When it comes to selling physical goods online, there are plenty of options such as eBay, Amazon, and Overstock (who even accepts Bitcoin). But if you want to sell digital goods, the choices aren’t so great. PayPal is plagued with confusing and ugly interfaces. Other digital selling services aren’t too useful either as they can have high fees. A newly-launched service called CoinBounce hopes to solve these issues with its low fees and simple user interface. And the best part is that users can buy and sell with Bitcoin.
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“Our goal is to make it easy for digital content creators to put digital downloads (eg. music, video, ebook, pdf, etc..) up on sale for Bitcoin.
Essentially, you’ll just upload, and we will provide a link that you can share anywhere on the internet (IM, Facebook, email, etc.) to reach out to your customers.”
CoinBounce offers several nice features, including:
- No threshold limit for withdrawal
- Price in USD, accept payment in Bitcoin
- Coinbase API used for all transactions
- Zero maintenance
- Low fees (4.0% + 15¢ per transaction)
It seemed like a pretty great idea to me, so I decided to test it out. If you want to see a quick list of the pros and cons, scroll down to the bottom of this article. Otherwise, if you want a detailed review, keep reading.
The first thing I noticed and liked about CoinBounce was that the website uses Bootstrap, which is a framework that makes it easy for developers to create responsive websites that work well on desktop and mobile devices. After reading about all of CoinBounce’s interesting features, I decided to set up an account by clicking the big “Get Started” button on the home page.
This page bothered me a bit, since the “Your account was successfully confirmed” message was in red. Generally, the colour red is associated with errors, not successes. Making that message green would make more sense in terms of UI design. Not that big of a deal, though.
After signing in, I was taken to my Dashboard, where I had the options to set up a receiving Bitcoin address, “View Balances”, and “start selling [my] first digital product”. The logical first step was to set up the Bitcoin address.
Everything seemed alright. It was time to try selling something, so I clicked the large red button at the top of the page. The site took me to a page to add information about my product as well as upload the actual file. To test CoinBounce, I decided that I would try selling this 3D model that I designed:
I entered some information, set a price, and tried to upload the file, but I got an error message.
My file was in the .stl format, which is used for 3D printing. At first it seemed like this file would not work, but then I noticed that .zip and .rar files are allowed. So simply compressing my .stl into a .zip file worked. This solution may or may not be obvious to all users, so if CoinBounce had pointed that out, it would have been useful.
Looks pretty good. Selling your product on CoinBounce is pretty easy. But what if you want to buy other products? I was surprised to find out that there’s no way to browse all the uploaded content. The only way to get to a product’s page with with its direct link. This makes it difficult for sellers to earn money, because they have to advertise their products’ links. CoinBounce offers no storefront like you’d find on sites such as Amazon.
Since I couldn’t find a product on CoinBounce to purchase, I decided to buy my own product to test out the purchase system.
CoinBounce uses Coinbase to power its purchase system, which is great because Coinbase’s system works quite well.
The purchase was successful and I was taken to a download page. I also received the download link in my email (I used a different email address to make the purchase).
It’s been a couple of hours and my account still has not been credited. CoinBounce’s FAQ states that transactions are credited within 12 hours. I’ll have to wait and see if that’s true. Otherwise, it looks like I’ll have to contact customer support.
CoinBounce is still in early beta, so it’s still improving. The team welcomes suggestions on the official thread at the Bitcointalk forums. Here are my overall impressions of CoinBounce.
- Clean UI that works well on mobile and desktop screens
- Low fees
- Great idea
- Easy setup
- Easy purchases
- Some confusing UI elements
- Some scattered typos and grammar errors
- Some broken site elements
- Takes a long time for the seller to receive payment
It’s definitely promising, but I’m hoping to see improvements soon. If you make digital content that you’d like to sell online, feel free to give CoinBounce a try, but also have a backup because CoinBounce still has some issues to work out.