Gumroad allows you to accept pre-orders for a product before it's ready to be released.
Both digital and physical products can be created as pre-orders.
A successful trick we see many Gumroad creators play with is setting the price of their pre-orders low, to entice customers to buy early. After the release date, they change the price of their products.
How does it work?
In brief, a pre-order works like this:
1. You create a pre-order product (either a physical or digital product), set the day and time it will be released, and publish it
2. You share this product with the world, and customers "pre-order" it. Gumroad authorizes a charge on their PayPal accounts or credit card/debit cards, so we can charge them on the day of the product release.
3. If the product is a digital product, you upload a file or multiple files to the product
4. On the specified time of release, Gumroad charges your customers and sends them a receipt, which contains a download link to the product files.
5. Party time.
If you want to change the time of release, you can do that. You can also manually release a pre-order product before the time of release, or afterwards. More on that later.
Let's do it!
From your products dashboard click Add a Product to get started. You
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 to be published. You add the files at a later date.
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 heck out of it.
Upload the product's file (or files) whenever it's ready by clicking Add more files. Then save changes and we will take care of delivering it to all of your new customers on its release date.
Release the product manually
If you miss your release date, or don't upload the product in time, or are a real Gary Go-getter and want to release the product early, you can do that too!
Simply go to your Share tab, scroll down to the bottom of the page,and click Release now, initiating the charging and distribution process.
Pre-order credit card charges
When they place their pre-order, we verify your customers' 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 charge your customers' credit cards when your product is released, right before we deliver its files to each of them individually.
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.
Like with any other standard product, customers will be able to purchase it and immediately receive the files.
If you've included the word "PRE-ORDER" in the title of the product, or information about it being a pre-order, you may want to change that to avoid confusion on the part of your audience.