This week, the digital marketplace Gumroad launched the ability to sell subscriptions, rather than individual one-off payments, as a way to tailor the service even further to how customers were using it.
When I first met Sahil Lavingia, the CEO of Gumroad, and he explained that his company makes it easy to sell things online, I didn’t immediately understand why that was a service people needed. After all, you can sell things in a lot of places: eBay, Etsy or Craigslist. You could accept money through Venmo or Paypal, sell on Facebook through Chirpify, or buy a Square dongle and let people swipe their credit cards.
But when he explained the core use case — a musician or designer or author creates creates a piece of art or digital content and wants to sell it — I could see why the other solutions might not work. Sites like eBay and Etsy are meant for specific types of sellers typically selling physical goods, and there are plenty of payments startups that make it easier to send money to a friend or coffee…
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