sharing to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest which means you can sell with a post or a tweet. Added bonus: there is a free Facebook store app and WordPress plugin available.
Features Pros and Cons
Pros: It is simple and quick to use on any site and social media with free file hosting (up to 4GB per file). One of the site best features that Selz has to offer is that it is easy for buyers to use, with the simple checkout and customers stay on your site when they purchase.
Cons: Currently merchants get paid using PayPal (US sellers can be paid directly into a bank account soon). Selz doesn’t have an integrated affiliate scheme.
So in Conclusion
- E-junkie is featured packed and good for smaller file size digital downloads. The monthly rate for E-junkie doesn’t include the fee for processing the credit card so sellers with a high volume of sales this will add up.
- Payloadz and 2Checkout are middle of the pack, but the level of support and documentation might be an issue.
- The new kid on the block is Selz. It is a good choice for those who want a simple, secure way to sell anywhere with no hassles. Selz would also be a good choice if you are looking selling reasonable volumes of content or larger digital downloads.
Can anyone help? I’m a small business looking to go online to sell physical products and also a digital download version of those products. I’m currently using Weebly to build an online store but their one major flaw for me is that a single product can only be physical or digital. I want my consumer to be able to find the product they desire and upon choosing variants, eg size and colour, I also want a variant for physical or download. I’ve search the net, looked at forums, and just can’t find what I’m looking for. Any directions??
Wow, nice blog content and thank u foe sharing.
I use a system not mentioned here, MadBeeTech at http://www.madbeetech.com. It’s designed for the automated selling of digital downloads. It’s a complete website that has a site builder and shopping cart. When a visitor adds an item to the cart and checks out, he ends up at your PayPal page where he pays by PayPal or credit/debit card.
The best part I like about it is that once a visitor makes a purchase, he is automatically emailed a message with a link to instantly download the purchased file or files. And I automatically get emailed from PayPal saying the funds are in my PayPal account. I don’t have to do anything regarding sending out the purchased files. It’s only about $3 per month. Works for me.