For the majority of people who take photos, it isn't nearly about money; it's just something that we enjoy. Wouldn't it be cool, though, if there were an easy way to sell the odd photo here and there to make some pin-money without having the hassle of online stores and distribution and any other potential source of headache related to selling something? Turns out, there is. It's called Gumroad.
Gumroad's a simple idea with a simple execution: create a link to your work so that people who want to buy it, can. You don't have to set up your own store, you don't have to worry about processing payments, and unless you're selling a physical item–for example a t-shirt, something for which Gumroad does cater–you don't have to concern yourself with getting the product to the consumer.
Say that you have photos on your website that you'd like to sell. You create links to the individual images on Gumroad and set a fee; then you upload the images to Gumroad (it allows people actually download them, rather useful); finally you embed the links on your website along with huge 'For Sale' signs and wait for people to saunter by and think to themselves: 'Golly! I'd quite like a copy of that rather idyllic looking beach photo. Well, well, I can purchase it for $5!' They click the link that takes them to Gumroad, part with their pennies in exchange for your stunning creation, and Bob's your uncle. (Okay, Bob might not be your uncle; insert appropriately named male relative here.)
Gumroad takes a 5% cut of the sales price plus a ¢25 fee of every sale; sell something for $10 and $9.25 is deposited in your account. You can set prices between $1 and $1,000, or have them in Sterling, Yen, or Euros.
You don't have to embed the link on a website and Gumroad isn't just about photos, though. Your link could be for a video you shot or a Photoshop preset that's kinda-interesting but one you rarely use, and it could go out in an email or on Twitter. Gumroad is a simple mechanism to sell anything for which there might be a market; just think of all that latent money in your harddrive!
Of course what someone does with a photo (or anything kind of intellectual property) after you've sold it to them is down to good faith, but the Gumroad team have built in some safeguards to help prevent people from downloading multiple times from one link, or redistributing the link after they've paid for it. It's interesting to note, though, that people trying to cadge the system hasn't been a terrible problem for the Gumroaders. If it's easy to buy something, people will spend their money.
As for the Gumroaders, they're based in San Francisco and are headed up by one of Pinterest's early designers, Sahil Lavingia. For them, Gumroad–which only lanched in February this year–is about empowering creative types to sell and distribute their work online, simply and easily. It's worth checking out.
tl;dr? Here's a video: