Gumroad allows you to accept pre-orders for a product before it's ready to be released.
How does it work?
Start at your products dashboard and add a new pre-order product.
Instead of uploading files to the product and selling it immediately, you will now specify a release date (which you can change any time), upload the file when it's ready, and get back to your favorite John Grisham novel.
After you share the link with the world, customers enter their payment information, which we save as a token.
On the release date you've set, we charge your customer's credit cards or PayPal accounts and email them a receipt and download link.
You can create digital and physical pre-order products. Learn all about selling physical products in this article.
Creating a pre-order
Unlike a traditional Gumroad product (read our guide on adding a product), pre-orders don't require an initial file. Instead, you specify a release date and time — which will be displayed to the customers when they pre-order it.
Once you have styled the product as you have seen fit, hit Publish, get the URL of your product, and promote the product.
Upload the product whenever it's ready by clicking Add more files, and we will take care of delivering it to all of your new customers on its release date. You can upload the product by clicking on the Add a file button on the edit page. If you miss your release date, simply go to your Timeline tab and click Release now, initiating the charging and distribution process.
Pre-order credit card charges
We charge your customers' credit cards when your product is released, right before we deliver its files to each of them individually. When they place their pre-order, we verify their card information, to make sure the card is valid. This means some customers may see a temporary $1 charge on their credit card statement. This charge disappears after a few days, so there's no need to worry.
We believe that your audience is more likely to pre-order a product if we charge their card once the product is delivered to them, instead of right away. This information is communicated to the customer during the purchase process.
If you need to cancel a pre-order, we keep things easy for you too. More on that here.
After the Release Date
Once your product has been released, it will convert into a regular Gumroad product. You can, as with any other product, change the name, price, description, files, cover image, yada yada yada.
Customers will be able to purchase it and immediately receive the files. You may want to alter the description or title to avoid confusion on the part of your audience. Many Gumroad sellers set the price of their pre-orders low, to entice customers to buy early. After the release date, they will change the price of their products.