Sellfy - Simplest way to sell downloads Editor's Review
Editor's ratingThe editor's rating is calculated based on the average of the following criteria, rated on a
scale of 1 of 5:
- Installation: 5
- Features: 4
- Interface: 5
- Customization: 4
- Help and support: 5
"If you are looking for a way to sell your digital content, be it an ebook or a video, Sellfy is well worth consideration. The sales process is easy and intuitive. Access is free, major payment gateways are included, and only 5% of each sale is taken as commission " - Frances Krug, Editor - HotScripts.com
Pros and cons
- No cost until you make a sale.
- Interface designed to adjust responsively for mobile platform.
- Payment gateways include PayPal, Stripe, and Paymill (especially attractive to the European market).
- Built-in discount capability for sales via social media can help a product go viral.
- Buyers can subscribe to your product listing to be notified as you add new items.
- Supports the following currencies – US dollars, Euros, UK pounds, Japanese Yen.
- No shopping cart feature to facilitate multiple product purchases by a single buyer.
- Newsletter option doesn’t integrate with other email providers like Mailchimp, etc.
- Unable to sell your products from a branded/hosted subdomain.
- Currently only accommodates files up to 2GB in size.
Although digital products have long been sold via download, the market has exploded with the popularization of ebook readers and tablets like the iPad. As such, it’s the perfect time for digital content sellers to investigate their options for sales outlets.
Launched in November 2011, Sellfy was initially backed by Skype co-founder Toivo Annus. As of February 2013, about 9,000 sellers use the platform, with more than 16,000 products for sale. Perhaps not surprisingly, the largest proportion of these are ebooks, but sellers also market web templates, plugins, music, videos, and all kinds of other downloadable digital content at Sellfy.
I took a look at Sellfy recently to see if it lives up to its reputation as an easy-to-use, flexible product that is more cost-effective – and potentially more profitable – than some other options available.
The user interface for setting up an account and getting started selling on the site is extremely easy. There are just three simple steps – open an account, add products, and copy the code to facilitate purchases. All settings are included in one basic form, with a separate section for social media discount settings, which can be configured differently for Twitter and Facebook.
As long as it’s in a digital format and can be downloaded, you can list it on Sellfy – anything from ebooks, videos, music, or software such as website template packages or plugins. Even better, you can sell it anywhere on the web – on your website, on any other website, in a blog post, and even on social media – all via a simple “buy now” button displaying the product price. Buyers just click on the link and the remainder of the transaction is handled by the Sellfy platform.
The social media discount feature is particularly nice. Discounts can be set to any amount, even including the offer of a free product, in return for social media shares. For some sellers, particularly those in the video or music industries, social sharing plays a vital role in sales and can contribute to the opportunity for a product to go viral.
Once a buyer clicks on the “buy now” button, they either (1) go directly to payment or (2) are forwarded to your product page on Sellfy. If you use the immediate payment setup, buyers will then pick their preferred payment gateway. Three options are available – PayPal, Stripe, and Paymill. This last option is well suited to the European market and is available in 38 countries and 120 currencies.
If you set up for the second option, a click on the “buy now” button redirects to your product page on the Sellfy site, giving you the opportunity to show a product image and more detailed description. This can be particularly useful if your sales channel offers limited opportunity for presenting product information (e.g., Twitter). The product page can also include an interactive preview of embedded YouTube, Vimeo or SoundCloud content. This feature is especially powerful for video and music content, where a preview via a trailer or sound clip can be the final key to a purchase decision.
Sellfy is free to install and use. Open up an account on their website in a couple of minutes, and you can begin adding your digital products and preparing them for sale. There is no limit on the number of products you can include in your account, although there is a 2GB limit on the size of each product.
Sellfy makes its money by taking 5% of each sale, automatically deducted from the purchase price during the electronic checkout. Since payment occurs seamlessly behind the scenes, it is non-intrusive for buyers – no need for them to open an account, fill out a billing/shipping form, or go through a shopping cart process. All they need do is click on the “buy now” button and process the purchase through their preferred pay platform.
Keep in mind, however that the 5% Sellfy commission is in addition to any fees that PayPal, Stripe or Paymill themselves charge for the transaction, so be sure to work that into your considerations of net payments you will receive from purchasers.
Payment is secured by the gateway, but Sellfy adds a couple of nice security features for your content. The download link provided to an individual buyer is only valid for 5 download attempts before it is deactivated, minimizing the risk of unauthorized sharing of your product. Another security option is PDF stamping, which will add the buyer’s email address to each page of the PDF, thereby discouraging the sharing of purchased PDFs.
Another nice option is a referral program. For each seller that you invite to use Sellfy, you will be paid $10 once that seller reaches $50 in sales. These commissions are paid to your PayPal account 15 days after the end of any month.
Basic analytics are also included. Items tracked include sales of your product and total earnings, with earnings from referrals and discounted campaigns identified. In addition, the number of product views is tracked, so that you can judge the amount and patterns of traffic. You can even send out a newsletter or product update email to past buyers of your products via a nifty email interface within your Sellfy account.
For those of you just entering the digital download market, Sellfy is certainly one avenue you should investigate before choosing one of the more traditional outlets. If you’ve looked at Sellfy in the past but decided it wasn’t robust enough for your needs, check out the new features and capabilities. Much has been added in the last year or so to the product, and its increased functionality across social channels and ease of payment in particular, have vastly improved sales potential for your digital products. With Amazon and others taking as much as 30% of each sale, you need to consider other available options that will net you more revenue. With Sellfy’s free platform, there is literally nothing to lose and sales to be gained!
This is an editorial review; not a recommendation. All editorial reviews, some of which we may receive compensation to perform, express our objective findings and experiences with the specific product (including version) under review. The review expressed is of the editor only. Any product claim, statistic, or other representation should be verified with the provider.