5 Places you can Sell your Digital Downloads

Business, Design

You’ve made your first digital download product, now what? Where can you start selling it? What are your best options? Do you need anything extra to start selling? Is it too late to even start selling digital products? What if no one buys your products? Some more WHAT IF’s, BUT’s and HOW’s. I get it, all those questions running through your head. I’m going to share with you which places you can sell your digital downloadable products.

Selling your digital products as a form of passive income or a fulltime job can be daunting. Not only are we looking at 5 selling platforms but I’m going to give you key information on some of the basics that you need before you get started and what you need to look for in a selling platform.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links, meaning I earn a commission if you use those links. I will always only recommend brands I trust and ones I think you’ll love too.

This post won’t be going into exact detail on how to set up your “store” or adding products, but rather the key features and details of each selling platform. I’m also going to take you through the important MUST-HAVES to get you started, no matter where you start selling your digital downloads.

What we’re going cover today:

  • What you need before you start selling
  • The 5 selling platforms
    • Key features
    • Product image
    • Your digital file
    • Fees and Payouts
    • Pro’s & Con’s
  • Which platform is right for you
  • How to get sales

5 Places to sell your digital downloads by Christine Fleury

Before you start selling

What you need

To get started with selling digital downloads you will need a PRODUCT. The beauty of digital products is that it can be just about anything and you’re never bound by only selling one type of product. You can sell Printables, Graphics, Themes, Tools and Elements, etc. And for each of those categories, you have a whole bunch more options like Clipart, Social Media Templates, Textures, SVG cut files….. Your possibilities are endless!

{

Your only limitation is your willingness to learn!

PayPal

You will need a PayPal account to receive your money from sales. Every selling platform below sends your money straight to your PayPal account, some do have the option of sending your money through Payoneer, but personally, I use PayPal because everyone does payouts through them. When you’re just starting you can use a PayPal “personal” account and upgrade to a “business” account once your sales increase.

Keep in mind that PayPal has some limitations in terms of the amount of money you receive and withdraw if you don’t have a “Business” account. The business account is also great for monthly stats like which country the majority of your buyers are located in, the percentage of repeat buyers, and what devices your buyers use to pay from.

To see PayPal’s current fee structure you can go here !

Product Images

No matter where you decide to sell you are going to need at least one product image so that buyers can have a visual view of your product. It is better to have multiple product images to show different aspects of your product.

Let’s say you want to sell printable planner pages, You’re going to need your “main” images which will be an overview of your planner that needs to catch the attention of buyers. Your other product images will be a mockup view of the planner printed and/or being used. Your product images can also have some key features on it, like “undated month”, “Letter & A5 size” and “What pages you get”.

You need to use the opportunity to give your potential buyers quick information about your product. I’ve noticed that very few buyers actually read your full product description and many times a buyer makes a purchase based on your title and images.

Details

For your digital download product apart from your images, you will need details. Your details include Title, Description, Price, and tags.

These details you should have planned out and ready to add when you make your first product listing. Make sure your Title gives the potential buyer enough information to want to view it, but also, don’t have your title too long, KEYWORDS are your friend here!

Your product description needs to have the information the buyer wants and what they didn’t know they needed. You’re going to have to put yourself in your ideal client’s shoes, and think “What do I want to know about this” and what you think the buyer needs to know.

Pricing your digital product is entirely up to you and what you feel your product is worth. You should do some research to get a baseline price for your type of product. Your selling platform will also play a role in what you price your product. 

Having the correct tags will boost your visibility and sales, so make sure your tags are relevant and keyword-rich. 

Instructions

If you are selling any kind of digital product that will allow a buyer to edit it, you will need to have instructions to help the buyer do so. This is very important as you don’t want to end up with a peeved off buyer who has no idea how to open, edit or use your product. You can also have Instructions for other products that is “use as is” types. Having a one-page quick guide on how to use your product will help your buyer have an overall good experience with you/your shop.

Great! You now have what you need together and ready to start selling your digital downloads!

5 places to sell your digital downloads

The easiest and quickest place to start selling and getting sales, in my opinion, is Etsy. The main reason for that is that more “everyday users” look on Etsy for digital downloads, whereas with the other selling platforms is more for “specific users”. With Etsy you also have a couple of different options of what types of digital products you can sell.

GET 40 FREE LISTINGS WHEN YOU OPEN AN ETSY SHOP WITH MY LINK

That’s right, get your first 40 listings completely FREE when you use my link above to open a shop (I get 40 listings too) so it’s a WIN-WIN! Aside from the free listings, Etsy has what I’d like to call “everyday users”. These are buyers that are looking to buy products that they a) don’t know how to make themselves and b) want to use in their everyday life. Now, I’m not saying that EVERY single buyer is like that, but the majority of them are. This makes Etsy great for selling printable planners, wall art, invitations, clipart, Canva templates etc.

Another PLUS to selling on Etsy is the amount of traffic that it already has, and the chances of you making your first sale in less than a month is very high! My first ever product that I listed on Etsy sold within 2 weeks, it was my first ever Dollar, OH MAN, was I happy (I made 2 sales my first month). To be honest my sales could have been much more if I had better quality products and images. Below is a quick view of my stats for my first month on Etsy. 

Product Images

Etsy doesn’t have any restrictions on image dimensions, they do recommend that your listing images are 2000px for the shortest side with a resolution of 72PPI. I have found that 2000px width and 1600px hight works perfectly and your image won’t be cropped in the search results. Etsy only supports images that are .jpg, .gif or .png (transparent images aren’t supported and the transparent areas will be black).

  • Dimension: 2000px x 1600px
  • Resolution: 72PPI
  • Format: .jpg / .gif / .png
  • Size: max image upload size is 10MB

Your digital file

This is the part where Etsy falls short for me. Because Etsy isn’t primarily made for digital products there are quite a few restrictions and limitations. You can only upload a maximum of 5 files with a max size 20MB each. This can be a pain if you have big files or have multiple elements/items. There are ways around this, like splitting your items into 5 separate .zip files or providing a text document with an external download link. 

  • Max amount of files: 5
  • Max size: 20MB
  • Format: .mpeg / .mp3 / .gif / .jpeg / .png / .tiff / .bmp / .pdf / .txt (Etsy says they only support these files but you can upload a lot more file types like .zip / .ai /.psd etc)

Fees & Payouts

You can get paid in different ways with Etsy If you reside within these countries. You can only get payments via PayPal if your country isn’t listed there. I live in South Africa so I can’t give any information on their other methods other than what Etsy provides see here.

For your base fees, you pay 0.20 USD per listing (Which lasts 4 months) you pay for your listing again once it has sold/renewed and for multi-quantity sales, you pay 0.20 USD for each quantity sold (5 items sold in the same transaction = 0.20 x5). Etsy also has transaction fees which are 5% of the total item cost. For a full view of all fees including Etsy Payment fees go here.

  • Listing Fee: 0.20 USD
  • Transaction Fee: 5% of total item cost
  • PayPal Fees: 0.30 USD flat rate + 2.9% of the amount you receive in USD (Different currencies have a different % rate)
  • Possible extra fees: VAT – this % will be based on your country. Read more on VAT charges.

Unlike Etsy, Design Bundles is a selling platform only for Digital downloadable products. This makes Design Bundles a lot more accommodating in terms of the number of files you can upload and your products can be up to 4GB in size. Because Design Bundles is specifically a digital platform many of your “everyday users” don’t shop here. You do have more “specific users”, buyers who are specifically looking for digital resources to use for a specific reason, whether it be to make digital stuff themselves or to use apart of a design project.

Open a Design Bundles Store

Design Bundles also has a separate seller dashboard like Etsy, which helps keep things tidy. I also love the overall look and feel of the seller dashboard and it’s really easy to add new products, see stats for views, likes, sales, buyer location etc. Design Bundles also does awesome events to help sellers. Their biggest event that they have every year is their 1 Dollar Sale Event, which is during the week of Black Friday. This is great for not only sales but exposure too!

Product Images

Design Bundles has 2 product image types, your “cover image” and “additional images”. For your cover image, it HAS to be a 3:2 aspect ration with a minimum size of 750 x 500px with a max-width of 3000px. I make all my cover images 3000 x 2000px to ensure good quality. Your additional images don’t have to be a 3:2 ratio, but the 3000px max width still applies.

  • Cover image: 3000 x 2000px  (3:2 aspect ratio)
  • Extra images: min size 750 x 500px (max width 3000px)
  • Resolution: 72PPI
  • Format: .jpg / .png
  • Size: max image upload size is 15MB

Your digital file

Hands down Design Bundles wins with their file upload size and they are the only selling platform out of the 5 listed here that allows REALLY big file size to be uploaded. You can upload 30 files under 4GB each, they want you to upload all your files to their server as you aren’t allowed to add any links to external download sites. I like this because it takes the hassle out of having to split your files/ upload them to places like Dropbox or even lessen your file quality.

  • Max amount of files: 30
  • Max size: under 4GB
  • Format: .zip only

Fees & Payouts

You can get your Payouts through PayPal or Payoneer, I personally use PayPal so the fees listed below don’t apply to Payoneer users. You don’t get your sales instantly in your PayPal account so you will have to request a “payout” from Design Bundles. You can request a payout whenever you want to and you have no minimum limit either, you can literally request a payout for $1 USD if you wanted to. You do however need to wait before you get your money in PayPal as you only get your payout in 7 days.

A little side note// Design Bundles made an update to the limited amount you are allowed to list your product price at. The lowest price you can list your products is $4, however, you can run a sale to drop your price, this will possibly change your commission rate though.

  • Listing Fee: listing a product is FREE
  • Commission Rates:
    • 75% for non-affiliated sales
    • 50% when an affiliate initiates the sale
    • variable rate for Premium license bundle sales
    • variable rate for Corporate license bundle sales
  • PayPal Payout Fee: 2% per transaction
  • PayPal Fee: 0.30 USD flat rate + 2.9% of the amount you receive in USD (Different currencies have a different % rate)
  • Payout Request: You get your payout in 7 days

Creative Market is the most popular platform among creatives looking for resources and designers wanting to sell their designs. The competition is fierce and you only get to sell on Creative Market if they approve your application to open a shop. Creative Market offers a lot of support for sellers and to help you get started they have a nifty Shop Owner Kit that has a Shop Guide, Cheatsheet, and PSD templates for product images.

They have in-depth guides and helpful resources on their blog to help sellers and I kind of wish other selling platforms were just as jam-packed with information. Before you can open a shop you will need to fill in a form and request an invite. You will need to prove links to products or other shops where you sell, link to your design portfolio (Make a free Portfolio with Behance), and a message of why you want to sell with them.

Product Images

Your product images (Screenshots) on Creative Market NEEDS to be good quality because they have over 4 million products you need to stand out. Make sure your images will grab people’s attention and shows the main benefit of that product. As mentioned above Creative Market gives you PSD templates for your product images (Brushes, fonts, logo, photo, website and shop graphics).

  • Product image: 1820 x 1214px
  • Resolution: 72PPI
  • Format: .jpg / .png / .gif
  • Size: max image upload size is 5MB

Your digital file

You can only upload 1 product file that is under 4GB and like Design Bundles you can only upload it in .zip format. If your file size is over 4GB you are allowed to provide a link to a Google Drive or Dropbox so the files can be downloaded.

  • Max amount of files: 1
  • Max size: under 4GB
  • Format: .zip recommended

Fees & Payouts

Creative Markets commission rates are low, at just 60%. However, they cover 100% of PayPal fees if you are located in a specific country. The biggest downfall is that you have requested a payout before the end of the month and you can expect your payout by the 15th of the following month. So if you want your money to be in your PayPal account immediately or within 7 days of a payout request, then Creative Market is not for you.

  • Commission Rate: 60% of each sale
  • Listing Fee: listing a product is FREE
  • Processing Fees:
    • PayPal – US: FREE
    • Non-US: 1% of the amount (Max 10 USD)
    • eCheck /ACH (Free)
    • Wire transfer (US:20 USD / Non-US: $20 – $26 USD)
  • PayPal Fee: Depends on the country, Creative Market covers 100% of transaction fees for specific countries. See the list here.
  • Payout Request: You need to request a payout before the end of the month and payouts are only processed after the first five business days of the following month (Expect payout on the 15th of the month).
    • The minimum request amount is $20 USD.
  • Possible extra fees: Withholding Tax Rate 30% see more on it here.

The Hungry JPEG is a Digital selling platform just like Design Bundles and Creative Market. They are very big on their bundles which bring together multiple sellers and create an awesome bundle that brings in a lot of traffic. All in all The Hungry JPEG is a basic selling platform for digitally downloadable products. They definitely don’t have as many nice features like a dedicated seller dashboard or stats but you can still easily use what they give you.

You are also going to need to fill in a form and get approved before you can sell products, approval can take 48hours. The Hungry JPEG offers competitive commission rates and very straight forward with their fees and payout processes.

Product Images

The Hungry JPEG isn’t very clear on their max size for product images. They recommend your images to be 1160 x 772px, with a max dimension of 5000 x 10000px. The biggest image I have uploaded was 21MB in size with no issues, but as soon as I find more info on size limits I’ll update this post.

  • Product Image: 1160 x 772px (recommended)
  • Resolution: 72PPI
  • Format: .jpg / .png
  • Size: Unknown (I have uploaded 21MB sized images)

Your digital file

Your product file upload is maxed at 1 file that is no more than 1GB and you also need to have it in a .zip format. If your product file is larger than 1GB you will need to provide a link to a Dropbox or Google Drive folder so that a buyer can download it.

  • Max amount of files: 1
  • Max size: 1GB
  • Format: .zip only

Fees & Payouts

Fees are very minimal and as far as I can tell you won’t have to worry about any withholding TAX or VAT. For your payouts, you have to request it before the last day of the month and you need to request $10 or more. 

  • Listing Fee: listing a product is FREE
  • Commission Rates: 70% of every sale
  • PayPal Fee: 0.30 USD flat rate + 2.9% of the amount you receive in USD (Different currencies have a different % rate)
  • Payout Request: Request a payout before the last day of a month | payment is received within 10 days of the following month. Minimum of 10 USD for PayPal

Teachers Pay Teachers is an online selling platform for… well Teachers, or parents. Basically it is a HUGE platform for educational digital products for educators, homeschoolers, and parents. Teachers Pay Teachers is a very niche-specific platform and is perfect for you if you design educational products or make minimalistic illustrations that teachers could use for their work.

Because TPT is so niche-specific, it’s VERY popular and very competitive. They have 2 options for sellers who want to sell on TPT with both options defining your selling experience. You get a “Basic Seller” and “Premium Seller” option, with the Basic being free and the Premium with an annual fee of $59.95. The Premium seller account unlocks more features and allows higher upload limits and higher commission rates.

Product Images

Teachers Pay Teachers works on a “thumbnail” image size, with a recommended dimension of at least 750px. You can only upload 4 “thumbnails” with a max 2MB size. 

  • Thumbnail size: at least 750px
  • Resolution: 72PPI
  • Format: .bmp, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tiff, .tif
  • Size: max 2MB

Your digital file

You can only upload 1 product file and with a Basic account it can’t be more than 200MB which is small, but if you are making printer friendly products it’s not necessarily going to be a problem for you. If you need more upload space you can always upgrade to their Premium Seller account.

  • Max amount of files: 1
  • Max size:
    • 200MB (Basic Seller)
    • 1GB (Premium Seller)
  • Format: See full list 

Fees & Payouts

TPT has the lowest commission rates compared to the above fore selling platforms. You can get 80% on all sales if you have a Premium seller account, but if you have a Basic account you only get 55%. On top of the Commission rates that TPT keeps you also have to pay a transaction fee per resource sold.

  • Listing Fee: listing a product is FREE
  • Commission Rates:
    • 55% on all sales (Basic Seller)
    • 80% on all sales (Premium Seller)
  • Transaction Fee:
    • 0.30 USD per resource (Basic Seller)
    • 0.15 USD per resource when order totals less than 3 USD (Premium Seller)
  • Payout Fee: 2% per transaction – max $1
  • PayPal Fee: 0.30 USD flat rate + 2.9% of the amount you receive in USD (Different currencies have a different % rate)
  • Payout Request: Payouts are made using PayPal only | payouts are received no later than the 21st of the following month and this is automated.

Which platform 

is right for you

Deciding on which platform you want to sell and if it’s right for you, you will need to look at your situation, needs and wants. If you need immediate access to your money and can’t really wait until mid of the following month you will need to sell on Etsy. If you need a platform that has the legal structure in place for commercial use you will go with Design Bundles, Creative Market or The Hungry JPEG or if you want to sell educational downloads you will use Teachers Pay Teachers.

Make a list of all the things you are looking for in a selling platform and if you need to get more information don’t be scared to drop one or all of the places above a message. You need to be 100% happy with what they provide so that you can focus on designing great quality products. 

If you are just getting started or still putting feelers out there and you are looking for a place that you can immediately open a shop and start listing products Etsy is the best place. Once you have made a couple of products you can start building your portfolio to showcase your best work. Places like Creative Market and The Hungry JPEG will look at your portfolio so make sure your images are on point and you offer something unique.

How to get

sales

I’m going to outline some things that will help your visibility to get sales, this is not a “Do this and I promise you will get sales”, your sales will be determined by your quality of products and images!

PROMOTE & SHARE
It doesn’t matter where you sell, you need to promote and share your products on all your Social Media platforms. Don’t expect to make sales by just uploading products and magically hoping that the sales will start to roll in. Yes, you can make sales if you don’t promote but you are limiting your sales potential by relying on being found among the thousands of other products. Places like DB, CM, and THJPEG your product will get a pretty little tag that says “NEW” for a couple of days. On Etsy, you can up your visibility by enabling ads, and TPT Premium Seller account gives you additional marketing tools.

QUALITY
Making high-quality products and product images will make you more sales. If you have bad quality products or product images you’re not going to catch anyone’s attention and no one wants to waste money on crappy products. I can not stress this enough, your PRODUCT images have to catch the attention of potential buyers in mear seconds. Make and sell products that you are proud of and don’t cut corners just to make a quick buck!

PRICING
Price your products competitively, DON’T undersell to push sales. You end up killing sales for other sellers just BECAUSE you want to be an ass selfish.

TIMING
Sell products that are relevant to seasons, holidays and events. Take part in sales event that your selling platform hosts, most platforms end up promoting events on external ads and internal visibility. Listing products that are relevant to the season or holiday happening that month will also help boost sales.

Final Note:

Have fun and create what you love. Make awesome products with images that grab everyone’s attention. Think outside the box and don’t copy other designers!

Let your creativity and passion drive your journey and not money. Take it slow and DO what YOU can, don’t rush, and be realistic with your goals.

These are not your only selling platforms for digital products and I am planning on making a list of places that you can sell digital products like courses, personalized prints, etc.

If you have any questions about these places send me a message!


Until next time,