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I'm unable to make purchases on Leanpub. Why is this happening, and what can I do?
I'm unable to make purchases on Leanpub. Why is this happening, and what can I do?

Keywords: purchase, buy, credit card, declined, how, complete, won't complete, error, can't buy, cannot purchase

Leanpub Support avatar
Written by Leanpub Support
Updated over a week ago

If you're having trouble making a purchase on Leanpub, the first thing we'd like to say is, please accept our apologies for the difficulty here!

We would love to able to sell to everyone, and for our purchase process to work smoothly every time.

However, sometimes people do run into difficulties when making a purchase, and we hope this article can help.

Please note that we currently use PayPal to process all of our transactions, and in our experience, their customer support is very good.

Turn Off Browser Extensions

If you are using any browser extensions that may be blocking the process, you should try disabling them while you're trying to make a purchase. (People who report "nothing happens" when they click on something, often report everything works when they turn off browser extensions.)

Try Another Payment Option

As you can probably guess from the length of this article, even though it's quite rare that someone has a problem buying something on Leanpub, if they are blocked from purchasing, there can be a lot of reasons why that happens.

So, the simplest and quickest thing to do is just to try another payment option.

For example, if you tried with one credit card, you can try with another one, if you happen to have more than one credit card.

Also, please note that we currently provide two options for completing a purchase: Stripe and PayPal.

If you tried one option and it didn't work, we recommend you try the other option.

Please note you don't need a PayPal account to use the PayPal option. You can still use a debit or credit card to pay, if you pick the PayPal option, and you do not need a PayPal account.

Accept Cookies

If you see a blank screen in the purchase form after trying to complete a purchase, that may be because you didn't click a button to accept cookies in the form. Here's an article about resolving this specific issue.

If Your Card is Being Declined, Your Bank (Or Your Credit Card Provider, Or Your Payment App) May Be Trying To Protect You From Fraud

Sometimes people are blocked from completing purchases online in order to protect them from suspected fraud.

Credit card companies and other financial services providers (like payment apps) all work really hard to prevent you from being scammed.

For example, they may prevent you from completing a purchase, if that purchase does not match their analysis of your purchase history online, and so they suspect your credit card details may have been stolen.

If you are being blocked from making a purchase on Leanpub with a credit card or another payment method that you know does work, then you may have to contact the credit card company (or the payment app, or your bank) and ask them to "whitelist" purchases from Leanpub, so they know it's really you trying to make a legitimate purchase online.

Try Again Later

Sometimes there are interruptions to services, for example temporary issues with internet connectivity, that can cause problems, and it will work if you just try again later!

Look For An Error Message

When you click the button to complete a purchase, you should be taken to a page on Leanpub with download links for your purchase, and you should receive an email with download links, and an attached receipt for the purchase.

If this does not happen, this means the purchase was not completed successfully.

Typically, when this happens, you should see an error message on the screen. If that message does not have enough information to help you resolve the issue, please contact our team at with as many details of what happened as you can, including what book, bundle, or course you were trying to buy.

If You Don't See An Error Message

If you were unable to complete a purchase and you did not see an error message, the issue may be related to PayPal's security protocols.

For example, they may need you to confirm your identity, or resolve some other issue. This can happen particularly to people with PayPal accounts. It's frustrating when it happens, but this kind of thing generally happens to help protect you from fraud or suspicious activity.

In these cases, you'll have to contact PayPal's customer support. As we mentioned above, their customer support is pretty good in our experience!

Countries Where You Can Buy From Leanpub

PayPal operates in most countries, but not everywhere. Here is a list of countries where PayPal works:

If you are in a country where PayPal does not operate, you can contact the author of a book and tell them about the situation. They may give you a coupon for a free purchase, until we introduce a way to pay for the book that does work in your country.

[Here's an article we've written specifically for customers from Turkey, who were affected by a change we made to our purchase process in the fall of 2021.]

Contact Us For Help

If none of the advice here matches what's happening to you, or if you have any questions, please reach out to us with as many details of the issue as possible at The more information you can give us, the faster we can (hopefully!) give you a solution.

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