Stopping "Serial Refunders" Dead In Their Tracks

by 70 comments
I've seen the amount of serial refunders / thieves grow each year.. as I'm sure you have too.

Giving this problem a bit of thought, I think one possible way to stop them - or least slow them down, could be for sales management systems to increase seller protection and blacklist refunders, on a network wide basis.

For example, if Ejunkie, WSO Pro, (insert payment & delivery system here), etc, prevented serial refunders from purchasing any product on their network, it might slow them down, or think twice about which products they save their refund allowance for.

So.. let's use WSO Pro in this example (because most of us use it)..

Each buyer could have a limited number, or a set percentage, of allowed refunds. If they exceed that limit, they are blocked from buying any product using WSO Pro.

Or perhaps another way of doing it could be...

If 2 or more sellers click the 'blacklist' button, that buyer is blocked from buying anymore products being sold via that system.

OK, it's not a perfect solution, and people will always find a way a loophole, but it is a solution that existing sales systems could easily implement.

Clickbank claims to do this, but from what I've seen they don't enforce it - I could be wrong, but I haven't seen it for myself.

If a management system had this functionality and enforced it, I'd move my entire business over to it in a heartbeat.

What do you guys think?
#internet marketing #refunders #serial #stop

  • Profile picture of the author Burton Lancaster
    I think a blacklist is a great idea, don't stop at the username though ... let's blacklist the IP as well... pitch it to WSO pro... im sure they lose money on this as well and will be interested.
  • Profile picture of the author Ben Gordon
    I think we should just blacklist the PayPal account that way they have no way of purchasing unless somebody else purchases and refunds it for them. If that does happen we should just blacklist a range of IPs in their neighborhood to make sure even if they have a dynamic IP address they can't still purchase it somehow!

    Thanks for the idea... it might still be long until Warrior Pro starts using it but I'll be sure to implement it into my main payment system .
  • Profile picture of the author Odhinn
    And what about people who sell a product that doesn't do what it claims to do, or a software that doesn't install/run properly on your system? Or how about those "You make $500 in twenty minutes or I give you a refund!" people, certainly they get a few refund requests because people aren't all going to go through with it.

    Look, serial refunders are a problem, but why do we think that everyone who makes a refund request is doing so maliciously?

    I think a blacklist is a very bad idea, because over time, anyone who's ever asked for a refund, legitimately or not, will be blacklisted sooner rather than later, and that puts a dent in your potential sales.
  • Profile picture of the author Johnny Slater
    It would be pretty easy to do something like track times of sales and refunds. Then if you see someone getting refunds on 50% or more of their purchases within 48 hours of purchase you know that they are a serial refunder and can block them.

    Tracking and stats are not that hard and it wouldn't take much to put into place to create an an auto serial refunder ban feature.
  • Profile picture of the author Mike Hill
    Originally Posted by Odhinn View Post

    And what about people who sell a product that doesn't do what it claims to do, or a software that doesn't install/run properly on your system? Or how about those "You make $500 in twenty minutes or I give you a refund!" people, certainly they get a few refund requests because people aren't all going to go through with it.

    Look, serial refunders are a problem, but why do we think that everyone who makes a refund request is doing so maliciously?

    I think a blacklist is a very bad idea, because over time, anyone who's ever asked for a refund, legitimately or not, will be blacklisted sooner rather than later, and that puts a dent in your potential sales.

    I think the serial refund policy should be as such if you refund within a certain period of time from the purchase of the product. But then again they could just wait until that time elapses.

    The types of refunders never read the material or use the software, they just want it.
  • Profile picture of the author DebbieD
    They're talking about serial refunders, not people who refund here and there.

    btw, who exactly do you consider a serial refunder. I mean, what's the criteria - is there a certain amount of refunds a person needs to ask a refund for in a certain amount of time? Gotta get that clear.

    Also, about banning a serial refunder by Paypal ID - Paypal allows users to use eight (I think) e-mail addresses. So take that into account.
  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    Hi Mick:
    This problem is indeed growing. Yeah, on that we can agree. What I have done is print out manuals in the form of paper. OK since they are not digital items anymore, customers have to pay postage as well as wait a few days for shipping to receive one.

    There is a 30 day money back guarantee, but they must return the item and pay shipping it back to me. Most serial returners are way too lazy to do this so, and I only have 3% return rate on non digital items mon ami.

    A friend of mine who still uses pay pal for selling reports is now moving to ask people for personal checks and or a mo. He is tired of all the hassles with credit cards and prefers people to pay using a mo.

    His return rate with pay pal using non digital items was approx 10% and with personal checks near zero. Sometimes, the old ways are the best ways. I also considering asking my consumers to send me a personal check or a mo.
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Meaney
    Originally Posted by Burton Lancaster View Post

    pitch it to WSO pro... im sure they lose money on this as well and will be interested.
    Yep, sent this idea to them last week.

    Originally Posted by seobro View Post

    Hi Mick:
    This problem is indeed growing. Yeah, on that we can agree. What I have done is print out manuals in the form of paper. OK since they are not digital items anymore, customers have to pay postage as well as wait a few days for shipping to receive one.
    I've been tempted to do this myself, I haven't figured out how to automate it in a similar way to digital downloads yet.
  • Profile picture of the author LeeLee
    Originally Posted by Mick Meaney View Post

    Yep, sent this idea to them last week.


    I've been tempted to do this myself, I haven't figured out how to automate it in a similar way to digital downloads yet.
    What about a fulfillment company?

    I can't remember the name of the company but they became really popular after ebay banned digital downloads.

    You set your cd up in their system and they ship a physical cd to your customer. I think they may have even handled returns.

    And there are companies that do hard copies too.

    ETA: I found the one I was thinking of, Kunaki. I never personally used them so I can't vouch but there was a lot of buzz about them. And I am sure there are many more.
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Meaney
    Originally Posted by LeeLee View Post

    ETA: I found the one I was thinking of, Kunaki. I never personally used them so I can't vouch but there was a lot of buzz about them. And I am sure there are many more.
    Thanks for that, I've seen Kunaki before.. it's automating the payment and sending the info to the company that I can't get my head around. Maybe it's time to outsource this stuff.
  • Profile picture of the author VinnyBock
    How come people just can't put all their digital products on their website requiring a user name and password to access?

    For 30 days or what ever you have the ability
    to change their password...

    Their must be a negative side to this, because many people don't do this...
  • Profile picture of the author LeeLee
    Originally Posted by Mick Meaney View Post

    Thanks for that, I've seen Kunaki before.. it's automating the payment and sending the info to the company that I can't get my head around. Maybe it's time to outsource this stuff.
    I'm not sure what areas are holding you up. I looked into this and sending the info to the company seemed pretty straight forward and I am a totally waste case when it comes to anything technical.

    I also found this on their site about the payments:

    What is the "publish your CD/DVD product at no cost to you" service?

    • The service lets you outsource: order acceptance, manufacturing, packing, shipping, and customer service.
    • You set the retail price. We set up a sales page for your product; accept credit-card or paypal orders on your behalf; manufacture and ship directly to your customers -- on demand.
    • The service integrates manufacturing, order-taking, packing, shipping, tracking, accounting, and customer service into one seamless, frictionless system that minimizes costs, errors and time.
    • We provide you with real-time accounting data, customer names and addresses.
    • You have two options to collect the sales proceeds:
      • We collect the sales proceeds on your behalf. Each month we send you a check for the quantity sold multiplied by your retail price minus the manufacturing cost and a 5 percent transaction fee.
      • The sales proceeds flow directly and instantly into your own paypal account.

    I imagine if you have a mind to do a lot of products this would be preferable to finding a dedicated outsourcer who you would likely have to train anyway. I don't know what their customer service is like, but in this competitive world, I would imagine someone would hold your hand to get you started.

    BTW I have no association at all with Kunaki.
  • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
    Originally Posted by Mick Meaney View Post

    I
    Each buyer could have a limited number, or a set percentage, of allowed refunds. If they exceed that limit, they are blocked from buying any product using WSO Pro.

    Or perhaps another way of doing it could be...

    If 2 or more sellers click the 'blacklist' button, that buyer is blocked from buying anymore products being sold via that system.
    +1000

    I think Mike should give this a GO in partnership with Allen and see what gives.

    We ALL need a long standing solution - putting serial refunders outside the loop is just the start.
  • Profile picture of the author CyberSorcerer
    How about a reporting site where IMer's can just take the refunders paypal name, IP, time of purchase, amount, etc and input it into the a form and the site stores it in the database.

    An algorithm can be made to analyze the input, cross referencing the name, IP, time, etc with all other entries matching that record and flag the person percentage of refunds to purchases, time between refunds, etc.

    This way when you input the record you can also see what his refund percentage is along with other important stats. No personal information just how often he/she refunds, time between refunds, etc.

    I have been wanting to do a site like this and collaborate with others in getting the details down. I can program it so that's not an issue.

    What's do you all think?
  • Profile picture of the author builder4580
    Who are these serial refunders? I suspect a lot (maybe the majority) are IMers looking for NEW information. When they make a purchase and find they are just getting regurgitated OLD information who can blame them for asking for a refund.
    Newbies and inexperienced IMers, on the other hand, may be seeing this regurgitated material for the first time and believe they have finally stumbled upon the Holy Grail.
    I believe to ban any refunder is short sighted and ultimately bad for WSO's.
    While I personally have never refunded, I have purchased what I consider garbage reports. Simple solution for me - never buy a WSO indiscriminately, they are no better than Clickbank offers.
    The way to stop refunders is to provide quality fresh content, I believe.
  • Profile picture of the author timpears
    Originally Posted by Mike Hill View Post

    I think the serial refund policy should be as such if you refund within a certain period of time from the purchase of the product. But then again they could just wait until that time elapses.

    The types of refunders never read the material or use the software, they just want it.
    Typically if I refund, I will do so in the first day or two. I read the report or watch the videos, and if you can't have a sense if this is just rehashed, or just a pile of crap by that time, then I doubt you ever will. I have tried some items and they didn't work as they stated in the sales pitch, but most of the time I can tell if someone has hyped the crap out of their product.

    So I don't think your 48 hours is a good barometer of anything.

    As with any work from home, make money type sales arena, there is a bunch of crap offered for sale. I have bought my share of it, and so have you.
  • Profile picture of the author shabit87
    Originally Posted by Burton Lancaster View Post

    I think a blacklist is a great idea, don't stop at the username though ... let's blacklist the IP as well... pitch it to WSO pro... im sure they lose money on this as well and will be interested.
    I don't think the IP address is a good idea perse. God forbid someone is bouncing off of other's IP address and now due to their bad deed that person, the true owner is punished.

    Also a user could easily buy a gift card and just pay through paypal using the card.

    My suggestion is to set conditions, such as refunding before 5 minutes has pasted automatically denies the claim or blacklist or whatever. When setting up your product on whatever system you use, you provide a valid reason for the time set. A 20 hour video course for example would be impossible to evaluate in 4 minutes. If a user makses a request, it will automatically be declined (possbily within PayPal, I dunno).

    So basically you arent so much blacklisting the person, but the habits of which these people partake in...if that makes any sense.
  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    Originally Posted by Odhinn View Post

    And what about people who sell a product that doesn't do what it claims to do, or a software that doesn't install/run properly on your system? Or how about those "You make $500 in twenty minutes or I give you a refund!" people, certainly they get a few refund requests because people aren't all going to go through with it.

    Look, serial refunders are a problem, but why do we think that everyone who makes a refund request is doing so maliciously?

    I think a blacklist is a very bad idea, because over time, anyone who's ever asked for a refund, legitimately or not, will be blacklisted sooner rather than later, and that puts a dent in your potential sales.
    Odhinn? I challenge you to a duel on Mount Olympus. You know where that is, right? Do you need to call AAA for a map? Whatever. Once you find your way to my domain, we'll see once and for all who the "Father of the Gods" really is.

    Piker.

    Zeus got mad skillz, boy.
  • Profile picture of the author Joshua Rigley
    There was a service called "badcustomers" or something like that. That service was abused by unethical sellers, who would threaten anyone who asked for a refund to blacklist them.

    IMHO, it's best if people just develop their own personal policy for dealing with serial refunders and deal with them as they come.
  • Profile picture of the author CoffeeIceCream
    This is very similar to the people who buy clothing, wear it and then return it. Or people who buy new books, read 'em, and then take them back. I think the blacklist is a good idea, but it won't stop people from being dishonest in general.

Next Topics on Trending Feed